Surrender Doesn’t Mean Defeat

Maybe it’s my good Catholic upbringing, but I’ve always had this sense of guilt that has kept me in line. That little Jiminy Cricket voice telling me to stop, slow down, be reasonable, grow up. The Good Ol’ Conscience. Coupled with my over-zealous desire for order, I make for one out-of-control control freak. I’ve always tried to tell myself that God is in control. Over and over, the words roll through my head, then roll right out. I just can’t convince myself.

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A few times in the last couple of weeks I’ve chosen love over order. My daughter wants to wear a skirt under her dress? Sure, why not. No one can see it anyway. My son, who obsesses over blocks, insists on stacking them just right before he sits down at the table for lunch. Sure, why not. Is it really so bad? Will my head explode if they don’t do as I please? I’m pretty sure I used to think so. I would get so upset at their little whims. But then I realized they are their own little persons, with hopes and dreams and ideas, just like any other person. I wouldn’t be so tyrannical with someone else’s children. Just because I am their mother doesn’t mean they must perceive things as I do. Who am I to tell them how to think? In a way, I surrendered what I thought was my right to tell my children how to engage the world.

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The old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here. My children don’t do things as I would do them. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean they are broken. It means they are unique, just as God made them. Full of possibilities, dreams yet realized. I have to SURRENDER to who they are. They aren’t mine – just on loan for a while. God has blest me with the privilege of raising 7 darlings into thinking, working, contributing adults, who will hopefully bring their brilliant ideas to fruition.

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In light of this new perspective, I will gladly surrender my order, my control, so they may grow a little, explore and dream a little, and be proud to be who God made them to be. “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” (Psalms 139:13-14) I am so grateful to be a part of God’s creative handiwork. Lord, help me to surrender to Your will for these children.

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