How many times have you heard the phrase "give it to God" in regards to a situation you're walking through, your hopes, dreams and even your expectations? I can tell you that I have heard it so many times and I've even said it over and over. I have been thinking about this phrase for the last couple of days and I just have a few thoughts I wanted to share with you. First of all, let's all just admit it, Giving it to God is sometimes, probably most of the time, easier said than done. Ok it's out there, you're not the only one who struggles to give it to God. Me too, girl, me too. You're not the only one who gave it to God, picked it back up and then 3 hours later realized you picked it back up and now you need to give it to God, again. I think we've all been there if we did a quick evaluation and were honest. And sure, maybe sometimes there is this peace that passes all understanding that God gives and we're able to give it to God with no problem, no second thought and never pick it back up. Yes, that happens too, but I tend to think that most times, it's not that easy.
What is IT?! It could be anything. It could be a situation that worries us, something out of our control, our hopes, our dreams, a want, a need, a broken relationship, friendship, finances, health, a career...the list goes on and on. And as you read this, you know what it is for you.
So now that you've got it on your mind, you know, the thing you need to give to God, I just want to share what's been on my mind about this topic the last few days.
If your it is something you're worried about remember:
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
If your it is something out of your control remember:
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
If your it is your hopes or dreams or a want remember:
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us"
If your it is a need remember:
"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith. Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
There are endless situations and I hope these verses will give a little encouragement if these are areas and situations you're working through, but I want to talk most about giving your hopes, dreams and wants to God.
Growing up, that's the one that I struggled with most in giving to God, and yesterday, it hit me as to why it had always been so hard. I want to share it with you, because maybe you've also struggled to give your hopes, dreams & wants to God and maybe what I realized might give you the clarity or encouragement to do just that - give your hopes and dreams to God.
I feel like through my High School years, in Youth Group, this was a common topic. Give your hopes and dreams to God. God has amazing plans for your life and you've got to surrender your hopes and dreams so He can accomplish what He wants to do with you and through you. These things are true, but the way these truths were presented made me feel like I was going to give up every want, every desire, every dream I ever had for my life and trade it for what God is going to make me do. I just remember being afraid to give Him my hopes and dreams because I thought by doing that I would never see those hopes or dreams come to pass and in return God would make me move to Africa or do something with my life I didn't want to do.
We all have hopes and dreams and along with them come an idea of what our lives might be like, how we're going to accomplish those dreams and the path we might take to see our hopes someday be fulfilled. I feel like so many of us, when we hear "give it to God" we tend to maybe hold on to it just a little bit tighter because the impression we get is that we're putting the idea to rest and will never see it again. And maybe in some cases that is true and that is what needs to happen. But have you ever thought that giving Him your hopes and dreams might be the best thing you could ever do? First of all, God is the one who has put those desires, those hopes and dreams inside your heart. Your passion may very well be your purpose, why would He take it away and make you do something you don't want to? (I'm not saying that He never will) but a lot of the things we're scared to give to Him because we're scared He'll take away for good are probably a lot of the things He's placed inside of us.
So if He's placed those desires, hopes and dreams inside of me, why should I surrender them back to God? I'm so glad you asked!
Have you ever thought that by giving those hopes, dreams and desires back to God, that He might multiply them, mature or shape them, exceed them, prepare you for them, or even fulfill them! He has good for us, don't think that by giving your desires to God is a negative thing. Giving those desires back to God shows your complete trust in His way, His timing, and His provision. Giving your desires to God doesn't mean giving up your desires.
Ephesians 3:20 was the verse God gave me when I started Tailored Faith Co., before it was a business, before I knew it would turn into a business, and before I knew that owning a business was something God really had for me. In 2015 I prayed a prayer that went something like this:
"God, I want to do something significant for you. I have hopes & dreams but I don't know where to start or what to do. Would you just lead me and guide me?"
No magical words, just a simple, real, conversation ending in the surrender of my hopes and dreams. And maybe you don't see the surrender translated through my prayer, but my heart was there. "I have hopes and dreams but I don't know where to start or what to do. Would you just lead me and guide me?" Lead me and guide me, that means if you tell me to step in a direction that doesn't include my hopes and dreams right now, I will. I'll be honest. I was a Property Manager when this all unfolded. I didn't want to be a Property Manager forever, and was hoping God would open a door somewhere, somehow for me to do something that I was passionate about. Did that happen? Yes, but at the time I didn't know it. He lead me and guided me with a whisper to my heart to make a necklace and sell it for a church fundraiser. Does that look like a huge open door to do something I'm passionate about and love doing?! No, that's not what it looked like at ALL. Making jewelry was never a dream of mine, but when I surrendered my dreams, He gave me an opportunity to do something that would grow into a dream and a passion and through that, one of the dreams I did have (owning a business) was being prepared and shaped.
Had I held tight to my dreams and decided to just do it my way, I wouldn't have a Jewelry Company today. I don't know if I would have acted on my dreams alone and created some other business, or if I'd still be a Property Manager, but what I do know, is that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask, dream or imagine. All we have to do is surrender our lives, our dreams to Him and trust that He will work all things together for our good, and that doors will open. Let Him lead.
What is it and why are you holding on so tight? If your white knuckle grip was because you thought giving it to God meant that He'd take it away and you'd never see it again, I hope you find encouragement and the freedom you need to trust and believe that He has good for you, He has more for you and He wants to give you more than you could ever dream. Give it to God, and watch Him work wonders with your dreams.