May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)
I have shared the last two times we’ve been together about how God began working on our family’s schedule first, my schedule second, and then addressed my health which needs to be in optimal form in order to finish strong the life and opportunities I believe God is blessing me with now and the opportunities He wants to bless us with in the future.
First, He got my attention with our family’s schedule. Then He got my attention with my schedule. Then He changed my mindset about living out of a suitcase for the past two years, and finally He’s gotten my attention with my health.
Our conversation was just getting started, though. God didn’t only invite me to work on cutting things out of my schedule. I’m still talking to Him about that – willing to cut more until my schedule is where He wants it. I’m choosing full surrender in this area. He also isn’t just talking to me about how He wants me to prepare for the ministry He is reawakening in our family’s heart. That takes energy in and of itself, but we’re slowly working on accomplishing those goals as well.
Nope, only our loving God would show me the bigger picture of what He has planned for me in the realm of writing. In 2011, I had a conversation with God about how I thought my career would look. I was willing to work multiple jobs for up to two years, but by then my fiction writing career would have taken off and I would be able to bring in a decent income while volunteering, serving, baking chocolate chip cookies, and being available for family and friends at the drop of a hat. God instead gave me nonfiction writing assignments, self-publishing instead of traditional publishing and now I’m working three jobs in addition to my own writing.
However, one night this week as I was falling asleep and feeling guilty this time not about serving (or not serving) in the church, but about all the courses I should be taking to advance my writing career, the missed opportunities with webinars, not focusing on marketing, etc. I was stressing myself out about all the things I needed to do but wasn’t doing.
God took all that worry and stress and simplified it for me. When I chose to surrender my career (and the timeframe of it) to Him, right there in bed, He gave me back peace and an outline of what He wants me to do as well as the correct order.
The peace I experienced in that moment coupled with the excitement of the assignments He has given me brought freedom. When we choose to surrender every area of our lives – health, family, ministry opportunities, career, dreams – everything, we are given in exchange freedom and God’s peace.
Complete surrender truly does equal freedom and Jesus’ peace. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to make the changes God might require of me as He makes my schedule the way He wants it to look; but I know if I continue to surrender every area of my life (including making room for more bathroom breaks), the blessings I get in return will be worth any sacrifice I’ve made.
What about you? Are you willing to make the changes God’s inviting you to make? It may be scary to take that first step, but I know I’m glad I am.
© Cheri Swalwell 2019