I've never been a big fan of the idea of 'submission'. I think because it seemed like giving up or pretending to be someone that I am not. It wasn't until I began to seriously consider marriage and study, pray, and contemplate biblical submission that I began to understand it differently. When I began to understand it as an act of worship, and a submission to God's ultimate authority out of reverence for Christ - it quit feeling like I was 'surrendering' or 'stuffing aside' my true self.
This journey of struggling with the "Why's", the "How could You's?", the "What are you doing?" has been fruitful for me. Not in the sense that I have any answers to these questions... I still have no idea, I probably never will. But as I have wrestled and hurt and cried out to God, I've found that much to my surprise, I really do want to submit.
I didn't want this journey, but now it is my own and I don't want to waste it yelling at God, asking for answers that won't make the pain of my reality less, or trying to manipulate God into giving me my Plan B instead of His plan. God's soverignty hasn't been a big stumbling block for me until right now. But these questions whithout answers, these demands for justice - they come from a place of pain that wants there to be a beginning and an end, a map with a destination and an earthly/temporal explanation for this massive detour to my plans.
I know, given the choice, I couldn't choose the eternal value of this time with God and my own sanctification over the lives of my children. But, God didn't make me choose like He did with Abraham. So, I can fight and cling and demand from Him... or I can submit. As I said, I've never been great at submission (just ask my husband), and it has been a work of God in my heart for many years to bring me to a place of not just asking God for what I wanted, but asking Him to align my wants with His will and accomplish His will. This kind of submission is not a passive, 'whatever you want' kind of attitude, but an active seeking out of God's will an opening my heart to whatever he may say or not say.
Sometimes, it remains shrouded in mystery and I must choose whether I will fight for my own way or submit to His - even when it isn't my dream. So, I'm letting my dream die - not because it isn't what I want anymore - but because what I want even more is to see God's dream come to be in my life. I am walking this road of suffering and pain and brokenness for a purpose. It doesn't feel "good" - I don't know that it ever will, but I know the Creator who holds the foundations of the world in His hands also holds me, holds my children and holds the future of my family... and He is always good.
So, I choose to submit to His plan, His timing, his dream for my life and my future. Just getting these words out makes me feel like "Surely, I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm131:2" This is the way to peace, to contentment, and to fulfillment - it is to submit.
I read recently in One Thousand Gifts (a great book by the way) this passage,
"There are moments that as sure as I bruise don't feel like good things have been given. What of all the memories where Christ seems absent? When the bridge shakes and heaves, when 'how will he not also?' reads more like 'he will not.' Trauma's storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie...But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look back and see His back."