Selfless Acts of Love

Whitney Runyon


The word surrender is heavy and drenched with endless definitions and emotions. A person who surrenders can be viewed as weak, defeated or humiliated.

But to me, surrender is one of the most selfless acts of love.

To give up one’s life for the betterment of someone else, not to force your will onto another, that is surrender. For me, to surrender my heart, my mind, my marriage and my passions to the Lord is what walking out my faith truly means. But beloved, it’s hard. I want to cling to my life. I want to pursue my passions. I want to receive glory! 

Twelve years ago I felt the Lord ask me to surrender my deepest passion and desire at his feet. Everyone who knew me thought I was crazy. “But God gave you this passion and talent. He wouldn’t have given it to you if He didn’t want you to use it,” they said. 

But that never sat well with my spirit. I knew God was asking me to surrender this area of my life at His feet. If He was asking me to surrender, it didn’t matter if He gave it to me in the first place. If I claimed my life was dedicated to Him and bringing glory to Him alone then why should I cling to any one thing or gift He has given to me? 

If we cling to the gifts from God, we elevate them above the person of God and our love relationship with Him. Jesus gave His whole life, shouldn’t we do the same?


The idea of surrendering sounds easy enough, but that’s without considering the depth and emotions of the human heart…and of course the power of sin. In theory surrendering everything to Jesus is great, but when it comes down to actually letting go, can we do it?

I want children. I want children with everything in my being. I’m 31 years old and have been trying to conceive a child for the past 5 years. 

Five years of heart ache. Five years (60 months) of your heart sinking every time you notice its ‘that time of the month’…again. Five years of ‘congratulations’ to all of your friends and family. Five years of watching your nieces and nephews grow older without cousins with whom to play…Five years of ‘why God?’…Five years of struggling and wrestling with truth and God’s character. Five years of hoping… Then you get to the place of realizing…this may never happen for me.

Having a biological child is not our desire; having children is. But my husband and myself have felt very heavy from the Lord that we are to wait…Wait to start our family. We have never once done any type of medical treatment nor started the adoption process. 

This drops me back to my knees in surrender. What if God asks us to wait forever? What if we are never supposed to have children? Can I surrender my deepest desire at His feet forever? Can I sing praises and shout for joy because God is good and wonderful and worthy of my entire life, heart and soul…without ever having one of my deepest longings fulfilled?  

So I surrender, sometimes daily, my desire for children. I surrender my life, my relationship with my husband and my ministry all to our Father because He knows best. If His best for my life is to never have someone call me Mama, then through pain and joy I will profess His goodness. Because surrender does not mean all your pain or desire disappears. To me, to surrender means, ‘even in my heartache, I choose You and Your will.’

Maybe one day God will give us children, maybe not. But my deepest prayer, throughout it all, is that I would have the strength and continual desire to know my Jesus more deeply and intimately, despite what He gives me in return. I don’t pray for children (that’s not to say if others do that it’s bad), but I pray for God to receive Glory through my life and surrender of self. If He asks us to surrender, I pray we can all let it go. 

What is God placing on your heart to surrender at His feet?

is a passionate artist who co-runs her orphan care nonprofit, The Archibald Project, with her handsome husband, Nick. When the Runyons aren't on the road working with their orphan ministry, you can find them in the wonderful and growing town of Austin, TX, usually with a breakfast taco in hand. To follow The Archibald Project's adventures in orphan advocacy, you can find them on Instagram @thearchibaldproject, on Facebook, and they have a super fun podcast called Around the World with The Archibald Project.

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