Surrender is a Verb and a Noun


I created a blog called “Free to Surrender,” and that implies that I know something about surrender. The average reader might even assume that I am an expert at it. Or at least that I should be.

But if you were a fly on the wall of my mind this past week, you would’ve heard:

Doubts about whether I should be writing this blog at all, because …


Anxiety surrounding the process of getting all new therapists for Olivia …

Every time Olivia has a therapy session, the list of things we need to work on grows. There are new speech sounds to learn and a list of techniques that might be beneficial. There are new ideas that could help her walk sooner, or spoon feed herself sooner, or communicate her needs sooner. Some weeks I remember that God has given me everything I need to walk through this journey we’re on. Other weeks I feel completely inadequate and like the burden of her future is on my shoulders. On those weeks, I feel like a failure for all of the things I haven’t done.

God has been so good to put people in Olivia’s life that genuinely want the best for her. We miss all of the ladies that worked with her before we moved, because we knew that they didn’t just see a disorder. They really care about our baby.

In my heart, I know that what God has done before He can do again, and that I shouldn’t fret–the therapists that visited our new home this week will be just as awesome as the ones we left behind.

However nicely put, though, the standard “Tell me about Olivia” is so hard to answer. It’s hard because I know that the sweet lady sitting in my living room floor is not asking about Olivia’s infectious laugh or the adorable look she gets on her face when she knows you are talking about her. This wonderful woman–who does her job so well and probably wouldn’t be doing it at all unless she really loves kids–needs me to tell her about hearing loss, developmental delay, and a genetic disease that she’ll probably Google later.

So, I’ve recited the medical history three times this week. I watched as the entrance to our tiny house became a revolving door for strangers to come and evaluate my child–videoing or writing furiously as she babbles and plays, then throwing me a questioning glance when she puts her forehead to the carpet, her little hands by her ears.”No, she’s not tired. She just does that sometimes.”

They leave, and I want to cry. Because maybe if I tried harder, things would be different. Maybe if I was more on top of things, she would be walking or talking by now.

In that moment, Jesus whispers to my heart. Like so many times before. Just when I need to hear it most.

“I am enough.”

He is enough, and I remember that I am writing this blog because He knew it would help me let go of the things I can’t control. Jesus is enough, and the words I sat up in bed to type into my notes app late last night come to mind.

“Surrender is a verb and a noun.”

To surrender is to agree to stop resisting, to give up control. It is a choice that comes with the realization that “I cannot” but “Jesus can.”

Surrender is also a noun. It is the state of existence I find myself in after I have made the decision to let go.

So I choose. Again, and again I choose to give everything to Him. To trust in Him alone. When I’ve forgotten, and when I strive–when I take in my hands things they were never meant to hold. I choose to surrender again.

All the while, I remember that surrender is a noun. And that Jesus chose first. Before I had the capacity for reason, Jesus drew me to the choosing with His own choice. He let go of heaven and embraced humanity. He willingly traded a King’s crown for a manger and eventually surrendered to the cross.

The victory that Jesus found in surrender is mine as well. Once and for all, He won for me entrance to surrender, the place. There, I find hope for the future, peace for the present, and healing from the past.

Surrender is a verb and a noun.

 “This is a faithful saying:  For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”–II Timothy 2:11-13

Click here to read Olivia’s Story.


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