Surrendering Sucks

As I was counting down to September (my baby’s due date), I realized that the year is more than half over. At the start of 2011, I was all smiles and gumdrops, but as the year has progressed, I’ve sobered up a bit.

Back in January, I shared with you that I choose a word each year as a sort of alternative to a New Year’s resolution. I don’t just randomly select words either. I start by praying and it just so happens that, within seconds of praying, I usually have a word pop into my head.

This year’s word has been “surrender” and, let me tell you, it has sucked.

As soon as I heard the word “surrender” I wanted to do the opposite and run away Jonah-style. Um, surrender? No thank you, I’d politely tell God. To which He would just laugh. Instead of fleeing at full speed, I kinda-sorta surrendered and said “okay.”

Surrender is not simple. Nor is it painless or fast. It is basically the opposite of those things actually. I have learned, so far, that the sooner I just do it, the sooner it will be over–until my next moment to surrender comes along.

So what have I had to surrender to this year so far, you ask. Well, let me tell ‘ya…

I’ve surrendered:

Modern Reject. Not so long ago I realized that this blog had become an idol for me. I was consumed with checking my traffic, counting my comments, trying to “make it something.” I got whacked upside the head on this one and I quickly surrendered it over to Him.

My desire to have children. I suppose there is a whole separate post in this story, but I’ll share the quick version. I really wanted a third baby, but, whenever the hubster and I prayed, we felt like we shouldn’t proceed. So we didn’t. Meanwhile, my baby cravings grew stronger and stronger. I became sad. If I’m not suppose to have a baby, then please God take away this overwhelming desire.

I lay in bed one night, literally crying out to God to take away the desire. Finally, I said, “Forget it. I don’t want another baby. I only want what YOU want.” And I meant it. Surrender. The very next day, I realized my period was a week late. I took a test. Positive. Baby #3. God gave me 1Samuel 2.

My family and their salvation. I’m the only Christ-follower in my family. I’m careful to say “Christ-follower’ because if I say “Christian” others would disagree with me. They think they are Christians, but they do not live lives devoted unto Christ. Jesus is not the centerpiece of their lives.

Last summer, some tumultuous family issues erupted, some of which I was responsible for. I took responsibility, apologized, and asked for forgiveness where needed. However, since then I have been verbally attacked by members of own family. I have been slandered and misquoted, mistreated and ignored. So what’s a girl to do? Surrender. I have had to surrender these relationships over to the Lord.

Amazingly, God has actually allowed one of these relationships to produce the opposite effect. One member of my family has actually moved towards God instead of away through all of this. They have asked the right questions instead of brooding in silence. I believe some of this fruit is a result of me surrendering this relationship to God, as well.

So, when it’s all said and done, I have surrendered much this year. I have given up or given over more than I would have liked, more than I would have expected. Turns out, I am thankful for the pressure from the Lord forcing me to surrender. I am so thankful for the rewards, grace, and undeserved blessings He has poured out as a result. I am grateful, but don’t get me wrong…it still sucks.

Okay, so the obvious questions: What have you surrendered to lately? How has that been? And what has the Lord been specifically teaching you this year? What has been the theme of the year for you?

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10 thoughts on “Surrendering Sucks”

  1. I, like you, had to do a while blog surrender thing. It looked like closing down a blog that I worked 3-4 years on. It sucked, but it gave me a lot of perspective and I was able to come out on the other side a more complete man.

    I am also working on surrendering my desire for a wife. Thats a tough one. I will let you know how it goes.

  2. We have had to surrender a portion of our ministry to move to a location closer to therapy for my wife. Her story is here
    As for me personally I had open-heart surgery in December. I’m only 40. I had to surrender my macho-nothing-will-hurt-me persona and fall in line with what the Docs wanted.

    The biggest surrender for me this year you covered with this quote “I’m careful to say “Christ-follower’ because if I say “Christian” others would disagree with me. They think they are Christians, but they do not live lives devoted unto Christ.” Booom! There it is. I needed to convert from a Christian to a follower and that has been tough. Christianity and I made it to easy to be “Christian.”
    Great post. Thanks for sharing

  3. Yikes. I just did a post on surrender last week. It has been on my mind and heart a lot too.

    I’ve had to surrender a lot in the past month. Like you, my family, are not Christ-followers though, when convient, they claim the title Christian. So I’ve attempted to surrender that.

    I’ve had to surrender my concerns for my mother’s care and well being because my family won’t listen to my pleas. I’ve had to surrender her illness and the likelyhood that she will die in the year or so over to God. I’ve had to give her life over to God’s will- I hope for healing but I know ultimately God has a plan. I’ve had to surrender my relationship with my father over to the Lord because at this point I don’t know if it’s salvagable (how do you look at somone as a father again when he screams insults at you for simply voicing concern about your mother’s care? I don’t know). I’ve had to surrender a lot of sorrow and pain- though I think I’ve failed at that because it weighs heavily on me. All of it does.

    So, yes, surrender sucks. The need for it sucks. But if I was trying to wrap my mind around all of this in my own power and intellect I don’t think I’d get out of bed everyday. Giving my problems to Him everyday is really the only way to get through such difficult times.

    Great post, Nicole. It’s good to know others are surrendering as well!

  4. I’ve been doing a similar thing with my year long blog project. Just told God to take my life, my hopes, my dreams and do what HE wants done with it. And like you, it’s sucked. I lost my job, my closest friend moved away, we’ve had financial problems out the yin-yang and now it looks like one of our kids has diabetes. Whee! Thanks God!

    Honestly, right now, this year of giving it all to God feels like the biggest mistake of my life. I know that’s not “good Christian” to say but that’s how it feels right now.

  5. Man, surrendering seems to be the common theme in the blog world today. I just wrote a part 2 blog post about “letting go” of things close to my heart. That was yesterday Then one of my friends on twitter had written almost the exact same thing.

    I truly believe there are no consequences anymore.

    I loved you baby story, it reminded me about my husband’s and my own start. He was pretty sure he didn’t want a relationship with me and wanted to remain friends. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to let go of but finally one night I just gave up the relationship to God. I said “Fine. If you don’t want me to be with Jesse then I won’t. I want what YOU want.” The NEXT day, Jesse had a change of heart. Now, we’ve almost been married for 2 years.

    Ha, recently though, I’ve been going through the process of surrendering wanting to be a ‘missionary’. And of course as soon as I was willing to give it up, God comes through and gives me the desires of my heart. :)

    Woo! Sorry for writing a novel instead of a comment!

  6. I have surrendered myself to the realization that God is right and we’re wrong.

    It has been at first mildly depressing, but with time it has grown on me.

    Specifically this year He has been teaching me that, like adding garlic to a food dish does not automatically make it “Italian”, adding the name of Jesus to your life does not in any fashion automatically make one “saved”.

    The theme of this year for me has been “Simplicity”, referencing Micah 6:8, a famously well-known Scripture.

  7. Great post Nicole. So relevant. It’s encouraging to know that others out there really, REALLY do this.

    For me it started with surrendering dating. Not easy to stop “looking”, but I did. I told God that I was done, and IF I were to ever meet anyone it would be His choosing and His time. I was totally alone, but oddly content for months and then a man fell out of the clear blue sky… We’ve been married since last October and he’s far, far more incredible than anyone I would have ever picked on my own.

    While we were planning the wedding my Nana (grandmother) fell ill to cancer. I lived with her for roughly 17 years of my life and couldn’t bear losing her. Within 3 months of her dianosis, she went to be with the Lord. This was a month before the wedding and such an emotional roller coaster to ride. I’ve never been so up and so down all at the same time.

    We started talking about having a baby… When? Could we afford it? I surrendered the idea of a growning family to God and again, told him it was 100% His will and timing. We found out we were pregnant in January and are expecting our son October 1st.

    I hated my job. I know a lot of people do, but I LOATHED my job. I tried to be grateful that I was employed and that I had insurance. So many people don’t in these times, so who am I to complain? I was severely outcasted and mistreated there and many days came home totally drained and in tears. I started begging God for strength, to have the Spirit be with me every day and speak for me. I started praying for an outpouring of grace and love upon my coworkers that treated me so miserably. It got to the point that I would pray while I was getting ready, driving to work, walking into the building and to my desk. Then I was “let go”. I panicked and felt rejected. Being almost 7 months pregnant, this was not a good situation. I prayed. My husband prayed. We surrendered our lives and our finances. Business for him has really started to pick up and we’ve been doing just fine without my income.

    The waiting and uncertainty sucks big time. There is so much power in surrender and so much reward. His will and timing is far better than ours and the picture in retrospect always makes so much sense.

    I’m sorry for the novel! Just a topic I happen to firmly believe in :)

    By the way, my “word” for the year is “simple”. It’s seemed to go hand in hand with “surrender”.

  8. Man, this is a tough subject. Surrender is key, yet I feel I fail at it daily.

    I have to surrender the following:
    -My relationship with my Dad
    -My relationships with 3 of my sisters and a brother (my family likes to cut people out of their lives)
    -My love life (still single in late 30s). This is the most difficult for me.
    -Not having kids (yes, my bio clock is ticking loud and clear)
    -Not living outside of my state (I’ve wanted to move for 4 years)
    -Having to take one section of a professional exam for the 3rd time because I’ve missed by 1 point the other 2 times
    -Tense or distant friendships

    I’m sure there is much more.

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