I imagine you’ve had to let go of something precious and it hurt to do it. Maybe you’re feeling that now.
Let me tell you a story about a time that God called me to follow in Abraham’s footsteps and sacrifice something precious. (Genesis 22:1-19)
By the age of thirty I’d written three books with mainline Christian publishers that sold 40,000 copies in hard cover. I’d been a keynote speaker to large audiences and interviewed many times on radio and television. I was trying to ramp up further when a conversation with Kristi led to a dramatic U-turn.
We had two little children and during a much needed get away weekend she gave me a card that said, “Will you co-author with me the lives of our three children?”
“Three! You’re pregnant!” I gave her a big hug and we celebrated.
Her Words Haunted Me
But Kristi’s words about co-authoring our kids’ lives haunted me. They brought memory flashes of me closing the door to write and leaving our kids crying and Kristi frustrated and exhausted.
I sensed the Lord stirring me. He spoke to my heart: “Bill, will you go to the altar, lay down your dream of being a best-selling Christian author and speaker? Will you do this out of love for Kristi and your children? Out of love for me?”
It hurt to give up my dream. But I knew it was right and surprisingly I felt a sweet, heavenly peace. I knew this was the voice of the Lord.
I replied, “Yes, Lord. I will never write a book again unless you ask me to.”
Then I became depressed. Why didn’t God want my gift? Why couldn’t I write AND be a great husband and father? Who was I without my dream?
I felt stuck there for years. Maybe that’s where you are now. But I hope you’re experiencing what comes next in my story.
A Sweet Smelling Sacrifice
Slowly over the years this became a sweet smelling sacrifice. I had more time and energy for our family. That third child that God gave us is Briana, the precious little girl that I’m holding in the picture above!
I learned to relax more. Eventually I discovered that God did want my writing. Instead of trying to sell masses of books to people “out there,” he had me write devotionals to give away for free to pastors and other servants of the Lord that I was blessed to help.
20 years later that little ministry has grown into 1,000,000 page views a year on SoulShepherding.org.
Oh, and God released me to publish books again — in the new way of simply loving my neighbor. Today I’m excited to offer to you Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke. (All the royalties from this book go to support the ministry of Soul Shepherding.)
In the book I share what I learned: your best life is letting go trying to make things happen and taking hold of Jesus whose arms are open to you. Listen. Our Lord says, “Come to me… Step into the easy yoke with me… Walk with me and work with me… Enjoy my rhythms of grace… You can live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)
In Easy Yoke I call it “abandoning outcomes to God.” It’s the surprising path to peace.
I hope you’ll join me in the adventure of discovering Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke!