25 August, 2013

To Surrender

I wrote a lot during the three months I was on modified bed rest and wanted to share some of my thoughts during that time with you. I wrote this in June.


I believe I anticipated most of the challenges of modified bed rest: cabin fever, a feeling of uselessness, missing my children, missing being active, amplified worrying, and of course, boredom. What I did not anticipate, though, was a sudden-onset need for the outdoors.

I fell into a funk at the beginning of the third week; burying my feet into the tall grass and gently weeding the backyard strawberry patch helped to keep it at bay, but my spirit was like a wild horse and I felt like I was in prison. I tried to explain how I felt without sounding ridiculous, but it came off as silly. I craved a pack on my back and Keens on my feet, with a steep slope to navigate and birds to chirp along with. My dad and my brothers would die without the thrill of clean air and adventure, and though I'm not quite as thirsty for it as they are, I certainly share the trait.

I have been trying to surrender my will to God's, and I knew that His will was that I take care of myself and the baby. I know that might seem obvious, but to me it wasn't. Sitting around my house, sleeping in till nine, letting other people take care of my kids... all completely contrary to everything I believe in and want to be. You know? So the prospect of ignoring this dire need of my soul to escape the material world seemed almost sacrilegious.

I started plotting different escapes, all equalling a resounding "no" in my heart - surrender yourself, it seemed to say, surrender. Just trust and surrender. 

And then it came to me.


I felt like I'd been waiting for cherry season my whole life. I hurriedly explained the plan to my mom and sister: the U-Pick farm wasn't far, only ten minutes. We'd bring the stroller so I wouldn't be tempted to pick up either child. I'd stay in the shade and only stay out for thirty minutes. We'd only go if the cherries were a short walk from the car.

Everything was perfect, and we set off.

I can't describe the feeling that comes over me every time I drive out of town, just five or six minutes from our house, and the gas stations fade into long, rolling, green hills. The restaurants become beautiful red barns with brown fences that keep the gentle, fluffy sheep and sleek horses safe. Majestic farm houses and classical churches dot along at fair distances from each other, and everything seems right in the world.

The farm itself was just plain cute and the cherry trees were a beautiful (short) jaunt away. It smelled like dirt and I love that. I crave that. My feet sank into the muddy tractor trails from the many rain storms this July and my heart fluttered a little as the mud dried on my ankles. This is me. This is Brooke. 

It's easy to forget who you are in the midst of a trial or in the midst of anything, really.

The cherries took a long time to ripen this year. So much rain, so little sun. The owners of the farm were worried there wouldn't be any at all. It makes me cry a little to write this, but I feel like a cherry tree. Waiting and waiting and things like rain and sun are so far beyond my control that it hurts terribly to know that blooming and ripening might be later than everyone hopes, if ever.

But I know that there is a plan far greater than mine. I know that. I trust that. And if I surrender and find a way to enjoy the pelting rain, I will become more than I ever thought I could.

I thought I needed the freedom of the wilderness and maybe I did, but really, I needed to communicate with Deity. As it so often happens with me, there were no voices or angels or bright lights. Instead just the comforting, all-encompassing love, reminding me to surrender to someone who loves me and knows me more than I can comprehend.

Gage's basket 

My sister, Azure


  1. What a wonderful blessing that you were able to get out, even for a brief moment. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with bedrest!

  2. This was beautifully written. Sometimes being forced to slow down in life presents the perfect opportunities for becoming closer to God. So happy you got to get out and those cherries look delicious!

  3. I need to come visit! And I love who you are.


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