Kate Moreland reflects on how praying the Surrender Novena brought peace to her parenting journey.
Nothing makes more certain the uncertainties of life more than parenthood. As soon as we see the little pink lines or plus sign, we imagine the life ahead of us and what it might bring for the tiny new life within. And yet, that tiny new life has a will and personality all of its own, with its own desires, preferences, and ideas. Not only that, but as life chugs onward, we are faced with decisions: Do we have more children? How do we school our children? Phones, or no phones? How do we do all this? The Surrender Novena is a particularly powerful prayer that helps bring our souls’ desires in line with what the Lord wants of us.
Recently, I felt that the Lord was asking me to make a decision that I didn’t particularly want to make. It would be a good decision, and certainly was in accordance with Church teaching … but it would be hard. My life was pretty good, and I rather enjoyed the feeling of coasting along after so many years of breakneck speed and barely keeping up. Now He wanted what?! Seriously?!
So I prayed, grumped, and tried to figure out all the reasons why I could avoid doing what He was asking. The Lord knows which of His requests we will honor, and He can make a plan for our salvation even in spite of our poor choices, but in the end, we all know that life is better when we do it His way. Easier? No. Better? Yes.
After asking the advice of a seasoned group of MOMs (Moms of Many, for those not up on the lingo), one of these lovely women suggested I pray the Surrender Novena. So I did. And wouldn’t you know, the day after that novena ended, I not only had peace about doing what the Lord wanted of me, but I was excited about it. Truly. My concerns still existed and I still had no answers for some of them, but I was okay with the plan—which, I admit, was quite shocking to me. Now, six months later, He has not yet asked me to dive fully into that “yes,” but it is coming very, very soon. Although I am still nervous because I know exactly what I am getting into with my affirmation to His will, I have peace about it.
If you, too, are struggling with one of the many uncertainties or conundrums of parenthood, I highly recommend this novena. Novenas, in particular, are wonderful ways to ask for grace. Not only do they show our dedication to a particular request as we ask for it again and again, but they give us time to adjust to whatever answer the Lord might be giving. A little time of repeated focus on God and His will, focus on what we want as a path to what He wants, helps our minds to see through their turmoil to what is right.
The novena prayers begin with the words, “Heavenly Father, all I have is a gift from You.” What a beautiful and grounding statement on which to center our meditations. When we look at the world from that perspective, complex things make more sense. Sometimes even in those situations that are utterly insensible and awful, peace can still come through acceptance of the Divine Will. He gave all, and He can take away. While trust can be a long and challenging undertaking, the effort made is never wasted and the Surrender Novena is a short and simple beginning.
Prayer can be tough for moms, so prayers that can get the job done easily and quickly are always appreciated. A well-directed novena such as this one can help bring order, acceptance, and understanding to our lives in exchange for only a brief minute of our day. The Lord is so good to give that much reward for so little effort, but He does. We are very loved indeed. Keep up the good fight, and when you find a battle that seems impossible, give this novena a try. It will not be wasted.
Copyright 2023 Kate Moreland
About the Author
Kate Moreland is a graduate of Franciscan University who spends her time homeschooling her five sons. Writing is her way to share her many opinions with someone other than her very patient husband. When not teaching or cleaning up after various people and animals, she enjoys grocery trips alone and frequently-interrupted discussions about family, parenting, and faith. Find her at her LinkTr.ee @kate.more.land.