the art of surrender

Reading Courtney Carver’s blog, The Soul Shaking Practice of Surrender this morning was perfectly timed. She concluded her post with the question, ‘What do you need to surrender?’

I didn’t have to ponder or figure anything out.
I knew.

Surrender mixes pain with joy; that magic elixir of growth. I have been hanging on in a desperate fashion. Determined movements that kept me firmly attached to the past.

My husband and I have recently moved to a new state. I saw it happening before we moved, but it has only increased since being here. Friends – and family – have pulled away. I have gone through various stages of separation: bitterness that they let me go so freely. Determination to keep the lines of communication open. Denial that our relationships could remain unscathed. Desperation. Sadness. Loneliness. And now….surrender.

I started my new job this week (excited, but dotted with the realization that no one from back home even asked about it), I realized there are new people for me to meet. Church-finding has been a long and tedious process, but there will be new friends in the place God has in mind for us.

People are busy. Their intents are not malicious. But I need two-way relationships. If I’m not getting replies or questions about my life as we discuss theirs, then I need to gently lay them down. I need to take a step back and say a deep and genuinely-felt prayer for them. For their families. For their goals and dreams. And then, I need to walk away.

Surrendering unmet expectations.
Surrendering any lingering bitterness.
Surrendering my understanding that my friendships should be rooted in the past.
Surrendering the idea that the best has already happened.

Surrendering those that have not stayed in contact with me.

Then happily and contently begin the anticipation of what friends are ahead for me to meet.

I have told many a friend in a difficult relationship, “Dating shouldn’t be this hard. Something is clearly not right.” I am employing that same theory to other relationships. If I feel desperate’y and grippy’y and resentful’y…then something is not right. Friendships/family relationships shouldn’t be this hard.

It is easy to walk away.
It is more difficult to surrender any resentment before walking away.

I am committing to surrendering those ugly feelings I’ve been white-knuckling and am looking toward the potential friendships that are just right around the next curve…

In surrender you can stop thinking and plotting and planning. You can stop changing people or believing you can. Surrender allows you to trust that things in this moment are the way they should be. You are ok right where you are. ~Courtney Carver


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