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Choosing to Surrender Your Dreams and Future to God

By: Bethany Beal

I remember three distinct times in my life that I had to surrender my dreams to God. Once at age seventeen, twenty, and twenty-four.

When I was seventeen I’d been offered several full basketball scholarships to division one universities. Basketball was my passion and I loved playing (like LOVED playing!). When I wasn’t playing basketball I was either talking about it, thinking about it, or dreaming about it.

Basketball was my life.

In my junior year of high school, one of the universities I was considering needed an answer from me. They needed my final decision.

Long story short, after many (many, many, many) hours of prayer and long discussions with my parents, the answer was crystal clear. I chose to turn down that basketball scholarship, as well as all of the rest of the scholarships.

My basketball career officially came to an end at the close of my senior year. It took every ounce of guts within me to follow God’s leading and say, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life.”

More toughness needed

A few years later my older sister Kristen and I started thinking about attending Bible School. After much prayer and discussions with our parents, we applied and were accepted. All seemed to be moving along smoothly until a few months before the start of the school year.

In a crazy sort of way, God began working in each of our hearts and eventually made it crystal clear that Bible School was no longer what He wanted us to do.

Kristen and I both had to say those incredibly hard words, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life.” 

Even Tougher

Those two times of surrendering my plans to God’s will were hard, but this next time was even harder.

I was in a relationship with a young man and I didn’t want to surrender it to God. It took many nights of tears and crying for me to finally say those difficult words, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life.”

Looking back I realize it takes a tough woman to say those words. 

It takes a strong and surrendered woman to give up her plans and desires and follow God no matter the cost. No matter how difficult or painful, a surrendered woman is always willing to trust and follow God. A surrendered woman is willing to give something up if God asks her to.

A surrendered woman (through the strength of the Holy Spirit) daily surrenders her entire life to God.

It’s Hard to be a Surrendered Woman

Being a surrendered woman is really hard. It takes strength. It takes determination and a commitment to follow God no matter the cost. Being surrendered isn’t for the self-focused, short sited, immediate-pleasure-seeking type of woman.

Is there a situation, circumstance, person or thing that God is asking you to surrender?

Are you facing something that is going to require you to be tough and say, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life?”

It may be a person, relationship, job, school, guy, friend, church, pet, plans, desire or something completely different. Whatever it is, you have to make a choice. Will you hold onto your plans? Or, will you surrender your plans and desires and follow God’s will no matter the cost?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

One of the most surrendered women I’ve ever read about penned these words in her journal:

“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes. All my own desires and hopes and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt and work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now and forever.” -Betty Scott Stam

It wasn’t long after Betty wrote these words she was beheaded for her faith as a missionary to China.

Can you imagine praying those words in the midst of your difficult situation and actually meaning them? It takes a really surrendered woman to do that.

I want to challenge you to write down that prayer and make it true for you.

Tape it to your bathroom mirror, in your car, bedroom wall, phone, journal or wherever you will see it. Pray it on a daily basis and make these surrendered words characterize your life.

Will you join me? 

  • Will you pray Betty’s prayer over your current struggle right now?
  • Will give up your plans and purposes and surrender to God’s will?
  • Are you willing to allow God to work out His whole will in your life at any cost?

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