We all remember a time when we desperately wanted something. That time could be now for some of us. You have laid out a plan, prayed, fasted, trusted and surrendered it to God – only to find yourself picking it back up and trying to control the outcome when things do not seem to be working out as you hoped.
You have dreamed of being a parent, getting that dream job, performing on that big stage, getting married or starting that business for the longest time, but year after year nothing seems to be happening. You have seen people realize their dreams. You have seen friends get that very thing you have been praying for. You have celebrated them. You have also fought the envy that creeps up on you every time you have to celebrate others’ breakthroughs. You have gone through the cycle of trusting, hoping, doubting, despairing, back to being hopeful again, but you are yet to truly and fully surrender your plans over to God.
Surrender is letting go. Trusting that our dreams, hopes and plans will work out, and letting go of control over the when and how. It is telling God your desires and then relinquishing the reins and allowing Him to do things His way. Inevitably, it is also letting go of plans that have not worked out and trusting that it was for your overall good.
Surrender involves relinquishing control, and that makes it very difficult. We like to think we are in control of our lives and have great plans laid out, complete with timelines for each accomplishment. The truth is though, we are not fully in control of our lives. You may make perfect preparations for your function, but you have no control over the weather, or how your guests will arrive, or what happens in the lives of your service providers. I have nothing against plans. By all means, we should make plans. Set goals and work plans on how to reach those goals. But as we do all this, we should remember that ultimately, we do not have complete control of how things will turn out. Things happen that leave you completely blindsided and bring even the best-laid plans crumbling down.
When things don’t work out as expected, letting go is particularly hard. We keep trying to figure out why it did not happen for us; was it something we did? Perhaps we did not hear God right. Maybe we did not try hard enough. So many ‘maybes’ and ‘what ifs’ fill our mind, fixing us on what we didn’t get and blinding us to the blessings that are right before us.
It helps to realize that control is rooted in fear; fear of what will happen if we fail. It is also fueled by arrogance; thinking that we know what is best for us. We are not meant to live our lives steeped in fear and arrogance. If you fully and truly surrender to God, you recognize that there is nothing to fear; He has your best interests at heart. And not only that, but He also knows exactly what is best for you as an individual. Abandoning yourself and your plans to Him opens you up to possibilities that you would never have imagined if you had stayed fixed on what you thought was best.
Letting go therefore is not giving up, it is trusting. It is accepting that we are not in control but trusting that there is one who is. One who knows the end from the beginning. Who knows if it will happen for you, when it will happen and how it will happen. And of all the possibilities, He not only knows but wants the best one for you. It is in this trusting that we find rest from worry, fretting, and trying to manipulate the situation to fit our plans. And it is only when we rest and accept where we are in life that we fully start living. Because yes, you might still be waiting for that dream to unfold, or you might have come to the realization that it will never happen for you, but that does not mean you do not have other things going for you. Choose to focus on those things.
This is easier said than done but also necessary to move forward. Give yourself time to acknowledge and grieve that which did not work out for you, but do not dwell on it. Embrace that which is given or has been there all along. Keep an open mind about the future. Do not compare yourself to others but believe that you are headed towards your best possible outcome when your plans are aligned with God’s.
Yunia Kazibwe is the founder of Adulting Out Loud. She is a wife, and mother to an amazing little girl. When she is not writing for the blog or recording for the podcast, Yunia loves spending lazy days with family, watching movies and catching up on a good series. Though she doesn’t currently have one, she loves cats.
Yunia prefers texting to phone calls, enjoys taking walks, and her favourite snack is popcorn. She often plays pranks on people, and only stops laughing to catch a breath.