Seated at the Right Hand of Surrender: Letting God
I can’t pick one word for the year. The thing is, as a writer, words are my life. Just one, well, that would be drivel.
Still, the word that seems to most common lately is, surrender.
It has been most profound in so many avenues. Most assuredly in launching humans. Our oldest daughter is married, our youngest “daughter,” our foster love, has been home with her restored mama for over a year. Our oldest son is a marine, I don’t know his exact location, but his empty seat at our table this year, well, I know right where that is.
I have submitted to surrender.
However, I confess not by choice. The truth is, almost everything I ever surrender has been pried from my greedy hands. Is that still surrender?
Still, I propose, every surrender is most assuredly by force.
Once you see the whites of your enemies’ eyes, their horsepower, and the agony of defeat that will surely come, you have a choice. You can raise the white flag… or you can go down in a blaze of dim glory.
Tonight, I am up writing a word to you about surrender, but I must admit, I am racked with anguish over something beyond preposterous. As I mentioned, our son John is a Marine. And I have repeatedly failed him while on his deployment. Some of it is my folly, other things are just military life and deployment.
Communication is minimal. And yes, I know, it is nothing like it used to be. My dad left during the Vietnam war when I was just a few days old. My parents can barely tell the story for the dreadful memory. He did not sleep for the days prior to his deployment, but instead spent every hour he could caring for me. When he returned, I was 9 months old. There were no emails or phone calls.
No checking in, no, nothing.
So, I do not try to compare the two. Still, I spent 19 years taking much care and keeping of our sweet John-John. When he left, he asked that I pay his student loan. He requested that I make sure his fiancé was cared for and to manage a few other things for him. I have repeatedly been locked out of his accounts. And more than once, I have not been able to access his student loan, which cost him penalties.
Most recently his beloved red-headed sweetheart messaged me. He had asked her to transfer some funds. Her message was curious and laced with concern.
Anne: Jami, did you use John’s account recently?
Me: No? Why?
Anne: There is over $700 gone and it looks as if it was used at various stores in the Houston area?
About 5 minutes later I received an email from John, “I am at port, can I have the numbers off my debit card to report my card stolen? And can you put money in the other account? I don’t have anything left now. “
I was physically sick. I rushed to check my wallet to see if his debit card was still in my wallet and find the numbers he needed. His card was not in my wallet; however, my mom’s card was.
I instantly remembered that I had my mom’s red Visa in the same compartment as John’s red Visa. I deduced that when I gave her, her card back I gave her John’s on accident… and she had been Christmas shopping.
I messaged him, “JOHN! DON’T REPORT THE CARD, NANA STOLE YOUR MONEY!”
To which he said, “WTH!?!?! WHY WOULD NANA STEAL MY MONEY??? ARE THEY HAVING FINANCIAL TROUBLE? WILL SHE PAY MY BACK?”
My mom, who did not think this was funny at all, was horrified.
The money will be returned in full. And if I had to guess, with change to spare.
But I felt all the pangs of letting him down, causing him worry, and well, being a dunce. Don’t blame my mom. She’s a red-hot Christmas shopper. She was swiping like she does, and she’s good for the loan.
Then yesterday John called to wish us a Merry Christmas and beg I please get him phone minutes so that he could call his girl. We went over the confirmation number four times. Alas, he speaks dyslexia and I hear and write in fluent Dyslexia, and the pin number is wrong… I can’t renew his minutes. And he has no minutes to call and find out why.
All this to say, I have been sick with the worry and left with no recourse but to wait for an email or smoke signals, so here I sit, in surrender.
While I do not submit to the idea this is the grandest of hardships, it matters to me, and to John. I know eventually it will be made right, and I trust that John and I have a strong foundation that won’t be harmed by the mistake. Still, here I am up chanting the prayers of surrender.
Let it go.
Trust that it will work out.
That which we cannot change or manipulate often leaves us here. In a go get em’ and fix it fast or your money back society, rarely if ever must we truly surrender.#blamenanaClick To Tweet
But I wish this to be truer of me, that I surrender more and strive less. There is a stigma with giving up, and I don’t think I am suggesting that either. However, after trying my best or seeking something I believe best, how often do I trust to let go and let God do His best?
Most often I try, try again, and then finagle my way down a path of doing, and then when that doesn’t work, I let Him fix all the messes that followed all the efforts.
I have found this most true in book writing. Honestly, it is the first time I have surrendered without much battle. How can one write all things “Jesus” and then not let Jesus be the captain? I cannot. But I have wondered if this was quitting, or simply, letting God be God.
And no, I don’t believe I stop Him from being the great I am. Yet, I often play God and fix all the things and then fail and then call on Him to save. When truthfully, doing my thing, and then stepping back and saying, “Go on ahead… I have no idea what I am doing,” has been the nicest of passages.
I had the pleasure of meeting a woman recently that had just started chemotherapy for breast cancer.
She told me that everyone says she is going into the battle of a lifetime. But this struck me so deeply, I asked her if I could share.
She said, “It is not my battle. I had to choose how to kill the cancer. I prayed about it and felt confident God had provided this course. I had surgery. I had a port put in, and then, I laid there while they pumped this drug into me. All I could think was, I surrender. Thy will be done.”
I have heard of other visual mentalities for chemo patients, but I’d like to think, this would be mine.
Simply, “I surrender.”
Let it be said of me, I followed His lead.
I trusted Him before I had to.
And that I believed Him when He said He had great plans for me, ones to prosper and advance.
So, yes, here I am, writing well past my bedtime. I am unable to purchase minutes, tuck people I adore into their beds. It is beyond me to do everything I think I should do or wish I could. But I am unstoppable in this place, white flag crisply clapping in the December breeze.
I surrender all.
Take all of me to the finish line, here is where I find rest.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
You might also like: My Plan B: Baby Ishmael