Skip to main content

Hands Open, Hands Empty

Surrender and Trust. Those are terrible words. They feel terrible anyways.
I mean, I'm sure they are wonderful in theory. But anyone who has ever struggled with Surrender and Trust knows what I am talking about; that sinking feeling when trust comes up in a conversation, the numbness when someone says, "Don't you trust yourself?" and the near hysteria when you realize that trust and surrender mean that sometimes bad things happen.

Well, I guess bad things happen anyways whether you trust, surrender, or not.

Yes, this post is off to a cheerful start.

I have been thinking a lot about this time when I was in Peru and vividly remembering my conversation with God about surrender. I remember that I was reading the book of Job on that trip, and I was struck by the encompassing tragedy of it, and how Job just sat in the dirt and wept for days. I remember that when I finally told God, "I think you can really HAVE my life... Yes, really." I wanted to sit down and weep too. I was undone, untied and free, but also completely out of control.

And now fast forward. Here, sometimes a few minutes from the house where I grew up, watching people surrender their breath, watching families lose everything, and crying in and out for God to just Be There. Sometimes I forget to cry in and out, and instead I try to carry everything. I try to do it all. My superhuman badass tendencies come back again and again. You would think I would have learned.

Last Tuesday I was in a room of thousands of people singing "How Great Thou Art" and I put my hands out trying to surrender. Once again, I pictured my rock, the one I carried with all the sharp edges when I told God that He could have my life. I pictured other rocks too. Not just my life, but other people, faces, dear relationships, and things I really want to work out. This time there was no river in front of me. This time there were no mountains quieting with snow. There were no condors gliding over the hills. But there were thousands of voices singing of God's greatness. My face was a stream of tears and my feet felt rooted to the floor. I could not take my eyes off of what was happening around me even as I felt my own heart shift. I looked over to my left and saw my sister Kim. Her hands spread wide, her face upturned to the ceiling, and her eyes closed.

Later we prayed together, both crying and both surrendering and both struggling. And I remembered that four years ago I did not have a sister, and then my brother married this one. So here's my place of rest today. Sometimes we give our hands over to be emptied, and God takes those rocks, those burdens and those worries. He lets us feel empty so that we know we cannot do it all. But then... He fills our hands with Love.

"Though He slay me, still I will trust in Him." - Job 13:15

So God. It's me again surrendering to the best of my abilities. Take the things I carry and give me yourself instead.


Popular posts from this blog

We Must Weep

A few weeks ago the darkness took over the sky. Now, anytime after 3pm, you can feel the downward pull of gravity telling you to sink into your bones.The same week that the sky became dark in Massachusetts, the temperatures dropped and the dread of winter became a talking point in day-to-day conversation. People here have not recovered from the winter of 2015 when snow piled 9 feet high in the span of 6 weeks. There is a tension in their voice when they talk about shoveling and being stuck indoors.

I love the fall. I love the change of the sky to clear blue when the air becomes dry. I love the colors of the leaves and the quiet rain. But, this fall has not been restful but restless for me. Under the trees laden with wet leaves I have not found peace and quiet, but a silent roar of anger. It is too soon. Not enough. I am not ready.
I can feel the vertigo of my sadness. Do not let anyone tell you that grief is not a physical process. Our bodies will tell us so many things if we l…

Five Friday Feminist Finds and Fun


I've been posting infrequently and erratically, it seems, probably due to the little person who has recently taken over most of our free time.

But, I thought this would be a fun way to get back into the swing of sharing a little bit more on the inter-webs. So here you go.

Whether you would unashamedly describe yourself as a "feminist," or no, whether male or female, East Coast, West Coast, or international community, I hope you enjoy this list of 5 things that have been making my female heart happy and my lady brain think new thoughts.

1. Soy Yo (Bomba Eséreo)

The Kind of Mom I Thought I Would Be

I’m not the kind of mom that I thought I would be.

Truth be told, I didn’t have very many conscious expectations about what kind of mom I would be. It was shockingly easy for us to have a baby. We didn’t have a long wait or struggle before we were pregnant, we just were. Four months after we were married I held a positive pregnancy test in my shaking hands.
Theoretically and practically, we were prepared to be parents. I had worked with children since I was 14. Both my husband and I had friends who with babies and toddlers, both of us wanted a family, and we both had jobs in our fields of study that allowed us the flexibility to change our “five year” plan. We quickly became excited that we were starting our family.
But, somewhere in the flurry of planning, my subterranean mind was working and carving out caves full of ideas. Different visions of myself as a mother had been formed without me thinking through my self-expectations. They came into my mind slowly, in the months followin…