“I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”
In the last couple of weeks that refrain has been replaying over and over in my head. Surrendering all. The concept of surrender “to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand”- is a lot for a person like me who thrives off power and control of their own being and destiny. I am the person that refuses to clap when the minister says “If you love the Lord clap your hands”. I refuse to submit to the authority of what feels like a Simon says style of worship. I have finally been able to articulate why I don’t need a Savior (outside of the precious savior baby Blue Ivy) during the last half of the year. I have become more and more comfortable with the fact that while culturally I am very much a product of the Black Christian environment I was raised in, however theologically I am not and do not desire to be a Christian. In my head the blessed Savior in the song refers more to a higher power, the divine, father/mother God, the universal force, etc.
Giving it up (whatever it is) to a higher power has got to be one of the hardest things for me to do. I have been struggling with unknown aspects of my future. If I am to finish my PhD this Spring…what is next? What am I going to do? I am planner and not having a concrete plan, at times causes an unbearable and crippling anxiety to overtake my body. Singing “I surrender all” has been helpful in overcoming some of this anxiety. The power of surrender became clear to me about 2years ago while watching Oprah’s Master class. This is probably the thing that stuck out for me the most.
“God can dream a bigger dream for me, for you than you can ever dream for yourself. When you worked as hard and done as much and strived and tried and given and plead and bargained and hoped. Surrender. When you have done all that you could do and there is nothing left for you to do. Give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself and let it then become a part of the flow.”
So for 26 I am making surrendering and letting go a major part of my life. There is no point of me trying to control my destiny and make myself sick thinking of the uncertainty. What I do know is that I have done the work. This applies to school/academia, my romantic relationships, and my relationship with others. I have done what is needed to be successful in those regards and now it’s time for me to let some things go and let God do the rest. Iyanla and Oprah had both made it clear to me that you have to do the work, you can’t expect changes if you are not actively engaged in the work. I know I am not the only one who have been watching “Iyanla, fix my life,” if you have not- you NEED TO.
I turned 26 years old on Wednesday. 26 was old a couple years ago- you know when I was 20. I am not where I thought I would be-that is neither a good or bad thing. I spent my birthday white-water rafting on the Chiriqui River in Panama. This marks the 3rd birthday and Christmas I spent solo. I really enjoy traveling alone. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I get to spend quality time with myself and think and mediate. I get to read for pleasure! (Currently reading the newest Oprah book club selection) Do things that I really don’t have the time or energy to do when I am home or with other people.
My raft group included 2 girls, their mother and her best friend. Every year their family goes someplace for Christmas. This year their group included 7 people. They have done Belize, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, etc. this got me thinking how nice it would have been to share some of these memories with the people closest to me. I was wondering would my dad done the white water rafting or how tough Jeremiah would have pretended to be. As the rafting trip progress the idea I was previously toying with- traveling with my parents as an adult begin to really develop in my head. My parent’s anniversary is on Dec 29th. It’s been three years since I spent it with them. I guess it is THEIR anniversary….I don’t have to be there but since we are each other’s favorite people in the world- I think they would want me around. I don’t plan to spend the next Christmas, my next birthday or their next wedding anniversary without them. I am planning to rent a house in the Caribbean next year. I am learning just because I can do things alone, doesn’t mean I always have to. After spending the last two NYE with the most intense feelings of homesickness and sadness because I wasn’t home, I am looking forward to spending NYE at Watch Night service at my daddy’s church.
My goal for this 26th year of life is to surrender to the divine and share love. The future is bright. I got a feeling the universe has some surprises and blessings in store for me. You can count on Oprah, Blue Ivy and the Color Purple to continue to play a big part in my world.