For the Days We Feel Broken: How Brave Surrender Helps Us Get Out of Survival Mode

By Amanda Jass

God's Brave Women - Amanda's Story


“I feel like I’m broken.”


These are the exact words I said to my husband a few months after having our third sweet baby girl. I had struggled with anxiety before, but this was new.


I could literally feel the intensity of the overwhelm in my stomach, arms, and legs. I couldn’t relax as I dwelled on worst-case scenarios, which led to repeated panic attacks. I could barely see the next step in front of me with the heavy fog of worry. I loved my daughter, but I wasn’t feeling connected in the same way I did with my older two by that point. I wasn’t enjoying the beautiful moments in front of me.


In many ways, I was broken.


Saying those words out loud turned out to be a critical step. It allowed me to realize that I needed help. I needed to surrender my brokenness by letting God and others in. And this would take many more big, brave steps.


 

"Saying those words out loud turned out to be a critical step. It allowed me to realize that I needed help. I needed to surrender my brokenness by letting God and others in."

 

I started talking about what I was going through more openly with other family and friends. I memorized Philippians 4:4-8 and recited it to myself every morning—something I still do many mornings. I carved out more intentional time with God and with my kids. I read books on managing anxiety, exercised regularly, cut out caffeine almost entirely (aside from chocolate!), and took steps toward establishing a simple routine.


All of this helped, but I was still struggling. I finally began meeting with a wonderful Christian therapist and soon after started taking medication to help with the panic and general anxiety.


Eventually, by God’s grace I was able to see more clearly again. I was able to laugh and play and truly enjoy others. But it took a lot of courage to admit that I needed help from Jesus, from my people, and from the resources God had placed around me.


There are still days that I stubbornly try to do things on my own strength. And let’s be real…the world sends all sorts of messages saying that we can do this life on our own. That we “are enough” and we’ve “got this.” Umm, I’m sorry but I don’t believe those feel-good platitudes a bit.


 

"The world sends all sorts of messages saying that we can do this life on our own. That we “are enough” and we’ve “got this.” But I don’t believe those feel-good platitudes a bit.

 

On my own, I don’t have it all together. Could I look like I do from an outsider’s perspective? Yeah, of course. I know this because I’ve done it for years. Sometimes we need to hit the bottom to realize the harm we’re doing by not surrendering it all to Jesus.


 

"Sometimes we need to hit the bottom to realize the harm we’re doing by not surrendering it all to Jesus."

 

Let’s consider an analogy to really let this truth soak in.


Picture an apple tree. It looks fine from a distance, but as you walk closer, things seem a little off. You pick an apple, take a bite, and it’s sour. You grab another one, and it’s totally rotten. The problem? The tree has been neglected for far too long.

An apple tree can usually survive if it’s not pruned regularly, but it won’t produce much good fruit.


 

"An apple tree can usually survive if it’s not pruned regularly, but it won’t produce much good fruit."

 

I think so many of us get stuck in that place of simply “surviving.” In our high-demand, stress-filled world, it’s easy to enter into survival mode. I was stuck there for several months during my post-partum season.

Things looked fine from a distance, but inside I was hurting.

I needed water.

I needed sunshine.

I needed pruning.

Survival mode is not what our Creator designed us for. He wants to take our hurting, tired souls and give us a hope and purpose we never imagined. He wants to grow fruit in our hearts that’s so beautiful, we instinctively know that it’s from Him. But friends, we need to bravely hand over our own agendas before we can get this fruit! We need to let God in to refresh our souls and prune away the old, dead branches.


 

"Survival mode is not what our Creator designed us for. He wants to take our hurting, tired souls and give us a hope and purpose we never imagined. He wants to grow fruit in our hearts that’s so beautiful, we instinctively know that it’s from Him."

 

An apple tree might look a little rough right after it’s pruned, but that’s only temporary. As a mom of three kids five and under, I look a little rough some days too, but that’s OK. I know God’s working.


I’m continuing to take my clenched fists and courageously open my hands toward our Creator. The One who makes even the most broken among us truly whole again.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.

And by the way...


You are Brave!


No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means He equips you with His courage, strength, and power. I would love to connect more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my empowered email tribe.


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About Amanda


Amanda Jass loves helping families create connected rhythms by bringing fun + faith into the everyday. She is a wife, mom of three, writer, and curriculum designer. She enjoys taking on freelance writing and editing projects with organizations including Tyndale House Publishers, Focus on the Family, and David C. Cook.


Follow her on Instagram @amandakjass or find free kids resources she's created at amandakjass.com.