stop wrestling and surrender

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To open my hands up
And give You control

Control (Somehow You Want Me), Tenth Avenue North

I’m a writer, but sometimes I feel like I’m also a wrestler. I wrestle with myself, I wrestle with God, I wrestle with the chatterbox in my head that tells me I’m not good enough.
I wonder if I should sell tickets.

Some days I feel called by God to write, invited by Him to use the gift He has given me to let my light shine for Him, and I’m ready to take Him up on his invitation. And then there are the days when I wrestle back; I think there’s not much that hasn’t already been said by the likes of TerKeurst, Caine, Allen and Voskamp. What could little ol’ me possibly have to offer alongside these giants in the faith. I’m not as good as they are, and I’m not sure I ever will be. Maybe I’m not called anyway, maybe this is just a silly dream of mine that has nothing to do with God. And sometimes those doubts get the best of me and I shrink back from God’s outstretched hand of invitation. 
TKO. Inflicted by myself.

This summer (during a two month writing drought) my kids were learning all about pollinators, so I went to the public library website to look up and place on hold a few books about bees. This seemed like it would be a pretty simple task, but soon I found myself lost in the overwhelming query return, navigating my way through 239 titles. 

Two hundred thirty-nine books. 
Available through just our own local library system. 
Written about bees. 
For kids. 

In that moment, that sweetly familiar, yet oft overlooked, still and small voice got my attention. “If there are 239 children’s books published about bees, how many books can be published about my love, His grace, His truth? About your identity as it’s found in me?” God used this seemingly mundane task to strengthen my heart and encourage me to join Him on mission. Am I writing for me or for Him? Because if it’s for Him, then it doesn’t matter how many other people have written similar words. He’s asking for my words in my voice; He’s specifically placed me in this place, at this time, and He asks me to show up. After all, where did this dream of writing and gift of words come from?

The truth is God doesn’t need me and my blog, my stories, my words. But he invites me in, and it’s such a holy privilege to be a small part of the bigger story God is weaving through our lives. 

Maybe you’re not a writer, maybe you’re a teacher, an accountant, a baker, an artist; and maybe you’ve also wondered if there’s room for you, if what you have to offer matters. Maybe you haven’t even started because you’re afraid of the outcome, afraid of failing or of not making a big enough difference. But I have news for you– it is highly likely that if God has called you to be a teacher/accountant/baker/artist, you’re already a teacher/accountant/baker/artist, you’re just not living it out. 

I recently read a post by a woman who described herself as an “aspiring beekeeper,” and I thought to myself, “Girl, you can’t be an aspiring beekeeper. Once those bees are in your yard, you ARE a beekeeper.” For a long time, I called myself an aspiring writer. I was afraid to actually call myself a writer, afraid of what people would think, afraid that calling myself a writer would seem silly to others. But I was already writing, so what part of me was aspiring? No part. And once I dropped the “aspiring” from my self-given title, that’s when my writing changed. People noticed there was something different and the only explanation was that I had surrendered; I had stopped pretending and started doing. 

Paul calls us out and calls us up: 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life– your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking-around life– and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Romans 12:1 MSG

It is likely that God has placed a desire in you, created you in His image to create in His name. It’s time to surrender, to stop pretending and start doing. As Jennie Allen points out in her book Restless, “Great people do not do great things; GOD does great things through surrendered people.” That’s what he asks of us, to surrender. Surrender our gifts, surrender our people, surrender our ego, surrender our perceived control. He promises to finish the great work He began, and He’s invited us on the journey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s