Dear Lord, I Give Up

"Dear Lord, I give up" by Rebecca Willen (

Via Flickr (2011), all rights reserved.

I’m not a mom yet, and I’m kind of scared about the day that God decides to turn my vocation discernment into reality. As a single young adult, I can barely keep on top of my spiritual life, job, chores, friends, family, freelancing, pets, health, and all the requirements of being human. How do you moms do it, with childbirth and kids and a spouse? I’m not kidding when I tell you that I’m scared spitless of my vocation and its accompanying uncertainty.

Being a Type-A personality brings certain side effects, including but not limited to a crippling fear of failure. Not being able to follow through is (in my head) exactly equivalent to being Santa Claus with eight stomach-flu-suffering reindeer on Christmas Eve.

Usually, I give the reindeer a dose of something and we keep going. This is a problem. I’ve tricked myself into thinking that I can do everything. That no matter what, I will get done what needs to get done, and make it all work.

One night at the beginning of Lent this year, I knelt to say my bedtime prayers, and the pent-up tension of the day suddenly overwhelmed me. All I could say to Our Lord was “I give up. I surrender. I can’t do this.” I kept repeating “I surrender” as the tears flowed. This admission was in itself a grace, because giving up isn’t an option for me. As Lent went on, I found myself clinging to this new lifeline. If a car cut me off, if a work project was worrying me, if someone asked me to do one more thing, I said “I surrender.” Every time I let go of worrying about consequences, theorizing about options, or strategizing my schedule – every time I really, truly surrendered – I saw the hand of Christ enter my life. Everything worked out, one way or another, usually better than my own solution could have.

Then, I realized that I have to surrender literally everything, including my future vocation.

That bombshell was dropped on my head when a guy I’d had a crush on for months initiated the “I just want to be friends” conversation. Happily, we still are really good friends, but I was forced to realize that I’d been trying to take matters into my own hands by talking to my girlfriends, pestering St. Joseph for a sign, and generally demanding that I have control over my future. It was killing me that I could do so much, but I couldn’t bring about the relationship I wanted.

Surrendering my loneliness and the suffering of singlehood, that’s one thing. Surrendering my feelings of attraction, my steady back-burner search for eligible bachelors, and the desire to be united in matrimony with the man God has in mind for me? That’s . . . not easy. What do you mean I can’t do everything?

So this became my prayer: Dear Lord, I give up. Help me to surrender, especially when I can’t let go.

I admit defeat. I’m not wise enough or strong enough to bring about His plan for me. He’s the only one Who can arrange my life in the best possible way, and no human-written bullet-pointed to-do list is going to help. Every cute guy I see in Eucharistic Adoration is hereby officially surrendered to God’s will and God’s plan. (You’d be surprised how many cute guys show up in Adoration.)

Dear moms, please pray for me, and all the other single girls out there trying to understand God’s plan for us. We feel like we’re stuck on a plateau, not able to complete our vocation until the right guy comes along. We look up to you, who even when you admit defeat get up and keep going. You keep taking care of your kids, you keep feeding your spouse, and you keep trying to be the best moms you can. Please keep on keeping on, because as we stand beside you at the altar as bridesmaids or babysit your little ones, scared in our uncertainty, you give us hope and comfort.

And hey Lord, the ball’s in Your court.

Copyright 2017 Rebecca Willen


About Author

Rebecca is an alumna of Christendom College and works as an Associate Editor at Our Sunday Visitor. She is a nerdy Catholic, book addict, Shakespeare fangirl, amateur baker, and musician. Follow @NerdCornerBooks on Instagram for book recommendations!


  1. Rebecca,

    I often think on how difficult it must be for young singles in this culture. My daughter is 14 (going on 20!) and I shudder to think at what awaits her in college and beyond. That said, I know there’s hope. You are an example of it! Keep your heart right where it is, focused on the Lord and patient with His plans for your life, and everything will work out for your good (even when it doesn’t always appear that it is).

    • I’ll keep your daughter in prayer! My parents are pretty much responsible for me being a functioning adult, and for keeping me focused on my faith through all the rough transitions. So keep giving her the excellent advice you just gave me. 🙂 And thanks so much for your encouraging words!

  2. I’m glad to hear there are a good amount of cute, young guys at adoration! Adoration wasn’t so much a thing when I was hoping to meet a guy, unfortunately.

    There’s nothing quite like family life to rid us of selfishness and the commonplace delusion that we are somehow masters of our own lives. I’m sure God has you right where He wants you, and His plan will perfect you since you’re so obviously open to His will.

    Prayers for you on your journey!

    • Adoration, the confession line, daily Mass… #distractedCatholic
      I’m pretty sure I’m where I need to be! And so grateful for His guidance and all the support I get from other young adults and my adult friends. Thanks!!

  3. Cathi A Andrews on

    Keep Praying! Upon Reading the title, (which is how I have been feeling), I thought this article was a mom feeling like giving up -while homeshooling still at the end of June! lol
    Please pray for me, and I will pray for you! You have a long way to go in your young life, “surrendering” to the will of God takes practice and prayer. It is one of the major concepts in 12 step recovery programs. “Get out of the Way, and Let God”, so you have reminded me, that I need to go pray my rosary. JMJ

  4. Cathi A Andrews on

    PS When i said, “You have a long way to go,” I meant you are a young person with lots of life and vitality ahead of you! As I reread my comment, I thought uh oh, that sounds like I was saying “man do u have a long way to go before u get it.” No I did not mean that. Sorry for any misconstrued meaning. God Bless you Rebecca. Perhaps you know my son, Mack? He is attending Christendom College, approaching his third year. He is also a young aspiring writer. Pray for him too! God Bless you Rebecca!
    Cathi Andrews

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