Thriving by Surrendering

The Holy TrinityAs every mother knows, a newborn takes at least eight hours a day to nurse, burp, rock and comfort, bathe and change. Then a mother must wash loads of clothes which tend to get covered in vomit, and other nasty surprises.  The lack of sleep leads to a rather narrow existence where the best days are when you can sneak in a nap or shower and dress before noon.

Those were the days when stress reduced life to the basics. Those basics were actually miraculous when I relaxed and allowed myself to live in the moment, enjoying my newborn rather than bemoaning all the important activities that I couldn’t seem to even start. The very fact that everything that my little one required to grow and thrive was inexpensive and near at hand was amazing. My baby didn’t need a lot of money spent on him; he simply needed arms to hold him, mother’s milk to drink and warm clothes and blankets. Accepting reality meant letting go of trying to be who I was before I had kids.

The pivotal point in my personal and spiritual growth was realizing that, in fear, I clung to control. I have let go of this control at least a thousand times already, of choosing to surrender fear and lies and trusting. Each time I peel back a layer, another deeper level of fear pops up.

An image which described my struggle to surrender control, was a wagon wheel suspended over a deep chasm.  My large family of 10 stood on the rim of a wagon wheel, while I crouched on the hub, frantically turning this way and that, grabbing all the broken spokes, desperate to hold the crumbling structured together.  I realized that I had to let go of this futile sense of responsibility and control but I was afraid to stop, afraid that one moment of inattention would cause my entire family to tumble down into the abyss.  I was trapped.

Yet, I realized that my tension prevented natural, organic growth and healing. My control acted like a wall, shutting out all divine intervention and grace. My sincere concern and earnest self-sacrifice actually magnified everyone’s brokenness by freezing everyone and everything.

Suddenly an arrow of light that can only come from God pierced through my confusion.  It was as if a sharp pin burst a huge, black balloon of deception.  Suddenly the image was gone, like a mountain done in by a mustard seed.  I had been wrestling with an illusion, a phantom mountain.

There was no dilemma when I gave up control: I laughed at myself.  With joy, I finally surrendered to God; the broken spokes were instantly repaired.  The kids and my husband started smiling.  We were free because I was no longer on the hub of the wagon wheel.  Jesus was at the centre of our family.

Melanie Jean Juneau is a petite wife, writer and mother of nine children who blogs at Joy of nine9. When the words "The Joy of Mothering on a Hobby Farm" popped into her head as a subtitle for her short stories, it was like an epiphany for her because those few words verbalized her experience living with little people.The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life, especially a life lived in God.