In Others’ Words: Everything … or Nothing (& Contest Winner!)

everything or nothing blog post 9.3.13 I’m all for going for the win. For not giving up. For try, try, trying again.

But I’ve learned a hard lesson — a life lesson that’s shaped me even as it broke me — that all the “try” in the universe doesn’t always get you what you want. Or who you want.

And sometimes, along the way, you lose … yourself.

The great American dream of “having it all” can be a heart-wrenching myth.

Maybe we’re not meant to have it all this side of eternity. Maybe life is more about making choices than straddling virtual fences and trying to hang on to that elusive everything. And if a desire or dream or got-to-have-it longing is costing you every last ounce of you — maybe, just maybe — the price is too high.

Sometimes the answer is no.

And you walk away with tears in your eyes. A shattered heart.

But you still have something left: you.

And you are highly valuable.

In Your Words: When have you realized it was time to stop holding out for a yes and accept a no? How did you let go?

The winner of the Rafflecopter Celebrating Book Clubs, Readers & Romance Giveaway is: Barbara Anne Waite! 

Are you holding out for everything – and gaining nothing? Click to Tweet

Straddling virtual fences & grasping the elusive everything Click to Tweet 

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19 Comments

  1. Susan Tuttle
    September 4, 2013, 6:10 am   /  Reply

    “Maybe we’re not meant to have it all this side of eternity”…that stuck. It so flies in the face of what we hear every day, doesn’t it? I’m not always a big fan of “no’s”, even though sometimes I know that “no” cloaks God’s actual “not right now.” I need to learn to let go a little and remember Who’s in control–or at least, Who’s supposed to be:)

    • September 4, 2013, 8:30 am   /  Reply

      Susan,
      I’m not a huge fan of no’s either — or even of “wait a minute.” But I’m learning that God is in it all. As I say about my most recent novel: God’s in the dreams that come true — and He’s also in the dreams that don’t come true.

  2. September 4, 2013, 6:46 am   /  Reply

    I met a really nice guy 15 years ago. Really thought we’d get married someday. I laid it on God’s altar. After a few years, I realized it wasn’t to be. But I loved and still do love the guy. And I decided I’d rather have our relationship the way God wanted it than to not have it at all. So, I guess God’s answer is no…or at least it’s not yet… 🙂

    • September 4, 2013, 8:31 am   /  Reply

      Knowing you as I do, Pat, you are a woman of yes. Of faith. You may have released the “all” of something — but you’ve gone on to embrace a lot of dreams in the process.

  3. September 4, 2013, 7:13 am   /  Reply

    This is a profound post, Beth. How high is too high for the cost of gaining something? I’ve learned through infertility and relinquishing the dream to be a mom into God’s hands that pursuing something that wasn’t his plan for me costs a lot. When I gave the dream into His hands, He answered it in unexpected ways.

    With writing, I know God gave me my story ideas. He’s challenged me to find that balance of being all there for my family and pouring myself into the stories, at the appropriate times. I think His yes in my writing pursuits would change to no if I allow writing and all that goes with it to become an idol.

    • September 4, 2013, 8:32 am   /  Reply

      Ah, the topic of idols.
      My wake up moment came when God clearly asked me “This has had you for so many years. Now … now, can I have you?”

      I had spent so much time and emotion on pursuing this other thing … I’d put God and what he wanted off to the side.

      • September 4, 2013, 12:21 pm   /  Reply

        Yep. I lived that one!

  4. September 4, 2013, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    Ohhh my, the profoundness of this post, Beth, and the way it resonates with me. I know I’ve made comments before about my first year after college and how hard it was. And I was completely in that place of losing myself…until I finally let go of something I knew God had been telling me to let go of for a loooong time. There was so much freedom in that. Some hurt and definitely some emotional days, but freedom. And it was worth it. 🙂

    • September 4, 2013, 8:33 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Melissa. It’s all about freedom.
      And freedom costs.
      It’s painful.
      But ultimately, it is … emotional breathing space.
      And growth.
      And truth.
      And healing.

  5. September 4, 2013, 8:17 am   /  Reply

    As always, Beth, excellent words. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t live a conventional “American Dream” life. I even don’t live in a typical house–live in n historic railroad station! Though for years I’ve been fighting this–wanting a taste of normal (at least an updated kitchen?), I’ve been thinking that God just may have other plans for me, and definitely on a way different calendar! I’m trying my very best to accept His grace and blessings, realizing He has awesome reasons:)

    • September 4, 2013, 8:34 am   /  Reply

      “A taste of normal.”
      Interesting idea that. Elaine.
      But what does God have hidden for you in your unconventional life?
      Blessings untold, I’m thinking.

      • September 4, 2013, 4:22 pm   /  Reply

        Thanks for the encouragement, Beth.

        Ack. Typing fast on an iPad while on the last few minutes of a break led for a few typos in my comment, I see. Pardon 🙂

  6. September 4, 2013, 8:25 am   /  Reply

    I was involved in a horrific wreck just after giving birth to my daughter. I loved being a nurse and wanted to continue to work. God had other plans for me. I had a hard time understanding exactly what God wanted, but soon I learned. Most people are so concerned with material things these days and to obtain those they give up so much. God wanted me to not be concerned with material things but to appreciate the blessing he has just given me. I have been a stay at home mom and have received so many blessings. Watching my son and daughter grow into young adults has been one of my greatest rewards.

    • September 4, 2013, 8:37 am   /  Reply

      Profound, life-changing truth, Katrina. God working good in such an unexpected way … and you choosing to embrace it by letting go of your expected life.

  7. Andrea Cox
    September 4, 2013, 1:18 pm   /  Reply

    Congratulations, Barbara!

  8. September 4, 2013, 10:20 pm   /  Reply

    On our ride home from visiting kids and granddaughter, I said to my husband, “I can’t give up my dignity no matter how important it is to have what I want.” Sounds like we’re thinking alike … again.

    • September 6, 2013, 9:55 pm   /  Reply

      Love that about us, Kim. 🙂

  9. September 4, 2013, 10:49 pm   /  Reply

    Great post, and it must have been hard to write. Heart-wrenchingly hard.

    I never really bought into the American Dream. I was saved from that by a long apprenticeship as a Zen Buddhist, working as a security dude in some pretty ugly parts of the world. Sometimes a poncho that doesn’t leak IS ‘having it all’. Until you give it to a kid who’s getting soaked in the southwest monsoon.

    I’m no longer a Buddhist, but the effort to make my mind as still as a pond reflecting a summer sky probably saved my sanity.

    Having it all isn’t what it’s all about.

    Giving it all, is.

    • September 6, 2013, 9:55 pm   /  Reply

      Once again, I like the way you think, Andrew.

      And yes, it was heart-hard to write this post. Still walking through the process … and writing helps.

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