Five Minute Friday scribblings, Infertility, Trusting God

Surrender: Making the Choice

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—SURRENDER. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

If you’ve read my blog for very long, you know part of my story is a walk through the valley of infertility. As I thought about this word, God brought to mind a lesson from those years . . .

And I’m sorry, I went a few minutes over five tonight . . . 

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SURRENDER

Was it too much to ask? Really?

All I wanted was the gift of being able to bear a child. To carry one within, go through the blessed pain of birth, of sustaining from my own body . . . God created women’s bodies to do this.

So why couldn’t mine? Why wouldn’t mine?

This desire to bear children is God-given. It wasn’t too much to ask.

Yet every month, my body betrayed me by acting normal, as it always had.

I begged God. Begged friends to pray. Did research on how to get pregnant.

But God.

I wept. I got angry. I felt despair at times. Deep despair.

And still, no baby.

I spent hours in God’s word. Tried to serve. Tried to ignore the fact that teenage mothers were having babies they didn’t want. And I (and Hubs) who wanted a baby couldn’t have one.

I fisted this desire and held it tight in my heart. So tight I thought my heart would crack.

God finally challenged me. He showed me how I had made this baby-thing an idol. It had become more important to me than an authentic relationship with Him.

He challenged me to surrender this craving for motherhood. To lay it in His hands, with no promises.

And it was one of the hardest things I’d done up to that point in my life.

As I searched verses for this post I saw a common thread in surrender. When we surrender something, or ourselves, we have to choose to do so. We have to choose to give up . . .

Give up ourselves, our hearts, our desires. We have to Let. Go.

When we are obedient in the surrender, God honors that. He spares things. He blesses His people. He handles us with love. No matter what we’ve done. How willful we’ve been.

When we refuse? When His people won’t surrender? Things inevitably become more difficult.

When we cling to our own way over God’s way? He can’t make anything good come of that. He will wait and let us wear ourselves out. He doesn’t love us less. But He won’t usually wait too long for us to make a different choice.

When we choose to walk in disobedience, we walk outside the umbrella of His protection. And the consequences will come.

When we choose to walk in the center of God’s will, He affirms us in that choice. He doesn’t always make it easier. Sometimes it feels harder.

But when we surrender our will to walk in His? That’s when we walk with assurance.

Surrendering this deep-hearted desire for motherhood brought me to a place of humility. It also renewed my love for God.

And in time—His time—He gave us the gift of our two boys. I’m not sure if I’d ever have  had the privilege of being their mom if I hadn’t first chosen to trust God when He told me to let go.

What about you? What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to surrender? What is the most impacting lesson you’ve seen come out of surrendering?

I love this song by Lincoln Brewster and it fits with this week’s post. I hope you enjoy it!

Click to Tweet: When we choose to walk in the center of God’s will, He affirms us in that choice

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Surrender

 

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39 thoughts on “Surrender: Making the Choice”

  1. This was well said. I’m surrendering to IVF it took many many years for me to accept that I️ need Medical assistance to get pregnant. I️ just couldn’t deal with the betrayal I️ was feeling because I️ couldn’t do something that was supposed to be so natural. I’m hoping this choice will give me my babies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so appreciate you stopping by here. Infertility is a journey that breaks us in places, isn’t it? And for the record, there is no shame in choosing IVF to fulfill the dream of becoming a mother. My hubs and I prayed about it, but we weren’t good candidates. Sigh. I will be praying for you as you embark on this journey.

      I read your post, and wanted to comment. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot in the past few years. I’m so sorry about your father. It sounds like he was a special man.

      It’s nice to “meet” you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for those words. I️ have but in the end its gonna make me stronger. I’ve learned that life isn’t fair and they are things that we are not going to like nor accept. It’s nice to meet you as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeanne, it’s such a thing to look back and recognize when God has been waiting for us to surrender. In the moment, it’s just so hard and counter-intuitive. I love how God has so blessed your family. And that your story of grief and redemption are being used so well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Annie, yes. When our focus is only in the moment, we can’t accurately see anything but the “hard.” I’m glad God is patient. And faithful. I’m thankful He doesn’t waste anything He allows us to walk through. Thank you for your words, friend.

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    1. Kristin, it seems like it is the hard parts of our journeys that give our stories depth. I’m thankful God made YOU a mom, too. It’s reassuring to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? Sending you a hug!

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  3. You have such a beautiful family now! God has blessed your obedience in so many ways. Difficult as surrender is, the light shines so brightly after! I witnessed your joy after the arrival of your sons! Just read a great prayer by a farmer. I’ll email it to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mom, you’re right. God has given us a beautiful family. And I like what you said about how the light shines brightly after we choose to surrender to the Lord. No matter what it is. I’ll look forward to reading that prayer. Sending you a hug!

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  4. “When we cling to our own way over God’s way? He can’t make anything good come of that. He will wait and let us wear ourselves out.” God is so patent and loving with us. We won’t see it until we surrender to Him. the sweetness of His Grace is balm to a broken heart. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.
    I’m in the #40 spot. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Vicki, I’m so very thankful God is patience and loving with us. It is fascinating to realize that God will wait for us to take that step of faith—of releasing—toward Him, and then He lets us experience the sweetness of His grace and presence. I am so glad you stopped by today. Thank you!

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  5. What a heart wrenching surrender! Thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a personal way. The most difficult surrender I’ve had is my relationship with my husband. Funny how much faith can grow in letting go! Cindy (myseaofthought) #fmf

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy, I believe we each have “hard” surrenders during our lives. Those choices are the ones that lead us closer to the heart of God, aren’t they? Surrendering relationships with the ones we love most can be very difficult. And yes, faith does have a way of growing when we release. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  6. I appreciate you sharing your story, Jeanne. It is, to say the least, hard to be the “strange” one, the one whose body just doesn’t do what everyone else’s does so easily. Even if, like me, you don’t feel the loss quite as intensely, you still struggle with the sense of letting your husband down and being “different” from the women around you.

    Someday we’ll understand. Until then, God is here.

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    1. I know you know this more than most, Marie. There are certain things I will not fully (or at all) understand this side of heaven. The good thing is, I don’t have to understand because I am loved by a God who is in control. I am blessed to be married to a man who loves me even if we never could conceive our own children. And I’m beyond thankful that God is indeed here with us.

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  7. Sometimes in life we pray and ask God for what we need, what we wish, what we think and believe is the right thing to pray for. But God does not grant our wish. I know … the temptation is there to just give up on Him. Not to believe in His existence even. But the courageous and very difficult thing to do is to decide, willingly and freely, to trust Him once more.

    God bless.

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    1. Victor, we do need to make the choice to continue to trust Him, even when He chooses differently for us than we would have chosen for ourselves. Sometimes, it’s the things that so disappoint us that either deepen our faith or tempt us to turn away from God. Thanks for sharing your insights here. They’re appreciated!

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  8. heartfelt, poignant, sure to touch more than a few of us, Jeanne. thanks for taking more than 300 seconds on this sharing. it will continue to ring true and minister to those who read it.

    you’ve touched my heart …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m SO GLAD you took longer than five minutes to write this, Jeanne. Because your story is gold, and you have so much to tell. Thanks for sharing so transparently. Your surrender story blesses me. I’ve recently surrendered a college girl I love who has left the Lord. (I mean, I’ve just said, Lord, you work. Because I can’t change her or convince her. )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Betsy. I think one of the hardest things to surrender is our children, especially when they aren’t walking with Jesus. You’re doing the best thing you can do: praying. And I’m sure loving her. I’m praying for her heart today, my friend. Thank you for your transparency, my friend.

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  10. jeanne, i had infertility of a different sort. i got pregnant, but my children didn’t seem to survive! i had the same difficulty as you as i compared myself to others…teen moms getting pg. and having to marry when ours didn’t survive, etc. (my husband was a youth pastor at the time.) it was a struggle for sure as i struggled to accept GOD’s will for my life when it wasn’t to my liking!

    almost exactly a year after our stillborn daughter was born and our hearts were broken, GOD gave us a healthy daughter followed by 2 more beautiful daughters. each has been a special blessing…along with our 7 grands:)

    i love your beautiful story:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Martha, what a painful aspect of fertility. I am glad God gave you three beautiful daughters. And now grandchildren. God doesn’t waste any of the pain in our lives. When we let Him, He does an amazing work of transformation. And He can bring healing to those wounds. Yes, accepting God’s will when it’s the opposite of what we want is often so, so hard.

      Thank you for sharing a piece of your story, my friend.

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  11. “God finally challenged me. He showed me how I had made this baby-thing an idol. It had become more important to me than an authentic relationship with Him.”

    Wow, Jeanne, I have seen a few women whose lives have been destroyed, whose relationships have been shattered due to the making of this as an idol, as you described. I am glad God has given you liberty and freedom to measure your worth on His loving grace, His standard for your life. I wish many others in like situations would heed your sentiments and strengthen themselves in this position as you have. We often miss the side of those who suffer at the cost of this, the other side, those with families who are often shunned for having families. I have seen that first hand by a member of our family who’s infertility has taken her to such dark places…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erendira, infertility is such a delicate thing. We, as women, are designed, hard-wired to bear children. When we can’t fill this design, this desire, it can rip us apart—our identities, our understanding of who God is, who we are. When our hearts become too wrapped up in getting pregnant, we will self-destruct from within.

      It’s interesting you share about those who are shunned for having families. We can all be discontent about something, can’t we? We, each of us, has to come to terms with where God has allowed us to be. For those who don’t have the Lord, sometimes it seems the only way to alleviate the pain is to lash out. Which is never good for anyone. I’m sorry you’ve had to bear the brunt of some of that.

      I appreciate you sharing so honestly, Erendira. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jeanne – so glad I was able to read a bit of your story…and grateful that you were, and are, willing to share. Those really personal valleys and places that I walk with the Lord – and what He teaches me there – are very difficult for me to share but I really believe that God can use them. Use them for HIs glory and to help someone else – if and when we will share. I’m always encouraged when I stop by your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennifer, I believe that God does use our hard seasons to encourage others . . . in time. He never wastes a thing, even if we don’t share them “with the world,” so to speak. 🙂 I’m always glad when you stop by. I hope you have a beautiful week!

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