I started writing towards the goal of publication eleven years ago. I attended writer’s groups, conferences, read books on craft, and did my best to educate myself on this business of being an author.
All of this was good, except God had called me to be a Christian writer. I forgot about the Christian side of things. Now my books had all the elements of an inspirational story, but I didn’t include God in my plans.
My prayers were, God please let this agent be the one. I want this so badly. Help me to win this contest or let this query be the one that opens doors.
After beating my head against the keyboard, I finally surrendered my writing to God. I asked Him to tell me if I should pursue writing for publication or if I should give it up. If I was to give it up, then I asked for His guidance toward the thing I was supposed to be doing for Him.
I finally trusted Him enough to give Him control of my life and my dreams.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I was thrilled when He answered that I was to write for Him and to pursue publication. But if He’d answered differently, I was prepared to follow. And it wasn’t until I included Him in my dreams that He could begin to do things I’d never imagined and could have never done on my own.
So, no matter what your dream is, I urge you to give it to God. He will never break His promise, and His promise is good things for us.
Have you given your dreams to God? Has He answered your prayers differently than you expected?
22 Replies to “Surrender Your Dreams to God”
This is something that I struggle with. I have faith that Heavenly Father is in control and will take care of everything, but I literally don’t know how to “let go”…of anything. I don’t know how to let go of what I want in order for Him to show me what I need, what He wants for me. People are always saying “let go and let God”…how does one actually, literally do that?
Thank you for your post. I am glad that things are working out great for you. Merry Christmas. 🙂
Suzanne, for me, it was praying out loud to God that I wanted Him to be in control. That I wanted to follow what He had in store for me, not just what I wanted. I asked Him for direction. I spent time in the Bible and I asked Him for specifics. For me, it is an act of giving the reins back to Him when I start to take control back. It’s not always easy and something I have to still work on at times. Hope this helps. Sometimes those answers take time. 🙂
that would be me. praying, asking God, surrendering my dreams. and yet, even as i know that i know that i know that i’m supposed to be writing for God, something inside of me holds me back. something wonders if i am worthy to be an Ambassador for Him. something wonders if i will do Him proud. because my utmost desire is to do His will. but my failings sometimes push me away. thanks for your post. it’s the first one i’ve read since october when i stopped writing. today is a new day. the plan is to give Honor to Him.
Colleen, I’m so glad He led you to this post. I stopped writing for two years, but God knew His plan for me and nudged me back. It sounds like your heart is in the right place. None of us our worthy, but thankfully, His grace covers us and He loves us anyway. Here’s to honoring Him!
Interesting this came at the same time as Katie Ganshert’s post on surrendering your “hope and ambitions” of writing! I recommend this. http://katieganshert.com/faith/the-ultimate-goal/
Yes, Katie’s post is great and I’m struck by how God wants this message to get out.
Melissa, I can definitely relate to this post!! I had a lot of years when I thought I was doing ‘the right thing’ but it wasn’t God’s thing. When we finally do surrender, that’s when we allow Him to move. And miracles happen!
Yes, Cathy, miracles do still happen!
I wrote a post today that is similar to this one.
Dreams are great. God gives them to us and they are fun to chase. But man….if the dream becomes the ultimate goal, we are setting ourselves up for failure. This is what I’m learning. Because now I have book deal and book hitting shelves in May, and I’m discovering that as fun as it is at times, it doesn’t ultimately satisfy. Only God does that.
If you want to check out my post today, you can click on my name and it ought to bring you to the right place. 🙂
Katie, I just read your post and as usual, it was spot on and great. I do believe God is trying to get a message out there!
Thanks for your post, Melissa. I spent two years writing with the goal of publication–on my terms. Only when I chose to let go of my expectations and surrender the outcomes of my efforts to the Lord did I experience a sense of peace. That’s not to say doing so led to immediate results. Another two years–and plenty of hard work–went by before I received an offer of representation. A major rewrite and full year passed before my agent sold my debut novel. During that time I was tempted to wrest control from the Lord, but I asked Him repeatedly to help me hold my dream and my work with open hands.
There are still days I want to make things happen on my own, but I do my best to lean on the Author of my faith and watch Him work in ways that astound me. He knows far better than I what is best for me and my stories.
Thanks for sharing, Keli. You’re so right that just because we give our dreams and control to God, it doesn’t mean we’ll receive an instant answer or everything will turn perfect with rose petals dropping from the sky. 🙂 But walking the journey with Him is so much better than going it alone. And I still have to give things over to Him, too. Sometimes daily.
Wise, wise words. Thanks for sharing, Melissa.
It is hard!
We talk about balance, but it often feels more like cycles.
We say, “Let go and let God,” which sounds great and is very true. Yet, if that’s all we do, then we won’t be putting forth any effort and nothing will be accomplished.
We say, “Pursue your dreams,” which also sounds great and is equally true. Yet, if all we do is pursue our dreams and hope God is on-board with our plans, we’ll fall hard when things don’t work out as expected, or worse, we may get really off-track.
It has a lot to do with asking God about His plans for my life, and trying to align my goals with His plans. And, yet, God doesn’t usually reveal His plan to me very far in advance. He usually just shows me the next step, which makes it really hard not to get my goals a little further out than the revealed plan.
In the end, it often feels a lot like riding a bicycle. I can’t push the bicycle pedal with just my left foot, nor can I just push with my right foot. I must alternate left-right-left-right in a continual cycle of forward movement.
Similarly, I must act based on goals, then adjust goals to align with new vision, act-adjust-act-adjust in a continual cycle of forward movement and clearer vision…
For me, surrendering is not is not a one-time act but more of a continual act of surrendering. It’s too easy to let other things become my focus: publication, praise, awards … whatever. For me, it’s a day to day decision of where’s my “true north” — and by that I mean, where’s my ultimate focus, my ultimate goal? Is it on all the elusive “one things” or on the One I’ve come to believe in?
Sorry. That last comment was me. Didn’t realize I wasn’t signed in to WordPress.
I totally agree, Beth. Surrender is a daily act, sometimes minute by minute. I’m so ready to run ahead of my Lord and point out the way to the One who is THE WAY!!
You and Katie were on the same wavelength today! Me thinks it’s a subject that needed hitting twice … and many more times in the future. Blessings!
Oh, Melissa! This is me exactly. I have been battling to become a published writer for the last three years, and finally, finally, I realized just recently that I’d made the “writing life” and “getting published” a big, fat idol. I surrendered the process to God one day when I sat in a parking lot in my car, which isn’t to say I still don’t feel frustrated or disappointed from time to time, but overall it’s been a relief to hand it over.
Thank you for this, Melissa.
Great post! I handed over my plans for His quite awhile ago. Funny thing is, I keep forgetting I did that. Surrender is my word for 2012. I need to surrender over and over again. That way, He gets all the glory, and I get to sleep at night.
Melissa, your blog was yet another confirmation for me. Recently, I took a look at my life and lectured myself, “Clarice, you have a wonderful life—so much better than you deserve. If NOT getting published was the worst thing that ever happened to you, would it be such a big deal in the grand scheme of things?” Most certainly, my answer was “no.” I also realized that WISHING I had what other writers had (like an agent and a publishing contract) was COVETING. Yup, number 10 in the Big Ten. As a result of my soul-searching, God has replenished my peace and joy. And, if that wasn’t enough, yesterday, He threw in an agent to boot!
The short answer is that I struggle every day to surrender all parts of my life to God. Sometimes it’s an hourly thing.
But it is definitely worth the effort.
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