I just hit send on an email I’ve been avoiding for almost two weeks now. A surrender that I wasn’t sure I could follow through with. I sat for a solid 30 seconds staring at the cursor, wishing I didn’t have to press send. The places where I’ve felt like God is asking me to surrender in this season are not what I would have thought them to be. They aren’t so much in saying YES to big things, but the surrender lately comes in saying no. In stepping back. In delaying the adventure, and the things my heart desires. It scares me, this surrender. I know the truth, that God’s plans are far better than anything I could even dream up - but my selfishness still begs me to do things in “my own” time frame. “Many are the plans in the mind of the man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Such truth and wisdom from Proverbs 19:21, how often do we make our own plans? We work hard, we earn and strive, and we become entitled. We think we “deserve” so much. But, like the Bible says - it’s the purpose of the Lord which will stand.
There’s no way we could know fully the purpose of the Lord; that’s where our faith comes in. We have to know and believe that His plans for us are good (Jeremiah 29:11), he works all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28) and ultimately, his thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Let’s get back to my email. The amazing opportunity that I turned down was something I worked really hard to earn. It wasn’t simply given to me, but I earned it! I hustled my booty off to meet a goal and the whole time I was envisioning myself in Uganda this summer, watching a dream I shared with a dear friend be fulfilled. Closing my eyes now, I can see us riding down those red dirt Uganda roads, laughing uncontrollably with the artisans, eating chapati and drinking a cold Coca Cola in their homes. I can almost taste the mist off the Nile river and feel the warm sun on my skin. I don’t really want to let my mind go to the excitement of what it would have been like to go on my very first safari, so I try push that down further. Deep breath. Then, surrender.
What now? Now I hold onto the hope of what is yet to come. The Lord pressed upon me to keep my hands open, and I never in my wildest dream would have thought that meant I wouldn’t get to travel across the world in July. But, He is enough. He has something far better planned than I never could have dreamed up, and I can trust his plans. This act of obedience and surrender means holding onto hope + faith that my day will come in His perfect timing. I was reading Emily Freeman’s book, Simply Tuesday, outside while my kids ran around in their swimsuits this weekend and this quote stuck out to me: “the opposite of holding on isn’t as we tend to think, letting go - but rather participating in something greater than ourselves” - quoted by Emily from Richard Rohr.
Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” In my Bible I have handwritten next to those words - “bodies = life, dreams, everything”. So it would read something like this- brothers, present your life, your dreams, your everything to God as a living sacrifice, THIS is your worship.
It’s our worship, sisters. Presenting God with everything we long for, all our hopes and dreams, is us bowing down in worship to him. He desires our worship! Let’s live our lives with open hands, friends. Let’s ask the Lord to reveal to us where we’ve tried to make our own plans, and let’s give those over to the one who created us, the one who loves us so deeply, and the one who has an incredible story for our lives that we’ve yet to even dream of!
WYNNE ELDER is a mama + wife striving to live in deep and authentic community in Bryan, Texas. She is passionate about creating spaces of connection and belonging. She's been married to her guy for 9+ years and together they are raising their four year olds, Camp + Asher, whom they adopted from Ethopia. You can connect with her on her blog, Instagram, and Twitter.