When I think of surrendering my children, I think first of their health, then about decisions they might make that I may not like. Lisa Appelo gives us a whole new perspective on surrender today, one that never crossed my mind.
Hmm… and how should I describe my guest author, Lisa Appelo? Let me see…
Grace when under fire. Perseverance in the heat of battle. Strength when curling up in the fetal position would be the norm. And I’m only getting started. Being widowed at a young age and left to parent 7 children alone, Lisa’s journey has been nothing short of heroic.. She amazes me.
It was by all accounts idyllic.
A beautiful day for the beach, really. The sky was bright blue after a week of heavy clouds and drenching afternoon downpours. Low tide had provided a wide expanse of sand with warm tide pools that edged the sandbars just before the shore breaks.
My two high school boys, backs turned to the sun on their towels, had fallen asleep after an early deep-sea fishing trip and I sat in the shade of a large umbrella, alternating between keeping tabs on my younger two in the water and the book I’d downloaded to my phone.
Glancing up, I watched my youngest son carry a surf board up from the water. His dad’s surfboard. How many days had I watched his dad walking up this same beach, carrying that same board after a long surf session?
I lingered over this long-legged boy coming up the beach. He’ll be 13 next month. A coming of age without his dad.
Familiar regret colored my thoughts. His dad should have been here. He should have been here to teach him how to surf, to give pointers on throwing the perfect cast net, to help him get from boy to man.
This is not the good life I wanted for you, my heart grieved.
And even as those words ached across my soul, I had to give them up. I had to surrender the life I wanted for my children. The life I’d planned for them.
Surrendering my children to God includes surrendering my children’s entitled life. It means trusting Him not only with their safety, their decisions, their future but also with the kind of life I think they should have.
The twists and tumult of life can leave us moms with regret:
Regret that we didn’t stay home with our kids.
Regret that we couldn’t afford the piano lessons or national park vacation or the better school.
Regret that cancer stole so much time.
Regret that a move uprooted them from friends.
Regret that depression kept us from our mothering best.
Regret that another sibling required so much more of us.
At some point, we all have to surrender to God not only our children, but the life we want for our children.
“I’ll take a happy marriage, seven healthy kids and a rambling home on five acres, please.” We put in our order and try our best to arrange life as perfectly as that newborn nursery.
Where we haven’t surrendered is always the place we’ve set up on idol and boy can moms set up a roomful of polished idols “in the best interest” of our children. A call to surrender all brings me face first with my idols – of comfort, of entitlement, of life without suffering. Yes, I want the best for my children, but lurking just underneath that best is an idol of the life I think my kids are entitled to.
Surrendering the good life that we’d planned for our kids means trusting God with the life He’s given.
Maybe you think God has given you a stone. But if we would pick it up and see it for what it is, we would see that He has actually given bread. God cannot give stones.
Surrendering our children’s entitled life doesn’t mean giving up on a good life for our kids. It means allowing God to define what their good will be.
It is God’s mercy that He doesn’t leave us to our idyllic life.
It is God’s mercy that He doesn’t leave us to our idol-making life.
When I surrender the life I want for my children, I let go of my ideals, my agenda, my plans and how we were going to get there. Instead, I trust that God’s plans are not just better, but BEST. I acknowledge that they rest in love immeasurable. And that what looks so imperfect to me, is held in the perfection of God.
BIO: Lisa Appelo is a single mom to 7, young widow, author & crazy in love with Christ. She shares encouragement for the life of faith and hope in the hard at LisaAppelo.com. Check out her free Bible study & journal 100 Days with Christ here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
Last week’s give away winner was Rebecca Jones. Congratulations Rebecca. This week I’m giving away another cute bracelet and Kelly Balarie’s book,
Fear Fighting. Leave a comment and be a winner!
Looking forward, pressing on and seeking God in every bump and twist in the road.