Articles 6535822843_1e7ea1f739_z

Published on January 18th, 2016 | by Joy Swen

When God Asked Me To Give Up My Dream

For the first time in months I felt at peace.

No pain, no fear, no dread for the day to come, just peace.

I had just surrendered my life to Jesus. After I’d been a Christian for a few years I’d now surrendered fully to Him and I felt at peace.

At the time I thought I knew what complete surrendering to Jesus meant.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t know that it would mean remaining faithful when times got tough, real tough.

Since that day that I surrendered I’ve gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death a few times. Each time God shaped me and made me stronger than before.

Then this last fall the real test came.

I was about to begin setting in motion my post-high school plan. Just as I was about to start down a path I’d been planning for years, God told me not to.

Over a couple of weeks He told me that’s not where He wants me and He wants me to give it up to serve Him.

He asked me to give up my dream, for Him.

To give up my life, for Him.

So I had a decision to make. Follow my lifelong dream? Or give it up and follow Him?

That’s when I learned what it truly meant to surrender to Christ Jesus and live for Him.

What does it mean to surrender?

Surrender means you will give up everything, your money, your dream, and even your life, to serve Christ Jesus.

Surrender means not being afraid when God tells you to do something that seems impossible through human eyes.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20).

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it'” (Matthew 16:24-25).

Think about those words. “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me … I live by faith in the Son of God,” and “he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me … but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

We are commanded to give up our lives to Jesus.

Give up our dreams.

Yes, it’s hard. I still struggle with the fact that I’m not going to serve in the military, my lifelong dream. But I can tell you, it’s worth it.

God will shape you and change you into who He wants you to be, if you surrender.

So where are you? Have you already taken this leap of faith or are you not sure about it yet?

What does it take to surrender?

Have complete faith that Jesus has His hand on your life.

Be willing to take a leap of faith if He asks you to.

Be willing to give up your dreams for Jesus.

Lastly, be ready to live for Jesus.

It begins in your daily life. Show love those around you, grow closer to Christ through prayer and scripture, and look for ways to help people from day to day.

It will change your life. If you truly surrender to Jesus He will change you in ways you never thought possible. He’s changed me, and is continuing to change me.

But it starts with a decision. One word that could change your life.


Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently __ Comment(s)

Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.


About the Author

is a 16 year old on fire for Christ. She enjoys writing, reading, daydreaming, and participating as a Cadet in Civil Air Patrol. Her prayer is that she is able to spend her life showing God's love to children who are in need of healing.

  • Hey Joy! Thanks so much for this reminder. It is so easy to hold onto our dreams tightly and not be willing to be redirected. Thank you for having a different story, though; your willingness and surrender is beautiful. Praying for you on this new road God’s taking you down.

  • Louis Gervais

    “It’s complete surrender.” -dying words of Eric Liddell

  • Stella K. Cooke

    It’s amazing how God can redirect your life completely!
    Four months ago if someone asked me what i did in my spare time i would look at them blankly and say “What spare time?” My schedule was completely full every single day! I was a competitive gymnast and that was it period! My friendships were suffering ,my relationship with God was suffering dreadfully! Then finally after I got home from a week long drama camp where I met so many awesome new friends I realized what I was missing! I was missing my life and God showed me that!

  • Fighting_Falcon

    Amen. Also, hello fellow cadet. What rank did you achieve in CAP?

    • Joy Swen

      I am currently a Cadet Cheif Master Sergeant and the Flight Sergeant at my Squadron. How about you?

    • I like your name and profile pic, @Fighting_Falcon:disqus !

  • Sam G

    Thanks for writing, Joy. This is really challenging and important.

    • Joy Swen

      Your welcome
      Off topic. Are you still on Revive?

      • Sam G

        No, I left Revive in October.

        How about you?

        • Joy Swen

          I left in I think April or so. How was it when you left?

          • Sam G

            Did you really leave in April? Isn’t that when it was started?

            It was pretty good when I left, and growing steadily. The random ramblings space was going a bit crazy, but on the whole, it was a great site. I just felt that it was taking a little too much of my time.

          • Joy Swen

            Maybe it was later. I was on for a couple months but I too was spending too much time on it. I haven’t been on disquis in months.

  • “Lastly, be ready to live for Jesus.”
    That point was amazing.
    Thank you for writing. :)

  • Joy!! I haven’t heard from you in forever! It’s so great to hear from you and know that you are following Jesus. :)

    • Joy Swen

      Sorry. I kinda disappeared for a while. :)

      • Hey that’s not bad! You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve wished I did the same thing. 😉

  • Haylie

    Thank you so much for this, Joy. How encouraging it is to hear how surrendering to Jesus has impacted you! I really needed the idea of surrender brought to my focus today. God bless :)

  • Leorah

    Thank you so much for this. <3 I don't know if you will even read my comment here but how did you hear or know God was asking you to give up your military dreams for Him? This has been something I have been questioning and struggling with myself and your post came almost at the most uncanny time. I don't want to go off the handle and take it as some sign like I might have a year ago or anything but like I said, this had been something I've been struggling with. Thank you!

    • Joy Swen

      The biggest way is though a series of circumstances I knew couldn’t be coincidences.

      This past school year I discovered I absoulity hate math and I’m not a nateral at it to put it lightly. And all the military careers and colleges I was looking at were very math heavy. If I wanted to succed in them I’d have to be good at math and like it.

      Through some training I did with Civil Air Patrol I came to the realization that Im not made for military life. I need solid, deep, quality time, relationships, and that’s hard to do when your training and serving in the military.

      The main objective of the United States military is to kill our enemies. But were commanded to love our enemies, not kill them.

      And all along I knew I wanted to spend my life serving Jesus. And as hard as I tired. I couldn’t find a way for me to do that and serve in the military.

      A couple years ago I had an idea, that came out of the blue, for a ministry to reach lost children. After doing some research I found there aren’t any other like it. So I knew that it must have come from Jesus.

      This past fall He laid that idea on my heart once more. I saw the need for the ministry in my front yard. We had a child in our neighborhood who was going off the rails. And every time I saw her a small voice in the back of my brain said “those are the children I want you to reach”

      So I talked to people I trust and look up to, and prayed like I’ve never prayed before. I spent time asking God, “Is this really what you want?” and time after time He showed me through my everyday life that it was what He wanted me to do.

      Please dont think this was an over night decision. It took me months to see it. Months of asking what He wants me to do. Months of waiting for the answer. But when He showed it to me it was clear. Then I just had to make a decision.

      • Leorah

        Thank you so much for your response, Joy. It really helped. I will just keep doing what I feel is right for the day, even though I so wish I knew what the future holds or just had some kind of road map.
        I know those months of waiting for an answer had to be awful. I am struggling with what to do and if the military plays a role in my future and I know how draining the whole thought process is. What to do and what not to do, I mean. To have wanted it more than anything and to have to say no to it right now has to be the worst, though. Especially too if you know others enlisting. I know God has amazing things for your future And while I feel I am an emotional wreck half the time, at least we know God works out everything for the good to those who love Him. <3
        Have you evwr heard of the Benham brothers? They have a really great book and your story here reminded me of it. You might find you have some stuff in common with them.
        Thank you again so much for your reply, and for your article. All of these questions have been getting to me lately and they've helped. To remember what is important and to know I'm not the only one. Even if I have to give up dreams of my own..
        God bless and I'll pray a prayer for you. Maybe you can say a quick one for me?
        Thank you again! <3

        • Joy Swen

          I’m praying for you Leorah. It’s hard. But I know God has a plan for each of us. Even if we can’t see it clearly.

          No. I haven’t heard of the Benham brothers. But I’ll check them out.

          Please let me know if you have any other questions.

          • Leorah

            Thank you so much! And I most definitively will. You really have helped and I hope you know that.

  • Cassie

    Love this post Joy <3 :)

  • Sami

    Awesome post Joy. I have wanted to be a vet since I was little, but just recently I’ve been feeling like God wants me somewhere else. So this really encouraged me.

  • Karen I.

    Thank you for this post, Joy. It enlightens me, especially with what I am going through right now. May we have ears to hear His calling, feet to walk the path Christ trod, hands to touch the hurting and the faith to follow Christ.

  • Chris T.

    Wow… I think this is a lesson we all have to continually learn. Thanks for writing this, Joy!

  • thatcher jane

    Wow I was crying midway through it. There was a dream I had that I had to give up for CHRIST and a. Its nice to know someone else has that struggle and b. Good to see someone got through it. Thanks.

  • This can be so hard, but you’re right. :)

    P.S. I’m in CAP, too! 😀

    • Joy Swen

      What rank are you?

      • Just an airman; we joined pretty recently, but I intend to work hard towards ranking up. :)

        • Joy Swen

          Go for it! I’m an Chief Master Sgt and have been in about 16 months. Its worth all the hard work it takes to promote.

  • Maiya Drennen

    This was me four years ago. I backed away from heading off to my dream school because I felt the Lord leading me to do so. I ended up staying home – and, man, can I tell you it is all worth it! God knows me so much better than I do and His plans are so much higher than my plans. This was a beautiful blog post. I hope you find lots of encouragement as you continue to choose to follow God’s will for your life.

  • Frank Segura

    How do you know if this is for you or not?

Back to Top ↑