Surrender: Letting Go of Who You Think You Want to Be

This little word came to me in December; God whispered: “this one, this word, surrender, we have work to do here, daughter.”

Since then He has whispered something about it nearly every day in many different ways. {He’s very creative and He knows how to get my attention}

Surrender- it may be the one thing I need to tattoo on the back of my hand where I can see it every day.

Surrender don’t come natural to me

I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want

Than to take what You give that I need

-Rich Mullins

Because, you see, I have to. Surrender. Every day.

If you know me even a little bit, you know that I have an elevated confidence level when it comes to my profession. Not when it comes to self {still working on it}.

My self-confidence was so low as a child and as a teen and as a new mom, I’m not sure I had any back then. Heck, I barely knew who I was.

Then came nursing school and my instructors taught me that women living in the era we were living in had the right, nay, the responsibility to be bold, assertive and confident if we were ever going to get anywhere in that socio-medical minefield that was female nurses caring for male doctor’s patients.

The times they were a changin’.  Women’s lib and feminism made the headlines. Every day. Our attitudes about ourselves changed with each new item in the news.

After all, I was entitled. I was woman…. Thank you, Helen Reddy, for that one…

We skipped completely over “do unto others” during the late 70s to the rhetoric that said – you have rights, you are whatever you want to be, you can do whatever you want to do and no one can take your rights away.

We bought into the mantra that said: “I want what I want and I should have whatever I want, whenever I want it, and my wants come before everything and everyone else.”

So much for families, friends, faith….

My wants came first and people were in my life to ensure that I got what I wanted or they needed to get out of the way because they were hindering me. My wants were paramount.

That was the loudest message I received in nursing school. Everything we were taught was wrapped up in those newspaper articles and tied with the bra straps from the burned bras.

It almost destroyed my family without me even realizing it. Submission was a dirty word in my newly grown up world. It was all about me.

Then God got my attention and put my head back on straight. It wasn’t a bolt of lightning or anything that was sudden and public. Just some circumstances at church, a nugget of a verse here and there, comments by friends and then, umm, there was that whole month my husband and I did not say one word to each other; and the kids, oh, yeah, the kids, who were all of 2 and 3 then- I did have to think about the kids didn’t I?    {insert sarcasm}

There were some tense conversations when we did talk and I woke up one day from the “dreams” that had been placed in my head; the tape set on repeat that said: “All that matters is what you want ”.

It was, of course, the enemy, whispering to me as my instructors treated me as if I were the darling of the class many days and encouraged me to strike out on my own. I could do anything, be anything according to them.

Oh, how that stroked my infinitely small quantity of self-worth.  Perhaps you know the feeling?

When your ego is pumped by people with no vested interest in you, it can be very flattering.

It’s one thing when the people who love you compliment and build you up- that’s their job after all, right? They’re saying it because they love you, right? But when someone in authority over you chooses to stoop low and boost your confidence it must be real, mustn’t it?

Go ahead and laugh.

I was that naïve that I didn’t see the truth at first.

Oh, he’s an expert at that.

Reality check: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

By the Grace of God, I got back on track. Yes, I was living through that period of time when women’s lib was front page news every day, and I was still in nursing school, but the reality of the fact that I was a wife and mother first and my responsibilities were to them had pulled me back from the brink of destruction of a family- mine.

He helped me realize:

First: I am His child

Second: I have an earthly family that came way before the world’s siren call

Third: I am responsible and accountable to Him for the way I behave, treat, and teach that family

Fourth: His purpose for me uses the brains He’s given me and the knowledge I learned to help others, not further my own selfish agenda.

Fifth: I am His child. He will not let me fall.

Stumble, maybe. Learn from it, definitely.

Surrender. Yes.

Those “dreams” that weren’t part of my calling.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 NIV


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