The song I Surrender All brings me to tears just about every time I sing it--even now, after almost twenty years since Pedro's health crisis. #praise #ISurrenderAll #worship #confession #crisis #faith

The song I Surrender All brings me to tears just about every time I sing it–even now, after almost twenty years since Pedro’s health crisis.

The song I Surrender All brings me to tears just about every time I sing it--even now, after almost twenty years since Pedro's health crisis. #praise #ISurrenderAll #worship #confession #crisis #faith

You Can’t Hide Tears in Church

“Now let us sing,” the worship leader said as the organ music swelled.

“Not this song,” I thought. “Not now. Why can’t we sing something contemporary,” I groused.

Around me, congregants lifted their voices in unison. Their efforts drowned out my squeaky attempts to sing over the sudden seizing of my throat. By the chorus, I managed to push the words out, “I surrender all, I surrender all…”

My voice trailed off as the tears took over. I swiped them away and thought about all I had surrendered. My plans, my hopes, my comfort, the outcome of Pedro’s cancer diagnosis. I had surrendered those things in my heart, but belting out “I surrender all” in public felt different.

The people around me knew my struggles. They’d prayed for Pedro’s healing with me. Did praying for healing and singing ‘I surrender all’ signal a lack of faith, or a great faith? I kept mouthing the words the worship leaders had projected on the large screen at the front of the church, glad we didn’t have hymnals. My tears would ruin the pages.

Tears dripped down my face as each line grew conviction within me. By the end of the hymn, my voice returned. “I surrendered all,” I thought. “I surrender all, and I will continue to surrender all. God’s faithfulness will sustain me wherever my surrender takes me.”

Peace took hold that day, and grew in the adversity of continued crisis and eventual healing.

I Surrender All in Times of Crisis

That realization that my surrender—both private and public—allowed God to work in me to supply all my needs has stayed with me. I also realize now the power of singing our affirmations and surrender to God in fellowship with others.

I might not be a walk-down-the-aisle-to-the-alter-call kind of person, but more than once a song has knocked me off my feet (not literally) and turned into a public confession of faith.

In our current crisis, let us continue to worship and sing. God has proven his faithfulness time and again in my life. No matter what hardships you face right now, let the seed of trust God has planted grow.

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Romans 15:13 The Message

Now let us sing:

The song I Surrender All brings me to tears just about every time I sing it--even now, after almost twenty years since Pedro's health crisis. #praise #ISurrenderAll #worship #confession #crisis #faith

14 Comments

  1. There are times when we must sing,
    an honest song of heartbroke praise,
    regardless of the tears it brings,
    or how cracking voice now disobeys
    the will that would hold it steady,
    the will that would keep it strong,
    but I think God’s ever-ready
    to hear the sobbing in the song
    that we bring to Him, head bowed,
    and He gently wipes out eyes,
    and from our shoulders lifts the load
    for which weight the Son had died,
    and like the Risen Christ, His Boy,
    we can now fully share God’s joy.

  2. I have literally been using music as my means of communicating with God in this challenging time. Sometimes my hands reach toward Heaven, sometimes tears fall, and sometimes I dance in a free way that would embarrass my children. You are so right, there is power in joining our voices with others or the Pandora radio station! Love this post Anita! PS I’m pretty sure I’ll have “I Surrender All” stick in my head now but that’s not a bad thing at all!

  3. Offering up the same praises and affirmations that have rooted us a body of believers is comforting. We know that we have all faced hard things and yet turned to the same God for perseverance and restoration.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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