Surrendering

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 According to Merriam-Webster surrender means:  to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed. to give the control or use of (something) to someone else.

One morning in a coffee shop in Madison Georgia we met to discuss our next writing project and faced a moment of surrender.  Not a waving the white flag kind of moment but a sinking into the acceptance of God’s will.  Were we going to be all in for God with our writing?  In our faith journey we must reach that point of no return with God, “to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc.”

After writing children’s books for twenty years – writing hard, striving pushing, promoting – the success was good and sweet.  Just the letters from children alone were worth the effort.  When we started The Shepherd’s Song we had never written a book for adults – all our manuscripts had been less than 100 pages long.  All of our contacts in publishing were in the children’s world.  Writing a book for adults seemed a little ill-advised and crazy.

We had written down the title. We had discussed the idea. We fought it at first.  But the idea sat before us on a piece of paper on the table of the coffee shop. Beside the paper an open Bible turned to Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Ps 23:1

 The very words that prompted our idea challenged us as writers.  Could we believe God’s promises in the psalm?  Sometimes our first reaction to a calling from God is fear and resistance. “We can’t”  ”We have never”  “There’s no way”  We said all those things but as we let go of our resistance and surrendered to the idea, the fear was replaced by excitement.

Try to give your agenda to God. Keep saying, ‘Your will be done, not mine.’ Give every part of your heart and your time to God and let God tell you what to do, where to go, when and how to respond. God does not want you to destroy yourself. Exhaustion, burnout, and depression are not signs that you are doing God’s will. God is gentle and loving. God desires to give you a deep sense of safety in God’s love. Once you have allowed yourself to experience that love fully, you will be better able to discern who you are being sent to in God’s name.  Henri Nouwen

By the next day we had each completed drafts of one of the first stories of the book. When we surrender we can let go of fear and accept any outcome. 

In the surrender of any work there is a moment of fear, a moment of resistance, then a moment of relinquishing and finally the excitement and joy and peace.  We have that peace as we move forward in our work trusting God and surrendering to His will. Surrender removes the fear of failure.

 Can you relate to this issue of surrender?  Where do you struggle with it?

Betsy and Laurie

Shared first on Julie Arduini’s blog.

11 Comments on Surrendering

  1. jenlhall63
    August 4, 2014 at 8:38 am (3 years ago)

    This is very timely for me…

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      August 4, 2014 at 9:37 am (3 years ago)

      I’m glad that these words spoke to you this morning! The message of surrender is one that need eery day. I love Nouwen’s words about burnout too. How reassuring that God’s work leaves us with joy and peace.

      Reply
  2. securelyheld
    August 4, 2014 at 9:47 am (3 years ago)

    This post really hit home. “Surrender removes the fear of failure.” What freedom that brings!

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      August 4, 2014 at 9:54 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We have found such sense of freedom in our surrender of our work to God. The outcome is His. Of course one problem is staying in that place of surrender!

      Reply
    • BergeDesign
      August 5, 2014 at 9:32 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks, Natalie!

      Reply
  3. amanda jo
    August 5, 2014 at 11:35 am (3 years ago)

    Perfect timig as is always how God works…i have a story to finish for my Grandson and a book in my head put there by God…fear…fear of it not being good enough and maybe some fear of letting go and learning what He needs me to learn through the writing process. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      August 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

      That fear of not being good enough can stop us from even trying! I hope you will write that book. Keep us posted.

      Reply
  4. Patty B
    August 5, 2014 at 7:07 pm (3 years ago)

    I am praying and struggling over a decision….but trusting that God will lead me in the way He wants me to go. Fear and resistance has been plaguing me since I was asked to serve God this way. You comment, “Fear of not being good enough can stop us from even trying” – I will be pondering over this during my prayer time tonight.

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      August 5, 2014 at 9:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing this Patty. Fear and resistance plague a lot of us. I pray that God will lead you and give you courage.

      Reply
  5. sustainabilitea
    August 9, 2014 at 9:39 am (3 years ago)

    Haven’t seen you around much and I miss your wisdom and thoughts. I hope your book is selling well but more importantly, touching many people and turning them towards the Lord. I’m waiting for God to show me the next thing for me to do, so your post resonates with me in a slightly different way. Once I know what He wants for me, I pray I’ll go forward with resolution and confidence that He will help me do it. Thanks!

    janet

    Reply

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