Sunday, January 13, 2008

Surrender---Using A God Box

I recently read an article called How To Eliminate Worry written by Andrea Hess and found at http://www.empoweredsoul.com/blog/?p=169 .


I left a comment:
"Many years ago, a friend told me about her God Box. You make or use any box of your choice. You can decorate it all pretty or leave it plain. Mine was actually a metal can that I had and liked. What do you do with the box? When you have something that worries you, write it on a piece of paper. Fold the paper and put it in your God Box. Then you let go and ask God to handle it. At the end of the year, you get your God Box and read all of the pieces of paper that are in the Box. You will be surprised at how many are no longer problems simply because you let go of them and let God handle the problem."


Andrea's comment back to me:
"Patricia - I love that image of a 'God Box.' What I always am concerned about, though, is that fine line between appropriate surrender, and abdicating our responsibility as Creator of our experience. Any thoughts?"


My comment, in answer to Andrea's question:
"Andrea, I do believe in taking the appropriate action on my part before putting my problem in the God Box. I believe in taking responsibility for being a Co-Creator (with God) of my reality. Putting something in my God Box is so that I give God the space to do his part rather than worrying it to death and creating the opposite of what I want. The God Box gets ego out of the way. It stops any obessive behaviors from getting out of hand. Worry just makes the situation worse. Once it goes in the God Box, I am able to stop the worry. First, I do my part, then I turn it over to God for the results."


That is the end of my comments with Andrea. I did tell her that I would be doing this article. I have intended to do it for some time. This is one gift that I would like to share with my readers that was given to me by my friend Kathy White. Some of you have read about Kathy and may remember her name from one of my early articles called The Most Influencial Person---#3---Recovery. To read more about Kathy go to http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2007/07/most-influencial-person-3-recovery.html
This article is dedicated to her memory. The idea of doing a God Box is probably the best gift that Kathy ever gave me. It helped teach me the idea of surrender.


For an incest survivor, the idea of surrender is a difficult one to even think about, much less do. Surrender takes a lot of trust which incest survivors are usually short on. Surrender doesn't mean playing victim and doing nothing. It means doing whatever you can, in your power, to solve a problem and then surrendering or turning over the results to God. That is where the God Box comes in.


The process that I take in using my God Box is to do the necessary action to solve whatever my problem is, then write it down on a small piece of paper. Fold the paper and put it in my God Box. Say a prayer asking God to handle the results. Put the God Box away and forget about it until the next problem comes up. Then the process starts all over again. At the end of the year, you take out your God Box, open it and read all of the small pieces of paper that you put into it during the year. You will have forgotten some of the problems totally. Others you will remember, how once you got ego out of the way, the problems seem to just disappear. Others may still be something that is a problem. Put it back into the Box. Don't take it out of God's hands.


I haven't actually used my God Box in a long time. I surrender things a lot easier than I used to. Today I simply say a prayer and turn it over to God. The God Box was just a tool that I used to teach me to surrender and to trust God and myself.


My first year of using a God Box, I wasn't very good at surrender. I only put 4 things in it. The second year, I was a little better and had over 40 items in my God Box at the end of the year. The third year, I either did pretty good or had more problems or both. I had over 100 items that I released to God that year.


The God Box is a great tool for learning about surrender. It also taught me that I didn't have to carry everything on my shoulders. I am not in control of the world. I am not even in control of my little bit of the world. Guess what? The world didn't fall apart because I was able to surrender control. Control could be a whole other article. Not today.


Kathy, thanks for teaching me about surrendering and God Boxes.

19 comments:

Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul said...

Still love it ... thank you for sharing it again. I actually used the idea (and quoted your comment from my blog comments section) in the teleclass on "Practicing Detachment" that I taught yesterday morning!

Blessings,
Andrea

Michael.H said...

Hi Patricia, interestig entry. I read about the God-box over at Empowered Soul and wanted to respond but lacked the energy to do so, I'll respond here.

You stated, "The God Box was just a tool that I used to teach me to surrender and to trust God and myself", I think this is the true crux of the God-Box, it has no magic in itself, it's merely a tangible aid to ratify letting go, really forgiving and moving on, this is a good thing.

I also have some fear of the God_Box. Five years ago I came out of the hyper charasmatic Christian church and had no faith for some time due to wounds my wife and I experienced. Our road back to God, faith and spirituality has been a long slow recovery. I have some trepidation about the God-Box, I believe in the concept, but I have also seen it abused very badly.

I have seen the God-Box used for so called "possessed" or "op pressed" church members and some non-church members. These healing sessions are half so called "demonic deliverence" half pop physchology.

A pastor or church member will use traditional physchological techniques to uncover wounds of the past, hurts, unforgivenesses which will all go into the box as well as uncover any unclean spirits attached to the wounded area. There may be 10-15 folks in the room as well and sometimes more. All must go into the box, wounds, unclean spirits, and it's here the box concept gets messy.

Many of these folks go onto use the box as a type of talisman, to ward off evil spirits. Everytime they expereince hurt or someone hurts them or they fail at something, an unclean spirit must be uncovered and thrown into the box with the wound in what amounts to an endless cycle of becoming clean, falling, being attacked by unclean spirits, repenting, throwing them into the box and so on. It's completely different from your experience of putting your pain in the box and letting go, REALLY letting go.

So I have some fear of the God-Box, on the other hand I have seen in at least one session a gentleman who had a crippled leg from a navy accident recieve a dramatic healing.

He came to a point where he was able to forgive those who sexually abused him, put all of that in the box and WHAM, healed. This is the only time I've seen such a dramatic healing, it was awesome to say the least, so the God-Box can be used in a poweful way to bring healing, yes.

The bottom line is this: the God-Box is merely a a tangible aid for putting things into the hands of God, it's not the only way, but for some it's a powerful visual tool that brings deep healing and that's a good thing, it simply boils down to balance and as Andrea stated taking some responsibilty for our actions as well.

Michael.H said...

Hi Patricia, interestig entry. I read about the God-box over at Empowered Soul and wanted to respond but lacked the energy to do so, I'll respond here.

You stated, "The God Box was just a tool that I used to teach me to surrender and to trust God and myself", I think this is the true crux of the God-Box, it has no magic in itself, it's merely a tangible aid to ratify letting go, really forgiving and moving on, this is a good thing.

I also have some fear of the God_Box. Five years ago I came out of the hyper charasmatic Christian church and had no faith for some time due to wounds my wife and I experienced. Our road back to God, faith and spirituality has been a long slow recovery. I have some trepidation about the God-Box, I believe in the concept, but I have also seen it abused very badly.

I have seen the God-Box used for so called "possessed" or "op pressed" church members and some non-church members. These healing sessions are half so called "demonic deliverence" half pop physchology.

A pastor or church member will use traditional physchological techniques to uncover wounds of the past, hurts, unforgivenesses which will all go into the box as well as uncover any unclean spirits attached to the wounded area. There may be 10-15 folks in the room as well and sometimes more. All must go into the box, wounds, unclean spirits, and it's here the box concept gets messy.

Many of these folks go onto use the box as a type of talisman, to ward off evil spirits. Everytime they expereince hurt or someone hurts them or they fail at something, an unclean spirit must be uncovered and thrown into the box with the wound in what amounts to an endless cycle of becoming clean, falling, being attacked by unclean spirits, repenting, throwing them into the box and so on. It's completely different from your experience of putting your pain in the box and letting go, REALLY letting go.

So I have some fear of the God-Box, on the other hand I have seen in at least one session a gentleman who had a crippled leg from a navy accident recieve a dramatic healing.

He came to a point where he was able to forgive those who sexually abused him, put all of that in the box and WHAM, healed. This is the only time I've seen such a dramatic healing, it was awesome to say the least, so the God-Box can be used in a poweful way to bring healing, yes.

The bottom line is this: the God-Box is merely a a tangible aid for putting things into the hands of God, it's not the only way, but for some it's a powerful visual tool that brings deep healing and that's a good thing, it simply boils down to balance and as Andrea stated taking some responsibilty for our actions as well.

Patricia Singleton said...

Michael H., thank you for sharing your experience. To me, it is only meant to be a tool to teach surrender, nothing else. Your experience seems a little extreme. Like you, I believe in balance. Again, I will also say that I believe in doing our part, by taking whatever action is necessary before putting a challenge in the God Box. I am not a victim. I do my part before handing things over to God. What you described could become a dangerous abuse of power by the church. That would be my fear.

Patricia Singleton said...

Andrea, I am glad you were able to use my comment on the idea using a God Box.

Adrian @ Path to Your Destiny said...

While I'm not necessarily religious or believe in a Christian god, I think the idea of a "God Box" is pretty cool. I haven't heard anything like it before... but I do think the concept of surrendering your problems by physically letting go of them is a cool idea. Great post!

Patricia Singleton said...

Adrian, call it your Surrender Box or whatever you want to name it. It is a tool to use to teach you to surrender.

Alfa King said...

Inspiring tool to handle problems.

However, I believe every problem has a solution. If it hasn't it isn't a problem. So writing the problem and putting it in the box, and recuperating it some time later only to find out that it's no longer a problem would mean it wasn't a problem at all right from the beginning. It's you who considered it as a problem and when you found no solution you tried to avoid it or segregating it by "imprisoning" it in a "God" box or whatever box. Just leave it for God to handle and there's no problem at all.
Does that make sense?

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

I think some people absolutely benefit by doing something overt like making a god box or surrender box or whatever someone wants to call it to help with sending a message to the subconscious that you really do want to release whatever you put in it.

Patricia Singleton said...

Authormomwithdogs, I agree with your comment.

Alfa King, I will have to think about your comment for awhile before I reply.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alfa King, I agree with you. Every problem has a solution.

That doesn't, in my opinion, mean that I am going to find the answer to all of my problems because of my very limited ability to see the whole picture. I don't put things in my God Box in an effort to avoid them. In order to stop worrying about the problem and to stop focusing all of my attention on the problem, only after I have taken every action that I know of, do I put things in my God Box. As I said in the article, this is to get my ego out of the way.

I am the kind of person who used to try to control everything in my life. Do you know how tiring and unrealistic that is? To begin with, control is just an illusion. The more you try to control circumstances, the more out of hand everything gets. I am not giving up responsibility for doing my part. I am admitting that a power greater than myself might have the answers that I don't.

My God doesn't expect me to be a victim and just leave everything in his hands. I have a responsibility to do my part, then get out of the way and let God do his.

Anyone else can jump into this discussion at anytime.

Alfa King said...

I can understand what you mean. Fair enough to resort to God after having done your part. That's what every believer should do, I suppose. As some solutions are indeed beyond your scope.
Maybe I misunderstood when you said you just kept the problem in a box, which to me was sort of getting it out of your way.
Very enriching discussion. I am keen to learn how others feel about it too.
Thanks for your extensive explanation any way.

April_optimist said...

I love this post. At one point I used a God box, too. These days I just trust that God will guide me so that all will ultimately be well. Life is so much easier when I let go of the worry instead of carrying it on my back--or in my heart.

Patricia Singleton said...

April, thanks for sharing. That is where I am as well.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alfa,you are welcome. Glad I was able to explain my thoughts.

Charles Hamel said...

I do something similar to the god box, but instead of a physical box, when something is bothering me. I ask myself will this really matter in 3 months? The answer is usually no! Then I am able to let it go.

I like the God Box idea better..

Patricia Singleton said...

Charles, in the beginning of learning to Let Go and Let God, I needed to physically put my worries in the God Box in order to put it out of my mind. Glad you stopped by.

Panademona said...

I like this idea. It is similar to my prayer book. It is just a notebook where I write anything worrying me so I can turn it over to God. :-)

Patricia Singleton said...

Panademona, use a book or box or anything else that works for you. Turning it over to God is a lot better than worrying.