Wholly Surrender | Reflections by Fellow Anna Cho '17

I have had seasons in my life where I have been in deep spiritual highs. But if I am being completely honest with myself, I sometimes find myself shifting my gears into neutral and losing my enthusiasm for the gospel slowly. There have been seasons where I’ve gotten completely lost in my work, have gone days without reading God’s word, and unknowingly have forgotten how many days it has been since I last prayed. This feeling of settling for average is the most deceptive. Your devotional life appears to be okay. Church life is average. Life is moving. It all seems normal and ordinary.

I normalized this kind of ‘average’ faith for portions of my college life, but the unforeseen circumstances and chaos of my spring semester of third year caused me to reassess everything around me. The truth is, I bought into the lie that the things of this world could offer me true contentment without realizing I had fallen into this trap. And if there is anything that scripture is clear about, it is that contentment transcends circumstances and is an act that comes solely through a lifestyle of wholly surrender.

God wants us. He wants ALL of us. He wants to permeate every circumstance, process, and problem we walk through, but often we are afraid to let him. When I face a trial, my first instinct is to run and I often struggle to trust God. But it is these moments that my heart is kept in check and I am humbled. The greatest gift in the face of trials is faith. Once I realized that God sees us through every problem and stands with us in our weakness, my perspective changed entirely. He meets us where we are in the depths of our shame.

How many times have I equated the broken love of sinners to the perfect love of a savior? The answer is simple: A LOT. But looking back on these past four years, I cannot help but smile at all the times that the Lord has met me at my doorsteps. He gave me real community at a time when I didn’t know if I wanted to be at UVA, provided me a space to explore vocational discernment through the Fellows Program with Theological Horizons, and taught me what unconditional love looks like during my time in Liberia even in the midst of doubt. When I finally found the courage to surrendr my need for control and let my life be permeated by grace, I found the most freedom.

So here lies the final question that I have been regularly challenged by: will you trust God with your life?