It’s insane how different I am today from who I once was, and I owe it all to God. I surrendered my life to Him, and He changed it all for the better.
At 21 years old, I was battling multiple severe addictions, including drinking all day, smoking pot, cocaine use, looking at porn, and engaging in other sexual sins. I was living this selfish, hedonistic lifestyle where I thought that I wasn’t good unless I was feeling good, and yet, doing all the things that are bad for your soul.
It was a lie, but I had taken the bait hook, line, and sinker and was ruined. I was despondent and thought there was no hope. My future seemed bleak and dismal. I did not know that it was the darkest part of the night, just before dawn.
At one point, I believed I could not give up my addictions because that was the only way I could be happy. I thought if I gave up my party lifestyle, I would be miserable. So, I clung to it. For those of you who have seen or read The Lord of the Rings series, it had become for me what the ring had become for Gollum: an infatuation he believed that he could not live without, even risking his life to keep it.
How many times had drinking and drugging hurt me? It brought me close to death, got me in trouble with the law, and hurt my relationships with family and friends, those who could have been great friends, I’m sure, but I chose the ring instead. My addictions were “my precious,” and I could not let them go.
However, during this time, something else was taking place. God was fighting for me. Through the influence of my classmates and teachers at my school, I learned to pray and spend time with God. And He started gradually showing me He was better than any of the pleasures I clung to. He made it hard to say no to Him.
I was at a crossroads. I knew that I could not continue doing both. I could not continue this deep life of prayer while at the same time bowing down at the altar of pleasure-seeking drug use and addiction. I had to make a choice, and it was tough.
I could not envision what a life without drinking and partying looked like. I couldn’t see it. How could I be happy without the only things I knew could make me feel good? But, simultaneously, I loved God and wanted Him to be a part of my life. So I chose Him. I stepped out without having any idea of what was going to happen.
What’s more is that I gave God my life so that in all matters, not just my addictions, I gave Him permission to guide me in everything. Whatever He wanted for me, He was going to get. I assumed nothing could be more challenging than giving up drinking. I was wrong, by the way. Life can be hard, even with God. However, with God, as hard as it can get, it is always deeply satisfying and sound despite the difficulties.
So, I had given God my life. I was ready to accept whatever possibilities He wanted for me. Like a married couple promise to one another… “in sickness and in health, rich or poor, for better or for worse,” I was ready to accept any of these possibilities from God because I knew He would not let anything happen to me that was not for my good.
God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and He loves you. This has powerful implications for your life. It means that you are in good hands. He knows what is best for you; He can make what is best for you happen. He loves you so much that He sent His only son to die for you because that was what was best for you, so you know that He would not hold back anything else from you. It’s a win-win situation with God.
This is what I discovered. And while I had to make the difficult choice of leaving my addictions behind, God came through for me. My life has only gotten better and better each day since. Yes, I have still had difficult moments these past years. I am still human and have made mistakes, but God keeps coming through for me.
I have found so much peace and joy in my life and can honestly say that every day is better than the last. I have found so much satisfaction in my life, so much joy and peace, that I have come to understand the words of Psalm 63:4: “For [God’s] love is better than life.”
It’s true. God is better than anything. Even cocaine. I surrendered my life to Him, and He brought me more than I could have imagined. At the time when I was giving in to my addictions, I thought nothing else could make me happy. However, I surrendered these things to God. I said, “Lord, I believe your way is better than mine,” and I did what He wanted of me.
An integral part of surrendering to the Lord is understanding His way is better. Surrendering is knowledge that you do not know everything, and God does. So, it is letting God be God while you ride in the passenger seat.
I am not saying that I am better or more holy than anyone; I just wanted to give my story as an example of what surrender looks like, along with a taste of the goodness it can bring.
So, to clarify, what does it mean to surrender your life to God? Here are a few steps that you can take:
1. Choose what God wants over what you want.
2. Trust that God is relentless in caring for you, so you need not fear any situation you encounter.
3. Give God permission to work in your life.
4. Seek God daily to grow your relationship with Him and help you complete steps one through three.
If you would like help taking these steps and surrendering your life to God, consider enrolling in our one-on-one mentorship program to receive personalized guidance and more in your faith journey, as you seek to grow closer to God. Learn more and sign up here.
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