Moving house alone is the pits, and especially when, that very day, you feel you don’t have a friend in the entire world. That was my reality on October 10, 2003. As I slung a queen-size bed onto the roof rack of my SUV, I was both angry and sad – I had a “nobody cares about me” paradigm along with something more purposeful: “I’ll show them!”
Driving away from one home to move into another one is no mere road journey; it’s driving from one life to another.
Being alone that day – with five individuals (my daughters and my parents) who really did love me not accessible – pushed me to the point of surrender, yet again. This entire season was my first exposure to the crushing depression of a reality beyond both my comprehension and control.
Driving down that road with a vehicle loaded to the hilt, with tears streaming down my face, heading toward my desolate future, a small and dingy flat, there, in that moment of that day, was another salient rock bottom experience.
There is only one way we learn from a rock bottom experience. We only learn if we are repetitively brought, again and again, to that depth. But usually we are so down on life because we are shoved continually to the canvas. The thing that we are to learn from the anguish of repetition is surrender. When finally we learn that we cannot control every outcome of life, we begin to see the majesty of God in all the little and lovely good things that occur.
We learn humility and resilience from the same thing; from being shoved to the ground, again and again. Not that we are to be masochists. Far from it. But, as we respond to the instance of the crushing blow by insisting we gracefully rise, God gives us the power to do that very thing.
Surrender at rock bottom is not about giving up. It’s about rising up in the way of integrity. It’s about feeling the raw emotion, and then, when we are ready, we clamour back up.
The world will break us, but God will restore us. The world will ridicule us, but God will inspire us. The world cares little, but God cares much. We see and access the power of these truths, all the more, when we surrender our weakness to gain the Spirit’s strength.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.