Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
“Take my life and let it be, consecrated all to Thee.”
I heard the words to that old hymn today and found myself transported back in time. Thirteen years ago I hit a crossroads with God. Even back then I knew He’d called me to writing—in my heart I knew—but all around me everything was rejection and heartache.
I’d been so thrilled when God called me to write several years earlier. It had just felt . . . right. I mapped out my future. I’d write Bible studies and teach and speak—bringing His Word to His people. I didn’t see anything except the glory.
I railed at God that night—thirteen years ago—shaking a metaphorical fist toward Heaven. “I didn’t ask for this gift of writing—this insane compulsion. Why make me suffer for it.”
Even before the echo of my cry died away I knew it for the lie it was. I remembered that earlier time, when I’d committed myself to God, asking Him to do what He willed with my life. And now I complained because He had? I’d known what that commitment meant and the suffering that would come. How could I have ever thought suffering would be easy or martyrdom pleasant.
But that night at the crossroad I saw a different future. I saw a future where I didn’t second guess God’s plan, but kept my gaze locked tightly on Him. I chose to trust Him and believe that He knew what was best for me, no matter what.
That was the night I died—died to myself and my dream—and began to learn how to live for Him. It was when I learned that to be truly His in every way means giving up my every way.
I didn’t know if God would resurrect me as a writer. Only time held that answer and I had to come to a point where I refused to care. Did I care? Oh I cared, I desperately cared. My dreams, my hopes, my ambitions had been tied to my writing. Now my ambition became the emptying of myself so that I could be filled with God. I learned that didn’t mean “make me look good because I work for You.” Instead it meant, “Make me look any way You choose because I’m totally Yours.”
The Rest of the Story
Why am I sharing this now? Because with the passing of years has come perspective . . . and peace. So many of you are where I was—second guessing your calling because it doesn’t look like what you thought it would. I urge you to stay the course. Place your confidence in a Worthy God. My life hasn’t taken the path I thought—it’s taken a much better one.