Surrendering the Reins

Surrender the Reins | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit


I remember the day vividly.

I was sitting in an uncomfortable hospital chair playing nurse to a very irritable patient residing in the bed to my right.

In order to survive the day, I’d packed a bag full of weapons — my Walkman CD with a Chris Tomlin album, my Bible, a journal, and a pen. The patient sporadically awakened from slumber about every forty minutes to howl orders. I’d lift my Bible off my lap, place it on the cold terrazzo floor, and scuttle over to try to settle down and soothe the wild thing who was uncontrollably huffing and puffing.

Honestly, I didn’t want to be there. It was summer, and I was on vacation. I should have been at the beach with a nice glass of iced tea and a chick lit novel. I resented losing freedom to play nursemaid to a tyrant.

But, I knew my duty. And, I am a dutiful girl.

I picked up the plastic pitcher and poured cold water into a cup. I positioned the straw perfectly with the top bent slightly and lifted the cup to the pursed lips of the patient.

I silently waited while my tough cookie slurped. When he was done, I retrieved the cup, returned it to the table, and plopped right back down in my corner chair.

I was bending over to pick up my Bible when I heard the words that shattered my heart into a million pieces.

You really love me.  Don’t you?”  It was like a question and a confirmation all at once. The Holy Spirit pricked my heart with each syllable.

Of course, I love you. But then I realized I was always too busy pointing a finger when I should have extended an open hand.

I heard the voice of the Lord clearly that morning: Your job is to love. My job is to do the changing.

I wiped the tears from my eyes as I placed the Bible back in my lap. Rather than just reading it, now I would live it.

Almost twenty years have passed since that day. I can’t say that my loved one has gotten any less prickly, but God has certainly done a work in me.

I laid down my right to control the relationship to the Lord, and rather than experiencing more pain, I’ve discovered an overwhelming peace.

All I had to do was stop bucking and trust that God would show me the way.

Surrender the reins to God to discover the road to freedom.

Surrender the Reins to God |


Something to think about…

I’m sharing “Surrender the Reins” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.



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26 Responses to Surrendering the Reins

  1. Michele Morin September 1, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    Lyli, thanks for doing the hard sharing here. I felt that question in my gut too, and I’m thankful for your willingness to write about that wrenching summer day.

    • Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life September 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

      Thanks, Michele. It was a story that needed to be written. This was the week that God whispered, it’s time to share it.

  2. Kylie September 1, 2016 at 6:30 am #

    I love it when God uses the writing of others to confirm what he’s teaching me. He did that this morning with your post. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Liz September 1, 2016 at 6:46 am #

    Love this, Lyli! Surrendering to God all our perceived control is so challenging… a life long pursuit! Thanks for sharing these hard truths! Blessings!

    • Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life September 2, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      I’m still at it, Liz. I just keep telling myself that God loves my tough cookie more than I do.

  4. Joanne Viola September 1, 2016 at 6:58 am #

    Lyli, your experience brought this thought to mind – isn’t it amazing how God uses the difficult people or situations in our lives to change us. It’s often just as much about our sanctification as it is theirs. You wrote about reins and I wrote about yokes 🙂 Have a blessed Thursday!

  5. Betsy de Cruz September 1, 2016 at 7:30 am #

    Amen, Lyli! This is real life here, and a real call, to surrender. Thanks for sharing your experience. I know many of us can think of prickly loved ones in our lives too.

  6. Donna Reidland September 1, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    That surrendering “thing” is hard at times, isn’t it? I’ve had a couple of tough cookies in my life, too. Our relationships got much better when I finally understood that God was working in me for my good through it all!

    Thanks for challenging us!

    Thanks for hosting, Lili.

  7. Kristi Woods September 1, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    It seems hardest to surrender people, doesn’t it, Lyli? I agree. It’s the same for me. Bravo to you for allowing God to handle the prickly person…and your heart. You’re a wise woman. To God be the glory.

  8. Richella Parham September 1, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    Love your illustration of turning the reins over to God! (And I thank you for spelling “reins” correctly!) 🙂

    Thanks so much for hosting this party. God bless you!

  9. Lisa notes September 1, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    “I laid down my right to control the relationship to the Lord, and rather than experiencing more pain, I’ve discovered an overwhelming peace.

    All I had to do was stop bucking and trust that God would show me the way.”

    Applying this to myself today, both in your position (metaphorically anyway–I’m not a caregiver to anyone in this season) and as the one being ministered to. Thanks, Lyli!

  10. Michelle September 1, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    I really love this one. So encouraging.

  11. Ruth September 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Loving the prickly ones is a really hard thing to do; I, for one, can’t do it without God’s help. So, yes, surrendering to Him is a must, since without Him I can do nothing.
    I’ve been reading the book of Job this last week or so and am actually finding the conversation with his sorry comforters much more interesting than in the past since I have had to deal with a few prickly ones in my life.

    • Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life September 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

      Job is such a great study in relationships. I love that verse that says that God turned things around when Job prayed for his not-so-helpful friends. I think of it often when I am tempted to get angry at something that I view as mistreatment.

  12. September 1, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Praise God Lyli! Surrender is a word that sends us scurrying for cover most times You are so right though; surrender to Jesus gives us freedom! Freedom to let the fruit of the Spirit shine forth for all to see. It took me many, many years to realize this. It’s my prayer that my surrender will be a sign of obedience and gratitude for His sacrifice. Thank you for sharing this honest and heart felt post with us today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God richly bless you and yours!

  13. Lori Schumaker September 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    Your words today made my heart skip a beat and the tears threaten to fall. I live that scenario most days and I, too, over and over again have had to surrender my desire to control the relationship and just love. It’s tough. Super tough. Love this, friend, and love you!

    • Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life September 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

      Hugs and prayers, sweet friend. May God give us His strength and wisdom to love well on those hard days.


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