Surrender to God Willingly (Before He Helps You Do It)
His assistance will likely hurt
Nothing says surrender like sitting bent over on a yoga mat on the floor, half-naked, bawling from a mixture of excruciating pain and feelings of utter confusion and helplessness.
Severe pelvic pain. For the first time in years. A few hours before you’re supposed to leave for work. On one of the only two days of the week that you go to work. Because you’re underemployed. Because COVID.
That was my morning.
Many females can relate. Be it from Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, or just horrible menstrual cramps, time stops when your uterus is angry.
Calling 911 the very first time it ever happened resulted in a costly ER bill, hospital bill, and ambulance bill, all of which took a year or so to pay off. But it didn’t provide relief or answers.
Also, switching from full-time to part-time employment results in a loss of your health insurance benefits. So if you can’t afford to pay for it on your own, you aren’t covered for any doctor’s visits.
Medication takes time to take effect. In the meantime, no position works. Sitting hurts. Standing’s impossible. Squatting hurts. Kneeling hurts. Laying down hurts. You pick the path of least resistance, but it just all hurts.
A hysterectomy’s a bit extreme, though in the moment you’d love nothing more than to remove your agitated lady parts.
As I sat on the floor, my mom and my dog trying their earnest to comfort me, I repeatedly lamented, “I don’t know what to do,” amidst my tears. Not to my mom, not even to myself. Just to the universe. To God. My cries turned to prayer.
And He was waiting.
Are You Listening?
God draws straight with crooked lines, and my pelvic pain is one of the most crooked lines I have.
He often reaches us through pain, suffering, and tragedy. Not that He’s the cause of it all. It’s caused by our free will decisions and by the disorder brought about by the entrance of sin and death into the world following Original Sin. But the Master of the Universe can take any situation and use it for good. Even if we don’t see it at the time. Even if we don’t see it for a long time.
We tend to pray more when life gets hard or when we really want something, then go radio silent when we’re in a place of comfort and complacency. But when God demands to be heard, He WILL be heard. One way, or another.
Sometimes it takes a “wrecking ball moment” — a moment where everything comes crashing down, we’ve just about hit rock bottom, and we’re at the end of our rope — for us to be in a vulnerable enough position to finally pay attention to Him.
I pray daily, but recently my prayers were running dry and I’d lost sight of Him. I grew preoccupied with the pressure of job hunting, dedicating enough time to my freelance side-gig to make a dent in bills, and protecting my heavily immunodeficient mom from any Covid risk.
But I saw him real clearly this morning.
You know the phrase, “Jesus, take the wheel?” No matter how many times I think I’m giving Him the wheel, He’s always pointing out that my hands haven’t actually left the wheel yet. I claim to be surrendering to Him and letting Him handle everything, but then I continue to go about my life trying to handle things on my own anyway.
It took a moment of utter helplessness for me to finally surrender for real. A perfect storm. Exhausted, painful, immobilized, broke, anxious, frustrated. I could do absolutely nothing for myself. I had no control. I had no options. I HAD to hand it over.
That’s all He wanted.
God seeks our trust. Our honesty. Our surrender. Our hearts. The things that are the most difficult for us to give to other people, God asks us to give to Him. Because He’s the only one who can fully handle it. Who can bear it. Who can transform it. Who can sanctify it.
Healer of Every Ill
I’m still in pain. But my God knows pain. A God who suffered brutal torture, starvation, dehydration, abandonment, and crucifixion knows a thing or two about pain. My angry uterus is debilitating and my pain perfectly valid, but I don’t have a God who doesn’t understand or can’t relate. He walks with me through my suffering. And He places my suffering in perspective.
And in addition to blessing us with earthly mothers, He’s also given us His Blessed Mother Mary and entrusted us to her care. I definitely needed the comfort of both my mommies this morning.
Instead of focusing on my pain, I focused on God. Instead of trying to foresee what the coming hours would look like, figure out whether or not I could make it to work, figure out what I should say to my boss, or wonder whether or not my boss would be irritated, I remained in the present moment. Instead of dwelling in my lamentation, I lifted it up to God and sought his peace. I spoke to God, but then I shut up and listened.
He gave me peace. He gave me comfort. He sent His mother to soothe me. He sent His angels to ward off any thoughts of anxiety, fear, doubt, and negativity (I literally envisioned armor-clad angels surrounding me and protecting me.)
He didn’t tell me what would happen. He told me I’d be fine. He didn’t remove my pain completely. He removed it enough and loved me through the rest. He challenged me once more to leave everything in His capable hands, for He has never failed me before.
Do you struggle with the trust-falling exercise? Does it depend on who’s catching you, or can you not do it no matter who’s catching?
What if Jesus is doing the catching? If He asked you, right here and now, to trust fall, could you do it? Would you try?
Surrender to God. Trust in He who created you. He who knit you in your mother’s womb and breathed life into you. He who made you in His image and likeness. He who knows you perfectly. He who has blessed you abundantly. He who has suffered and died for you.
Don’t wait for the sky to fall before you do so. It’s effective, but it sucks. Let go and let God, now. While you can still pay your bills and walk across the floor.
You may feel like you’re in freefall, but He WILL catch you.