When you ride a roller-coaster, and your entire body is strapped in tight, you are completely safe. There’s no getting you out of that roller-coaster. You don’t need to hold on.
However, I don’t know about you, but when it comes over the brow of the highest point of the ride, my first inclination is to hold on tight. I don’t need to hold on, but I do.Because it makes me feel safe. Holding on tight somehow this gives me control over my safety.
But to get the most joy out of these rides, I need to let go. Wave my hands in the air as the ride descends from the highest heights. It’s totally counter-intuitive, but it’s the only way to fly. And when you do it, you feel alive.
Life is very similar. We think holding on tight to what we have is the way to keep moving forward. We feel safe. We feel more in control.
But the key to personal growth doesn’t come from holding on tight. It comes from letting go.
Surrender is what leads to growth.
The day before I wrote the first draft of this post, I blogged publicly for the first time for 3 months. It was a surreal feeling. It almost felt like the first time. And the response was overwhelming, so positive & encouraging. I’ve been back over a month now, and I can safely say it’s a very different experience than before. Less pressurised. Less intense. Less of a burden. And no longer a duty, or an attempt to people please.
Taking a break, laying this thing down, surrendering it, has transformed both me and my writing.
And I’m more and more convinced of the power of surrender. Of the roller-coaster season.
I blog now because I love sharing ideas with people, because I love to use my own experiences and reflections to help others grow.
And I get a buzz from hearing how my words have impacted others.
I’ve had some wonderful response since I came back. All of them have served to reinforce both the rightness of my decision to take a break, and to come back. And my instinctive responses to these encouragements has also given me hope.
One in particular which impacted me was from writer friend who follows my blog. They said to me they wanted to share a post with their family, as it has made such a difference to them.
Honestly, I was taken aback.
In the past I’ve dealt with this kind of thing badly. I’ve over-reacted and got carried away. My identity was so tied into success, I took compliments like this way too well – I began to fantasise about my writing career, my future success, and indulge in my awesomeness.
In short, I’ve acted like an ass. And usually, I was very quickly humbled.
But this time I didn’t. My priorities had changed. I’ve redefined success now. Success is when I publish a post or a book, when one person tells me my writing has helped them. And the feeling I got hearing these responses confirmed this wasn’t just words – but that this transformation had actually happened.
God has changed my heart. I’m a different person. Because I chose to surrender. (you can tweet that)
Sometimes, you need to give up something you love. Even if it’s just for a season. To choose what I call the ‘roller-coaster season’.
And here’s four reasons why:
1) Surrender exposes your priorities
Letting go of blogging and writing for a while exposed the fact I was making public approval, status, and success a priority. My identity was too tied to my writing success, and people’s opinion of me as a writer. And I only discovered this by letting go.
2) Surrender reminds you you’re already enough
Giving up public blogging, this thing I’d done to impress, to perform, to be important, meant I was no longer getting approval from those people. I had to look inside of myself, and I eventually began to understand I was already enough, as I am now.
Even if no one ever read my writing, it didn’t matter. I understood finally I was enough already. Other people’s opinions are almost irrelevant.
3) Surrender can help you rediscover your passion
My time away from public blogging was great. It became so freeing to be able to just write for myself. I had a whale of a time. Writing became fun again. I was writing for the love of writing, and no other reason.
The reason I came back, was because inside of me I felt stirring up this sense of wanting to help others with my gift. To stop just writing for me, and put my gift to use. And even if it helped one other person, that was enough.
I’m excited to share more reflections from this season now, because I actually believe they can help people. I’m excited about sharing more about grace not because I have a book on the subject coming out but because it’s a subject I care about, and I have a message to share which I believe can help people.
I’ve rediscovered by passion, and I did this by letting go. By choosing the roller-coaster season.
4) Whatever The Result, You’ll Be Okay…& Fully Alive
Whatever happens as a result of this surrender, you’re going to be okay. Because if what you let go of is really part of the life God has for you, then it’s going to be there when you come back. And if it’s not, chances are it’s because in your time away you’ve discovered a new calling, a new passion.
And whatever happens, taking the roller-coaster path will make you feel alive like never before. Letting go of my public blogging made me feel free, like a huge weight had been lifted. No obligation to anyone else. No pressure to perform. I could just write whatever I wanted, at my own pace, free of agenda and strategy. I’ve never felt so alive.
There might be ups and downs in the roller-coaster path, but you’ll be free in a way you never imagined possible.
Whatever your gift, your calling, or your passion, whatever it is you love, you need to be a place where you would be willing to give it up. If you can’t let something go, it’s most likely become an idol. It’s become your god. And that’s not healthy at all.
So sometimes, for a season, take the roller-coaster path. You’ll rediscover your passion – or even a new one. You’ll be reminded you’re already enough. You’ll have clarity about your journey which you’ve not had before. And whatever happens, you’ll be okay, and you’ll be alive.
In fact, you may find, like me, a sabbatical is part of the calling.
And you’ll be transformed as a result.
Are you with me?
Some Questions For Reflection:
Do you agree about the importance of surrender?
Is there anywhere in your life you’re holding on too tight & need to let go of for the season?
What steps can you take to choose a roller-coaster season of life?
Let me know in the comments below!
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