The Brave Art of Releasing Our Expectations and Resting in God's Plan

By Dianne Jago

God's Brave Women - Dianne's Story


I didn’t set out to become an author, but the Lord placed this opportunity on my path.


I signed a book contract with my publisher in October of 2018. “A Holy Pursuit: How the Gospel Frees Us to Follow and Lay Down Our Dreams” was set to publish 18 months later, which put me at a launch date of March 2020. Yes, this would be the same date that the entire world shut down.


Bookstores closed. Amazon deemed books non-essential. No one was buying books unless, well, maybe they ran out of toilet paper. This was the absolute worst time for a first-time author to launch a book. I wrote “A Holy Pursuit” so that women can see how the Gospel frees us to follow, surrender, and press pause on our dreams, ambitions, and goals. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for Christians and all we are called to do is walk in obedience, one step at a time.


 

"There is no one-size-fits-all plan for Christians and all we are called to do is walk in obedience, one step at a time."

 

I knew if God sovereignly allowed me to write a book that I never set out a write, it was true He sovereignly arranged the very publish date on which I would launch the book. But sometimes my head and heart don’t align. What would bravery look like at a time like this?

The world dictates a certain narrative of what “bravery” looks like. We are inundated with celebrity culture through the medium of social media, news agencies, films, and even comparison with those around us. But what does biblical bravery look like as it pertains to Christians, and how does this play out in my situation?


Being able to stop, reflect, and process an appropriate response through a biblical lens is critical when we face unexpected trials. However, for me it looked like surrendering my expectations and living in light of what God allowed to happen in my life.


 

"What does biblical bravery look like as it pertains to Christians?... For me it looked like surrendering my expectations and living in light of what God allowed to happen in my life."

 

Our culture rejects the idea of a God that is in control. It tells us that we are the authors of our own life story and when things don’t go as we plan, it’s understandable to have self-pity or depression over our circumstances. Scripture, however, tells us that “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17). In other words, He is in control.


All throughout Scripture we see that most people’s lives didn’t go according to their plans. And yet, from Genesis to Revelation there is a scarlet thread interwoven throughout pointing to God’s redemptive plan He enacted from before creation through His Son Jesus Christ. Despite my head and heart not lining up, I had to trust what I know to be true. Scripture is inerrant and trustworthy. It reminds us that His ways are higher and His purposes will be fulfilled.


 

"All throughout Scripture we see that most people’s lives didn’t go according to their plans. And yet, from Genesis to Revelation there is a scarlet thread interwoven throughout pointing to God’s redemptive plan He enacted from before creation through His Son Jesus Christ."

 

In this reflection, I also remember the goodness God has demonstrated throughout my life. Reflecting on His tender mercies in how He sovereignly guided me through difficulties and stressful times, allows me to bravely lean into my current situation, understanding that God is in control and this situation comes as no surprise to him.


 

"Reflecting on His tender mercies in how He sovereignly guided me through difficulties and stressful times, allows me to bravely lean into my current situation, understanding that God is in control and this situation comes as no surprise to him."

 

This would also take the form of freeing myself from any self-imposed pressure to look like and act like what I see other authors doing. Being a first-time author meant learning a lot of new things for the first time. Along with that came the temptation to imitate what I see others doing. Knowing that my story is not their story, I had to constantly preach the Gospel to myself: I was once lost in sin and separated from God. But Jesus lived the life I couldn’t, died the death I deserved, and was resurrected to new life so that I can have newness of life in Him. He did not save me based on anything I’ve done, and my standing before God has nothing to do with any earthly accomplishment.


Therefore, whether I was a “successful” author or not, God is pleased with me because of Jesus alone. The Gospel frees me from placing my identity in my accomplishments and it requires bravery for us not only to believe those truths but to live in light of those truths when our circumstances fail us. When we recognize that we have done nothing to earn salvation, and that every good and perfect thing is from above, this frees us from self-induced pressure.


 

"Whether I was a “successful” author or not, God is pleased with me because of Jesus alone. The Gospel frees me from placing my identity in my accomplishments, and it requires bravery for us not only to believe those truths but to live in light of those truths when our circumstances fail us."

 

So, whether my book “succeeded” or “failed” is not in my control. God brought this opportunity to me, I obeyed and wrote it, God then will give the increase if it serves His will and purpose. This is biblical bravery – recognizing God is in control, acknowledging His work, reflecting on Him, and understanding He provides the gifts, talents, and success when it accords with His timing.


 

"This is biblical bravery – recognizing God is in control, acknowledging His work, reflecting on Him, and understanding He provides the gifts, talents, and success when it accords with His timing."

 

It’s been two years since the book launch. Things didn’t turn out as I expected but God has used these events to teach me so much in the process. Sometimes bravery is simply surrendering our expectations and resting in God’s plan. These are life lessons I will continue to learn as I strive to bravely live for His glory alone.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.

And by the way...


You are Brave!


No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means He equips you with His courage, strength, and power. I would love to connect more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my empowered email tribe.


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About Dianne


Dianne Jago is a pastor’s wife and mom of 3 residing in Pensacola, Florida. She is the founder of Deeply Rooted Magazine and the author of A Holy Pursuit: How the Gospel Frees Us to Follow and Lay Down Our Dreams.


Follow her on Instagram at @deeplyrootedmag and @aholypursuit.