I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, April 18, 2011

Surrender ... 1335 feet up.

In February, my husband and I got stranded in Chicago thanks to another Minnesota blizzard. Forever an optimist, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to check out the sights. (I’ve never been to Chicago the town, just Chicago the airport.)

One of the things I was most looking forward to was the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower’s Skydeck. I knew from there you could stand in a little glass box on the 103rd floor, suspended over nothing, 1335 feet in the air. From this perch, I would be able to see clear across four states ... on a cloudless day. (You see where this is going.)

Despite the foggy conditions, with hubby in tow, I bravely navigated the “L” to the Willis Tower. Upon arrival we were confronted by a guard confirming what I refused to believe: zero visibility from the Skydeck.

Hm. Well. The happy-go-lucky in me was certain that when we arrived on the 103rd floor, God would part the clouds and the view would be spectacular. He’d even done us a favor. No visibility = No line to wait in. For my dear husband, who would call himself a pessimistic realist, forty dollars to see nothing was less-than-enticing. Thankfully, he’s usually willing to humor me and we made it to the 103rd floor.

I’m not afraid of heights. Or so I thought. But the idea of stepping into a little glass box, knowing you are 1335 feet above nothing – even if you can’t see it – is completely unnerving. If God had miraculously parted the clouds and I could have seen what I was stepping into, I’m not sure I would have done it.

Sometimes that’s how I feel about writing. If God were to show me the panoramic view of where my fledgling writing career will take me, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to step over the edge with Him.

My husband took this picture of me in that foggy box, and one of my fellow Ponderers pointed out what it conveys without words: surrender.

How have you had to surrender your writing career? Has God ever used an unexpected moment to speak to your heart?

Happy writing,



  1. Ginger, you make such an awesome powerful analogy here. You show us "the sights" more than the glass tower could have--definitelly worth the $40.

  2. There are continual surrenders in the writing life. A lot of them around the whole issue of timing. Why not now? Waiting is a form of surrender that writers have to perfect.

  3. So true, TEE. God is clearly working on that one with me right now.

    And I can't wait to go back and see the view from the Skydeck when the timing is perfect!

  4. Ames, I love that picture!! Total surrendar before God.

    I had to surrendar my calendar to God. Not easy. But by doing so, He gave me a book contract.

    Great post, friend!

  5. I love that picture too, Amy! Your story is fun, but the truths you share are so true. The writing life is a life of surrender--surrendering ourselves to learn what God has for us to learn on the journey, surrendering our calendars, our time, our stories to be molded and shaped by our loving Father. I look forward to a picture of you on that sky deck on a sunny day! :)

  6. Wonderful post, Amy! Love the photo at the bottom!!

    I agree with Jeane: the writing life is all about surrender. For me, the biggest thing has been surrendering to God's timing. I so want to do the full-time writer thing, but my bank account screeches at the idea...someday maybe. But for now, playing time-juggler is so much more enjoyable when I do it with an attitude of surrender rather than a "waaahhh, why can't I be doing this full time?" pout.

  7. Thanks LJ! I'm so proud of you for being obedient to God and watching you as you reap the results!

    FYI, all, LJ was the Ponderer who pointed out the photo of me at the bottom screams surrender.

  8. Jeanne, such good points. Every aspect of the journey calls for surrender. Right now I'm working on the timing, and having God mold the story he wants me to tell.

    I'll post pics when I finally make it to the Skydeck on a sunny day! (Then it will be a matter of hubby being willing to wait in the line for 2 hours instead of the $40 holding us back!) Wink!

  9. Thanks MTagg. I love our friendship and watching what God has been doing in your writing life. I am so amazed at your diligence in writing and your proactive determination to make it as a full time writer someday. I know you will, and I'll be right there cheering you on, as always!

  10. Dear TEE aka Beth,
    Please don't be mad...I used a lot of exclamation points in my comments.
    Love, Amy

  11. Great post, Amy.
    Some years back I laid my writing on God's altar and asked Him to help me pick it up in His power. (like Moses with his staff) I had a novel burning within me. Six months later, God moved me out of fiction to an abstinence curriculum (some said I was still writing fiction, but I disagree) and a job working with teens. For seven years I didn't even think about plots or characters, then one day, I hear a news story and wonder What if...and just like that, God opens the door to the dark side, as Tee says and I'm creating characters again.
    Couple of years later I'm putting the finishing touches to my book.

    Either way, I was writing, but I'm so glad to be making up stories again!

  12. Pat, I'm so glad God has been directing your steps. You are a fabulous writer, and I'm sure he has used every opportunity for you to hone your skills while you were waiting to write that novel.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Ames,

    I love that picture. It almost makes me cry. It's such a wonderful reminder of how our lives, careers and ministries are nailed to the cross. I don't want to write if it's just about me. I have to just pray:

    "Lord, please take all of me. May everything I hold dear be nailed at the cross. Let everything I hope and dream for, die. Allow only that which pleases You and uplifts Your name, be resurrected in due season."

    That's all I can do. Otherwise, this proud person I am will take over a try to produce something that will look wonderful but produce a stench no one wants to smell. Kind of like certain types of lilies :)

    I love this story. Thanks Ames.

  14. Loved your story and pic. So true. So many times I've laid out a path and guess what? God had somewhere else in mind, other lessons for me to learn. Ha! I'm so bull-headed, still trying to learn to- 'Let go and let God'...and He, in His wisdom, keeps reminding me.

  15. Ames~

    What a beautiful post! My favorite part:

    "If God were to show me the panoramic view of where my fledgling writing career will take me, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to step over the edge with Him."

    This is so true for me as well. As far as surrender is concerned, I found out (the hard way) that when you refuse to surrender, and God really, REALLY needs you to, He WILL force you if He has to. I didn't enjoy being forced. But I learned two very important things:

    1.) I would prefer to surrender voluntarily...it has to be easier!!

    2.) Surrender almost always brings amazing gifts. In my case, one of those amazing gifts was The Ponderers. You guys have made the surrendering AND the waiting so much easier, and so much more fun!!

  16. G. Thanks for the prayer, that is a beautiful thing to pray over your dreams.

    Did you see Dee thought you posted this originally? I take that as a very large compliment!

    Your stench comment made me laugh!

  17. Thanks for sharing, Julie! I'm glad God is at work in your life!

  18. Heidi, thanks for the reminder that it is much better to do it God's way. I so often pull on the reins, or don't give my all for the things he has me doing right now.

    You have reminded me to voluntarily surrender is a much better idea!