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Choosing to Surrender Your Dreams and Future to God

By: Bethany Baird

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?

PHOTO CREDIT

Sad Girl

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  • Abigail

    Thanks so much for this. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I’ve had my life planned out until 30 years old since I was 7. I wanted to go to college, major in theatre, and move to NYC. But after a mission trip to Brazil, I may not be doing that anymore. My dreams are nothing compared to the work God has planned for me.

  • luanna wallace

    My dilema is not that I don’t want to do th3 will of God, it’s knowing when He is the one saying no or directing me down another path.

  • Thank you! Very timely in my life as your posts usually are. Thank you for the good reminder to daily surrender my plans to God and let Him live and move in and through my life.

  • I needed this so much today!
    When you listed “pet” my heart stopped.
    I am an avid dog lover. For as long as I can remember I’ve researched them and cared for them. For years I have had my own little dog walking/pet-sitting business. I’m one of those dog people that don’t care what the dog looks like– I love him or her immediately and will gladly run up to an owner just to tell them that their dog is amazing. It sounds silly, I know.
    But, for years I’ve researched and wanted a specific purebred (my family and I already own a wonderful old mutt). I’m completely smitten with this breed.
    My plan was that I would get one after I graduated high school so that I could have more time to devote to the care and training.
    Well, God had different plans. He clearly lead me to an outstanding bible college. When I got the acceptance letter, I was happy. But I also was horribly upset to abandon my dream for at least four more years.
    And by the time I graduate, will I even be able to immediately take care of a dog, or will I have a full time job of some sort?
    And now, my friends just got an adorable, sweet puppy. While I start school, I watch their excitement over a puppy. I am so happy for them, but it only makes me wish all the more that I could get my dream dog.
    To an average person, it probably seems ridiculous. But just like Bethany’s passion for basketball, my passion is researching and caring for dogs.
    Abandoning dreams to God is hard. But, He also has prepared the best for His children.
    Thank you for your post, Bethany! 🙂

  • Anna

    Dear Bethany!
    I know what was your aim with this blog, but I think it’s too much. I mean it’s ok to throw away everything, when God calls somebody to serve Him in China. Or, be a missioner where your husband died for the Lord. I think not everybody’s destiny be a missioner. We are Jesus Christ body, and every bodypart has tasks. I agree with you sometimes God’s plans are more important than our plans. I have to give up something, because there are no place for what God wants.

    • Molly

      I know exactly what you mean Anna, when I was confirmed 3 years ago the Bishop challenged me to come up with 3 good reasons that I shoukdnt be ordained ( he basically meant why I should not be part of the ministry) and I think I have come up with one. I want to be a doctor. Medicine interests me. I am good at science and caring for people. I think that God gave me these gifts for a reason and using them is the best way to serve Him. I would love to do a missionary but I don’t want ministry to be my full time job because I think being a doctor and using my ‘gifts’ is how I’m best going to show how amazing our Father is!

    • Emerald_lady89

      I don’t think they’re saying that everyone needs to be a missionary in a foreign country–they mean that each person needs to seek to know God’s plan for their individual lives. We will each have important work that God wants us to do.

  • Ana

    I Am at a place in my life, where I feel abandon by God. Because I have a desire to be marry to a wonderful godly man that I know. and Also my life at home is not very pretty so I want to surrendered everything to God.

  • Jéssica Fricatti

    Thank you for these strong and encouraging words.

  • Zoe

    Exactly what I needed to hear!!

  • Jackeline Gallardo

    This is really difficult for me, because I am not clear. I am so uncomfortable at my university, so tired and sad because I do not want to be there. I see other people in my class so happy to be there, so in love with this school, but I feel like leaving. It’s been a long time since I started feeling like this, but now it’s harder. Every day of school is… like a burden. I do want to study this career and serve God and people, but I’m not sure about this university. Also I’m in the middle of the career. 6/10 semesters, which is a lot more of pressure. Sorry my english.

  • Alivia

    My dream in life is to become a journalist because I LOVE writing, I’m really good at it, and I love sharing with people! However, recently I’ve been wondering how I could use journalism in a god-honoring way. I know god gave me my writing skills for a reason, I just need to figure out how to use them to honor him.

    • Beth

      That’s great!
      Maybe you could try writing a book that’s Biblically based for people?

      Or maybe even applying for a job for a Christian magazine. (There’s plenty of those!)

      Or you could even start your own blog! Like Girl Defined. Or if news is something that interests you then you could start a Christian Biblically based blog. About Prophesies that are being fulfilled through events of today’s day and age.
      Those are just ideas I guess 🙂

  • Lonely sad teen girl.

    Can somebody please give me advice?
    I have no friends. I homeschooled, I don’t go to a co-op or even a church! I am on a volleyball team but all of the girls there don’t really like me because they’re very worldly and I’m not. How am I supposed to make friends when girls my age don’t even like me or want to be friends? They think lowly of me because I don’t have a cell phone either 🙁

    Reading this article is hard for me, because my struggle is that I don’t have friends. Is it really The LORDS Will for me to surrender that to him? Not knowing if I will ever have friends in my life?! I really need prayer right now…

    • Emerald_lady89

      It sounds like this is a temporary trial you are going through. Of course the Lord doesn’t want you to be friendless! The teenage years can be terribly hard, but they will not last. I am very sorry to hear that you feel so alone, though. Hold fast to your principles and don’t give in to the temptation to be worldly so you can fit in. At the same time, try to look out for ways you can serve the girls around you and help them. This might help you to have more chances to talk with them and get to know them a little. I will pray for you! God knows your struggles and loves you. He is always with you.

      • Lonely sad teen girl

        thank you for the advice.
        I’ll try and use it. I surely hope this is just a temporary trial…

    • Joy

      I totally know how you feel. I am like you, except that I am not in sports. So I don’t know anyone really. I just have a bunch of brothers to deal with. But the great thing about it is, that I realized that without friends I still have someone who loves me more than even my family. This is our dear Lord!!!!
      Hey,lonely sad girl, do you Want to be my friend? We can be email -pals. Here is my email address -TruthJoy@mail.com.
      I am praying for you.

    • Geneva

      I relate so much! I really never had friends because they didn’t like me or how I lived or the fact that I didn’t do some of the worldly things they did. It’s hard because I feel like a complete loser sometimes because I have no friends… But to be honest friends can be over rated at times. There was one girl I met one time I didn’t have a iPhone she did, I didn’t really have social media ether… This girl wanted me to follow her on her social media.. I told her that I didn’t have the app and wasn’t in to it and she gasp and said loudly! YOU DON’T HAVE SNAPCHAT!!!! I was like no. Then she ran to her dad and said this girl doesn’t have snapchat in a low voice… And she never wanted to see me sense…. And I made me think that’s not what I want.. I don’t want a friend so I can be dragged into worldly things. My advice for you is to trust in God because no matter what he will be there for you and friend won’t always. <3

    • Lilly

      Girl I know what you are going through!!! I also was the sad lonely homeschool girl for most of my life… Its hard, its really hard! And yes, that is something we must surrender to God. God can meet ALL our needs, if we only trust him! Focus on God, surrender ur wishes to him, and request him to bring u good godly friends if it is his perfect will. God is the best friend we could ever have, and he has the absolute perfect plan for us! He is our comforter, our best friend, our helper, our deliverer! And by trusting and surrendering to him, we allow him to do his most perfect plan for us and to take care of us! I promise u that His plan is best, even when it doesn’t feel that way! Keep strong, I will be praying for you 🙂


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