July 24, 2018

Finding Peace in Surrendered Dreams

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 24, 2018

By Shana Schutte

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

I always thought my path from singleness to blessed matrimony would be effortless and that I would marry in my twenties. But life didn’t happen that way at all. In fact, I was single until I was 46.

When my dreams didn’t pan out the way I desired, I was extremely disappointed and remaining unmarried was my deepest heartbreak. God and I had many talks about my still being single and in some of my most personal moments with Him, there were times I raised my hands to heaven with tears streaming and I surrendered to God: Lord, my life is yours. You know what’s best for me. If I can serve you best alone, then I do it willingly.

“Peter began to say to Him, ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed You’” (Mark 10:28).

But there were times I wasn’t so willing to bend my knee to God or His plan. In fact, after one particularly difficult breakup, I believed the lies that God had let me down and that He had betrayed me. In the aftermath of that heartbreak, I thought I couldn’t get past my negative feelings about God’s love for me unless He explained why my dreams didn’t pan out the way I desired.

I’ve since learned that surrendering to Him is necessary to overcome any distrust I feel and that God isn’t obligated to tell me why I remained single for so long, why I didn’t have children, or why others experienced the gifts I longed for. In surrender I’ve learned I am giving up what I don’t know to a God who loves me. I can choose to believe moment by moment that He’s sovereign over every detail of my life—and all things in my past, present, and future. In this there is peace.

In Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, Stormie Omartian writes,

God wants us to surrender our dreams, because we can’t be led by Him if we are chasing after dreams of our own making. And He wants us to surrender all of them. That way He can tell us which of them are from Him and in line with His will, and which of them are ours and born out of our will. If they are only our dreams and visions and not His, we will experience a lifetime of unfulfillment and strife trying to make them happen.

Can you relate? If so, count yourself in good company. Trusting and surrendering to God doesn’t mean that it will always feel good giving up what we don’t understand to God. Neither does it mean always skipping and singing hallelujahs through our troubles. Instead, it may often mean that we say, “I trust you, Lord,” through tears, through shouts of despair, and possibly even through clenched teeth—because trust and surrendering to God is a choice, an act of the will not born of emotion. Do you have something you need to surrender to God today to experience His peace?

 

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you know what is best for me. Thank you that you love me no matter what I am going through or what dreams I have that are denied. Help me to always remember this and surrender to you, particularly when I don’t understand. Amen.

Application

Take a few moments to still and quiet yourself. Talk with the Lord about any disappointments or dashed dreams you have and surrender to Him. Amen.

Related Reading

Hebrews 11:6; Mark 8:35; Matthew 16:24-25

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Comments

  1. Freda says:

    Shana, thank you for sharing your deep struggles so beautifully. I can identify with what you wrote very well. Had you not been single for so long, you would not be able to explain the spiritual battle of submission so well. Thank you for sharing that. Even the title of your Daily Reading spoke to me.

    I too have found that my most profound pain in life over what I wanted to much is the very thing that Christ used to show me the path to peace. I don’t always remain in that state!! But I know the path to get there.

    Thanks again for your life, your struggles and sharing your victories. it is an encouragement and comfort to me.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Freda,
      Thank you so very much for your heartfelt comments for Shana. Please know that I will forward your comments to her and I just know they will mean a lot to her. We are thankful for your sincerity and transparency as you describe your challenges with “the spiritual battle of submission”. I am so thankful that the Lord “showed you the path to Peace” and that your heart was open to receive it. Freda, I can only imagine that your story is the same encouragement and comfort to others that you said Shana’s story is to you. Thank you so much for sharing it.
      So grateful for you Freda.Please keep shining God’s Light for others to know Him.
      Believing and trusting,
      Gwynne

      “If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
      though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”
      Psalm 37:23-24

      “Oh LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
      You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”
      Psalm 139: 1-2

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