The Struggle to Surrender

by Laura Kyle


My three year old struggled tonight.

Tired, but full of excuses why he couldn’t get into bed yet. He kicked and screamed, back arched, yelling “don’t talk to me!” He didn’t want me to hold him. Didn’t want me to sing. Didn’t want me to do anything.

I sat on the bathroom floor next to him while he flailed, wailing. And I waited.

He eventually calmed down and climbed into my lap, resting his head on my shoulder. I said, “do you want me to sing to you?”

His whispered “yes” put a lump in my throat. I sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children”, “God is so Good”, “My God Loves Me” and “Amazing Grace”. He relaxed. His breathing became louder and more rhythmic. His head began to roll down my arm.

I turned the light off and kept singing verses of Amazing Grace, holding his head up and putting my fingers through his soft hair.

More for me than for him.

Because I much prefer the calm, settled warm body in my arms than the struggling, fighting, angry one. I needed to feel his submission. I needed to feel the quiet bond between us.

I imagine God sitting on the bathroom floor with me while I pound my fists in anger, stubborn to the way I know I should walk. He must hate to see me behave so and love to feel the reunification of hearts when I crawl back into his lap and rest my weary fighting soul on his strong, all-knowing shoulder.

He waits patiently, staying close, not letting harm come to us in our moments of disquietude and irrational behavior. He prays we’ll come close again and guides us to a place of submission and “you-know-what’s-best-Lord”. He cradles our tired heads and twirls curls around a finger, smelling the sweet shampooed locks. A kiss on the head and he carries us to bed, tucking us in.

image source

Psalm 144:2
He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.

Does God want to feel my submission? Does He ache to feel the connection when I finally say “Thy will be done”? Does our bond feel tighter when I release control into His hands? Does He yearn for me to relax in His arms, just as I hope for my child’s regular breathing and surrendered desires?

Email Author    |    Website About Laura Kyle

Laura lives in that little yellow house with three boys, one a couple decades older than the other two. She and her husband love to spend time outside and are often seen either pushing or pulling their double stroller along leafy trails, through snow or behind a bike. Laura blogs over at Pete And Buzz about the reality of life -- a desperate balancing act where tickles and games of chase meet laundry and healthy meals. She has much to learn and room to grow and is thankful for a few minutes here and there to write. Find her on Twitter and Facebook!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelli January 15, 2013 at 1:42 am

Wow, this was beautiful. Thank you for such a beautiful depiction of love and surrender. I am so thankful to have such a loving and patient Father… thank you for the reminder.


2 toni January 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Such a beautiful post


3 Carol Hatcher January 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Oh, how I loved this. I could visualize it all – especially since I have a strong willed 3 year old. 🙂 Thank you for this.


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