A True Story: Pressing Send & Letting Go
The Bible says perfect love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18)
I want to be a woman who is fearless.
The only way I know to become that woman, is to be anchored to the deep love of Christ.
To deeply know the love of Jesus Christ is to be a woman who can love with total freedom.
When I was a little girl, I gave my life to Jesus.
But I also had big dreams for my life.
I dreamed of a life shared with a handsome husband.
I dreamed of having four beautiful adult children to return home to me at Christmas time.
I dreamed of being a published author.
I may have also dreamed of an East Coast colonial mansion with a long tree-lined driveway, weekend trips to New York, train travel across the country, and jumping on Oprah’s yellow chairs. I remember washing dishes and cutting grass as I secretly daydreamed about my future appearance on the creme-de-la-creme of talk shows. In fact, of all the fantasies I used to have about the fabulous life I couldn’t wait to live, one of my favorites closely resembled Tom Cruise going “extra” circa 2005.
When I was a young woman, I became increasingly distracted from my surrender to Jesus Christ by other desires that competed for the affections of my heart.
Have you ever loved a dream more than the dream giver?
Slowly, God started to show me areas in my life that I was withholding from Him. Slowly, as I gave those areas to Him, I started wanting more of Jesus and my dreams lost some of their shine.
And in that revealing process, some of my desires changed. Some of the things I thought I wanted I didn’t really seem to want anymore.
And some of my desires- ahem, that handsome man? Those four children? God gave me better than I imagined.
Two and half years ago, I went down to Cannon Beach for a women’s conference. I found a comfortable log on the beach and looking out at the vast Pacific Ocean, I asked God to use me for His glory. I didn’t want to hold anything back anymore.
I had no idea what that surrender would mean or look like in my life. But before the weekend was over, there was no doubt in my mind that God had heard my prayer.
There’s no way I could write in a 1,000 word blog post anything to give justice to what God has done in my life since that day on the beach.
The home He’s provided to share with others.
The people He’s put in our home.
The spirit of love and power He’s poured out to share.
The relationships He’s strategically placed in our lives.
The opportunities He’s provided.
The doors He has opened.
Last night as I typed away on my laptop, making final revisions to my book proposal, I kept managing interruptions from my husband, our four rambunctious children and two teenage girls who kept excitedly updating me with their plans for our trip together next month. The house was a mess. Christmas lights were reflecting off the windows, there was a soft glow around the room, and above the chaos, I could hear the sounds of a taped football game coming from downstairs. I paused for a second and became a little sentimental.
Today, I am wearing a bracelet that says, “Let It Go.”
Today I let something go. I pressed “send” on a nonfiction book proposal for young women. I’m asking an editor to consider it for traditional publication. My book is a message I believe God’s put on my heart. Although I felt some anxiety, to be honest, I felt mostly at peace today. Negative thoughts drowned out in the glorious reminder that this is a gift to my Savior. My prayer is for Him to take it all. My ideas, talents, wants, desires, my life- it all belongs to Him. And as I pressed the “send” button today, my beautiful mentor friend, Judy had prepared me with a special piece of advice. In that moment, I envisioned releasing the dream of my book into the hands of Jesus.
As the old hymn goes, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able.”
I know if my dreams of being a published author aren’t from Him, He’ll direct my paths somewhere else. I know if this isn’t the time or place, He’ll provide in ways I can’t see now. Because really, I want to spread His truth and love and freedom to the world anyway He sees fit. He made each one of us. He knows how we’re each uniquely designed. He knows what we each have in our hands.
Psalm 37:4-7a says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…”
When I delight in Him, I remember my ultimate desire is for Him. A book contract, writing career or increased speaking engagements are just tools for sharing the delight He’s poured into my life. When He’s my everything and I am seeking after Him first? When I remember who He is and trust Him with my life? In that sweet relationship I find life-giving goodness that grows and grows and is impossible to hide. Of course I want to share that gift with the world. Jesus Christ is the best gift ever. How could I want anything less than to share that joy and fullness with everyone God places in my path?
And as I write this, the lyrics of song sung by Kari Jobe comes to mind, “There’s nothing worth more that could ever come close. No thing can compare, You’re our living hope. Your presence, Lord.”
If a heart is focused on Him, He will provide the strength for every waiting period, every unknown, every temptation to obsess and worry...
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a
I want to be fully committed to the God who loves me and knows best. No matter what the temporary outcome may or may not look like.
God’s love is better than anything I’ve ever experienced.
His ways are more awesome than any momentary desire.
He is better than any dream.
It’s a true story.
A true story worth sharing.