What hits me the hardest when I stop to think about God writing my story and letting me live it is that He has dreams for me, dreams to make my life a living reflection of His kingdom and who He is. He wants big things for me… big things to honor Him and to bring Him glory.
I want big things, too. But they’re all big things for me.
My hands are gripped all too often so tightly around my dreams and ambitions that I leave little room for the dreams God plans to turn into my reality. He knows what’s coming. He knows what will be, but until I let go already He can’t move forward.
I’ve gotta give it all up.
Every dream that ties me to this place, to this life and to everything I love.
Every hope I have placed in this world… each of the expectations I have placed on people and things.
Until I make all of it His, there’s nothing that can be done, nothing that can be made mine.
Years ago I wrote, in a moment of hopelessness mixed with the thrill of crazy boldness in the face of God, each of the things I love dearly and passionately, on the white, blank backs of index cards. On these empty cards I poured out my plans to God, one by one: Charisse. The rest of my family. California. The South. Education. My career. Writing. Speaking. A husband. Children. Where I work. My life.
Each letter written in black Sharpie felt like a part of me was dying…
… but that’s the point, He reminded me. You do nothing except what I do through you. No good thing, not one.
Some of these dreams He’s taken away. I don’t long for some of those things penned quickly in my office at work in a moment of lunch-time sanctification. Some burn in me even greater than before, and for this very reason I give them up again. I want to chase You, God, to make You known, so tonight, in black and white type, I make them Yours again. And I’ll do it daily, hourly, every minute if that’s what it takes for me to uncurl my fingers from the death grip I have on each of them.
It hurts. Because those things, I still want them. I want them in a visceral way. Those very human desires of career and family, of prestige and accolades call out to me. I could have them, I know. I’m good at the things I want. If I wanted to, I could succeed in each of those dreams (I have been great in this world before and could be again), but what would it be for me to measure my success by anything except by what You have in store?
Because the truth is if I succeed by my dreams and never rise to Yours, Lord, then I have failed.
So I am willingly living in the letting go days, which is the hardest part. The holding on comes much easier to me than the letting go. Releasing it all is where I must rely not on myself but on Someone else. My fingers are unfurling, palms slowly becoming exposed. These hands are emptying and raised high in surrender.
Some I might give back, I heard You speak to me. And some I might not. But either way, I still am. Whatever dreams you give up for good, you will never give Me up. I am for you and I, my love, I am for good.
PS If you’ve read this post, you should know my late-night thoughts have been inspired by a line in “Burning in My Soul” by Brett Younker: “All Your sons and Your daughters, dreaming the dreams of their Father…” I cannot help but what to dream these dreams from Him. Won’t you dare to dream with me?