For Those Of Us Who Are Really Bad At Surrender

I am really bad at surrender for one reason: you have to do it again and again.

Surrender is like drinking water or going to the gym. You have to keep going, keep drinking. In my perfect world, I would go to the gym for a month, get in shape and be done with it. The in-shapeness would stick and the surrender would hold. But no. They both atrophy.

How irritating.

I would like a surrender that works like buying a pair of shoes. You buy them, and then you have them. And that’s it. No real maintenance required. 

I want to surrender my big, hairy worry, lay it on down and make God the responsible party once and for all. Shrug off the compulsion to pick the thing back up. But instead, that’s exactly what I do: take it back, examine it, wonder if maybe I could make something happen a little sooner if I just worried about it myself. 

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Surrender is a discipline, and I don’t do so well with those. So when the time comes for me to need surrender, I always find I’m out of practice. I am pretty self-reliant, and God doesn’t want to control me anyway. After all, a fruit of the Spirit is self-control. 

But there are always things I can’t control, like weather, or the Target tantrum my toddler had that one time, or when this baby is coming out to meet the world.   

I want this season of carrying to be over. I want to be on the other side. But I can’t make it happen. Just like I couldn’t make myself pregnant, and honestly, I have no idea how a baby grew in my belly all these months. All I did was feed myself. 

And yet here I am, about to deliver, days away, maybe. With this awful dragging sound between now and then. I want to hurry it all up. 

But I’m conflicted. I’m nostalgic about the old life, about just the three of us. About John as the only child. It’s all about to be over. Maybe I don’t want the baby to come. Maybe he is going to ruin this perfect thing we have going. 

Yes, this is the inner dialogue I’m having. And neither side wins. So I keep crawling back to surrender, and every time, I wish the last time would’ve stuck. Just like I wish all the sit ups I did in college still showed beneath my swimsuit. But alas, they do not. 

Surrender is like eating, or drinking – they only work when you don’t stop doing them. So if I want the benefits of surrender, I have to wake up and fling my hands in the air, waving my white flag of Help Me, Please.

And then around 10am, or just after breakfast, I will once more wave the flag when I realize I’ve picked up my Pet Worry and started to freak out again. 

Surrender is our means to peace. It’s not necessarily tranquility but acceptance, the making peace with my limits. It’s a trust fall. And it’s a statement that right now is really not that bad, maybe it is even good. Even if it is awful like I think, I will probably survive it like the last time things got really bad and I wanted to tap out. 

Surrender is worth it. So even though I am fearful and want to keep my claws around everything, I know I can’t. I know surrender is the way to better sleep. The path to enjoying what Now has to offer while I wait for the better thing the Future holds.

Surrender is the best of both worlds, the best of Now and Later. If only I will say Yes.

Do you have something you keep un-surrendering? I feel your pain. Let’s drop it now and try to remember the freedom we feel next time we are tempted to pick it up. 

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6 thoughts on “For Those Of Us Who Are Really Bad At Surrender

    1. Oh my gosh, so true. When you put it like that…. I have some productive ventures to engage in here. I think I am getting uncomfortable and bored and I am pretty sure that is what makes it harder. But goodness knows I won’t have any time once he comes. I gotta take advantage of this….

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  1. I do think surrender is discipline. Each morning when I wake I have to surrender the desire to keep sleeping to doing that which I know I must and that is to go to the basement and push play and do my workout no matter how I feel. Surrender is giving up the easy path; the path that takes no effort. Surrender is giving up your right to be lazy; to let what comes comes instead of being intentional. Surrender is work and it is the work of giving up and choosing to do that which you know you must. Surrender then turns around and bears fruit and you get when you give up. Peace comes when you surrender the worry to the fire; fitness comes when you surrender free time to exercise time; results come when you surrender wandering to a planned action.

    I hope the birth goes well!

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    1. That’s a great way of looking at it, Mark. Surrender is the opposite of the easy path, but it seems as if surrender is giving up. I think that’s why we wrestle with it. Great thoughts. Thanks for reading and joining the conversation.

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