“Be it done unto me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)After this surrender of the Blessed Mother, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
“Yet not my will but yours.”(Luke 22:42)With those words, Jesus surrendered and saved the world. The two most important events in human history came by way of surrender to God. He is a contradiction: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). That sounds crazy unless you understand “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Surrender is the template for success by tapping into the greatest power. Yet, it could not have been easy for Jesus or the Blessed Mother. Jesus asked if the cup of suffering could be taken from him. The Blessed Mother wondered how it could even be possible and would have realized that a pregnancy — even of the Son of God — would not be explainable to people. Like jumping off the high dive for the first time, it’s not easy, it’s just possible. We must take a deep breath and let go. But what does that look like, especially at a time when the culture equates surrender with defeat? The pressure is especially strong for women to reject surrender. I did a google search, “slogans of empowerment” simply to see what is out there. The first page was completely all about women’s empowerment slogans. I had not used the word “women,” yet that was the go-to.
- We can do it better, So We Will
- Our Bodies; Our Choice
- The Future is Female
- Work for Your Happiness
- A Girl Should Be Two Things: Who And What She Wants
- You Can Make It Happen
- God Can do it better; with Him, so will we
- We are the Body of Christ
- The Future is God’s
- To Attain True Happiness, Work For God
- A Girl Should be One Thing: Who God Made Her to Be
- God Can Make it Happen
Here are some ways to prepare our minds and hearts for surrender:
- Go to Eucharistic adoration.
- Read Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence for inspiration and understanding.
- Consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother, the humblest and most powerful person ever to have lived.
- Avoid arguments. Surrender it to God by saying a prayer instead.
- Don’t always insist on your way.
- Read Scripture and the lives of the saints.
- Consider that motherhood has been a surrender that ushered in the deepest of love. It is best accomplished through surrender to God who loves our children even more than we do.
- Read Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd … I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”
Teach Your Children WellOur children too should learn that true empowerment comes from God which means acknowledging his power and not to be afraid to step out in faith.
- Teach them not to argue. Or at least to stop themselves. It’s not easy, I know. I know, times 10. We can let our children know that we look to God’s guidance so if they don’t agree with us, God directed them in the Fourth Commandment: “Honor Thy Father and Mother.”
- Introduce them to the lives of the saints.
- Look for good books that teach this lesson. An excellent one that just came out that with a lesson about surrender is The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted by Anthony DeStefano, (ages 3 and up). It imparts the message of surrender by letting go of fear through retelling the parable of the grain of wheat. The seed wants to stay safe and cozy in a drawer with the other seeds, fearing the unknown. But after getting planted, the seed is transformed. The message is: no matter how small or scared we may be, God has great plans for us — plans even more wonderful than we can imagine.
Copyright 2019 Patti Maguire Armstrong
About the Author
Patti Maguire Armstrong is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.