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    At the beginning of January, a lot of people choose a word that will define their year ahead. For me, I choose my word at the end of the year. I see what word comes up time and time again that God has revealed to me throughout the year, one that resonates with my heart and teaches me things, one that aligns with things going on in my life, and one that just feels right. 

    Reflecting on 2022, the word is “surrender.”

    There is a little prayer room down the hall from where I work at Sandy Cove that I visit often. God hears our prayers anywhere, but the Prayer Room has become a haven and a familiar place where I can quiet my mind and open my soul fully to the Lord.

    I sat in this room pouring out my heart at the beginning of the year as I struggled through a rough pregnancy, and I sat in this room a few months and a few scares later after my son was born happy and healthy into this world. Most recently, I sat in this room praying and pleading as my dad unexpectantly got sick only a few weeks into his only grandson's life and just a few years into his only granddaughter’s life.

    A Stage 4 cancer diagnosis and three strokes within three weeks weakened my once-strong dad and way too soon, we had to say goodbye. I was not ready.

    Once again, I sat in the Prayer Room, my heart fresh and raw with sadness, not fully understanding and accepting the pain and suffering we as humans must endure…but surrendering to God nonetheless. I surrender to him through my physical pain, surrendering to him while watching a loved one suffer, and surrendering to Him when life is good and especially when life is bad.

    Surrendering yourself to God isn’t a one-time thing; it’s an everyday thing.

    Right now, there are many people I know going through hard and painful seasons. Let us not lose faith and hope and instead lean on God to see us through.

    Let us be thankful for the people and blessings we have left in our lives and cherish them to the fullest. I feel there is so much we can’t possibly understand…about this world, about heaven. But shutting out God during difficult times is not the answer.

    Hitting the floor on our knees and giving everything over to Him is.

    He is still good even when things don’t go the way we want or when we just don’t understand. Being in the Prayer Room during celebrations and during loss, as well as on an ordinary day, has shown me the importance of truly surrendering myself to things I can’t control, and trusting in God to lift me up no matter what.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Angel is a reservationist at Sandy Cove, and a wife and mother of two.

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