By: Ginger Hughes

I watched my son ride horses recently, the reins held firmly in his small hands, his feet dangling on each side of the saddle nowhere close to reaching the stirrups.

My dad, his “Papa”, walked alongside him, answering ALL the questions my little guy can come up with, which on the whole can leave you feeling as though you’re a contestant on Jeopardy.  They are peas in a pod, those two.  So very similar in many ways, but especially, in their love for horses and farm life.

So as they walked, talked, and rode, I watched, listened, and thought.

I watched my little one take hold of his reins, determined to do it himself.

I heard my son explain to his Papa again and again that he wanted to do it by himself rather than have my Dad lead him as he often does.

And I thought how that independent spirit will serve him well in many facets of life one of these days.

He gets it honest, his independent nature.  And my daughter does too.  After all, one of my Dad’s greatest lessons for me growing up was to “always think for myself” and to “never allow someone else to do your thinking for you.”  Good lessons and ones that have served me wisely.

But often in life, we desire our independence when dependence is in our best interests, such as in our relationship with God.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told God what I wanted, what I needed.  I’ve questioned, worried, cried, and asked God to do things my way.  And when He didn’t, I couldn’t understand.  At other times, I simply set out on my own path without consulting God, or if I did, I didn’t really wait to hear a response.

Much like my little boy, I often want to do it “myself,” “my way,” without help in any way.

What is it about us as individuals that longs to separate ourselves from the One who gives us life? What is it about God that allows us to go our own way, yet in every instance, is present to help us pick up the pieces when our best-laid plans go array?

Instead of being like my son, perhaps we should try to be like God’s son. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed fervently saying, “Father, if you are willing, let this cup pass from me. Yet, not my will, but your will be done.”

Surrender is what Jesus modeled for us, and surrender is what God calls us to do. For it is in surrendering that we find perfect love, and it is in surrendering that we find our place in God’s world.

And we can never surrender…until we release the reins.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at

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