By Kathryn Barney
“When we remember to stop struggling, we rediscover we are floating. Trust the water, it will carry you.” – My Blue is Not Your Blue
I loved my time in the Mindset Mastery Guided course. Choosing one “aha” moment has been challenging! I learned and grew so much during those weeks.
I really loved Leslie’s explanation and example of surrendering. I have learned and practiced surrendering at different times in my life for different reasons, and the concept has been made so much more clear to me now.
As is true for many people, I have often been forced into a place of surrender just by circumstances in life. Physically surrendering is different than emotionally or spiritually surrendering, which is where the real power is found.
My struggling teenage son went through residential treatment last year and made miraculous changes. Within a few months, he had slipped into old habits and was once again choosing a dark path. He disappeared for eight days in January 2020, which was the lowest point of our struggles with him.
We tried to rebuild after he came home. He wasn’t really responding to our efforts. Working with his therapist, we all decided that he is going to learn life the way he needs to learn it. He had been fighting for years for freedom to live as an adult. At this point, he was only 16, but we all felt like it was time to surrender and let him choose the path he wanted.
It was an extremely painful and challenging thing to do. I don’t even talk about it much, because I don’t want to try to explain to people why I chose to stop being a parent to a minor. (I never stop being a parent, but it felt like I was. I didn’t want to look neglectful or irresponsible.) I physically surrendered to stepping back as a parent, but more important, I turned to God for the strength to emotionally and spiritually surrender.
We asked my son to complete a few things to show he was ready for adulthood. He agreed and started working on them, but ultimately decided he couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle rules. He couldn’t handle us. He moved out with an hour’s notice.
That was just a couple of weeks after the pandemic started. He moved in with his girlfriend’s family (so not really being an adult at all), and things have been rough for them. They have moved to a few different places, been through a few jobs, and have had emotionally and physically trying challenges.
TWO DAYS after he left our home, he texted me to express his sorrow for all that he’s put me through. He thanked me for always being there for him and for loving him through it. TWO DAYS. Those are words he hasn’t said to me for YEARS. He had cast all the blame for everything on me for years, and within two days of my surrender, he started recognizing the truth.
He has now been out of our home for six months. His heart has completely changed. He calls or visits me every day. He brings me flowers and chocolate. He sends me random texts telling me how much he loves me and how thankful he is for me.
He is still making hard decisions that will impact his life for many years, but he is my son again. And it all happened when I gave Him to the Lord and surrendered my heart to His will.
I had done everything humanly possible to save my child, and all that was left was to give it to heaven. And it has made all the difference.
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