“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
I was talking with a friend of mine who just moved back after moving to the south with her husband and two kids. Her husband had gotten laid off right in the middle of Covid and had taken a new job in Alabama. Everything they knew had been uprooted. She was afraid, sad, and unsure. All she knew was they had no choice. She was forced to give up the teaching job she had for a number of years. She was moving away from her parents and siblings. Everything that was comfortable to her was now hundreds of miles away, in a blink of an eye. I knew this was scary for her, and it wasn’t a change they had chosen, it had chosen them.
Fast forward two years, and they are planning on moving back. We met up at my son’s baseball game to catch up. Let me tell you, she was glowing with self-confidence. As someone who just accomplished something grand, she told me stories of Alabama with a glow surrounding her and a smile on her face. She talked about how she became a reading expert through intense study and helped mentor beginning teachers in their new journeys as educators. She had made life-long friends and experienced life-transforming journeys. She was like a butterfly that had emerged out of her chrysalis. The change was so positive for her, on so many levels. Now their family is moving back and she has accepted a position as a reading coach in our local school district to support teachers to implement new reading curriculum into their classrooms. At the end of our conversation she said, “I should have trusted God through this whole process and not resisted at the beginning”. Probably easier said than done, I thought.
What Does It Mean to Spiritually Surrender?
Eckhart Tolle describes surrendering as, “Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the ﬂow of life. The only place where you can experience the ﬂow of life is the now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is. Inner resistance is to say “no” to what is, through mental judgment and emotional negativity. It becomes particularly pronounced when things “go wrong,” which means that there is a gap between the demands or rigid expectations of your mind and what is. That is the pain gap. If you have lived long enough, you will know that things “go wrong” quite often. It is precisely at those times that surrender needs to be practiced if you want to eliminate pain and sorrow from your life. Acceptance of what is immediately frees you from mind identiﬁcation and thus reconnects you with Being. Resistance is the mind “(The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle).
Tell Me More About Spiritual Surrender
Surrendering is focusing on the now, even when it’s hard, and not resisting but accepting what is. Accepting the flow of life as it comes to you. That doesn’t mean that if a hardship comes your way, you don’t do anything to fix the situation. For example, if your basement floods, you’re not going to allow your basement to continue to fill with water. You would take action to solve the problem. But the key to surrendering is not allowing emotional negativity to overtake the current situation. You accept the current moment and take steps to fix it. As this happens you are not overcome by anger, frustration, or disgust. You accept and fix. The flow of life will work with you instead of you working against it for a harmonious outcome.
Another example might be if you were to miss your flight. Instead of boiling up with anger and screaming at the service desk employee, you accept what is, and start taking steps to fix the situation. You might schedule a new flight, book a hotel, and call whoever you were meeting to expect a delay of your arrival. In the meantime, make the most of your situation, grab a drink at a local restaurant, and start a conversation with a new person. You never know what life will bring at you with acceptance and positivity.
I believe whatever happens in life is truly meant to happen. Have you heard of those stories where someone missed a flight and they ended up meeting the love of their life at a restaurant in the city they were stranded in? The Lord is always working in our favor, even though sometimes when we are experiencing it, it often seems like an inconvenience.
Ways to Practice Surrendering
- Take a Moment-When you have something challenging arise, take a moment and pause, be aware of the flow of emotions in your body. Allow your emotions to run through you and pass without resisting. From there you can start taking steps to solve the issue and not act unconsciously.
- Practice Patience-Take a step back and evaluate the best solution to the current situation. This will help you to relax and fix the situation in the most productive way.
- If possible, relax your body- Whatever your upset or nervous tendencies are, try and relax and break away from tensing up. I typically clench my jaw when I’m upset so I try to release my jaw and this helps me relax.
By surrendering to what is, it helps us to relax and focus fully on the present moment. It’s about entrusting the path of our lives, and the timeline of events into something greater than us. I believe by surrendering to any situation, it helps us put the control into God’s hands and trust in him completely. We have the opportunity each day to embrace surrender and welcome clarity, joy, and gratitude into each moment of everyday. I certainly am a work in progress with this, but I am working on surrendering to moments of hardship and frustration throughout the day and entrusting the flow of life into our all knowing Father’s hands.
Check out my post, “Finding Moments of Transcendence in Your Everyday”, below.
I hope this helps you to find moments to surrender yourself to God’s plans throughout your day.