I remember three very distinct times in my life that I had to be a tough girl. Once at age seventeen, twenty and twenty-four.
When I was seventeen I’d been offered multiple full basketball scholarships to division one universities. Basketball was my passion and I loved playing. When I wasn’t playing basketball I was either talking about it, thinking about it or dreaming about it.
In my junior year of high school the university basketball coaches needed an answer from me and I had to give them my final decision. After many hours of prayer and long discussions with my parents, the answer was crystal clear.
I didn’t accept any of the scholarships and that ended my basketball career at the close of my senior year. It took every ounce of toughness in me to be willing to say “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life.”
More toughness needed
A few years later my older sister Kristen and I started thinking about attending Bible School. After much prayer and discussions with our parents, we applied and were accepted. All seemed to be moving along smoothly until a few months before the start of the school year. God started working in each of our hearts and eventually made it clear that Bible School was not what He wanted us to do.
Kristen and I, both, had to say those incredibly hard words, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life.”
Although, the first two times of surrendering my plans to God’s will were hard, this next time would be even harder.
I was in a relationship with a young man and I didn’t want to surrender it to God. It took many nights of tears and crying out to God for me to finally say those difficult words, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life.”
Looking back I realize it takes a tough girl to say those words.
It takes a tough girl to give up her plans and desires and follow God no matter the cost. No matter how difficult or painful, a tough girl is always willing to trust and follow God. A tough girl is willing to give something up if God asks her to. A tough girl, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, daily surrenders her life to God.
I hate to admit this, but, my “wimpy girl” list is a whole lot longer than my “tough girl” list.
I’ve been a wimpy girl so many times in the past. I’ve given into my feelings, held onto my plans with a clenched fist, ignored God’s obvious direction in my life and just cared more about myself than others.
Why is being a “wimpy girl” so much easier than being a “tough girl?” Because being a wimp is easy. Being a wimp doesn’t take guts or gumption. It doesn’t take sacrifice and it’s all about immediate satisfaction.
Being a tough girl is really hard. It takes strength. It takes determination and a commitment to follow God no matter the cost. Being tough isn’t for the self focused, short sited, immediate-pleasure-seeking type of girl.
Which type of girl are you?
Is there a situation, circumstance, person or thing that God is asking you to give up? Are you facing something that is going to require you to be tough and say, “I give up my plans and desires and I surrender to Your will for my life?”
It may be a person, relationship, job, school, guy, friend, church, pet, plans, desire or something completely different. Whatever it is, you have to make a choice. Will you be a wimpy girl and hold on to your plans? Or, will you surrender your plans and desires and follow God’s will no matter the cost?
One of the toughest girls I’ve ever read about penned these words in her journal:
“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes. All my own desires and hopes and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt and work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now and forever.” -Betty Scott Stam
It wasn’t long after Betty wrote these words she was beheaded for her faith as a missionary to China.
Can you imagine praying those words in the midst of your difficult situation and actually meaning them? It takes a really tough girl to do that. Wimpy girls can’t handle that level of self-sacrifice and obedience to God.
I want to challenge you to write down that prayer and make it true for you. Tape it to your bathroom mirror, in your car, bedroom wall, phone, journal or wherever you will see it. Pray it on a daily basis and make these tough words characterize your life.
Will you join me?
- Will you pray this prayer over your current struggle right now?
- Will give up your plans and purposes and surrender to God’s will?
- Are you willing to allow God to work out His whole will in your life at any cost?
- Who is willing to say these tough words with me?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to start a conversation and comment below.
Photo credit: www.flickr.com | Lulumière