Voices: Surrendering to God
By Heather Ratcliffe
A Voices from the Rooftop Feature
Cindy Mills grumbled when God called her with a job.
Her in-laws offered to take the kids for the weekend in the spring 2009. Elated, Cindy drafted a long list of projects and plans for her rare free time. But plans began to crumble when she heard a still, small voice. It asked her to drive to Chicago for the weekend to visit a relative who was struggling with depression.
"I didn't want to go," Mills recalls. "I didn't want to make the sacrifice."
But Cindy, 45, begrudgingly chose to follow God's instruction. And the weekend turned into a blessing for both Cindy and her family member.
"The trip was totally a God thing from start to finish," Cindy said. "I spoke a lot of truth to her that she didn't want to hear, but she could take from me."
Next Cindy wondered what would happen if she took this exercise in obedience even further.
"I just decided while I'm at it, I should turn everything over to God," Cindy said. That's when she decided to purposefully hand the details of her life to God. She relinquished control as a wife, mother, daughter, volunteer and follower of Christ. And the pay off has been astounding for this stay-at-home mom of two.
"I'm at a point where I trust God more than ever before," Cindy said. "It's such a free way to live. It's so simple."
Cindy first met Jesus when she was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. Her parents, who became Christians she was in pre-school, shared their faith regularly with their children. Cindy believed early on that Jesus died for her sins. And she accepted him as savior. But it wasn't until she was an adult that she understood what it was to make him lord of her life.
"I've prayed for as long as I can remember," Cindy said. "But this is the first time I consistently believed that God will answer my prayers, and He will work all things for good."
In the past, worry weighed down Cindy. She constantly fretted about the daily details of her life - raising her kids, keeping her home, meeting others' expectations.
"I cared more about what people might think of me and how things were going to turn out," Cindy said. But trusting God has brought more peace and joy into her life. "I thank God for the little things," Cindy said. "Finding reason to thank Him makes me more joyful."
In 2011, Cindy and her husband, Eric, moved to Washington D.C. with their two children for two years. Her husband's temporary work assignment gave Cindy a chance to trust God like never before. They had to set up a home, plan education for their kids, make new friends, and find a new church.
"I was seeking God and more open to Him than I had been for a really long time," Cindy said.
Surrendering control to God didn't just happen overnight. Cindy still battles daily to give him the reigns. She calls on Him not just for difficult or important decisions, but also little day-to-day choices like shopping for the kids' clothes or planning dinner. She stops and invites God to come into her situation. God sometimes answers right away or never at all. But Cindy focuses her faith with scripture, particularly Proverbs 3:5-6.
Cindy suggests anyone struggling with fear, doubt, anxiety or even self worth should chase after God.
"Pour your heart out to God. It blesses Him for us to be honest with him," she said. "God is going to love you in a way no one can. Every person has their limitation, but God is limitless."