The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When You Surrender Your Story to the Author of Life

clip_art_illustration_of_a_chair_with_a_flower_pattern_0515-0811-2017-1316_SMUWelcome! I’m glad you’re here.  Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, I hope you’ll pull up a chair and stay a while.

If you like what you find, please sign up on the sidebar to receive my blog in your inbox now and then. Or find me on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll keep chasing Jesus together day by day. Better yet, I’d love to connect with you in person. I’m scheduling speaking commitments for the 2016-2017 school year  And  I’d  be delighted to join you at a special ministry event in the months to come. 

Today, I’m over at Encouragement for Today talking about surrendering our pens of control and letting the Author of Life script our stories. But what happens when the tale He writes includes lines we never wanted to live? Keep reading and I’ll share what I’m learning as I choose to trust Jesus to be both my Savior and my Scribe. (And don’t forget to sign up for today’s give-away at the end of this post!)


It was that purple ballpoint pen lying on top of my prayer journal that caused the tears to fall.

I wanted to pray, but I didn’t know what to say.

I’d planned to open my Bible and soak my weary soul in God’s promises, but the sadness seeping from my eyes blurred the words.

Nothing made sense any more.

Years before, God had invited me to lay down my pen and let Him script my story.

My plans are better, He’d whispered to my try-hard heart. My ways are perfect .

I am the beginning and the end.. And I know every line in between. Trust me, He’d beckoned. I’m the Author of Life.

And on my fortieth birthday, I’d said, yes.


Yes to no longer trying to script my own story.

Yes to no longer micromanaging all the lines— mine, my children’s, my spouse’s.

Yes to following the Spirit’s lead and finding joy in the tale God was inviting me to live.

Yes to letting Jesus be both my Savior and my Scribe

“The pen is yours, Lord,” I prayed day after day. “Write my story for your glory.”

It was exhilarating and scary all at once— this laying down of my own dreams and plans and surrendering my story to the Author of Life.

But I found a new kind of excitement in the surrender. And for a while, I woke up each morning with a sense of breathless expectation, just wondering what lines the Lord would invite me to live out in the hours to come.

The beautiful thing was that when I stopped gripping the pen and quit trying to scribble every line, my hands were suddenly free to cling to Jesus. So, I wrapped my fingers around His promises and clung to His presence like a child clings to her Daddy. And, suddenly, I found myself dangling close to His tender heart.

For a while, I wondered why I’d ever even wanted to write my own script in the first place.

Jesus’ story was better.

My Savior’s dreams were bigger.

And the joy of following His lead was intoxicating.


But then my story took a turn I hadn’t expected.

Abruptly, the scene changed and my lines didn’t make any sense.

My tale grew muddled and confusing.

I knew Jesus held the pen, but I could no longer see His hand.

I felt stuck in a tale that was hurting my heart and trying my trust.

I cried out for a re-write, and I waited.

I waited for my Savior to pierce the darkness with a Sovereign scribble of Light, to script a line that would bring clarity to my confusion and purpose to my pain. But my Scribe seemed silent.

“This isn’t how I’d write my story, Lord,” I cried as I let the tears drizzle onto the cover of my unopened Bible. “I said you could hold the pen,” I acknowledged. “But right now, I can’t even see your hand.”

Then, as I nursed my own grief, I remembered something a dear friend of mine used to say when life pressed in and hope grew dim. “Alicia, when we don’t understand our Savior’s hand, we must choose to trust His heart.”

Trust me,” Jesus whispered above the clamor of my ache and angst. “I won’t waste a single line.” 

I batted away my tears and opened my prayer journal to an empty page.

Then I closed my eyes and pictured the One who loves me most.

And instead of questioning my Scribe about the work of His hand, I simply took hold of that purple pen and declared what I knew about the wonder of His heart.


God makes everything come out right… God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love.

He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.

As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins.

As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.

Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,

But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. 

God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him,

Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said.

Psalm 103:6-18


     Todaundoney, I’m giving away a copy of Michele Cushatt’s beautiful book, Undone: A story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life.

This book makes me laugh and cry and best of all, and it reminds me that even when our stories don’t unfold as planned, we can trust the Author of Life.

Because His story’s not done yet.

To win a copy of this book, just tell us one thing you love about God’s heart.




61 thoughts on “When You Surrender Your Story to the Author of Life

  1. Cathy

    I love knowing God’s love for me never, ever changes and that He loves to wrap His loving arms around me through all seasons of my life.

    September 12, 2016 at 3:24 am
  2. Heidi

    God has an accepting heart. He accepts you in whatever situation you are in and loves you. What a comfort!

    September 12, 2016 at 4:11 am
  3. Rebecca

    God loves me with no string attached. His love is forever!
    I need to remind myself of His love and goodness daily. Thank you for this reminder this morning.

    September 12, 2016 at 4:33 am

    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

    September 12, 2016 at 4:36 am
  5. Beth McCann

    I love knowing that God’s heart is unconditional and He never gives up!

    September 12, 2016 at 4:47 am
  6. Laurie Engle

    I love God’s redirection in life. His plans are always better, in the midst of it now, I set myself in trusting him.

    September 12, 2016 at 5:04 am
  7. Sharron

    I love God’s faithfulness. He never changes and He’s always there, caring for us, providing for us and loving us.

    September 12, 2016 at 5:10 am
  8. Karen C.

    I love that God’s heart is tender and gentle. He is affected by the things that touch me. He is touched with the feelings of my infirmities. A bruised reed He will not break and a smoking flax He will not quench.

    September 12, 2016 at 5:15 am
  9. Meredith

    I love that God is a forgiving and will not give up on me!

    September 12, 2016 at 5:24 am
  10. Tammy

    I love that He loves me unconditionally, and that His grace a mercies are new every morning.

    September 12, 2016 at 5:30 am
  11. Debbie Polston

    Even when I am at my worse, He loves me the same as when I am at my best.

    September 12, 2016 at 5:41 am
  12. Lynnell Idigpio

    I love the enthusiastic enjoyment of us that Zephaniah paints here:
    Yahweh your God is among you,
    a warrior who saves.
    He will rejoice over you with gladness.
    He will bring you quietness with His love.
    He will delight in you with shouts of joy.” – Zephaniah 3:17

    September 12, 2016 at 5:43 am
  13. Sandy Tanis

    That God is patient, full of grace and loves me unconditionally!

    September 12, 2016 at 5:55 am
  14. Jessica

    I love knowing God’s heart is for His people. He delights in us and directs us. He never rejoices when we struggle, but He sincerely cares for us. I don’t understand it. But I’m forever grateful for this unfailing love.

    September 12, 2016 at 6:00 am
  15. Terry

    I love that God loves us no matter what, and that he has patience when I struggle with his plan for me. “…and the greatest of these is LOVE.”

    September 12, 2016 at 6:18 am
  16. Raina

    I love the patience God has for me.

    September 12, 2016 at 6:30 am
  17. Shanda

    God is the Covenant Maker and the Promise Keeper. For all of His promises are “yes” and “Amen” in Christ!

    September 12, 2016 at 6:55 am
  18. April

    He is faithful even when I am faithless.

    September 12, 2016 at 7:23 am
  19. Dawn D Johnstone

    He has a plan for my life and let’s me know as much of his plan as he sees fit, little by little

    September 12, 2016 at 7:33 am
  20. Michele Glick

    HE never fails me! Even though I fail Him on a daily basis… He loves the broken-hearted. He is patiently waiting for me to stop trying to do the things I think I need to do and put my whole trust in Him.

    September 12, 2016 at 7:49 am
  21. Kelly

    I love that he is faithful and his mercies are new every morning!

    September 12, 2016 at 8:03 am
  22. Ali

    There are numerous things in the heart of God I am so blessed to receive, especially when I am undeserving. Forgiveness when I need it, help when I don’t deserve it, and love when I have been less than eager to give it.

    September 12, 2016 at 8:07 am
  23. Tammy

    I love how He never gives on on me…

    September 12, 2016 at 8:21 am
  24. Karen

    My favorite thing about God’s heart is how forgiving and patient He is with me. Daily, multiple times a day even, for the same offenses.

    September 12, 2016 at 8:34 am
  25. Gina Weeks

    I love that HE will NEVER leave me or forsake me. And everything that happens will in the end work for my good, even though I don’t know how.

    September 12, 2016 at 8:52 am
  26. Dorcas Parker

    My favorite thing about God’s heart is that his heart breaks with mine but his covers mine with love and heals the hurt.

    September 12, 2016 at 8:53 am
  27. Janice

    My favorite thing about God’s heart is the way he knows my completely and loves me anyway!!!

    September 12, 2016 at 9:13 am
  28. Monica Holt

    That it’s sovereign

    September 12, 2016 at 9:15 am
  29. Sheryl Baas

    God desires a relationship with us just like we do with our children…no matter what we / they do!

    September 12, 2016 at 9:44 am
  30. Stacey Kay

    I love that God is patient and kind. He lovingly leads (sometimes drags) me to the place I need to be so that He can use me.

    September 12, 2016 at 9:50 am
  31. Lindsay Miller

    My favorite thing about God is his faithfulness!
    No matter what my life circumstances are at a given moment I know that he cares he is at work behind the scenes bringing good out it.

    September 12, 2016 at 10:00 am
  32. Marnie

    I love the security of God’s heart. He always keeps His promises and is gentle and faithful to me. His protection is unwavering.

    Thank you for your anointed post here today and at P31!

    September 12, 2016 at 10:22 am
  33. Teri

    Just one thing?! That is hard but I’m going to say, the fact that He will never leave me or forsake me.

    September 12, 2016 at 11:06 am
  34. Michelle B.

    One thing I love about God’s heart is that we can cry to Him. We can trust Him, love Him, fear Him with our whole being; but we can also cry out to Him. Sometimes life just seems so very hard; everything we touch, everything that is thrown at us, the people that are missing… it’s all too much sometimes. I don’t know what I would do if I could cry to Him, fall apart at His feet, tell Him what seems hard and let Him know I don’t know how to move forward.

    September 12, 2016 at 11:22 am
  35. Reynolds Patty Riddle

    I love that when I am an “Indian giver” and take back the problems that I have given Him and try to take care of them on my own, God accepts them back when I realize what I’ve done and turn them over to Him again.

    September 12, 2016 at 11:28 am
    1. It’s good to get a fresh way of looking at it.

      March 27, 2017 at 8:16 am
  36. Tamie

    I love that he is faithful when I’m not, he doesn’t hold grudges or stay angry because I missed up or I didn’t listen to him the first time. His Love never fails and I am glad he’s my God.

    September 12, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I love that God rejoices over me with singing!

    September 12, 2016 at 11:55 am
  38. Courtney

    I love the fact that he loves us, beyond words & beyond description, no matter what we do & that he is ever forgiving, as long as we earnestly seek his forgiveness.

    September 12, 2016 at 1:26 pm
  39. Ann

    I find comfort in knowing he loves me just the way I am. And that he sees my hurt and my healing is coming if I continue to seek him.

    September 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm
  40. Carolyn

    I love that God’s heart never changes. He loves us with an everlasting love, and His mercies are new every morning – great is His faithfulness!

    September 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm
  41. Candace Willis

    I love that God first loved me.

    September 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  42. Sheila Smith

    I love knowing that God’s heart is for me and not against me. Despite my circumstances and how i feel, He pursues me and longs for a relationship with me.

    September 12, 2016 at 2:59 pm
  43. Anglena Waller

    What I like about God’s Heart is that He is gentle, loving, and trustworthy. He holds me close to Himself, so close I can hear His Heartbeat and it beats out a staccato of, “I love you, Daughter! You are precious, and You are Mine!”

    September 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm
  44. Melissa Slusher

    I love that God’s heart is for me, and He wants the very best for me! And I can release control to Him knowing His plan for me is perfect…even when I don’t understand.

    September 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm
  45. Christina

    I love his abounding grace and mercy!

    September 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm
  46. Amy Dowty

    I love how God shows me hr loves me each day.

    September 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm
  47. I love that He can see beyond my faults and mistakes to the heart that loves Him!

    September 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm
  48. Ashlee

    I love that He has a heart that never gives up on me. Even when I’ve strayed from His path, He is still there, waiting for me to return, pursuing me with patience and love, and still loves me unconditionally.

    September 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm
  49. Gracie

    God’s heart is full of love, for God is love.

    September 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm
  50. kassandra

    I pondered this question “what do I love about God’s heart?” And I’m sad to say I feel bitter. I am thankful that out of his love he has given me my family and the air to breathe. But my story feels like it was thrown into the fire, due to ridiculous circumstance total chaos has broke out and vowed to keep me hostage as a fearful slave and right when I feel like just giving up God comes through. Everytime I read your devotions it’s exactly for what I’m going through, so although I’m confused about what God’s doing here I love that just when I’m out of breath under water he rescues me even if I’m mad at him. Help me Lord to get through this I don’t want to question you and be hurt that you have allowed this to happen I want to trust you please

    September 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm
  51. Gwen

    I LOVE GOD’s heart because he loves me no matter what. He holds me close and never gives us on me even when I mess up. He loves me always, I can find safe place in knowing God is so much love and his heart is BIGGER than all i have encounter in life!

    September 12, 2016 at 11:04 pm
  52. Terry

    I’m learning what His love means thru the trials. I love His faithfulness; He provides a way out so I can stand up under it (temptation to fall apart and shut Him out). I love seeing how He reveals Himself to others who are also suffering. I’m amazed when praise surfaces in the midst of pain.

    September 13, 2016 at 12:43 am
  53. Sophia

    I love that God cares about even the smallest details of our life. Recently I was going to an event and I ordered some contact lens, because I’m always wearing glasses and I wanted to look different. When I placed the order I was told it would be a week to 10 days, so I left feeling disappointed because the event was in 3 days. A day before the event I got a text saying ny contact lens were ready. I jumped up and down in my kitchen and thanked God.

    September 13, 2016 at 5:21 am
  54. Kellie

    God has a heart of peace and I really need His peace in my life right now and in the lives of my extended family as we help one another deal with a divorce and the grief of one we love.

    September 13, 2016 at 7:23 am
  55. Elsie

    His heart is pure and genuine. He loves us with a love that is unconditional. This is agape love. We can love Him because He first loved us.Thanks for the devotion with all the beautiful pictures.

    September 13, 2016 at 8:07 am
  56. Karen mead

    I love knowing that God loves me unconditionally. He forgives me my sins. I know God will always be besides me in good times and bad times.

    September 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm
  57. Melissa

    I love that God will never leave me nor forsake me….even when it seems everyone else has walked away.

    September 13, 2016 at 3:23 pm
  58. Anneke Bennett

    I love God because He loved me, when I was still rebellious, I love Him because He drew me out of a very bad place,I love Him because of who He is, I love Him because no matter what state I am in, He is there, His compassion never,ever fails, His faithfulness is always there, even though so very often I am not faithful to Him and His forgiveness is there when I turn to Him!

    September 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

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