The struggle to surrender

Written by Andrea Jones
Published on September 29, 2023

I’ve been thinking a lot about surrender and what it means as a believer—more specifically, as a special needs mom. 

I used to think of surrender as a pious act I must do in order to appease an angry God, as if my surrender would somehow convince him to do what I felt I needed or wanted at the time.

Now, I would have never said those things out loud. I’m not even sure I believed them at the time. So when our oldest daughter got sick with autoimmune encephalitis (PANDAS) and we entered the fight of our lives to get her better, I was in fight and contending mode, not surrender mode. We were going to beat this thing, and she was going to heal no matter what.

Not without a fight

But as the days grew long and we became weary of watching her suffer to regain her faculties (her cognitive function, sleep, and mood), we couldn’t fight anymore. We had done all the fighting, all the contending, all the therapies and all the praying, and it was healing her, but we were utterly exhausted.

At a certain point, I had to surrender to the process that took so much longer and caused much more pain than I thought God would ever allow in my life. I fought it hard. I’m not a lay-down-and-take-it kind of person, I’m a fight-until-I-win kind of person, and this was not a fight I could win by praying harder or doing more things. That was extremely hard to accept.

I didn’t want to surrender because, to me, that meant giving up hope she would ever get better, or that our family would ever heal from the trauma and pain.

Surrender, to me, meant having to lay down in the hand of an indifferent God who I wasn’t entirely convinced would come through for me. 

I noticed questions bubbling up to the surface of my heart. Did he even care anymore?

Why was this being allowed in my life?

What was I to do with well-meaning believers’ judgments and criticisms that this was spiritual, and she wouldn’t be suffering if we could just figure out the right prayer formula?

The pain this belief brought up was indescribable. Tension grew as I continued to fight when God was asking me to surrender—and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

The process of surrender

I began to look at my beliefs about who God was. Did I believe he is kind? Was he for me, even in this? Where was he when I was being crushed? Did he even see how much this cost us emotionally, spiritually, and financially?

As I asked these questions, the wall I had built out of pain and survival began to crack, and the power of his love began to flood in. He showed me where the lie crept in; the lie that taught me surrender meant giving up, when really, it meant surrendering my situation and circumstances to his kindness.

In his kindness, he began to minister to me about surrender and what it means to him. As I wept, I could feel him weeping with me. Over several weeks, I could hear him saying, “I am so moved by your surrender; your heart is so beautiful to me. Your surrender is not in vain. I know the cost of it, and it is not without consequence.”

Slowly, I was no longer surrendering my circumstances, needs, hurt, or pain we had all experienced to a God I had to appease or convince. I was surrendering to the One who understood what it felt like to be crushed and bruised beyond recognition.

I was surrendering to the One who knew what it felt like to need someone with you in suffering (Matthew 26:40).

I was surrendering to his infinite ability to bring the promises he has for me (and my family) to pass.

I was surrendering to his goodness that knows no boundary.

I was surrendering to his kindness that would carry me on hard days.

It is his presence in our circumstances that changes everything.

Are you in a process of surrender with the Lord? I encourage you to press into the fears and beliefs that keep you from trusting. God isn’t afraid of your questions, and your breakthrough is just on the other side of bringing them to him.

Consider a few extra resources:

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Andrea Jones

Andrea Jones is a mother of 2, owner of the international company Abundant Wellness With Andrea, Podcast host, and inner healing pastor at her local church in Vancouver Washington. When she’s not busy helping women balance their hormones and moods naturally, she is supporting her local inner healing team by providing training and equipping for ministry both locally and abroad. Becoming a special needs mom was not something she ever saw coming, but through the Lord’s help, guidance and strength, she has learned that her source of hope comes from Him, and has seen miracles unfold because of His abiding presence. 




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