Sarah Markley
About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Am I okay with the Lord writing my destiny, my future? Should I take charge of my own life, or is it better to leave it up to Him?

    I think the latter always works out better…

  2. My life was a complete mess UNTIL I let Him have His way! My life has turned out nothing like I thought – it is WAY better than any plan I have had for myself. I am doing thing I never dreamed I would do and enjoying life more than I thought was possible. Sure I have been through abuse, divorce, depression, adultery – you name it – but I have written books and songs about it and would change a thing knowing what I know now! I wouldn’t have chosen to write all those horrible things into my life but then I wouldn’t be who I am today doing all the awesome things that I get to do.

    I love the story God has given me, you are very welcome to read about too here 🙂

    or have a listen to some of my songs

  3. I hear you. I am a city girl who thinks mascara should be part of any survival kit, a born and raised Floridian who learned to swim before walking and I told God categorically I don’t do camping or children. And all of heaven chuckled. I am now going on my 5th year in the middle of the land locked bush of S Sudan, no running water, no electricity and now 105 children calling me mama.

    My idea of camping is still a spa day, mascara is still the first item I make sure I have in emergencies and in the middle of a story I would have never chosen for myself, I have never known such joy. I am learning the One Who writes the Story on the fabric of time itself is the best Storyteller. In the middle of mystery, I am learning to wait for eternity’s denouement to unfold. With love- His Shel in Sudan

  4. Did things turn out the way I thought they would and am I okay with living out the life God planned for me?

    Well things have not turned out the way I thought they would. I always said I would not repeat the things my mother did as I was growing up. I was the one who always said I didnt want a man to hold me back, push me around, tell me no. I wanted to have a job, a house, a child and a dog. No room for a man in that picture. I never saw healthy relationships let alone a healthy marriage. I lived my young adult life as if I had not a care in the world! I had a great job in healthcare. I was always out at the clubs with my friends at least 3 days a week living the single life, I had a house and a dog. Only thing missing was the child. So I tried and I tried to have that child. I wasnt married. I would eventually get pregnant and then eventually miscarry. I had NO support from my family. I began to travel, I met my husband, had 2 children, had a house, and 4 dogs! It was not a healthy marriage, he drank alot, we didnt speak, we didnt know each other. I am now divorced and back to where I started. I have a house, 2 kids, a dog and a good job.

    Gods life for me? I learning that the past 20+ years were part of his plan even if I did venture down a very crooked, steep path. He put people along that path as I spiraled to the bottom and I took notice finally. He used these people to help me understand that where I was at, was not where I needed to stay. I could find my way out of it all but only with His help. As easy as it was to come down that path to the bottom, as much fun as I had getting there, it was hell coming out of it. But He was there using friends that I started to get to know. They told me that if I cant do what he says he still loves me, he will re-direct the path when I stumble so that I get back towards him. He has. My life now is what it is. I am learning each day to be okay with it. There are parts of it I am not happy with but I am learning to accept it. What so ironic to me is that I no longer want to be alone. I want to be married, just to a man that loves me for who I am, flaws and all. I want a man who loves the same God that I love and not a rum bottle. I want someone who will take the time to get to know me and give me the time to learn to trust them and to get to know them. Right now, I guess that is not in God’s plan. So I continue to learn about Him and I continue to learn about myself. So I wait. And try so hard to remain patient.

    • I think how our story unfolds – our choices – isn’t always his plan, as much as what happens as a result of our choices. His love is so great that it goes to the bottom of our bottom. The consequences for our choices aren’t what we deserve, but instead a chivalrous Prince rescuing us. The Love He wanted us to know all along, He shows us, even as we choose a harder way. It’s His Grace that allows what He truly wants for us to be fulfilled, as part of His bigger plan, not so much the details of how we got there.

  5. Oh Sarah, I could have written most of this… I could have been sitting beside you through countless literature classes (both undergrad and graduate work) thinking things would just turn out right… I think I’ve spent most of my life asking God to sign on the dotted line of the story I’d planned.
    It took infertility and the inability to have children to realize God’s story is greater than mine; this plan bigger and better than something I could dream up. Things didn’t turn out as I thought they would… most often (in hindsight) they turned out better…
    A hard lesson to be sure!

    • Thelma–thanks for your post. It hit me to my core as I’ve struggled with infertility for a couple of years—like most, this was not part of the story I’d written for myself. Thankful that I can trust that there is something bigger for me!

  6. I think God sometimes sits and watches the choices we make – and allows us to feel the consequences of those choices. Otherwise, how would we learn and grow and stretch our souls?

    • I think He uses those choices. Every, Single. One. I think our God is so loving that He doesn’t just sit back…He responds to our choices, and yes – with each there are consequences, but His Grace is so big that the consequences can be more eye opening than if we hadn’t chosen the way we had. We learn and grow through His Grace and we learn more about love as He uses the choices we make to guide us back to Him, back on the path He intended for us.

  7. As one of those people sitting in college classrooms, taking notes, hoping that a story emerges from this towering pile of books and papers and exams – thank you. Thank you for telling this story – how “He asks me to be content with the story HE wants to write for me EVEN if it looks nothing like what I’ve already given Him.” It is hard to be at the very beginning and wondering if I’m doing it right, following Him. But thank you, because I can hear in your beautiful words the beautiful story He writes over each of us. And hearing yours has brought a smile to my college morning!


  8. This past year has been one of the hardest that I’ve had to walk, and things definitely aren’t going as I had planned, but I can honestly say with all that is in me, I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. God is at work – in me and around me, and it’s hard … sometimes gut-wrenchingly and sickeningly so … but it is so. totally. worth. it.

    All of my life, I have been writing my story, but every day, I’m realizing what a poor writer I am. Instead, I am learning to leave my life, my story, in the very capable hands of He who can do IMMEASURABLY more than I could ask OR EVEN IMAGINE! To HIM be the glory … throughout ALL generations, for ever and ever! (Ephesians 3:20-21)

  9. Yes. AFter many years of trying to live the story I wrote for myself, I had to finally step out of that and into His story. It was crushing, humbling, painful, a lesson in failure. But He was there, still is here, continuing to edit my story daily. Stresses and struggles don’t go away, but the peace that comes with knowing He is charge is a powerful coping mechanism.
    Blessings to you and yours, Sarah!

  10. My story is so different from how I imagined … yet the core values do remain consistent. I get to be a mother, I love my family more than ever, I believe God is for me and depend on Him for everything. The details and even the players have changed, but the over-arching theme has not.

  11. What about you? Did things turn out like you thought they would? Are you okay with living the STORY God is writing for you?

    No. I am NO where where I am supposed to be in life. I had always planned to have many children, have a great job and have a pretty hefty 401(k) set up by the time I was 30. That didn’t happen. I moved the age to 40 and it still didn’t happen. I have been on disability of 13 years limiting what I can and can not do with Social Security taking more money away from me.

    September of 2010 was the start of a nightmare with Social Security & the Long Term Disability company. In December we got hit with a mortgage increase of $200.00 and In January, our Health Care insurance went up an additional $400.00 per month. We can’t afford all these changes. So, I gave it all to Him and asked him to please help me find away to make this work.

    We have made everything work out so far. The only issue was our van payment and I am SO blessed to have a Mom & Dad who graciously stepped up and paid it off for us. One day, Lord willing, we will pay it back.

    One a good note, my husband who works for the Shuttle Program at KSC managed to get by another lay-off of 1,000 workers. We are so blessed in that in itself.

    We wake up every morning and all six of us gather and pray to God to provide for us and to keep us safe. I can not worry about thing I can not change. I just pray things will fall into place as He wants them too. I finally stopped writing my life out.

    Kimberly S.

  12. I love seeing His plan unfold and I’m glad you decided to take His edits and make something more out of your story. I have the journalism degree, but even that designation didn’t make me believe I was worthy, even though I was a writer. I’m now more excited about God’s plans than trying to fulfill my own. I never saw writing songs in my future – so glad He did. Waking each day, I thank Him for my breath, the gifts I’ve been given and ask that His will be done, not mine. We’re “losing” our home too – downsizing to live more simply & have hands open and pockets full enough to be able to give more freely.

  13. Sarah, this is the exact thing I’ve been working through lately! I’m reading Don Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and this line the other day completely captivated me about how we are living storytellers. Living Storytellers! I’d never thought of myself in that light, although I consider myself to be a writer and storyteller. But living out the story of my own life? My mind soared with the possibilities. No, my life hasn’t turned out according to what I imagined but God is doing something better- at least I believe this on my best days. On the hard days, when I wish I was married and could share my life with a family of my own or when I wonder why certain dreams haven’t become reality, it’s harder to own this Story of My Life. I think that’s why I continue to come back to Romans 8:28- God works all things for good. Maybe not my version of good but even the crap will be used for good some way, some how.

    • This is so true…God makes ALL things for good. All. Every bit. Every inch. Every speck. Every choice. Every move. Your crap…will become beauty. Where garbage resides, gardens will bloom. Your worst days are canvas for His best days. Rich blessings from your faith…

  14. I don’t call myself a writer yet. But I’ve definitely tried to write my own story. I imagine God looked at my ideas and gently smiled and said ‘um… I think it will read better another way.’

    Life is better when I stop trying to wrestle the pen away from the real author of my life.

  15. i can totally relate to your post…i do the same have it planned and when it doesn’t turn out i sometimes blame myself…..not faithful enough, not disciplined enough etc….and things did not turned out as planned…and sometimes i am ok, and sometimes it feels like I am looking at a way to work it out for myself…i want trust Him to write my story…every part of it….thanks!

  16. Your post so resonated with me right from the beginning.

    I too went to college dreaming of becoming a writer. My parents; however, did not equate writing with success, money, etc. and so I went the direction of being pre-med with a major of Biological Science. I attempted to double major in that AND English which four years later ended up being a terrible mistake because I couldn’t give either the attention it deserved. I came out of college with nothing to show, no job pursuits, and life from there…..

    DID NOT go the way I “planned.” Like you, I wasn’t the little girl planning my wedding. I’ve always said I feel like an outcast that I never laid out a solid dream or passion to pursue and HOW to pursue it. Since I was little, things just WORKED out. Somehow. I thought they’d keep working in my favor.

    It’s not to say I am not immensely blessed nor grateful. But allowing myself to even believe God is in control–now as a believer–causes me great anxiety. I want to be in control and I know it’s no longer that way.

    What a beautiful way to equate your love of writing with how God writes our stories!

  17. Sarah, I just ‘stumbled’ across this blog post today (Lindsey Nobles posted it on Facebook) I just want to thank you for sharing and being so real. It really impacted me. So true, we often write our own stories and very often they aren’t the story God wrote. Thanks so much for the reminder and encouragement!

  18. Thank you Sarah and ladies for being so open and honest to share your stories. It’s the courage to love others more than worrying about what they will think that enables others to be blessed and healed!

    God has been showing me who He is and what His purpose for His own people is my whole life! I’ve been just like the children of Israel – too blinded by unbelief to see it!

    Dad taught me through a song, “Trust & Obey”. The chorus goes, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Wished I’d listened. But, just like Eve, I had to do things my way. Learning the principle of sowing and reaping over and over!!!!
    Mom taught me that there are only two things that last in this life: 1) The Word of God, and 2) The souls of men (I think she got that from the Navigator’s)! Wished I had listened to her as well! No! Had to go around the other way. Building my life upon the world’s ideals and using others & being used by others! But it was my choice and I have lived with the consequences! All the while, God had been drawing me to Himself and showing me who He was and His purpose. He’s taught me that His way is best. Even if it looks like a mess and I can’t see what good can come of it. He can take those life experiences and make them beautiful for His glory and my good! IT’S NOT ABOUT ME AT ALL!!!
    He is teaching me that He is worthy of my praise, thanksgiving, honor, love, service, etc. He is helping me to love Him like I should and others the way I want them to treat me. But, it is a daily, moment by moment choice to recognize Him as Lord and de-throne myself. Because I trust Him and obeying Him is the best choice!

    • God thinks no less of you because you didn’t respond during those times. He built them in your heart, one over and another, until you were ready. He’s a patient God whose Grace is so big He never leaves you. The Grace is that you remembered all those lessons, eventually. He kept you save all that time. He guided you to today. Such Grace…all for you…love for you.

  19. this is my story, too…living it out God’s way…His Story. And it is good, and very different from my own way…but His way is much better than mine! I am learning through His Story to trust Him more, and to seek after Him more. Rather than asking for the answers to my millions of questions, I just want to KNOW Him.
    Thank you for sharing your story…God is so good to us.

  20. This is so beautiful. And at 47, I’m still working it out. With fear and trembling . . . because I’ve taken too much control, too much credit for my life, and have left too little to God. This week He’s testing me in this–just a small thing–but I don’t know how to just leave this situation up to Him. I’m trying.

  21. Sarah – As a fellow writer this analogy is just so good.

    I too have been thinking about this lately. I get mad at God sometimes when he edits what I’ve written. This stood out to me the most right now. “The friends I have might NOT be the ones I know later. ”

    We know two expat families both of whom are most likely only here temporarily. It breaks my heart to think about them returning home. They are some of our closest friends. Yet, I want to be the kind of person who presses into the story God has written into my life even if it means some heartache. I find it causes me to connect more deeply with others and depend more on Him for everything I need.

  22. These are hard questions to answer.

    Do things ever turn out the way you thought they would? I’d say for the majority of us, not really!

    And am I OK with the story God is writing for me? Another hard question.
    While I probably wouldn’t have written it out the same way, what with all the pain and crap that I have endured in my life, in the end (especially in retrospect) I always feel like God writes it better. Would I be the same person if I didn’t have to endure certain things? Would I even be able to relate to others?

    This verse really hits home (I guess in regards to answering your questions):

    “And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You are more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart.” The Message – 2 Corinthians 7:11

  23. No. Things did not turn out the way I thougtht they should. Even after a rough & rocky start in middle & high school & years of frustration I have a life now that is better than I could imagine.

    I’m working in clinical healthcare, me some one who didn’t like science. I’m married, finally, to a wonderful man that only God could provide for me. Life is good.

  24. Thank you for writing this! I also was never one of those girls who planned out her life or her dream wedding or picked out kids names (which is probably why it’s so hard for me to find the right name for the one on the way lol). When I switched my majors in college (biology to marketing – dramatic, I know) I had a vision for my life. I was going to be that confident, powerful, business woman in a great outfit, awesome shoes and respected by everyone walking down the street with purpose. And five years later I achieved all of that. I was the “it girl” in my town. The top young professional, involved in everything, people calling for my opinion before they acted, some even said I’d be mayor some day. (Although I didn’t really want that.) I took charge, changed my life traveled and then it seemed like everything fell apart. I didn’t understand. I had accomplished my goals, I had accomplished my dreams. I almost felt like that’s it, I’m 26 and there is nothing else to work for because I’ve done all I can dream. I couldn’t for the life of me latch on to something else to dream about. And that’s where I’ve been for about a year and a half now. Just going along, day to day, not sure what I’m going towards and feeling like I have no clue either.

    I’ve been walking with God in a completely different way than I ever have this past year and He’s taken me through heartache and depression and general questioning of everything. But He’s also led me to my wonderful husband, his amazing children, a new baby on the way and more joy from all that than I could have thought possible. But even though I’ve felt so lost career, and purpose wise, I still have such a hard time just letting God write His-story for me. Which is funny because looking back, I know it was God who opened all the doors and led me to where I was a few years ago. There is no way I could have done all that without Him. I just didn’t realize at the time that He was the one doing it. So now I’m at a point where I don’t have anything to lose by letting go, but there is something being stubborn in me. And reading all your comments and stories here has helped a lot!

    You know I think that at some point I let my heart go. I got more confident in the world and what it had to offer than in my faith, even though I didn’t think I had any back then. I became bitter and jaded once I had it “all”, and I started to realize all that was wrong in the world and it just brought me down. Instead of the youthful optimism I once had where anything could be fixed, I realized I had changed to someone who just accepted injustice and just didnt want to anything. I had lost my heart and then when I finally realized this I spent months being depressed about letting that happen.

    And now I’m working on getting my heart back. Taking my mind back. And then giving that over to God. I can’t let the realization that I let myself go down a very dark path get me down any longer because I have lots of great work to do for God. He is here for me and He’s walking beside me, giving me a way out, encouraging me every step of the way, helping me to fight back the darkness that crept in over the years. I want to do God’s will and walk the path that He has for me but I don’t see it yet, and that is so frustrating to me. But I know He’s here in His perfect timing, laying plans that I can’t see and doing work in me and around me while I wait (even though sometimes not so patiently) on Him.

  25. At age 32 I found myself single, living in a one-bedroom efficiency, working day and night to make ends meet. That was not at all what I had envisioned as a “youngster”.

    My plan included having it all ~ husband who adored me, a quiver full of kids, “flitting” around doing what I wanted when, living worry free. The only thing absent was the presence of my Heavenly Father. I hadn’t even consulted Him. I trusted my eternity to Him, but not the temporal.

    Thankfully, He welcomed my invitation to take the controls of my life. It isn’t without hurt, grief and uncertainly, but hope trumps them all.

  26. Your title caught my eye. Then the 2nd half of the post pierced my heart. No, I am Absolutely Not where I expected to be 3 months from turning 33. I am still single. I rent an apartment (which I love, but not a house). I have one fish and 5 plants, nothing with fur. I have amazing friends and a wonderful family. But no husband.

    But am I okay with the Story God is Writing? Some days I am. Even on my bad days I throw myself into His lap and beg him to make this right, to make it all turn out well, to use it for my betterment, to protect me from myself etc. But if I look farther back than a year or two I can see CLEARLY where He has worked, what He has done, what He has saved me from. And I am grateful.

  27. Today I am literally struggling to write my story–for a digital storytelling class. I want to tell the truth, I want to see the story God would have for me. Yet, I have no words. I am sitting in the dark searching for the light. Groping along and trying to deny the things my hands find–another woman’s clothes on my dresser, an email denying me a conversation with someone I love like nothing else on this Earth.

    I know the story is in the hands of the Most Gracious and Gifted Author, yet, He doesn’t make trailers or previews. I may never hear the answer to Why with these ears.

    So I struggle and talk myself through verses and stories that show Him triumphant, and that He goes before me. I try to reframe my thoughts and my story into one of Grace.

    Thank you for sharing.

  28. Nope. Hasn’t turned out at all like I expected, in fact, I often wonder why we always end up on the hard road. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it. If God did what I wanted, I’d probably have “leanness of soul” and if this road we’re on is what makes a “meaty soul” then I’ll take it. God knows what will bring Him the most glory so I’ve gotta trust Him with that and hang on tight when the road gets bumpy.

  29. Thank you for sharing Sarah!
    In answer to your question, no, my life has not turned out the way I thought. But after working through a lot of tough stuff in my 50+ years, I can now say thank you for them. Some of the worst things that have happened have yielded the best fruit in my life. So I can love more deeply, laugh more deeply, and worship more deeply than before.
    Thank you for sharing a part of the manuscript of your life with us! Love it when God makes our stories intersect!

  30. “He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold. ”

    For many years, I tried to write my own story; it played like something out of a Shakespeare Tragedy. Then I signed my name to the bottom of the blank page and asked God to fill in the terms of my surrender for me.

    It hasn’t gone the way I had hoped or even liked, but I can say that He has blessed me in all things. The triumphs, as well as the seeming tragedies, He uses to glorify Himself every step of the way. Some of my hardest moments, like the stillbirth of my firstborn son, He used to bring many to eternal life in Christ.

    I wouldn’t trade my life or it’s particular or peculiar burdens for anyone else’s and I trust that He will lead me safely Home. He’s faithful to complete the good work He’s begun and I have learned that I am safer in danger with Christ than in quietness without Him.

  31. No, my story didn’t turn out quite the way I planned…
    two years wed, first-born baby boy, happily ever after, right?
    How ’bout that baby boy ends up in the NICU at 5 days old, three brain surgeries in four months, and the happily-ever-after tale is a waking nightmare?

    Years have past. God continues to work. No fairy-tale endings yet, and my boy goes under the knife again in four days. Fear roils up, swallows my joy. I’ve finally started writing about it; maybe there is healing in the sharing?
    Teri @

    • There is such purpose in this, Teri. God’s Grace covers this and He WILL use this as evidence of His Love and Grace. Being willing to be used – even sacrifice the health and life our children – is hard and we’re allowed those feelings of pain. Seeing beyond and trusting His plan….that He will use this time and He WILL make beauty from ashes…being at a place where you can give thanks for even this “ugly beauty” honors Him. He will lead you closer to Him…Find moments to give thanks and He will show you His love and provisions.

      • Teri, my heart goes out to you and your family. As a mom of 8 I find that my most frightful moments are when my loved ones are hurting or in danger and it sounds like you’ve faced that situation chronically for years. I just read 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp and if you haven’t already read this beautiful, thoughtful book, maybe it would give your mother heart some comfort. I pray that your little boy comes beautifully through his surgery and that the LORD holds you tightly and that you can feel His presence with you through each and every moment.

        I’m going to go to your blog and bookmark it so I can find out how his surgery goes. Blessings to you.

  32. I just posted about something similiar this morning…Letting Go…Thought I had my life all planned out…until God called me to Haiti this past December. Who would have thought God would call you half way across the world…thinking I was going to “help people who were broken”…and come home BROKEN myself. We serve an amazing God. I have learned lately that He speaks to us, we just have to listen. He is calling me “out of nursing”…and to pursue my heart, a talent He has given me-photography. It’s scary, and I am nervous about this leap of faith, but I also know that He is there to walk with me. Guide me along the path He has chosen for me. Recently changed the name of my photography business….to His Eyes Photography…Seeing Life through God’s Eyes. Knowing He is in Control…I am Letting Go…and Letting God =) Great post!

  33. I was also a lit major in college, and the irony is that the thing that makes most good literature interesting to its readers is the conflict the characters go through, yet when we write our own life’s story, we so often don’t envision ourselves having to endure that much conflict. We love to see how great literature turns out, with characters going a circuitous route to overcome obstacles and resolve conflicts, but we never stop to think that the characters don’t know how the book ends when they’re in the middle of that conflict. Neither do we. We can look back on our own journeys and see how things worked out well according to God’s plan, but it sure is a pain to be in the middle of it and not see how the story (or at least a particular chapter) is going to end. God sure knows good literature.

  34. Too, TOO funny!!! This post was perfect for today!
    I am sitting at my computer, typing out the introduction for an event I’m hosting at my church in a few weeks. It’s called “God Knits” and it’s all about how GOD writes our story, down to the most miniscule detail, and when we write our life story in pencil and hand HIM the eraser, He writes it a million times better than we ever good. Even if–and perhaps especially if–it dramatically differs from what we had in mind.
    My life, the one I had mapped out, took a detour three years ago when I suffered a miscarriage. That was a turning point in my life but I determined to let God use it how He saw fit. I also told Him I’d use my experience to help other women.
    I am such a different person now, a truly NEW creation. I cannot believe what He has done and how He has changed me. I’m no longer a worrier, I’ve gotten over many fears, I’m not as much of a people pleaser, I’ve learned to be still….the list goes on!
    I’m offering this “event” to tell my story, in hopes of offering other women who’ve experienced miscarriage/infertility/baby loss the hope and healing they need AND to honor what God has done in my life.
    I think most women have a story to tell, usually NOT what we expected! And it certainly depends on how we view what has happened to us. I hope my ministry will see the LOVING hand of God as He knits our stories, for our BEST.
    It has taken three years but I am finally in a place where I trust God enough to say, “YOU can write the rest.” It’s been a hard process, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  35. I have been living the story God wrote for me before I was even born. God seems to work behind the scenes in my life planning things and laying them before me. My life is the phrase where God shuts a door He opens a window. When people wonder how I have gotten through events in my life that seem hard, I know it is because He has a plan. You may not understand it until years later but He always has a plan. If you want to sometime I am willing to share that story.

  36. I want to be, because I know that any story God writes will be beatiful, but I want so bad the life that just fell apart. 3 years ago, I promised forever to a man who then decided he didn’t want forever after all….I know God will bless me and keep me, but oh how it hurts to give up on dreams.

    • sometimes when it seems as though we’re giving up, we’re allowing God to bless us more than we can imagine. I know it’s hard to see right now, but His love wants so much more for you, and He will show you. He will not leave you. He is good…all the time…even in this. He knows this wasn’t the best for you, and your Father wants the BEST for his beloved daughter. Praying you experience more of His love for you in this and that He leads you to gratefulness for His plan, even though it’s scary to trust sometimes because we think we know better. Rich blessings of hope and peace…and love!

  37. My story looks nothing like the life I wrote for myself so many years ago. And the story He is writing is much harder than I ever imagined and so much more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed. And I am so thankful He’s given me the life He wants for me instead of the life I thought I wanted.

  38. I am with you, Sarah. My story has not gone at all like I planned. My aunt chastised me the other day because she remembers when I had my whole life planned out…complete with the 2.3 kids (2 kids and a dog!) My life has since been turned upside down – and I’ve had no other choice but to sit back and trust God. But I must admit, I would love it if He would tip his hand, just so I can sneak a little peak at what His hand holds for me… until then, I have His grace to get me through.

  39. Oh Sarah, I think I was a few years ahead of you, but on the same plan!

    No, life didn’t turn out according to my vision of all being ‘good’ but it really is all GOOD in God. I was diagnosed with cancer at 34 while homeschooling my three perfectly joyful little boys. While still undergoing treatment, my husband’s job was eliminated. After two full years of unemployment, “losing” our house, moving across states to make a fresh start, another cancer scare with our child, and more surgery and treatments– we can look back and see all the good. The good that God allowed to come from what the world would call ‘bad luck’ and ‘unfortunate.’ We have learned more and grown more in these past 3 years than we had for over 30 years. We have put our entire minds around the reality of faith. We are not the same and we would not go back.

    So, no..I’ll just give up on writing my own story and instead look forward to the next chapter God has already written.

    God bless~ Tiffany

  40. this post made me cry… things have NOT turned out the way I would have thought either, but I find daily that God’s way is SO much better than my way… Thank you for sharing.

  41. Each day I wonder what it will unfold. I thank God for another to share with my groom and my son – to be a mama and a wife, two roles where I learn so much about God’s love for me. And I confess at the same time that I give thanks that I held tight and I am still holding tight to what I want, and that I’m afraid for what He wants…that the road might involve pain (as it surely will), and I admit that I’m tentatively surrendering my life to Him, but that my heart knows He is a good God – all the time.

    I want two children – or at least I think I do, maybe God will change that over time. I’ve thought it’s because of something I’ve done or someway I’m not good enough that I don’t have what I think I want. Yet, I know now that that’s not true. God doesn’t work that way. And right now, He’s using this time to teach me TRUST – to trust in His plan when I don’t know what it is. To trust that He’s a good God who loves me and wants His best for me – plans to have me know Him and to lead me to Him.

    I don’t know what I thought my life would be like, but I know there a few things I didn’t think would happen. I didn’t think I (shouting) would be the one to get pregnant as a teenager. I thought it’d be someone else (and I even named her). God used this experience to show me several things – including revealing my pride and attempts for perfection.

    What I need most is to know my Father…to trust Him…to know He loves me…and the rest is details. He will do what He thinks is best for me to know Him and this He promises. Knowing my Father is working for my best leads me toward surrendering more.

  42. This was lovely to read. You are a good writer.

    And God is the master story teller, drawing beauty and light out of the dark smudges we make across the pages He writes and using them to make the end result even more beautiful.

    I’m glad the writer is also the redeemer.

  43. i feel silly commenting, because the answer is obviously no 🙂 but i’m ok with my story. it’s so easy to think the grass would be greener if i had my way, but who knows? i’m alone now, but would i have been in a marriage where i felt lonely? those kind of questions are ones without answers just like my life right now is without answers. so i’ve learned to not ask why, and instead ask what and how. what does He need. how can I do it?

  44. I’ve been wrestling with this issue over the past few….years.

    I like to be in control. I like to plan. I like for my kids to be healthy all the time. I like to have a cushion in my bank account. I could go on and on and on. I’m realizing that for a gal like me…. it’s super hard to submit my will to Him. Like I said, I’ve been wrestling with this over the past few years – but recently it’s been staring me in the face. It’s been something I’ve been forced to deal with lately. No, life isn’t at all the way I thought it would be. In some ways its uglier and messier. In some ways it’s better. But through it all – its become apparent that if I give it up to Him – I’m sustained.

    Wonderful post. So real. So honest. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Kate 🙂

  45. Well thankfully now yes! But I did so much rebelling, refusing to surrender. It somehow felt like losing but it was totally a victory! Why did I fight so hard so long?

  46. Abby,
    This is fabulous. I hear you. My story is different but I, too, have been reflecting on how and when I surrendered the pen of my WHOLE life to God…and I’ve been writing about it. In addition, I am currently apart of a team bringing in the best-selling authors of “When God Writes Your Love Story,” Eric and Leslie Ludy, to our community for a speaking event coming up. So, the concept of God authoring our lives is resonating HUGE with me right now. What an incredible message to be putting out there. Thank you for allowing your story to resonate with others!

  47. I just loved this post! It’s one that I’ll be able to keep referring back to & with the Lord’s help surrender the pages of my life to Him.

    After all, He’s the One with the creative license. : )

  48. Great post! And, BTW, if you haven’t read A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS by Donald Miller, you need to stop what you’re doing *right now* and go get it. This is exactly the sort of thing he talks about. One of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read.

  49. Learning to TRUST the ONE who writes my story is hard, but SO worth it!!!!!!! I think sometimes I am getting better at it, then I stumble and fall again. But HE has been so faithful to pick me up and continue to love me and write my story out. He is faithful even when I haven’t trusted him. Thank you so much for this reminder.