Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've been thinking some about surrender recently.  I went on a hike a few weeks ago, and I was trying to make it to a lake, but I never made it.  I have never been to this lake, and no one has told me that I must see this lake.  It was just a hike that seemed doable and I wanted to do it.  The one picture that I saw led me to believe that it might be a pretty lake, so it all sounded good.

It was a gorgeous day, the weather was beautiful, the flowers were beautiful, but the avalanche debris over the trail was not so beautiful.  It wasn't too hard to get over it, and I'm sure you could pick up the trail on the other side if you'd done the hike before.  However, I'd never done the hike, and I couldn't find the trail, and so I had to turn around.  I don't believe in getting lost while looking for trails.  It goes against my religion or something.

Anyway, turning around was really frustrating and disappointing.  It was kind of a long hike and I was kind of close to the end when I got turned around. So close to the dang lake, and still so far away.  I was sulking a little at first, and stewed a bit about how that hike was like my life (never quite getting there), but then I stopped.  I remembered that a couple of days before I'd had some sort of nasty summer bug and didn't want to get off the couch.  I had to remember that my primary goal had not been to hike to that lake, but to find a hike to do to get myself out of the house.  I had to think about how I'd gotten to soak up some sunshine and see some beautiful flowers and a great view.  Pretty soon, I was okay with it.  I was fine about how the hike had turned out, because I'd hiked.

Then I thought that maybe I could apply some of these thoughts to my life of singleness and see if I could reach a point of greater "surrender".  You know what? I couldn't.  The reason is that I was looking at surrender the wrong way.  Like the hike, I was trying to find a way to "be okay" with all parts of being single, but I can't.  I can't "be okay" with something that's not okay.  I am not living out a vocation that I am called to.  That's not okay.  I can't make it somehow right when it's not right and it doesn't fit.  It's not as much about having no one there for me as it is about not having someone to give myself to.

If I am single forever, that's not okay.  I believe that I can still find peace and happiness and fulfillment if that were to be the case, but there would always be something that was missing.  A part of me that would be stunted rather than finding its full potential.  I don't think that surrender means "being okay" with things that are not okay.  I think that surrender means being willing to accept it all, including the pain of the part that is not okay. (I have to thank this blogger for helping me to understand that a little better.)

I have to say that by the time I made it down the mountain, I was feeling pretty relaxed.  Not only had I had a fantastic hike, but the pressure was off to somehow do a better job at being single so that I would "be okay" with it.  It is so much easier to accept pain as part of the surrender, rather than to will it away or try to make it stop hurting.  I'm not totally okay with being single.  And that's okay.

Avalanche debris


  1. That is a wonderful perspective, dearie. And I don't believe that your heart would have such a strong desire for a family if God didn't give you that desire. And he wouldn't give you that desire if he didn't have every intention of fulfilling it!

  2. TCIE wrote about this recently too...its OK to not be OK...haha. there are things that we must strive for because they are good. period.
    i pray for more strength for you to keep you going over the 'debris'.

  3. In the serenity prayer, there is a line, "taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will." I think about it all day because surrender is a moment by moment choice. Thanks for always giving me something to think about! Praying for you ;)