Home > Lessons in Serving, The Call to Speak out, Theological Reflections > I am no longer mine own, but Thine

I am no longer mine own, but Thine

For the past couple of months, I have been praying through the Northumbria Community’s daily office of prayer. They have morning, mid-day, evening and compline prayers and including at least one of these into my daily life has been a blessing beyond what I can put into words. I enjoy meeting with God and the prayers used seem to meet me where I am at. I don’t know much about the community yet, but I know that they are a dispersed community and at this juncture in my life where free time is limited and my need for a safe haven is great, this seems to be working. I’m going to a retreat on Saturday which I’m pretty excited about and looking forward to connecting with others and to (finally!) take a Sabbath.

Each day there are assigned readings and assigned reflections. Most of them have been beautiful and comforting and frequently very timely.

Yesterday’s was not one of those comforting reflections.

But it’s one that I cannot stop thinking about.

One of my housemates called me a saint and a prophet after bringing home a decorated cupcake for him. Joking aside, I have been told so many times over the past 10-11 years that I have a gift of prophecy – an ability to speak into situations with truth and love.

Problem is – this is not a gift I’ve wanted! I know you don’t get to choose, but honestly – I haven’t seen how this could possibly be a ‘gift’. Prophets aren’t popular. Prophets aren’t well received. Prophets are rejected. Prophets suffer. Gift? – I’m confused! So every time I hear prophet, prophecy, prophetic or any other related words I cringe and instantly repel any attachment to those words. I’ve told God many many times that he needs to find someone else for the job.

This was on my mind yesterday and has been present in many conversations as of late.

Well, wouldn’t you know, the Northumbria Community’s assigned meditation for the day spoke of total surrender to God:

I am no longer my own, but Thine.
Put me to what Thou wilt,
rank me with whom Thou wilt;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;

Now normally such things will make me laugh at God’s awesome sense of humour. But yesterday there was no laughter – but anger and resistance. I could not bring myself to say the words of the prayer. I could not surrender. I could not claim that I am no longer my own, but Thine. Sometimes it is easy to say prayers as a rote exercise. But I could barely read the lines of this prayer let alone pray them. Comfort was definitely not what I felt during prayer yesterday.

This morning, I went to “Wine Before Breakfast” which is a communion service at a ridiculously early time in the morning. It was pretty awesome and great to hang out with some good friends.

the sermon was on romans 5:3-5:

3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The preacher make a comment that stuck out to me – no one tells you when you are preparing for ministry that you will suffer. I don’t know what everyone’s experience is, but this struck a chord! ‘Ministry’ is glorified. I’ve been called a saint a lot too as I do good things and people notice. But I don’t remember ever hearing that serving others is filled with suffering! I mean, I have experienced some of that. But I’ve not been warned. Then the preacher spoke of how that suffering has shaped and transformed her and while she doesn’t want to go through those trials again she is thankful for them.

A light bulb went off as I kept reading these three verses.

After communion, a friend of mine sang Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen and tears formed as these words seemed to be meant for me today, right now, right here.

Grab your ticket and your suitcase/ Thunder’s rollin’ down this track/ Well, you don’t know where you’re goin’ now/ But you know you won’t be back/ Well, darlin’ if you’re weary/ Lay your head upon my chest/ We’ll take what we can carry/ Yeah, and we’ll leave the rest

Well, I will provide for you/ And I’ll stand by your side/ You’ll need a good companion now/ For this part of the ride/ Leave behind your sorrows/ Let this day be the last/ Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine/ and all this darkness past

I sat in the chapel and heard God’s promise to be with me. I heard God’s promise to be a refuge in my journey and calling. I heard that suffering is to be embraced for I will be transformed and experience God in new and deeper ways through it.

And I realized that I can now pray the prayer from yesterday.

And mean it.

I am no longer my own, but Thine.
Put me to what Thou wilt,
rank me with whom Thou wilt;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for Thee
or laid aside for Thee;
let me be exalted for Thee,
or brought low for Thee;
let me be full, let me be empty;
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and heartily yield all things
to Thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am Thine.
So be it.
And the covenant
which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.




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