Heart Choices: Faith Barista Jam ~ One Word -->

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Faith Barista Jam ~ One Word

Bonnie of Faith Barista invited us to join her for our first Faith Barista Jam of 2013.  And this is what she gave for her prompt:

"What is your one word for 2013?"

My word is SURRENDER.  I wrote about my one word here.  But I think I still have more to say about it.

Many years ago, I probably read every single book that Catherine Marshall wrote.  I was inspired by her writings.  Maybe you've heard of the book Christy?  It was made into a television series starring Kellie Martin.  It was the story of an idealistic young girl who became a teacher to the children of a remote town in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Catherine was married to Peter Marshall who became the well known Scottish Chaplain to the Senate in the 1940's.  I remember watching the movie "A Man Called Peter".  It was about how the couple met, his ministry in Washington DC and his early death.  I even took my nieces to the church where Peter Marshall was a pastor when we visited Washington DC.

Meeting God at Every Turn was a book Catherine wrote that especially impacted my heart.  As the wife of a well known and highly respected pastor and the mother of a three year old son, she had responsibilities.  But Catherine had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to be bedridden. She prayed for God's healing as she felt so useless in bed.  But ...she continued to be sick.

She was confined to bed for three years.  However, during that time she helped her husband with his sermons and writings.  And she prayed and talked to God.  The Lord was doing a mighty work in her heart. She finally prayed what she called the prayer of relinquishment.

Lord, I understand no part of this, but if you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my life -- well, it's up to You.  I place myself in your hands, for better or for worse.  I only ask to serve You.

How many of you could pray a prayer like that and really mean it? But that ended up being the beginning of Catherine's healing.  She slowly began to get better.  Before her death in 1983, she wrote many books and impacted many people, including me.

I've prayed that prayer of relinquishment.  I can tell you from experience that it helped me through many situations that I had no control over.  It requires trust in God.  And it comes back to my one word for 2013; SURRENDER.

I think of Paul and how he wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. 

I'm in the middle of a Bible study by Catherine Martin called A Heart that Dances. I was once again reminded of Catherine Marshall's prayer of relinquishment.  During those three years of illness requiring bed rest she came to know God in a more intimate way. That's what happens when you spend time with God.

How like God to bring to my mind something I needed to remember at the beginning of a new year; my year of SURRENDER!

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Good morning sister Debbie. So glad you alerted me with this post! How it encouraged me so!I'm sure it wasn't easy to pray that kind of prayer like that of Catherine's but not with a heart willing to give every plans and desires to the One Who knows it all. I may sound sad at times with my posts but the truth is since my battle began at work, He had strengthened me and reassured me. Each day. I echo Paul's discovery of what contentment means in Christ Jesus.

    When I was reading Catherine's prayer, it made me remember Richard Wurmbrand's testimony.


    During one of those prayer times in the underground, dark prison he was in, he heard the Lord asked him, "What is your name?"

    He never felt so inadequate in his life in that moment that he knew there was no right name to give as a reply. He could never brag about being a pastor nor his name Richard. And he answered, "Allow me to bear Your Name..."

    May you have a wonderful week ahead, remaining strong in the Lord's mighty power. God bless you sister. Love to you.

  2. Love this post.... and how you applied your heart to what you read and to your word this year. One of my big goals in 2013 is to READ more books (i.e.: reading blogs doesn't count, ha!)

  3. As a young wife I ruptured a disc in a move from one city to another--with three little sons I, too, was restricted to rest for a year--during that year I learned so much and Catherine (I came to know her on a first-name basis) became my mentor--I read every book she wrote several times I think--

    Something More became my favorite--although I just recently started reading Meeting God At Every Turn again--also recently watched A Man Called Peter again and have intentions of reading Christy again--a great, great novel--

    I love your word "surrender" as I loved Catherine's "relinquishment"--

    I will never forget when she died. I grieved as one grieves for the closest of friends. She is one of the main reasons I fell so in love with Jesus--thank you, Debbie, for this great post.

  4. I loved the book "Christy". I may need to read that again. I didn't know all this about Catherine Marshall. Very interesting and makes me appreciate her even more.

    Surrender...that is so hard to do. But I've finally come to the understand, that all the things in life that I thought I had control over (like my kids, for example)...I was just fooling myself. Only God has control.

    I'm learning to surrender to that concept and actually it's a relief in some ways. I'm not responsible for what they ultimately do, I'm just responsible to teach them the truth. It is up to the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

    Too many times in my life I've tried to do the Holy Spirit's job. And let me tell you, that never works out.

    So I really love your word, Surrender. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Debbie,
    I always loved Catherine Marshall's books. You have given me some good food for thought, about my word for 2013. Have a wonderful day - Marsha

  6. Debbie, wonderful word...and I forgot about the jam today so I was glad to have your post remind me!

  7. Debbie, I can't help but think you wrote this post, just for me! Such an encouraging post. I haven't read Catherine Marshall's books, but I know they would read as a heart friend to me -- because they are to you. :) I am praying this prayer of surrender along with you, a little more -- sometimes A LOT more -- day to day. Even on the days I say, "I don't want it, ", God's voice continues to call me to continue to surrender, because I am the Beloved. Thank you for sharing your journey of surrender with me and the friends at Faith Jams.

  8. Debbie, our hearts are linked again. I love Catherine Marshall's writings. They have sustained me through many times in my life. From her Godly wisdom, I learned so much in my younger years as a Christian. (Something More is also a favorite of mine along with Beyond Ourselves.)
    But as I hear you talk about the prayer of relinquishment, I am reminded that I need to return to that "trusting and hopeful abandonment" of my younger years in the Lord. I need to re-read Catherine Marshall's books and surrender my heart to the God of Love and Hope~again.

  9. Found you over at Faith Barista...what a powerful word for 2013. As a woman who has lived with a debilitating illness for a decade, I take much comfort and encouragement from the idea of surrendering to God's will with only this request, that I might be of service to Him through whatever life He gives me. May you find His Grace ever-present and sustaining as you seek to surrender more to Him this year!

  10. Beautiful post. Thanks for relating how someone else's experience impacts you. I love history, and learning from it. How blessed Mrs. Marshall would be if she knew her life continued to impact others in their walk with God!

  11. Hi Debbie
    I have never read any of her books and I am looking for a new author to read. Thank you, dear friend, I know what it is to have an illness placing you squarely in His hands alone.
    Much love XX

  12. It was not until I surrendered my sons to the Lord did they come to call upon Him to be their Savior. It is a long beautiful story, one I will never forget. I often thought I had surrendered but then realized I had taken them back but God is patient with us and I am so grateful He taught me this one.

  13. Surrender is a good word for an uncertain year.


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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