Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When Upside Down and Backwards Stop Surrender

My understanding of the world is bass ackwards.  I'm not alone in this, yours is too.  Catholics don't believe that original sin led to total depravity because what God created and called "very good" can't suddenly become "very bad", though it can and did get broken.  And this brokenness usually means that we see the world from the wrong end.  I heard someone who credited Chesterton (how do you like that specificness with the references?) with saying something along the lines of if our view of the world is upside down, then maybe the person walking around on their hands is not as crazy as we thought.  Maybe they're just seeing the world right side up.

I knew for years that I needed to let go and surrender everything to God, particularly this deep desire for a husband and children.  And I fought against it in so many ways.  I'm so glad God is so patient with me even in my confusion, because I guarantee that I wouldn't be in any place of surrender without His grace.

I was afraid of letting go of my dreams for fear that they would fall to the ground and smash into pieces.  But that's not how it is.  Have you ever seen a little kid trying to carry something too big for them?  Sometimes they want help, and a parent may reach down to take it, but if they don't let go they usually struggle about as much as they did before.  If they let go the parent can carry it for them.  That's more how it is.

I was also afraid that if I let go, I would just be giving in to the chains that bound me.  Like someone with some sort of Stockholm syndrome, letting go of my desires meant accepting the chains of singleness and learning to be happy with them.  But that's not how it is either.  I now question whether it was the chains that held me or whether I was the one holding on to the chains.

Surrendering doesn't mean that I'm giving up my dreams forever, nor does it mean that I'm accepting this cross until the end of time.  I'm surrendering to Him.  I still want something different in my life.  But it's not choking me any more.  I was just reading the parable of the sower today in Mark.  I was in the brambles, growing, but the thorns were there choking off that growth.  I think that anything that we hang onto more than we hang onto Him becomes those thorns and it can choke it off and kill us. Surrendering means I feel much more able to bloom where I'm planted and I'm more able to take each day for what it is and not for what I need it to change to in order to be happy.

I still have down moments.  I still hope for change.  But the burden is so much lighter now that He is carrying it.


  1. Amen, surrendering is so good for us. Why is it so hard?!

  2. What a beautiful metaphor...the little child surrendering the cumbersome weight to the parent. I like that.

  3. This is so beautiful to read. I wish it were as easy for me to do!

  4. catching up (obviously, since you wrote this weeks go)...but loved this one.

    "Surrendering doesn't mean that I'm giving up my dreams forever, nor does it mean that I'm accepting this cross until the end of time."