Surrender is Hard... Whether You're 3 or 31.

By Meg - 11:59 PM

We've been having some rough days with our three year old recently. She is a little girl with big emotions and big opinions and desires to be in control of every situation.

This last week she has been waking in the middle of the night announcing that she does not want to sleep anymore, especially not in her own bed. You can imagine how thrilled this makes me, especially since Addison isn't quite sleeping through the night yet. Between Addie waking to nurse and Lilly thinking that she can decide that 2am is morning time I am getting very little sleep.

Tonight as I was holding Lilly in her bed and singing her a few songs to help her settle back down to sleep I started praying for her to have a spirit of submission and to trust and surrender to my authority. I knew when I told her it was time for mommy to go back to her bed she would start to whine and tell me no. (Still trying to figure out why she thinks she can tell me no, it never works out for her, but she is persistent in trying...) While I was praying God began speaking to my heart about surrender to His authority.

There are so many areas I am actually being exactly like Lilly in my desire for control.

When Lilly is struggling to obey we talk to her about how our choices lead to blessings or consequences and provide examples of each. We talk to her about how God has made us to be her mommy and daddy and that she needs to trust and obey because we know what is best for her, like staying in her bed and sleeping at night. In all the wisdom of her 3 years, she insists that she doesn't need to sleep, insists that her bed is not the best place for her to be. I can see her internal struggle sometimes as she thinks about the blessings of good behavior. She wants them. She wants to enjoy the good things like snack time after bath for example, but she just can't bring herself to fully surrender. No matter how good the promise of obedience, her desire for autonomy is winning out. She can't see past the moment she's in or let go of wanting to be in control of her situation. I know there are differing parenting philosophies on allowing your children to choose or not choose certain things, but let me say that when there are times when we allow her to choose, as in "Okay you don't have to put your covers on." after she's whined about them being on, she will immediately begin to whine and say she does want them on after all. Because she's three and she doesn't know what she wants except for to be the boss.

My heart is more like my three year old then I really want to admit.

I know the promises of obedience that God has given us in His word, and I want them badly! But so many times I just can't see past the situation I am in to surrender to Him. So many times my prayers are full of demands disguised as petitions - requests that are really my insisting that God make things turn out the way that I want them too {you know, all the wisdom of my 31 years!} instead of trusting that He knows whats best for me.

This whispering from the Holy Spirit tonight as I cuddled my toddler renewed my patience and compassion for her. In the end I did have to exercise discipline because the rules on bedtime are not up for negotiation, but my heart was gentle and compassionate towards her as I thought of the ways God's kindness leads me to repentance. His statutes are also not up for debate, even when I question them. I am grateful that He is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

So here I am awake and at 2:40 am writing this down {while nursing Addison} so that I will remember on the days that I am teaching Lilly for the 100th time about surrender and obedience, that God has been trying to teach me the same lesson for the last 31 years. His mercies have failed not, they are new for me every morning. And so will I strive to offer that same grace to my 3 year old. Even at 2am.

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed. for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

"You Lord, are forgiving and good. Abounding in love to all who call to you."
Psalms 86:5

 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins 
and purify us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9

"Honor your father and you mother, so that you may live long in the land 
the Lord your God is giving you"
Exodus 20:12

  • Share:

You Might Also Like