Mar 14, 2024 217 Barbara Lishko, USA

The Surrender Solution

Have you been dreaming of a lasting peace that seems to somehow evade you no matter how hard you try? 

It is natural for us to constantly feel unprepared in an ever-changing, unpredictable world. In this scary and exhausting ordeal, it’s easy to become frightened—like a trapped animal with nowhere to run. If only we worked harder, longer, or were more in control, maybe we could catch up and finally be free to relax and find peace.

I have lived this way for decades.

Relying on myself and my efforts, I never really ‘caught up.’ I slowly realized it was an illusion to live that way.

Eventually, I found a solution that has been revolutionary for me. It may feel the opposite of what is required, but trust me when I say this: Surrendering is the answer to this laborious search for peace.

The Perfect Move

As a Catholic, I know that I am supposed to give my heavy loads to the Lord. I also know that I am supposed to ‘let Jesus take the wheel’ so that my burden would become lighter.

My problem was that I did not know how to “give my burdens to the Lord.” I would pray, beg, make the occasional deal, and once, even gave God a deadline (that one ended with me being schooled at a retreat by Saint Padre Pio: “Don’t give God deadlines.” Message received!).

So, what are we to do?

As humans, we base everything on a pixel of information we have at our disposal and an excruciatingly minute understanding of all factors, natural and supernatural. While I may have my thoughts on the best solutions, I hear Him loud and clear in my head: “My ways are not your ways, Barb, nor are my thoughts your thoughts,” says the Lord.

Here’s the deal. God is God, and we are not. He knows everything—past, present, and future. We know squat. Of course, God, in His all-encompassing wisdom, understands things better than us, as well as the perfect move to make in time and history.

How to Surrender

If nothing in your life is working by all your human efforts, surrendering them is essential. But surrendering doesn’t mean looking at God as a vending machine whereby we put in our prayers and select how we want Him to answer.

If, like me, you are struggling to surrender, I would love to share the antidote I found: the Surrender Novena.

I was introduced to it a few years ago and am grateful beyond words. Servant of God, Father Don Dolindo Ruotolo, Spiritual Director to Padre Pio, received this Novena from Christ Jesus.

Each day of the novena brilliantly speaks to every individual in ways only the Lord would know how to address. Rather than the same repetitive words each day, Christ, who knows us all too well, reminds us of all the ways we tend to get in the way of authentically surrendering, thus impeding the Master’s work in His own way and time. The closing statement: “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything,” is repeated ten times. Why? Because we need to believe and fully trust in Christ Jesus to perfectly take care of everything.


Barbara Lishko

Barbara Lishko has served the Catholic Church for over twenty years. As wife of Deacon Mark for over forty-two years, she is a mother of five, grandmother of nine and counting. They live in Tempe, Arizona, USA. She frequently blogs at pouredmyselfoutingift.com

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