in Notes of Encouragement, Surrender

Dear Friend,

I am sending this note of encouragement because the weight of your worry is palpable in your spirit and on your countenance. I have been where you are terrified to let go of all that you have been holding onto for so long but desperate to end this pain.  

I submitted to the act of surrender at the age of 29 when I filed for divorce from my former husband. I had never imagined my life without him, or quite frankly that life wouldn’t stick to my carefully constructed plan. Finally, as if compelled by some invisible force, it all began to unravel, culminating in my signature on a set of papers that would dissolve my marriage.

I had white-knuckled the wheel of our relationship, and we finally crashed. I had denied every obstacle and rejected every hint at dysfunction between us. It was so, so painful to concede that there was no way to manipulate around the grief or the work I had ahead of me to process how I had found myself in such an excruciating mess. I spent hours with my counselor analyzing my former husband’s perceived failings and shortcomings, until one day she asked, “And, what exactly do you plan to do about all of these issues of his?” Ah-ha! There it was, the reality that the only way forward was to submit to actually seeing my own mess, the mess that was on my own side of the street. Otherwise, I knew I would launch a quest to find the next fella to “fix” and begin the experience all over again.  

I began the Practice of Surrender when I was willing to accept whatever the next moment would hold. It would be a while before I understood the power in the act of surrender, but the word “Surrender” became my mantra. Each morning, I walked miles through my neighborhood listening to a version of the old hymn “I Surrender All,” and each day I was shocked to find that life unfolded before me without my needing to manage it. I kept wanting to fall back into managing my life, but as I reminded myself to be aware of this danger, I was able to remain committed to the act of surrender. This is a commitment I have to make daily.

How often, friends, have we wailed, “I just can’t take this anymore!” hanging on for dear life and waiting to be somehow pulled back up? Look intently at your whitened knuckles and you will know what needs letting go. Then breathe, and believe that holding on to this fraying end of a rope of a relationship, addiction, job, mindset, unhealthy lifestyle … is what is keeping you from truly living. Push aside the feelings of fear, shame, or defeat and focus on the feeling of relief that surfaces, and thus will begin your practice of surrender.

I encourage you, today, to start practicing Surrender in your own life. It won’t be easy at first, but with every deliberate choice, every Practice of Surrender, it will get easier. Living Hope was created to help you on his journey of Hope. I invite you to go to and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to become part of a community that is waiting to lift you up.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

You are loved!