Sunday, August 09, 2009

Getting out of the driver's seat

Let Go and Let God. I used to sell bumper stickers with these words printed on them. Also mugs and cute little cards. I mailed out quite a few myself.

Easy words to send out when they aren’t directed back at me.

I’ve got a hard head when it comes to getting things done. Part of that comes from my background as a counselor. I love to set goals and create the plan to meet each of them. I have to admit I’ve put a huge amount of faith in my ability to fix any crisis or need or meet any goal.

So when it comes to the next step in my writing process, sending out the query and catching the eye of some agent or publisher—I’m stumped.

Yes, I’ve written it as best I can. I’ve researched how to put your best work forward. I’ve edited until I want to trash the whole thing into the garbage. And that’s where it ends.

My part.

Two years ago, my husband lost the job that was his career and life as we once knew it ceased to exist. I hurried to find work for him in SC and that ended in disaster. Then months later he took another job which also ended badly. I cut back our expenses. I learned to love generic. We activated our licenses. We started a business and we even put our home up for sale. I can't count on friends or family to help us. They have their own lives. So I did everything I could in my own power. And that’s where it ends.

My part.

In recent months, I've had to step back and take a closer look at my actions. Both with life and with my writing. I can only do so much and then really, I need to LET GO and LET GOD.

Whatever that will mean.

I can’t fix this problem or make miracles happen in my life. I can’t convince some employer to give my husband or me a job. I can’t convince some editor to love my work and offer me a contract.

Only God can.

But I need to get out of the way and let Him. And most of all--put my faith where it needs to be. Not in me.

How about you? Are you standing in the way of something God wants to do for you today?

33 comments:

Jessica said...

Eeek! I hope not! LOL You always ask the questions that have me back-tracking and reexamining, lol. But that's good. I hope I'm not standing in His way for anything. If I am, I hope he'll give me a good bump. LOL

You know, I think you do have a part and you've done it well. You've been honorable and wise with the money you do have. I think God wants us to be responsible and even though you're a fixer, it sounds like you are letting God take the reins. :-) He does amazing stuff. I'm excited to see what He does for you.

Yolanda said...

Still pondering, as this beats with what He showed me yesterday.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Stephanie Faris said...

So true. My boyfriend was out of work for a long time but a lot of the jobs he ended up not getting were jobs that would have required him to travel all week. When he finally found a job, it was great because he's in town every night.

Lazy Writer said...

Wonderful thoughts! We do really need to let go of the things we have no control over. Thanks for the reminder.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Good question. I wonder if I'm pushing my own agenda in a couple of areas. It's time to do some serious praying. I'm getting a little punchy running into brick walls.

Thanks for bringing me up short.

Blessings,
Susan :)

sarah said...

I'm sorry to hear all that stuff happened to you. From my own life I know God has always had to bring me to the end of myself because I get A+++ for never wanting to think I can't make something work. Bottom line - when I finally let go, He does miracles. Praying for you and your family for some awesome miracles. Sarah

Carmen said...

You're good with those questions! LOL. I'm always trying to do things in my own strength...but I'm learning, albeit very slowly. Thanks for the reminder to let go and let God!

T. Anne said...

Oh Terri, what trials! Every time I feel under the spiritual gun I try and remember the biblical lives of Abraham, Joseph, Rahab, Tamar, David, Job, the list goes on and on. IN the end God fulfilled His purpose for them. I keep telling myself I am not good enough to mess God up. Really, I'm not that good lol! Have you read the Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers? It has touched me so deeply and I can clearly see God' hand in my life through their stories. If you read just one, I would recommend Bathsheeba. God bless you and your husband. It is an honor for me to lift you up to the throne!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Letting go is difficult, isn't it! but when we do let go, and allow for things to have their way without stress or strain, there is a releasing.

Tammy said...

I stood in God's way for years before I "Let go and let God" deal with my son.

My son is now 27 and still out collecting his testimony but God is the driver not me.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

My head still hurts from all the brick walls I've run into because I was on fast forward and not waiting on the Lord. It sure tries your patience and your faith to let go and let God! Still lifting you and Curt in prayer daily for an abundance of blessings very soon.

Sande said...

Know that intense step of faith where we give Him the 'fishes and loaves' of our lives and behavior and leave the rest up to Him.

Of knowing without a doubt what He wants, what He's promised, yet what I see in my capacity doesn't bridge the gap to the outcome.

So how amazing is it when He 'feeds the five thousand' with our skinny fish; makes awesomeness happen because we were willing; shines His truth through us in spite of us.

I love it ..... !

Madison said...

God really will come through. Sometimes it seems that He's running late tho'. Bless you.

Truth4thejourney said...

This was an interesting post today. I've just returned from a writers conf. and it had its ups and downs. Some editors liked my writing while others just seemed bored with life. But God! Two words that I live my life by.

Keep writing and submitting and trusting. God is good and faithful.

Sonya Lee

Jody Hedlund said...

You're right. We do have to be dilligent and do our part. But then once we've done all we humanly can, then it rests in the Lord's hands. He ultimately opens and closes doors, and we don't always understand why!

Melissa Marsh said...

It is so hard to let go and let God - but at the same time, it can be so liberating. He is in complete control.

My mantra lately has been, "His time, not mine." Boy. It's hard realize that His time may definitely NOT be my time. That's where faith comes in.

Kelly Moran said...

great blog. i'm following you now. check out/follow mine. i have all things books...
nice seeing you.
xo

Jan Cline said...

A candid revelation that we all can relate to. All the comments are great and I echo them. Grabbing the reins when the road gets bumpy is a human response that is difficult to change.

Trudy said...

So true...and can be hard to do. I am struggling with this now with my husband being unemployed (with no unemployment benefits yet)...I am getting better with it though because I know His plan is always the better one anyway and He hasn't failed us yet!

ginny said...

Yep, I am no longer in the drivers seat. I am getting my ladies group together and hopefully we can start up in Sept., I have not yet written anything to submit because I feel that I am not ready..and aa far as the finances go, I have already given that up to the Lord to figure out. I am going to need health insurance by Dec. and have no idea how we will do that without our cobra. I am not stressing as I did in the past, and the bruises on my forehead where I keep hitting myself is starting to heal! Seriously, we are under His eyes and He is in full control.
Great food for thought, Terri.

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

I too have been on a journey to learn that this year. It's incredible what happens when you let go and let God. :>) BUT you have to open your eyes to see Him and then you will see Him everywhere working behind the scenes and out in front.

Lin said...

It's a real test of faith in God, to not try to control his answers to our prayers but to instead ask "what am I to learn from this experience?" It's also important to let our spouses solve their problems and not mother them-it's so easy to do but doesn't strengthen them or our relationship. Just trust in the plan, God's plan for your life and pray for faith and patience while you work to solve your problems with any doors that open. Can you monetize your blog? Don't know if that helps but read about it. God's peace to you.

Warren Baldwin said...

I appreciate your willingness to share your story. I admire your positive and persistent spirit.

Heather Sunseri said...

Oh, those reminders that we are not in control can hurt so much sometimes. I'm sorry for what you had to go through. I truly hope that I'm not standing in God's way to do something amazing in my life or in the way of me doing something amazing for Him.

Warren Baldwin said...

Just checking back. Thanks for the good comment this morning on FF.

Rose Mary said...

God does take care of all of it~but sometimes it's just so hard to let go of 'me' being in charge.

Nancy said...

I'm finding that "letting go and letting God," is a very difficult thing to do. I'ts where I'm at. It's my goal for now. I'm just not very good at it, yet. Like everything else that is good, it takes time and practice. I intend to get good at it.

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh, I've been there. The past few years I thought I could alter our course, but now I'm just mellow. Our life is in God's hands and He's doing fine. I try to only put effort in what I can change (spending, writing, my attitude) and I leave the rest to Him. Still praying for you, Terri.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Yikes, Terri, I didn’t realize you’d been down such a rough road. Here’s wishing you the very best and hoping things turn around, or, work in a way that makes you happy, or, at least you understand. Failing that, I guess faith takes over and you accept as best you can without understanding.

Still, I admire that you’ve done what you can do in many areas. Folks that try to help themselves are the most deserving of all. That’d be you. Sending you lots of good vibes and wishes for a peaceful life.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Beautifully said and just the place I find myself in this season of life. Honestly? I'm exhausted and that exhaustion has been God's gift to me, reminding me that I have no where else to turn at this point but to him.

I'm leaving my "junk" and my plans at his feet. It's too hard being me most days.

Love you. Would love an update on your status as time allows.

peace~elaine

Katie Ganshert said...

Wow - what a great reminder! Especially since I will start querying soon. Thanks for this email, Terri! I needed to read it, because I try to control things WAY too often.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a great post....I have an extended family realtionshup that is broken that I have tried so hard to fix. I can't....

KelliGirl said...

Terri,
I know it wasn't easy for you to get to a place to let go and let God. Know that He is using the experiences you share on your blog to bless and inspire me and so many others.

I pray that your manuscript finds itself into the right hands. You're a great writer! (I took a class in writing a novel at the Phila. conference and writing fiction is HARD! I admire even more now than I did before! :-)

Blessings and love,
Kelli