2021 Focus Word

It’s not the yucky kind of surrender, where you say yes when your boundaries say no.


It’s not the sad kind of surrender, where you hang your head in defeat..

It’s not even the brave kind of surrender, where you straighten your shoulders and brace for whatever is coming next.


But surrender is exactly where this last year has brought me. It’s like giving birth.


During early labor, the discomfort is annoying. I resist it. I ignore it. I get over it..

The pains intensify and instead of ignoring them, I begin to grit my teeth and focus on getting through them. It builds and builds. It’s ok. I’ve got this. I’m strong. I’m tough. I can do this.


Now I’m rocking my hips through the surges. Still, I refuse to surrender. I’ve got this. I am in control. This is my battlefield and I stand here, a warrior. Sword drawn. Banner flying. I’m here for victory.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can’t do this!


I’m knocked to my knees and a low moan fills my body. The push. The pull. The tug. The earthquake inside me. I fight to climb back on top of the pain. I roar against the lack of control. Like a tigress in a cage, I am frantic for escape. For control. I feel the very power of God in my body, and I fear I will be lost inside it. It erupts around me. Envelops me. I sink into its endless depths.


And suddenly, there is peace. I feel as though I can see everything. Creation and destruction are both raging through my body. I listen to the music of life. A sound beyond hearing, and older than time. The sound of the Creator’s heartbeat.


I am separate from my body now. Watching. I feel the strength of the pain, and yet do not feel. I hear my vocalizing, and yet do not hear. And there is only one word left in the entire universe. Yes. Yes, I whisper into the birthing pains. Yes, I yell into them. Yes, my heart beats into the stillness between. Yes, my soul sings.


Yes. I choose birth. I surrender to birth. I AM birth.


The euphoria of surrender wraps me in light. I let go to it. Completely. Not in defeat. Not against my will. Not even in bravery. I surrender in trust and joy. It’s not even a conscious choice. I surrender because the ecstasy of “yes” is all there is. The only thing.

And a moment later there is new life in my arms.


This perfectly describes this last year.


I fought and roared against the pains of losing everything. Through betrayal, then divorce. Through saying goodbye to my home, and loss of friends and reputation. Through trauma parenting and covid schooling as a single mom. This year has felt like a long, difficult birth.


I resisted. I fought. I faced it all bravely.


I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can’t do this!


I fell to the ground. I crumpled. I roared for control, for strength. I reeled against the terrifying depth of this painful power coursing through my life. It enveloped me.


And now there is stillness. There is only one word left in all the world. Yes. I whisper it into the pains. I shout it into the difficulties. My soul sings it in the stillness between. Everything is one big yes. A surrender, not in compromise, not in desperation, not in defeat, not even in bravery.


A surrender because this ecstasy of “yes” is the only thing there is. An encompassing gratitude for the now. Resistance has fallen away in this place. I surrender joyfully to the work being done through me. Whatever God is birthing into my life. I AM this. Yes.


And my soul feels ablaze with the knowledge that soon whatever is meant to come will slip easily and lovingly into my arms.


So my word for the new year is a yes. Joyful and expectant.


My word is Surrender.