{DREAMS AND CALLINGS PART 2} surrender

 

Surrender has always perplexed me. I mean, how do you just…stop fighting. Stop trying. Give up—willingly. It’s like one of those trust test things, where you’re blind folded and have to fall back into someone.

 

I like to pull lessons out of things that happen in my life. And for the past month, I’ve been thinking: what have I learned from changing WIPs? What…what was God trying to teach me there? (a necessary thing to figure out if I was going to write a post on it 😉

 

I wrote down a dozen ideas that were all “okay” but none really spoke to me. I usually get my best inspiration for blog posts during random moments, when I sit down at the keyboard with only a vague idea of what I want to write, so I realized I had to stop trying so hard to come up with a great post.

 

And it was there that the topic for today came.

 

Surrender.

 

Because I believe that chasing dreams and callings requires an extreme amount of trust, an ability to surrender.

 

Back in July, I wrote a post called “Dreams and Callings—the best is yet to come.” It was inspired by Matthew 10:39, and in it, I talked about how God doesn’t call us to do “One Thing.” We can be servants to Him in more than one thing. And near the end, I shared a wonderful analogy that my mom uses about holding on to dreams too tightly. We have to keep our dreams in open hands, so if God tries to take them away, we don’t end up wrestling against Him. And I understood the analogy. I thought I’d got it through and through when, last year, I had to stop dancing due to injury.

 

But guess what happened with Found, my novel?

 

I held onto it too tightly.

 

I’m chuckling to myself at the sheer irony of it (God has a wonderful sense of humor!). I felt as though I’d learned a lesson about holding on to dreams too tightly, but now the same lesson blindsided me and I almost didn’t recognize it.

 

You see, I’d been rewriting my novel, Found, multiple times over the past year. It never came out quite right, so I decided to put my foot down and set a deadline to finish it and send it off to an editor. I gripped that deadline real tight and didn’t intend to let go.

 

Then I realized I would have to rewrite the novel again—possibly. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to finish this novel so I could move on to the sequel, then the finale, and have this trilogy idea that had been dominating my thoughts for three years all wrapped up.

 

A little voice in the back of my head said “you don’t have to do this. There is no one—save yourself—who says you have to do this.”

 

That was right, of course. But I wanted this novel done. I wanted to share it. I just…wanted it to be the way I wanted it to be. Not too much to ask, right? 😉

 

Switching to this new WIP would be a hassle. I didn’t know the characters. I didn’t even have a title. I just had a random phrase and a Pinterest board. For goodness’ sake, I didn’t even know if the idea would turn out any good! I could have to scrap the whole thing! It could take me another two or three years to be published! All my plans would be upended! I didn’t want that.

 

But I think God did. It was a way out of the stress I’d been pounding on myself and my (admittedly) unrealistic goal of publishing before next summer.

 

To go back to that analogy my mom used, I think God started tugging at the dream I was grasping tightly. I tugged back. Then, I suddenly saw just what I was doing and how this struggle was going to end with me on the ground, discouraged and angry. So I decided to let go of that novel, that dream, take the trust fall, and see what happened.

 

The future looked empty, like an unexplored planet. A place where blank notebook pages and new plot bunnies abounded. (sorry for the silly imagery xD) It felt weird. I felt off balance, a little less motivated than before, but a whole lot calmer. Had it not been for that WIP idea (When Real Lies) I probably would have sat around for a few days asking “what now?”

 

But I’ve been thinking for the past month, as I’ve wandered deeper into this new WIP of mine, just what a beautiful thing surrender is. We can’t see where the road we’re following will lead us. All we see is the path before us, behind us, and the only thing we see around the bend is what we imagine, which isn’t usually what it’s going to be like.

 

But that trust-fall is a terrifying thing. I definitely have not mastered it. It’s throwing all the plans aside that you love but aren’t quite working and asking “well, what if I did this?” And at first, the idea might seem different, not really what you wanted, but in time, you’ll realize it’s the right choice, what you needed.

 

Chasing after dreams is tough. The road is bumpy and discouragement and doubt poise on the sides, ready to leap out. We think we know where we’re going, but we don’t know how to get there. But there is more than one way to get to the destination. We choose to go one way, and God can come in and say, “That way is harder and won’t make you as good of a person as going this way would.”

 

Then we have to swallow our pride, our attachment to the path we’re on, and switch to a new path. And even if we packed for icy blizzards on our path, now we’re in the desert, and we’re seemingly ill-prepared, but later we realize our path with icy blizzards would have led us to a dead end.

 

I don’t think we’ll ever understand why God makes us change paths so many times, especially if the change seems for worst. We just have to put our head down and keep walking, keeping saying “let it be done according to Your Will,” submit to His plans and not ours until we get to the destination.

 

<3

audrey caylin

This kinda turned into a random spill of what’s been on my mind lately. What do you think about surrender? Have you ever held on to a dream too tightly? Where has God led you on the path to your dreams lately?

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Anna
    September 9, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Wowowow, this is so relevant to me right now, it's creepy how many posts this weekend are speaking directly to me. I'm kind of at loss for words now because this is so on point I really have nothing to say <333 Surrender I guess is to keep on the journey but switch the focal point.

    Great post Audrey! <333

    Anna | http://www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Melissa Gravitis
    September 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    You always, always, write the most gorgeous posts full of wonderful reminders. <3 I'd like to think that I've let go of dreams of other novels in the past, and that this is "the one", but I need to trust Him that His will will be done. He can see far beyond the sliver of the path we see, and thinks about the whole journey, not just a fragment of it.

    Thank you for your beautiful words! <3 <3 <3

  • Reply
    Jane Maree
    September 9, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Ah this post was amazing. <3 <3 I'm kinda struggling with my WIP at the moment to be honest? And at first I was just shove myself at it and going "WORK, JANE. DO IT." but now I've backed off a little and am /trying/ to see it better, though it's still not going great…This post definitely prompted some thoughts. *nods and strokes chin*

  • Reply
    Marrok MacIntyre
    September 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Great post Audrey, and honestly one of the hardest things to do. I mean every human is a fighter by nature, so that hardest thing to do is surrender. Especially surrender to God.

    I know for me personally it was bitter-sweet, it hurt to give up but at the same time it wa the most freeing thing I'd ever done.

    Again great post, it got me remembering the time of my surrender, which is great because it's easy to forget. Glad to have you back!

  • Reply
    Lila Red
    September 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    This was beautiful <33333

  • Reply
    Riley Rawls
    September 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Great post, Audrey! Wow, it's so cool thinking about this kind of thing through Christian perspective? Like, it's easy to forget that God is in control of our writing dreams, and just call it ours and go with it. This is a great reminder that God really is sovereign over every area of our lives, AND He wants what's best for us even if we don't like it. Loved this! <3 -Riley

  • Reply
    Perran Kids
    September 9, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    OKAY THIS IS SO COOL BC THIS IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT HAPPENED TO ME A COUPLE YEARS AGO.
    It was my first summer since I had accepted Jesus into my heart, and I wanted to do a Christian film during the summer. I was pretty excited about it–but soon God started drawing my heart away from the idea. So I surrendered it to him. After that, I started thinking of other ideas of 'big God things' I could do during the summer. None of them really stuck. But then I read a random blog post that God put on my heart. It was about a Chinese orphan, and I started considering sending Bibles to his orphanage. That started Project Bible–a summer of saving up money to send Bibles and donations to different missionaries. We had a couple of bakesales in our driveway for this project, and the first one raised $98, and the second raised $190 (thanks to an anonymous donor and an amazing God!!). It was just a really cool thing, and it all happened because I was willing to surrender my dream to God.
    I love how YOU, Audrey, are willing to surrender your dreams! It is hard, isn't it? But we aren't doing it alone. Keep pressing on and fighting the good fight, girlfriend!! <333
    -Ariel

  • Reply
    Farm Lassie
    September 10, 2017 at 12:08 am

    As someone who is a fighter/warrior queen, I need this reminder. Thank you Audrey!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Sarah Margaret
    September 10, 2017 at 3:18 am

    *sigh* why so you always write about stuff right when I need to hear it 😛 I feel the same, honestly…just about different things. I guess you could say I'm gripping too tightly to getting things done when I want them done and how I want them done. and then I have 182917038802380918211 things to do and I don't get them done AND THEM BAM I go ahead and stupidly take the stress back that I already handed over to God only a ton of times. I'm working on it, but it's a tough thing to be a perfectionist. 😛 It's hard to feel the lack of time in getting things done, and yet wondering if what you are even doing even /matters/, or even wondering if you are just getting too caught up in things that really aren't that important. AGH THE STRUGGLE 😛

    AND SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW *strangle noises* i'm /trying/ not to take the stress back again just over everything and all the busyness 😛 so if you could pray for me I'm praying for you, Audrey. thanks for this! (and sorry if I rambled :P) <33

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Thank you so much, Anna! I'm so glad this came at a good time for you! I have had that experience of going around blogsphere and finding that every single post applies to my life xD

    omw that is a BEAUTIFUL way to look at surrender!

    <3

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Aw, thank you so much, Melissa! <33 I'm glad that people can benefit from them!

    Even if it takes a hundred novels, I know our God has plans to get our writing into the hands of those who need it!

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Ah thank you Jane <33

    Ugh, I'm sorry your WIP is being difficult! I hope you can figure it out soon! 🙂

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Yes…I'll probably fight against the whole idea of surrender for my entire life.

    I know! Surrender has the most amazing effect! I wonder what it would feel like if we could do it at every moment, every breath spent surrendering to God…

    Thanks, Marrok! I'm glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Aaahhh thank you <3 <3

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:47 am

    yasss. It's also cool to think that Someone who loves us so much is in control, so we don't really have to be afraid.

    Thanks Riley! <3

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 11, 2017 at 2:51 am

    OMW THAT SOUNDS AMAZING. Like, I know that God is amazing, but whenever I hear stories like this I'm even more amazed. Sounds like God did (and is doing!) some beautiful things in your life, Ariel!

    Aaaahh thank you! That is seriously so encouraging THANK YOU <33

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 12, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    You're welcome, Catherine! Thank YOU for reading!

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 12, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    omw I can relate so much O.O It usually affects me most in my writing, but there are also so many other things I want to do, feel that I *must* do. And even if I get them all done at the end of the day, I still don't feel accomplished at all. Then I'm constantly stressed out and the struggle is definitely real 😛

    I've found that setting priorities in order can really help, even if it's super hard to do. Like, on the days I put God first, then family, I've found that even if I don't feel like I got a lot done, what I did get done mattered in the long run.

    ACK I JUST STARTED TOO. Let's go conquer this year xP

    Thank you! I'm definitely praying for you! <3 <3

  • Reply
    Karyssa Norton
    September 13, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Great post! Surrender is haarrd sometimes. There was a time when I held on to something for a really LONG time. I got to the point where I felt like it was holding me back from doing what God wanted me to do. I didn't want to surrender, to let it go, but when I finally did, I was sooo much happier. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing, Audrey! 😀

  • Reply
    Ivie Brooks
    September 14, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    This was beautiful and amazing!! Its something everyone needs to hear. I love this. Great post, Audrey! <3

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 17, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    That's exactly what happened to me! Sometimes we feel like we have to fight harder when really what we need to do is let go.

    Thanks, Karyssa! <3

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 17, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Thank you so much, Ivie! <3

  • Reply
    Zane Jones
    September 20, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Your posts are so beautiful, Audrey. Letting go is definitely hard.

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    September 24, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Thank you, Zane! <3

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