“Until your knees finally hit the floor you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It’s when it begins.” Marianne Williamson in her book, A Return To Love
For a long time, I joked about being a control freak when it came to relationships, especially with my husband and children. Humor was a coverup. I was terrified to let them go, afraid of what may happen even when I couldn’t pinpoint a problem.
I lectured my kids about grades and college and jobs. Called them when I saw a speed trap. Left articles for them to read. Asked too many questions about friends, nosied in their rooms, and eavesdropped on phone calls. Even for a control freak, the latter was over the top.
If my husband had an early morning meeting, I made sure he was up. I reminded him about appointments. I kept up with his spending and his eating and his hygiene.
The illusion of control made me feel safer. It convinced me I could make things happen, fix things, and bring about positive outcomes, which is true sometimes … just not the way I wanted it to be true.
I wanted to make things happen for them, fix things for them, and bring about positive outcomes in their lives. I didn’t think much about getting my own life.
My friend Betty reminded me, “Love means being who you are and letting them be who they are.” I agreed and said, “You’re right. I can’t control them and love them at the same time.” Still, I hung on like my life depended on how their lives turned out.
A friend suggested maybe I wasn’t able to let go because of my fear, which seemed like just another impossible thing to surrender. Ironically, most of my fear was the result of not surrendering my relationships.
After exhausting myself, as well as exhausting every possibility except surrender, I asked God to help me let go… my way.
I prayed dozens of prayers that he’d minimize my relationships – make them less important.
I prayed he would replace people with a distraction like work or a calling unrelated to them. After all, I had friends living out their purposes by painting, planting community gardens, and rescuing animals – very little to do with people. I wanted the same.
The first time I watched Elsa in the Disney movie “Frozen,” I thought about how often I wanted to run away from people like she had run because, in comparison to surrender, running looked easy.
I prayed it’d be okay to leave my family if holding onto them became too painful and if letting go seemed too hard.
So, what’d I hear from God after all this negotiating? Write about relationships.
I was back to surrender.
I didn’t know what else to do, so I wrote. I blogged about disappointments and arguments, not wanting to have a granddaughter, my messy marriage, and more. I’m not sure how or when it happened, but I traded control for surrender in my writing and then in my relationships.
I teared up while singing the line in “O Holy Night” that tells us to fall on our knees and hear the angels.
I cried at Disney on Ice Frozen while watching my four-year-old granddaughter sing along with Elsa to the song “Let It Go,” in part because being there with her was so special; in part because I’m letting go of her like I’m letting go of everyone.
I bawled telling my husband I never wanted to run his life in the first place, but how scary it was to stop.
So much is different this Christmas, and better. I’ve said for years, “He’s better,” “She’s better,” “The family’s better.” This season, I’m better. Surrender gave me permission to give my people to God and get my own life.
Gordan B. Hinckley says it well, “Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do.”
What relationships in your life need surrendering? Fall on your knees, then get back up.
In This Together,
Thank you for the inspiration, Dr. Jeannie Killian, and for the images, Pixabay.
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I’m crying as I read this. I guess I’m not playing at life anymore. Falling on my knees along with you.
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Rebecca, we\’ll still play in paint! 🙂 I\’m happy to be journeying with you. Much love! <3
Sending smiles at the simplicity of the complicated being revealed in lives… through you and your writing.
Awe, thank you, Joel! It was difficult to keep this one simple. Oh, the irony of life. 🙂 Next year should be interesting in the light of simplicity. I\’m excited about your photography undertaking. <3
Thank you very much Kim
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Mary Blackmon, Gayle Sloan and 11 others
Barbara Suggs Amen to that… Let go Let God
Kim Henson Yes, Barbara Suggs, especially during the most emotionally charged season of the year. When relationships matter the most, so also hurt the most. I heard in church on Sunday, \”Let\’s throw a lot of grace around.\” <3 I loved hearing it! And falling on our knees to receive it, let's do a lot of that too.
Susan Blanton Roche This, this made me cry like a baby! Your sharing is so heartfelt, so raw!! You're such a blessing to me and so many others. I saw myself in so much of what you shared as my kids were growing up. Not so much as adults though and I'm sure they're thankful for that! Letting go is hard, but necessary in so many ways. Listen to Suzy Bogguss song, Letting Go. I played that song over and over Laura Ann's senior year and cried every time! <3
Kim Henson Susan Blanton Roche, oh my gosh, I haven't heard that song in years. I'm listening while I'm typing … and tearing up (in a sentimental way, not sad). 😥 I wrote a poem to Kelly about letting her go when she was getting married. I'll have to find it. Goodness, so many memories. So many emotions this time of year. Either that or I shut down, which I don't want to do anymore. I want to show up and fall down and get back up. <3 Thanks for sharing. I love you!
Susan Blanton Roche
Susan Blanton Roche Kim Henson I love the show up and fall (maybe) and get back up person you've become! So proud of you and your life accomplishments and all those yet to come! Falling down is letting go and sometimes giving in to feelings or emotions we're not used to having and or showing. I have no problems anymore with that and enjoying my life so much more! I've discovered its ok to be a blubbering mess or hysterically laughing! Both feel awesome and I've shared both with you! LYMI
Kim Henson Susan Blanton Roche, awe, thank you! I've loved watching you show up for life like never before. I also appreciate you helping me get up and show up for my own life. 😍 I've tried so hard to "get it right," whatever that means. I love this time in our lives when we can let it go, surrender, and show up messy and merry in the same conversation. 😣😊
Maria Franken This one touched my heart, too. Beautifully expressed <3
PS: when I was ready to surrender to God, it was a cross between a comedy and a tragedy. It came out something like, "If you think you can do it better, then go ahead because I'm done pretending I'm in control!" At the time, that comment was peppered with cuss words, & I thought I was quitting. hahaha God had other plans and taught me how much He can do through me, when I get out of my own way! LOL Love you!
Kim Henson Maria Franken, I couldn't decide whether to click on the heart <3 or the laughing face :D. This is so me every time I try to surrender. I end up ugly crying like Dane Cook jokes about in one his comedy routines, and then cussing when I can't surrender in one fell swoop. My friend Betty (who I mentioned in the post) used to say to me, "If you sat yourself down and watched yourself go by, you'd laugh yourself to death." Well, I don't know about that. 🤨 Okay, she's right. lol 🤣I so appreciate you showing up here and in my life. Much love during they merry, emotional season! <3
Maria Franken Kim – you are definitely one of my biggest blessings from 2017, and I look forward to many more years of sharing, loving, laughing and living!! ((big hugs))
Kim Henson Maria Franken, awe, I love this! I feel the same way about you and our friendship. <3 Thank you!
Kim Henson Posting the song Susan mentioned to go along with this blog post … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLyGae5mYoo
Suzy Bogguss – Letting Go
Susan Blanton Roche So glad you posted! I was going to if you didn't.
Kim Henson Susan Blanton Roche, I love this song, but had forgotten about it.
Kim Henson Susan Blanton Roche, thanks for mentioning your song. I just added links to my post for the two songs I blogged about. Why didn't I think about that before? #whyweneedfriends 🙂
Maria Franken Beautiful song and soo apt to this article thread!
Kim Henson Maria Franken, I think so too. <3 It's touching.
Mary Catherine Sargent Thank You Kim for sharing. I have a sign in the living room that says' "when life gets to hard to stand KNEEL." It reminds me every day. You have been a blessing to me Kim Henson. Thank YOU.
Kim Henson Mary Catherine Sargent, you're a blessing! <3 You've been an encouragement throughout this year, as well as adding lots of laughter. 😀 I love that we've kept in touch on here, as well as met in person. We have to do more of that in 2018! I love you!
Kim Henson Thanks for sharing your sign. I need one for every room. 😀
Mary Catherine Sargent Found it at Hobby Lobby.
Kim Henson Mary Catherine Sargent, I should have known. I love that place. 🙂
Delilah Lewis Thanks Kim Henson for sharing that it is awesome
Kim Henson Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Delilah Lewis. I love you! <3
Thanks so much, Bob! <3 We're praying our way into 2018. On our knees has been one of our blessings this year.
Thank you Kim for sharing! I understand so much of what you are saying and can relate to it. I appreciate the honesty and love that you put into your writings.
I appreciate your kind words, Vicki! <3 I see you putting the same kind of love and care into your business and feel fortunate to have you as a friend and reader. I sure do miss seeing you face-to-face.
This was such a powerful read, Kim! The verse that came up this morning (on one of my many apps!) was Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established. Such an amazing verse because we (I) like to make my plans and have Him agree with them. Hahahaha…So backwards. I\’ve decided to keep this one as a life verse this year…as I figure out what to do with my new life state. In the spirit of the proverb, I need to try to stop figuring it out, and pay attention to where He\’s leading. Now that is scary. <3 to you
Natine, I can\’t wait to see where God takes you during this new season. I (literally) hope South Carolina is one of the places. 🙂
Your comment reminds me of a Bible study I\’ve worked my way through two or three times and I recently ordered another copy. It\’s titled Experiencing God by Blackaby and King. The authors say (the way I remember it) we need to look at where God is working in our lives and go there instead of expecting Him to show up where we\’re working. Imagine that! 🙂
I love the idea of adding a verse of the year to my word of the year. Now let me go force one into my agenda. Hahaha, just kidding. I really like yours and may borrow it. I\’m going to pray on it. <3
Thanks for always adding to the conversation. Love you lots!