The word alone makes me want to run. It is hard for me to surrender. Yet the Son of God surrendered in a garden called Gethsemane. It gives me comfort because; it wasn’t easy for God to surrender.
- To relinquish possession or control of (something) to another because of demand or compulsion
- to give up in favor of another, especially voluntarily
- to give up or abandon (Synonym: relinquish)
[The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition]
Often, God gives me a word when I am seeking answers. Since I was a child, I’ve loved reading. I am fascinated by words and stories. When I am seeking something it seems a word will jump right off the page while I am reading. But the word will be confirmed in other ways. This is how I know God is saying, “Pay attention daughter, here is the answer.”
I am reading a Christian fiction novel, “Beauty for Ashes” by Dorothy Love. On Friday evening, I lost myself in the story. The heroine was fighting for her place in the world. Confused, angry, and hurt she left her home to search for a new life. In this part of the story, one of her friends encouraged her to “surrender everything into His safekeeping.”
One moment I was reading along enjoying the story and then I was stuck on the word ‘surrender.’ I think I frowned because I didn’t like it one bit. These thoughts raced through my head: What about that free will He gave us? And the ability to decide? What is the point in having choices? What does ‘surrender’ have to do with the answers I’m looking for now? I sighed. I put aside the questions and continued reading until I fell asleep.
On Saturday I went to one of my twelve-step meetings. The theme was letting go. Someone stated they surrendered their children to their higher powers. There’s that word ‘surrender’ again. This was the second time in twenty-four hours.
Later that day I was texting with a confidante, this person is encouraging me to stop helping and fixing my family. In the conversation, I received a text encouraging me to keep praying and let my princes’ sink or swim. I had not mentioned the word ‘surrender’ in the conversation. Yet there it was again in different words, surrender all of them to God. At the time I kept this to myself but feeling the third nudge to surrender to the Creator.
We went to Mass on Saturday afternoon. After taking communion I knelt and prayed. I asked God to help me surrender. Looking up at the crucifix I saw God surrendering everything for us. He surrendered His Son. In Jesus, he surrendered to death. He died an excruciating, criminal’s death. Not the death of a King. It was the death of an indigent wrongly accused man.
While the tears rolled down my cheeks and feeling the love of a Creator that surrendered everything to save me, I heard the choir singing. I only heard the word “surrender.” Startled I looked up at the screen behind the altar to read the line in the hymn; “I surrender all I have and hold.” Wrapped up in Jesus Christ I didn’t even hear the hymn. I only heard the word. This was the fourth call to surrender.
There on my knees in the pew, I still didn’t surrender to God. Let me tell you. It is hard for a mother to surrender her child even to God Himself. Watching my parents grieve over the death of my sister reinforced my protectiveness over my children. It isn’t my parents’ fault that I became hyper-vigilant. It is my responsibility to learn to trust God enough to surrender it all, including my children, to Him.
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39 [NKJV]
This cry from the Messiah always stabs me in the heart. To know what He faced and still go through with the plan grieves me. If he could do it, maybe, just maybe, with His help I can too.
Last night in prayer I faced myself in the mirror. I saw fear in my eyes. This is every mother’s fear, the fear of losing one of God’s gifts; a child. You know what? He faced this path too. God lost his only begotten Son to the rulers of this world. Satan danced, thinking he had won. But we know how it all played out.
I asked God to help me. Jesus sweated blood begging God the Father, “… if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Through my tears, I faced the fear and surrendered my family to his safekeeping. From this point forward I will need God’s help to banish worry and doubt from my soul. I am sure I will make mistakes and stumble on this path. My Shepherd will nudge me back to his path with his rod and his staff (Psalms 23). He will do the same for my children. I am His and He is mine. They are His, but they are not mine.
P.S: I am having issues with the audio files. I am working on getting them up and running. Please be patient with my learning curve. God Bless.