Rewards of Surrender

coliseum-small1-150x150The tips of my fingers traced the cracked crevices of archaic stones. Stones which harbored the silent wails of gallant gladiators and wild beasts whose staged deadly combats served as mere public entertainment.

My feet were planted on the grounds of one of Rome’s most famous landmarks, the Coliseum. Roman parables and politics climbed from the storage files of my mind. Standing in the silence of the ancient amphitheatre, the atmosphere felt thick, the carnage real, and the logic completely senseless.

I’d dreamt of coming here for years. From countless travel brochures, the silhouette of this colossal architecture draped across the sky had beckoned me, “Come.”

My deep-rooted, passionate desire to see the world often pierced my heart, though, for I was afraid to fly. Even the slices of Roman ruins couldn’t lure me 4,500 miles away from the safety of my home.

Or could they?

Over six months ago I planned this trip, but not without cancellation insurance. Almost daily, I wondered if I would really go. Would I, could I, overcome my fear of flying? Just how bad did I want to experience the wonders of the world?

Now here I stood. Awestruck. Tucked in a remote corner of the Coliseum among nearly 2,000-year-old partial ruins. The majestic yet oddly humble ruins of Rome.

The words of Nancy Guthrie, author of Holding On to Hope, circled my mind. Two days prior to my European departure, a friend had shared a link to Nancy’s podcast (

“God wants to show us what it’s like to really live free of an obsession with personal safety,” Nancy encouraged.

Nancy got it. She understood my struggle—a divine passion blocked by crippling fear. And Nancy knew that isn’t what God intends for us.

She voiced what I denied. I was obsessed with my personal safety. Not a cautious self-awareness, rather a consuming obsession. I demanded my right to be safe. In control. And I avoided, at all costs, any environment which left me feeling out of control; such as flying in a jet, over the Atlantic ocean at an altitude of 30,000 feet for 10½ hours.

We struggle with surrendering our “rights” to God. Our right to be safe and secure. Our right to be healthy. Our right to have our children live a good, long, protected life.

However, the battle to maintain our rights exhausts us. Deprives us. Cripples us. God longs for us to live free of these obsessions.  Imagine, as Nancy suggests, how different our lives could be if we were willing to say yes to whatever God has in store, even if that means being out of control.

The rewards of surrender are great. As I turned away from the Coliseum, God kissed the sky with a double rainbow elegantly arched overtop the regal ruins. The spectrum colors spoke to me of God’s reliable promises, over 7,000 of them in His Word.

I didn’t have to be afraid to come here. God promised. By faith, I had to accept it. And once I surrendered my right and my need to be safe, God opened up a whole new adventure. Imagine how much of the world is a short ten-hour flight away :).


Jo Ann Fore is an author, speaker, and writing coach. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of other women. Most noted for her authentic vulnerability, Jo Ann captivates her audience with faith-filled messages caramelized with a powerful promise of hope. Visit Jo Ann at and  You can also download a free chapter of Jo Ann’s latest release, Inspired Women Succeed at

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