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I’ve been talking about Surrender all month.

Most everything I’ve shared seems hard. White knuckles, sweat, anguish. Deep questions and dark answers. Foggy epiphanies. Slow acceptance. That is my story. But it’s not the whole story.

I need to change the channel. Let’s look at this another way.

Palestinian beekeepers collect honey at a farm in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip...Palestinian beekeepers collect honey at a farm in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: SOCIETY)

My life is full of goodness. Sometimes when I let go, joy is waiting to rush in and surprise me. Surrendering can bring great delight. There is honey in the rock. I have countless examples:

When curiosity got the best of me, I pushed through first impressions, and was delighted:

  • Thinking the plate was full of gross bugs, then realizing they were bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese.
  • Turning my nose up at a dress on a hanger, then finding out I looked fantastic in it.
  • Rolling my eyes about some bossy stranger at a party, then belly laughing with them by the end of the night.

When I felt my body tighten up, from fear or embarrassment, and decided to go with it anyway. All the endorphins:

  • Standing in line watching for an hour, then strapping in to ride the world’s tallest roller coaster.
  • Dancing for my kids in the kitchen. Dancing for my daughter at the bus.
  • Sex.

When I remember that happy kids are loud, messy, and curious. The best memories are made:

  • Sledding down the stairs in sleeping bags into the pile of couch cushions.
  • Laughing Family Tickle Chase Pillow Fights.
  • Cooking helpers spilling, wielding cleavers, and dozens of questions.

When my mind races and chases its tail. Then I suddenly stop and peace sits next to me:

  • Letting myself curl up and sleep on the back porch after a morning run.
  • Coloring with gel pens with my girls all afternoon.
  • Listening to the same album for hours, then hearing the words for the first time, and weeping.


Remembering these good times is powerful. It’s an antidote to anxiety, a nudge toward surrender. One big example of this is Psalm 136. It catalogues how God came through for his people, and they remember, “his steadfast love endures forever.” Poor, ragged Israel went through trauma:

“to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who led his people through the wilderness,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;” (Psalm 136:13-16)

So I do a version in my own journal when I’m feeling scared:

“He gave us our first apartment when we both were unemployed, for his steadfast love endures forever;

and got Chris through his MBA program while working full-time, for his steadfast love endures forever;

and gave us twins after years of heartbreaking infertility, for his steadfast love endures forever;

and a surprise baby after that, for his steadfast love endures forever.”


Beehives in Mankato, Minnesota

Gratefulness is Remembering’s contented daughter. She slowly quiets doubt, fear, and cynicism. When I can’t snap out of a funk, I write Thank you, Lord at the top of a page in my journal. Then I make 10 hash marks. Sometimes it takes a while to come up with 10. Some days I can be really specific: Kailey’s baby was born healthy and whole, Got to talk to Danielle on the phone, Tires didn’t blow out before the nails were discovered. Some days I’m grouchy and have to go big: We have a house. We have money for groceries. The color blue is soothing.

When I remember “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” everything changes. The good, sweet things in my life are from a God who relentlessly and fiercely loves me (and you). I imagine him smiling expectantly as I bite into that perfect crunch of bacon, sweetness of fig, and creamy cheese. I imagine him laughing when my kids pile up at the bottom of the basement stairs in a sweaty heap. I feel his eyes of love watching over me as I surrender to sleep after a hard day.

Surrender is not always grueling. Surrender is often sweet.


I am unfolding the idea of Surrender throughout the month of October.  

Yesterday’s story of Surrender: Chosen

For more about our shared spiritual journey and questions, you can read here:  Soul

© Aimee Fritz and Family Compassion Focus, 2015. 

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Words, Images, and Vulnerability: Floodplain by Sara Groves – Perissos


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