verb (used without object)
The difference between these two words or actions, for me, is the feeling I get after I have decided to either surrender or quit. When I have surrendered, I feel like I have started a new chapter. I feel empowered. When I quit, I feel defeated, like I gave in and then struggle with guilt. They have a strong characteristic that is the same - I choose to stop struggling. But for me, the difference is the feeling I have after I either surrender or quit.
I have been reflecting on examples of each, from my own life. This has been a sobering and humbling revelation. When I surrender, the power I give myself over to is God. When I quit, I give up to no one, I appease my ego that has been screaming at me.
I was 25 and hadn't dated anyone seriously in 4 years. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed and desired more than anything else to be a wife and mommy. I mean...that was my life mission. I couldn't imagine anything better than that. [I have since learned that it's awesome AND there is even more!;)] Mr. Wonderful wasn't showing up. I found all my decisions were being based on where I may find this dude that was going to realize what a gem I was. Then.....I realized I was really weary from that. I surrendered and said to myself, "He'll show up or he won't. IN the meantime, I am going to enjoy life now." It might have been a month later. A Friday night. It had been a tough week at work. My girlfriend and I decided to go to a bar in Coralville to commiserate and chill with a couple brews. To get a picture how much I was at peace with my decision that "he'd show up when it was right", I truly looked terrible. I am the kind of gal that HAS to wear make up. And I have never had a hair cut that didn't require at least 10 minutes of styling, in order to look public-ready. I didn't do either of these things. I had a pair of mom jeans on and a long-sleeve t shirt that was 5 or 6 years old. I was relaxed. While it is a story I love to share....in Inigo Montoya's words, "Let me 'splain. No, there is too much, let me sum up." Mr. Wonderful was there. That night, I met my husband. It was the night I looked at myself, in the mirror, leaving my apartment and said, "Ha! have a good time." I had a blast. I was sweaty and clammy and sheepish because this big, strapping ginger covered in freckles was definitely interested. [Anyone who knows me, knows I have a big thing for red hair and freckles.] We will be married 10 years in a few months. That is an example of when I surrendered. A fun example.
Later that year, I decided to go back to school. I was attending classes and found it very difficult to juggle a full time job - a demanding job as a district property manager for a region of Section 42 housing, and my new-found social life with Mr. Wonderful. I didn't have my priorities straight and I quit school. A much shorter story, isn't it? No empowerment. No excitement. No peace except I cut myself a big break...which I still regret. Guess what? I started school another year after that, only left the good job I had, moved in with my dad and stepmom to save on expenses only to quit school again. Lots of factors, but if I had realized then how fast 2-4 years go - well...that's all I can really say about that.
I am now realizing I have, countless examples of when I surrendered and when I quit. I've been thinking back on the "big" decisions, in my life. As I sit here, I realize I surrender and quit countless times each day, as a wife and mom. Like this.....Bennett comes downstairs from where I have a pile of stuff that I still have to go through from the NICU.....
I was annoyed at first because I don't want him going through stuff I have yet to go through. After a moment, I realize he can play with that if he wants to. I have several other flanges and that one is WAY too small. lolol He wanted to use it as a trumpet. "Go for it!" Four minutes later, he is telling me he's hungry. I offer an apple? A cheese stick? Grapes? Watermelon? He stands in front of the rice krispy log I made. He didn't even communicate with words. It was all eyes and shlumpy shoulders and I gave in. I quit because I just wanted to get this blog post done before Katie woke up from her nap. I felt bad. He didn't. He was over the moon. Oh well....that's example 4 minutes apart on a much smaller scale of life. ;)
What is my point of writing this? I know there are issues we are each facing. Let's surrender more. Let's surrender the images we hold of ourselves to God. Let's surrender the relationships that have broken our hearts to God. Let's surrender the health of family members to God. Let's surrender the way the perfect picture of how family and success look. I think back to the NICU days.....I was so freaked out about getting a milk supply built up for my micropreemie because that rested on me and I didn't quit. But I was not freaked out about the miracle transpiring and transforming, in an incubator, 2 feet away. Honestly, I am pretty sure Bennett's birth and 13 day NICU stay helped prepare me for what we would go through with Katie. Katie's birth was bigger than anything I had experienced. I knew she was a promise -another example of surrendering a vivid vision I had of a baby girl 5 years ago. I had no hope of her ever coming to pass. We were done having babies........until we weren't. In my heart, when I met her, I handed her to our Maker - the Father of Lights who gives us every good and perfect gift. I didn't know I did it until I watched other mommies breathe down my neck about why wasn't I calling every 30 minutes from RMH?? I knew if she was here, she was in the very best possible place. I look forward to the day - a long time from now - when we live in Iowa City so I can help and volunteer time and energy and love for NICU parents and the nurses. Oh my gosh I love my peeps at UIHC NICU and Mother/Baby and Labor/Delivery.
Listen to this song. It is my "theme" song for the past week and for who knows how long. I think it "sums up" perfectly what I have been feeling and why I feel this idea of surrendering is a really good one.
I am taking the weekend off from the blog. We have another busy weekend, who doesn't? It's August - gotta cram in as much as possible before school starts. However, I will be excited to post and show you some further changes - another example of surrender. You're flipping out, aren't you? What could it be?