“I Surrender All,” three words I know well from the hymn of the same name. Spiritually, I can define surrender as the act of submitting, yielding, acquiescing my will, wants, and desires to the Lord.
We often sing it at baptisms because it’s our first act of surrender — but not our last. The reason is simple; He says, “Follow me.”
Since that day when, at 16 years old, I went to the water, I have learned that it’s a continual process. To follow Him, I need to trust His plan for my life, surrendering my heart and mind since they rule my actions and thoughts.
Simply put, “Yes, there’s a master plan … it’s just not ours.”
I have not always been an eager or willing servant as I’ve struggled against my heart and His will, especially when the road He asks me to walk is a trial.
That was the case when I had my third miscarriage. You see, I no longer asked the Lord for more children. We had accepted our little family of three. My son had stopped asking why he did not have a brother or sister like the other children. I had surrendered that dream and desire.
Then, one day at 45, I found myself pregnant and a little stunned. Although my husband took to the news quickly, I was a little slower to come around. My thoughts went like this: “Lord I will be 46 when this baby is born and there will be almost 10 years between my children.” And then there was the real issue. “What If I lose this baby too?”
After voicing my fears and talking, we resolved to think positively and see this as an unexpected blessing. By the next day, my heart was filled with joyful anticipation instead of worry.
Six weeks go by and it is a Friday morning. I wake up to the signs of impending miscarriage. Immediately my heart begins to break. Arrangements are quickly made with a perinatologist for an ultrasound and evaluation.
To our relief and through my tears, we hear the doctor say, “There is still a heartbeat, a faint one, but it is there.” My doctor tells me to go home, stay off my feet and wait with the hope that we get through the weekend and re-assess on Monday morning. We left, hoped, and prayed.
Sunday, very early in the morning, I miscarried. My sadness and grief after were overwhelming. But there was more. Mixed in was betrayal. I felt like the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37, with the exception that there was no prophet that I could run after and ask why. Days and weeks went by as I carried this in my heart, not finding peace or joy in anything, not even the son I already had.
One morning, as I lay in bed crying, I realized I could not get up and continue this way; the burden of it all was just too much to carry. I said, “OK, Lord, I give up. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t understand why, but I have to let this go. It is killing me. ”
As I said the words, I immediately felt the Lord come in, wrap me in His arms, and I found comfort as I surrendered it to Him. He had been waiting for me, ready to take my pain, but I had to be willing to give it to Him.
Some time after, looking back, I realized that at the heart of my suffering was my heart. I felt I deserved better and that He had been cruel. I had ceased to trust Him or His plan. It was sobering as I took it in — it’s even hard for me to write about it now.
I may never know the reasons for the painful seasons of my life. I can only hope and believe that God has used them, maybe to soften some of the hard, unyielding edges of my personality, or help me be more compassionate of others, more prayerful as they go through the trials of life.
It forces me to ask, do I really believe Romans 8:28? Do I love Him enough to surrender my life to Him? If I do, I can be sure that some “good” will be found there according to His “purpose”, even if I don’t always see it.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.