Surrender

Poem by Allison Brown, member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Shelton.

If it were up to me I would have kept going;
going and going from meeting to gathering
really anything to outrun the battle of my own mind.
All the while convincing myself that I did all of it because I enjoyed those activities
because I already had the whole world convinced;
each peering into my so called perfect life
only getting glimpses of my brokenness when the world tore down my walls.

If it were up to me I would have kept going;
saying I’m fine when all I wanted to scream was I’m confused and lost
and empty,
Fearful that I won’t ever be enough
in a world that prioritizes success over significance and
in a church that sees me as a leader.

If it were up to me I would have kept going;
tucking away the rough edges of my soul,
afraid that if God sees all, maybe this time is the time I’ve become a disappointment to Him.
So I hid assuming I could un-earn a grace I never did or could earn.
I kept going living life in the fast lane, afraid of my inability
to ever hit the gas pedal again once I chose the break.

If it were up to me I would have kept going,
but thankfully it wasn’t.
For the God who so loved the world and me
hit the pause, turning our expectations into uncertainty
and our going into staying at home.
Bunkered down at last there was space to take inventory of
the fragile soul I carried
and surrender before my God as I learned whose I am again. 

If it were up to me I would have kept going,
but God knew He must take away if I wouldn’t walk away.
Tethered between my doubt and future my heart choked,
swept away in a sea of questioning I found myself
sitting on my bed beneath the purple window curtains–
not writing a book like I wanted to, like I should have
but reading a love letter written for me. 

If it were up to me I would have kept going,
traveling farther expecting to not need to pull over
to refill my gas tank in this marathon.
My desires, God’s plan, learning to re-align them.
I forgave myself for wasting time
because if it were up to me the stillness would never come.
But God whispered to me these past eight months; be still and surrender. 

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