GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book Surrender Your Story by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!
Our culture often tells us we can and should control our life. “Create your own path. Decide your destiny. You are the author of your own story.” It’s the idea that we have the ability to control our circumstances and achieve any goal through positive thinking, redirected focus, and sheer force of will.
But, my friend, it’s simply not true!
And as we try to white-knuckle our way to self-fulfillment, we eventually discover what lies on the other side: frustration, disappointment, and exhaustion when life doesn’t go our way.
Well, today’s guest, author Tara Sun, knows all too well the disappointment that comes from trying to control her own life. For many years, and like so many others, Tara was determined to salvage her life’s plan because she thought she knew better than God.
But she eventually realized she was living under an illusion.
She began to let go of her need to control and discovered the antidote to the burdensome and ultimately empty myth of control: surrender. And today on the 4:13, she’ll explain what it looks like to surrender.
As we talk about her book, Surrender Your Story: Ditch the Myth of Control and Discover Freedom in Trusting God, she shares practical steps, strategies, and biblically-rich insight for letting go of control and moving forward in faith, even in the face of setbacks and disappointments.
Plus, she and I talk about how to know God’s will for your life. So, if you’ve ever wondered about this for yourself, then you’ll appreciate the simplicity of what seems to be a great mystery.
This conversation is warm and rich, and Tara’s advice is incredibly practical for taking that first step toward letting go.
Tara Sun is the host of the Truth Talks with Tara podcast, and she’s also a digital artist. She’s the author of Surrender Your Story and she’s married to her high school sweetheart, Michael. Tara is a mom to their newest addition, Hunter, and she and her family live in Oregon.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
- You can win a copy of Tara’s book, Surrender Your Story. Hurry—we’re picking a random winner on August 24! Enter on Instagram here.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Tara Sun
- Visit Tara’s website
- Surrender Your Story: Ditch the Myth of Control and Discover Freedom in Trusting God
- Follow Tara on Facebook and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Related Blog Posts
- Can I Loosen My Grip of Control? With Shannon Popkin [Episode 154]
- Can I Seek God More Than I Seek Control? With Angie Smith [Episode 13]
- Can I Stop Being a Control Freak Mom? With Crystal Paine [Episode 150]
- Can I Let Go and Trust God? [Episode 82]
- Can I Let Go and Live Free? With Rebekah Lyons [Episode 184]
- Can I Give Up My Plan for God’s Plan? With Laura Story [Episode 45]
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Can I Ditch the Myth of Control and Relax? With Tara Sun [Episode 259]
Tara Sun: I had basically just been self-sufficient. I'm like, well, everything's pretty good. You know, I'm smart, I'm gifted, I can move along in life without anyone to direct me. And that's why I said independence is overrated, because we were actually created to depend on God. Paul says in the letters to the Corinthians that our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but it's of God. And so right there is where we need to live. Because when we start living out of self-sufficiency, that is a big tell that we have a control problem right there, because we believe that we can do it all, that it's all up to us.
Jennifer Rothschild: It is time to discover the antidote to the myth of control: surrender. Yes, surrendering to the God who cares for us and has a better blueprint for our lives. Today's guest, author Tara Sun, will give you practical steps, strategies, and biblically rich insight for letting go of control and moving forward in faith, even if there's a lot of setbacks and disappointments. So get ready to ditch the myth of control. You are about to be a control myth ditcher and pick up some peace instead. K.C., here we go.
K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast -- we're so glad you're here -- where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you and I up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now, welcome your host, my soul sister, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Hello, our friends. So glad you're here, 4:13ers. I'm just here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life. You got two friends here in the podcast closet --
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- one topic, and zero stress.
K.C. Wright: Zero.
Jennifer Rothschild: I will say this, though. I don't have stress, but I am aware I'm hitting the road, you know. So I'm just going to let y'all know that next month I want you to come see me at Lifeway Women Live in Phoenix.
K.C. Wright: Woo!
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep. September 15th and 16th. So we'll have a link on the Show Notes. But I'll be in Phoenix, if you're close by. And then the very next weekend, I will be in Plant City, Florida. And that's September 22nd and 23rd. That's a Fresh Grounded Faith. So y'all need to come see us.
But I will just give you heads-up -- because so many women ask, K.C. --
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- "Will K.C. be there?" No. I wish K.C. would be there, but, no, K.C. is not going to be there. I have to keep him in the closet.
K.C. Wright: I'm so blessed that anyone even wants to see me.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, so I have to tell you what happened, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: So I was in Georgia. This was back in March, I think. And this lady comes up to me named Karen -- delightful woman -- and she said something about you, K.C., which is like most people do. And so we start to have this conversation, and I pause and I said, "Wait a minute. I need to get this recorded so K.C. can hear it." Okay? Because she wanted to know what you looked like. All right, so K.C., listen to this.
Jennifer: All right, so I'm here with Karen. And you told me you have listened to The 4:13 since when?
Karen: Since day one.
Jennifer: Since day one. You're an original 4:13er.
Karen: I am.
Jennifer: But you just told me you know what I look like because?
Karen: Our church has done several of your Bible studies.
Jennifer: Okay. But you don't know what K.C. looks like?
Karen: No. And I've got this mental image, and I've always wanted to see what K.C. looks like.
Jennifer: So what do you think he looks like?
Karen: A tall Ryan Seacrest.
Jennifer: A tall Ryan Seacrest. And do you think Ryan Seacrest is handsome?
Karen: I do.
Jennifer: So do I. So that means K.C. must be handsome.
Karen: He must be.
Jennifer: I can tell you this, he's -- I think he's a great guy, and he'd be a great catch. So, yes, now we have one mental image of K.C.
Karen: Uh-huh, we do.
Jennifer: The Ryan Seacrest.
Dr. Phil: Ryan Seacrest, taller version.
Jennifer: The taller Ryan Seacrest.
Dr. Phil: Version 2.0.
Jennifer: Karen, I'm going to need your email. He's going to want to send you, like, a gift certificate. He's going to love this. Thank you.
K.C. Wright: Oh, my word. I wish I looked like Ryan Seacrest. I wish I had that hair, I wish I had that style. I mean -- it's funny that she said I looked like Ryan Seacrest --
Jennifer Rothschild: A taller one.
K.C. Wright: -- a taller one -- because I've worked in so many small radio stations, I've always mentally told myself when I go to do a morning show at these small stations, "You're Ryan Seacrest."
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, how funny.
K.C. Wright: "Think big, have a vision." And it's so funny that she would say that she thinks I look like him. But that is so sweet.
Jennifer Rothschild: Isn't that sweet?
K.C. Wright: I look nothing like that. Picture a Chihuahua. No.
Jennifer Rothschild: Not true.
K.C. Wright: I'm just kidding.
Jennifer Rothschild: But that was so sweet of Karen. I thought that was funny.
K.C. Wright: That is so sweet. I loved her accent.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Well, I told you it was Georgia.
K.C. Wright: I love that. Oh, I love a woman with an accent.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you know, K.C., I didn't tell you this. But it was career day, Connor was -- our youngest son, Connor, was, like, in third grade. And it was during one of the political seasons when John McCain was running for office. Okay? And so we had been talking about presidential candidates at dinner and stuff. And so he comes out on career day -- he owned one suit because he had been in a wedding. And he's wearing his gray suit and his purple tie. And I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, what are you going to be?" You know, I'm thinking he's John McCain, because we just talked about all this politics. I said, "Who are you for career day?" and he said, "Ryan Seacrest."
K.C. Wright: Wow!
Jennifer Rothschild: So Ryan is a popular guy. But I'm just saying, K.C., you are a fine man.
K.C. Wright: Thank you.
Jennifer Rothschild: You do not look like a Chihuahua either. Erase that mental image, our people. Okay. But thank you, Karen, for that.
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And K.C.'s gift certificate will be in the email to you.
K.C. Wright: Thank you so much. And my only connection to Ryan -- I do have one link. I once had a radio coach, Angela Perelli, and she at one time was Ryan Seacrest's radio coach. So at one time we had the same radio coach.
Jennifer Rothschild: You're practically brothers.
K.C. Wright: But she said a young man walked into her office years ago and she said, "Well, what's your vision? What do you want to be?" And he said, "I'm going to be the next Dick Clark." And that was Ryan Seacrest.
Jennifer Rothschild: And it was.
K.C. Wright: Yeah. So --
Jennifer Rothschild: That's pretty cool.
K.C. Wright: Anyway, thank you.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, that's pretty cool.
K.C. Wright: Blessings.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right. So anyway, we are going to ditch the myth that K.C. looks like a taller Ryan Seacrest, and we're going to talk about ditching the myth of control.
K.C. Wright: Yeah. Tara Sun is the host of the Truth Talks with Tara Podcast, and she's also a digital artist. She's the author of "Surrender Your Story." And she's married to her high school sweetheart, Michael, and is a mom to their newest addition, Hunter. I love that name. Tara and her family live in beautiful Oregon. All right, let's listen in.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Tara, letting go of control, it is, like, one of the toughest pills to swallow for our society. But let's be honest, even for believers in Christ. But you say that it is central to the life of a Christian. So tell us why that is.
Tara Sun: Yes. Jennifer, like you said, it is a really hard pill to swallow. I, like, foresaw that this would be maybe a message that might ruffle some feathers, and it's uncomfortable, and not only because I know other people, but because in my own life it's been really hard to let go of control. But in my own quest of the Lord literally showing me what a problem I had with control, he led me to Luke 9:23. Which a lot of us may know this verse. It literally talks about how Jesus was with his disciples and he told them, if you want to come after me, here are the three steps. You need to take up your cross every day, you need to die to yourself, or deny yourself, and follow me. And that dying and denying to ourselves actually means to release personal control of our lives.
And so when I was studying what God's Word meant about that, I'm like, okay, Jesus literally said the way to follow me and to be my disciple is for you to let go of control. And I had never understood it that way. And the more I studied, I'm like, wow, this is exactly how God created us. It goes against our flesh, but it's where we thrive. And so that's what it means to be so central. This is literally what Jesus said meant to be a disciple of him.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and it's interesting, too, when you quoted that, he didn't just say deny yourself, die to self, stop there. Like, that wasn't the end of the sentence. Then there is the "Follow me," which helps us with that sense of control, because we're basically -- we're not just totally letting go as if there is no control, we're saying, okay, I trust your control. I'm going to follow you, Lord.
Tara Sun: Yes. Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And so this shows up in your life in a quite difficult way, because in your book you talked about being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And some of our listeners can really identify with that. And you talked about how it impacted your relationship with God. So first of all, for the listeners who may not know what that is, explain what the disease is, or the condition is, and then I'd love for you just to talk about how that impacted you and how you dealt with letting go of your own plan for your life and, you know, what would you say to someone who might be in a similar situation where their world hasn't turned out like they expected?
Tara Sun: Yes, absolutely. Yeah, for those who are not sure what fibromyalgia is, it is basically a condition of the nerves and the muscles of the body where basically your body is firing off faulty signals and telling your muscles just to have more pain than they're really in, which is kind of a weird concept. But basically there's a nerve misfire that affects the way that your muscles feel. And so I just describe fibromyalgia as -- since it's more of, like, a chronic autoimmune kind of feel, it's pretty constant. It's like an all-over muscular pain that also affects headaches and fatigue and all those things.
And so in the early stages for me -- I was diagnosed when I was 14, which, Jennifer and those listening, like, that's actually pretty bizarre, because fibromyalgia is something that usually happens later in life. And so it was really weird and irregular that it happened to me, like, right before I entered my freshman year of high school. And so that was an interesting season, to say the least, of just really grappling with the goodness of God and wondering, wow, like, this was really not a part of my plan, this was something that came out of left field. I didn't understand why God would allow this to happen. And so just a lot of bitterness began to plant seeds in my heart. High school was never the same, my career was never the same and, honestly, social relationships and friendships were never the same. Because the way fibromyalgia affected me was that I couldn't get out of bed for days and days and days. And so I missed school, I missed friendships, I missed all of these things. And so it really caused me to just really rethink what life was like.
And so for those listening who may have a condition similar or even just a hard trial in their life, I understand where you are. Because we're in the middle of that and we're like, God, I don't know why you're doing this to me. You're supposed to be good. And we all have those moments where we question that goodness of God. And through all of that, I'm so thankful -- it was really hard, but I'm thankful because God taught me to depend on him deeper. Because before I had been plagued with this illness, I honestly -- to be super transparent with you, as, like, crazy as this sounds, life was really easy. I didn't have a lot of reasons to trust God, as weird as that sounds. Like, life was just a breeze and everything was going -- you know, yeah, everything was going according to my plan and everything was fine, and then this happened. And as horrible as it was, it taught me to depend deeper on God, because I was realizing how much I had been living out of independence from God. That I felt that I was autonomous, that I was my own island, that I was lord over my own life. And so in all the crazy turn of events, the Lord brought me closer to him and brought me to a neediness for him, which was one of the best things he could have ever done. It's just really hard in the middle of it.
Jennifer Rothschild: It sure is hard. And we tend to resist it because we are taught, you know, from little kids, be independent, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, you know, that kind of thing.
Tara Sun: Right, right.
Jennifer Rothschild: But you said something that reminds me of one of your chapter titles. Independence is overrated.
Tara Sun: Oh, yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: So tell us kind of what you mean by that. I think you alluded to it, but I want you to go a little deeper. What do you mean by independence is overrated?
Tara Sun: Yes. So this is one of my favorite chapters. And I think the chapter title -- it's so fun. I've talked about this multiple times in other interviews, and I think it's fun that it stands out so much. Because, you know, I talked to my parents, I talked to my literary agent and we're going through this concept, and she's like, you know, like, I taught my kids to be independent. Like, I want them to know how to brush their own teeth and, you know, get a job and work hard and all these things." And that's good. Like, all those things are great. But where we kind of go over the line and start making a faulty shift is when we believe that we're independent apart from God, or another way to say self-sufficient.
So self-sufficiency can show its -- just rear its head in many different ways, basically believing that we don't need God's direction or God's power or God's leading in our lives. And for me, like I mentioned earlier, I had basically just been self-sufficient. I'm like, well, everything's pretty good. You know, I'm smart, I'm gifted, I can move along in life without anyone to direct me.
And that's why I said independence is overrated, because we were actually created to depend on God. Paul says in the letters to the Corinthians that our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but it's of God. And so right there is where we need to live. Because when we start living out of self-sufficiency, that is a big tell that we have a control problem right there, because we believe that we can do it all, that it's all up to us.
And so if maybe you're listening and you're like, I don't think I have a control problem, those two things we just talked about, whether you maybe start to distrust God or are tempted to believe he's not good, or maybe start to operate out of I'm my own island and I am enough on my own, those are two really big tells that you might have a control problem, because, man, I had all of those.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And, you know, it's interesting as you describe that too, Tara, sometimes -- like, this is not a one and done.
Tara Sun: Yes. Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Like, we can fluidly move in and out of those seasons of independence and self-sufficiency, because I do think our flesh is so forgetful. When things are going well, we're like, it's good. I'm good, God. I got this.
Tara Sun: Right, right.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I know for me personally, many years ago -- well, probably 10, I just had -- I have always had such a can-do spirit and drive, and I just broke. And part of it was depression, meaning menopause, and I happened to be blind, and when -- those three things did not get along. So anyway --
Tara Sun: Yeah, yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: But what it revealed to me was all that time that I was functioning so well, I just thought, well, this is God's grace. No, it was really my dogged independence.
Tara Sun: Wow.
Jennifer Rothschild: And once I had no more ability, you know, I was just totally weak and aware of my dependence on God, then I realized that what I called grace was really just my drive.
Tara Sun: Wow. Wow.
Jennifer Rothschild: I think for a lot of us who are Christian women who may be capable or driven, I don't think in God's mercy we have to have a breakdown to discover our dependence.
Tara Sun: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: So I think it's wise for us just to sit, like, with the truth of what you were talking about in the letters to the Corinthians, about that we don't have it together. You know, we don't -- our sufficiency is not in ourselves.
So now, you know, years later, do you still have episodes where you have to kind of right size your view of yourself and God as a wife, as a mom, you know, and a very capable woman, obviously? Do you have moments where you just have to pause and right size that view of your own sufficiency?
Tara Sun: Oh, absolutely. Every day I'm confronted with it. And like you said, it's an everyday process because I'm so forgetful. Like, our souls are so forgetful. I love that you said that. Because I can say this right now, and then two hours later after this interview, I will try to crawl back up on the throne and proclaim that I am Lord of my life, when it's only God. And so for me, oh, man, it's an everyday process. And I think that's something that -- I think for some people it's discouraging, like, ugh, I have to do this every single day, like, it can't just be a one-and-done thing. But let's think about it. If it was one and done, where would the need for God be? I mean, it keeps coming back to that. But it's like if we were perfect, if we had it figured out, we wouldn't need God. And so God keeps us tethered to him in this awesome way of dependence. And so maybe, you know, not to be discouraged by that, but to be like, okay, each day, new morning, new mercies, new opportunities just to cling to God deeper. But I definitely do every single day.
And I didn't write this book out of perfection. I keep saying I wrote it out of my own struggle --
Jennifer Rothschild: Your own need, yeah.
Tara Sun: -- my own need, yeah. And just knowing that -- I feel like sometimes control is sneaky, and it's this thing that parades as something positive and to be praised, especially nowadays. And to really just kind of pull the curtain back and say, like, hey, there's a better way, you know.
And like you said, Jennifer, you touched on it earlier, this is the way that we can find rest and freedom and peace, because I feel like we dictate our lives because we want to find that. But we're actually just spinning our wheels because we can't get to the fulfillment that we truly long for because that's God's role. And so instead of spinning our wheels, it's like let's just follow his design. And like Matthew 11:28 says, that he came to take our burdens and make them lighter. But we're just trying to take on the world and burden ourselves just way, way, way down. I know I do it so, so much.
Jennifer Rothschild: It really is so self-destructive. I mean, when you describe it like that, it's almost laughable. Yes, we do do that.
Tara Sun: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: And there is a better way, as you said. And so I think of our listeners and your life, my life, and sometimes it doesn't turn out how we expect. And then I also think there's this thing where we're looking for this elusive what is God's will?
Tara Sun: Right, right.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. So let's kind of talk about that. The concept of God's will, it can be very confusing for people. And so I would love your take on how we figure out God's will for our life. And then if and when we do, how do we then stay there and not just try to always pull back control?
Tara Sun: Ooh, that's really good. Yeah, that's super good. I have a whole chapter dedicated to God's Will 101. And although there are books and books and books just on this, I thought it was so important to do a chapter on God's will. Because, you know, we hear the message -- I preach the message of you need to surrender your life and trust the Lord, but then we're like, what do we do then? Like, how do I actually live that out? And instead of me making decisions out of my own strength, how do I make decisions that honor God? And that's where God's will comes in, and that's how we can find freedom in making decisions that we know are going to honor God and not honor ourselves.
And so we have this whole chapter about God's will and how there are two different kinds of God's will, which obviously we go down into it more in the book. But basically there is God's revealed will, and then there's God's secret will. Which, yes, God does keep secrets, and there's a few reasons why. One, because God is God and we're not. And two, because there is too much knowledge for us. Pretty sure we would explode if we knew the fullness of God's wisdom and God's will. But those are the things that we can trust God to work out on our behalf and for his glory.
And then God's revealed will, that's what we should be focusing on. Because I think sometimes we get caught up in like, well, God hasn't revealed everything to me. It's like, well, we're literally told in God's Word that we have been given -- in 2 Peter 1:3, we've been given everything we need for life and godliness. And that is God's revealed will found in His Word. And so right there is where we need to land as far as how do I find God's will for my life? How do I make decisions that act in surrender and not in control? And that's found in following God's Word. It's found in standing on the promises of His Word and knowing that he's unchanging. And knowing that if you're in a situation where you're like, I'm not sure what decision to make and I don't know if this is going to honor God or not, I'm going to tell you, if you are following God's Word and you are not sitting and you're not going against what he says, you're right where he has you.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Tara Sun: That's a good decision. I think we overthink it, right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, I agree, yes.
Tara Sun: Yeah. And that's also where faith comes in. That's also where we couple our faith with our knowledge of God and the Word and be like, okay, Lord, I have faith and trust in you and I'm going to take a step, a biblical step that's founded in Your Word that the Word guides me in, and I can be confident in that. But if you redirect me, if there's a twist and turn in my story, I know that I did the right thing, I did right by you, because I was following your word. And so that's where it comes into just know God's Word deeply and to understand how to read it.
And then also little things, you know, like -- well, not little things. But other things like gleaning on people in your life for biblical counsel, prayer. All of these things help us really stay in the center of God's will. And then praying and asking the Spirit to help us not deviate. And when we do, to put us right back on track, you know.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And he does. He does. Because it's really -- our understanding and pursuit of God's will is not self-driven; it is God driven.
Tara Sun: That's good.
Jennifer Rothschild: And so we can trust him with it because he's the one who's beginning the good work, he's going to carry it to completion. So you're right, staying within His Word is staying within his will. We can just trust. We don't have to know everything to trust.
Tara Sun: Yes, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: But he's got this. He's got it.
Tara Sun: I love that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. So one of the things, Tara, that I hear -- like, it's inspiring, right? Yes, I'm going to just do this spiritual let go and trust God with it all. Okay. All right?
Tara Sun: Yeah, yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: So the theory is beautiful. The theory of surrendering our story, it is beautiful. The practical, though, is not very pretty on some days. So what role does being patient play with this? Like, what's the benefit of waiting on God in this process as we're learning to surrender our stories?
Tara Sun: That's really good. You know, I love how you said the benefit. Because oftentimes we do not hear the word "patience" or "waiting" and we see it as a benefit. I know I don't. Like, every single day there's something you got to wait for. And even if it's the small trivial things or the big things, like, waiting is not associated with a positive thing. And that's because -- I see it in our culture, and I even see it in God's Word in the Old Testament. This is a human condition, you guys. Like, this is not just like a 2023 problem, it's just human nature, right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Tara Sun: But we read stories in the Bible of people who were impatient and rushed ahead of God's will and rushed ahead of his way, and how actually God used patience to produce a lot of stuff in them that they could have missed if they didn't wait. We talk about Abraham in the book, who him and his wife rushed ahead of God's plan and they tried to manipulate, and the consequences that followed. God still remained faithful to them, because God is God, but they rushed ahead and tried to take things into their own hands.
We talk about -- then on the flip side we talk about Joseph, who was arguably one of the most patient men in history. Because his life was planned out. He knew there was a promise from God. But he literally got kidnapped, betrayed by his family, taken -- or almost taken advantage of in the palace in Egypt, basically disowned, forgotten about in jail. All these things happened to him. And yet literally in that passage in Genesis, we read that God still had favor on him, that he still waited and he still persevered.
And so I think we need to switch our thinking and know that patience -- I like to describe it as this supporting character, that we can't surrender and trust God if we don't try to produce the fruit of patience in our lives. And so patience enables us to see the setbacks and the disappointments of our lives in a new lens, knowing that really with God there's no such thing as setbacks and disappointments, because God knows exactly what's going to happen. So patience, a fruit of the Holy Spirit that we cannot possibly do on our own, is something that helps us when the unexpected and the disappointments come. Because that's a lot of what happens in surrendering our stories, is that we are not fulfilled or things don't go our way. And so like Romans tells us, that patience produces endurance and character and hope.
And so I think if we switch our thinking and realize that patience actually helps us live in the here and now and not waste the moments -- because I don't want to waste what God has for me in the here and now, right? So every day just remind ourselves that patience is the supporting character that makes us better.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's such a good view of patience, Tara. That's so practical. I love it. And it goes back right to what you've said about the Word and trusting God. If he's truly our Father and he's good, we can be patient with the process. We really can.
All right. So this is going to be our last question. Because I think this is very good stuff. It's a good paradigm shift for a lot of us. And so I want us to end very practical. Maybe you could give us a few tips, very practical tips, for a listener who may be really struggling with this idea of letting go.
Tara Sun: Yeah. You know, that's what we all want, the practical.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right?
Tara Sun: I'm so thankful God's Word has the practical. But for someone struggling to release their control and to let God be God really -- because that's what this comes down to -- I think a really first practical step in trusting God is -- like 1 Peter 5 tells us, is to cast our cares. Because that's where we try to control. We try to hold on to things that we think are ours or we think that we have power over. But God literally says cast your anxieties, cast your cares. We like to control the things we're worried about. We like to control the things that are uncomfortable that we believe that are ours. And so the first thing, like, literally 1 Peter says is cast them. Throw them off daily. Make it a practice. And I think that's a key too here about this whole thing, is that daily we need to create a rhythm and a routine and a practice of this. Because Jesus said in Luke 9 that daily this is something we have to do. Daily we have to take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow him. It's a conscious choice.
So little things that are big things, like casting our cares. When we have a moment of anxiety, be like, okay, Lord, I'm going to throw that off to you in prayer. I'm going to release my hands. If you need to, take your hands in prayer and hold them open handed to God. It's this physical reminder for me, because a lot of times my jaw is clenched, my fists are clenched -- right? -- and they're just on this death grip and I'm just -- my body's tensed. And just a physical act of prayer, being like, Lord, I'm throwing these off to you because they're not my own anyway.
And then another practical tool that I just remind people over and over again, I just can't stress it enough, is getting to know who God is. You know? Getting to know who he is in his heart and his character. Because I'm going to tell you this. If you don't know who God is, like, truly, like, who is he as a person, as your father, as your friend, as your Savior, then how are you going to trust him with your story? Because you cannot possibly surrender to someone you don't know. That is a big ask. And if you don't know someone or love them or have an intimate relationship with them, there's no way you're going to fully let go and let God be God.
So get in His Word daily and get to know him. Read stories of him -- because he's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Read stories of him in the Old Testament of how he came through for his people. Read stories in the New Testament of how he manifested himself in Jesus Christ and came down to be our Savior. And then read stories about how he's coming back again. Just, like, get to know him. Because the more you know him, the more you're going to be like, wow, God, I see you for who you are. You're incredible, you're all powerful, you're good, you're loving, so I can trust you, you know?
So I think that's so key, just a few little practical things that help me. Because sometimes I'll lose my perception of who God is and then I start to elevate myself, and that's when we really get in a pickle.
K.C. Wright: Cast your cares on Jesus. He does care for you. One translation even says he cares for you affectionately. As Tara said, we do like to control what we are worried about, but we can throw those worries off, we can cast them off. Let's practice throwing them at the feet of Jesus by creating a daily routine of casting.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. I mean, that's the point. You know, we may need to even, K.C., just like physically open our hands.
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: And remember Tara also said that we need to get to know who God is. We cannot trust who we do not know. That's why we need to know him. So get in His Word daily.
And I've already told y'all this many times. My favorite way to do that is through the Dwell Bible app. It's a daily way to listen to others read Scripture, and it's devotional and it's beautiful. So if you've not checked that out, I will have a link to that also on the Show Notes. Or you can go straight to 413podcast.com/Dwell so that you can get in the Word.
K.C. Wright: And she ended with the challenge to pick up our cross daily. If you pick up your cross daily, you cast off your cares daily, you get in His Word daily, then all those days turn into a life of absolute freedom and surrender. And doesn't that sound so good?
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah.
K.C. Wright: Sounds like the good life to me.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sounds like the good life to me.
K.C. Wright: And what else makes your life good is Tara's book for free. We're giving one away right now on Instagram. So go to Jennifer's Insta. It's simply @Jennrothschild. Or go straight right now to the Show Notes at 413podcast.com/259 to get a full transcript of this amazing conversation, plus a way, of course, to win the book.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.
K.C. Wright: All right. Sadly, this episode's a wrap. And so --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, Ryan, it's time to go.
K.C. Wright: -- until next week, Kelly and I are out of here. Oh, I mean, Jennifer and I are out of here. Remember, you can ditch the myth of control because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
K.C. Wright: And --
Jennifer Rothschild: You can.
K.C. Wright: -- you can.
What an honor. I'm just so impressed with people that have listened from the very beginning.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Karen has been with us since the beginning. In fact, if you've been with us since the beginning, we want to know about it, especially if you've not left a review. That's where you can tell us, because we want to celebrate you.
K.C. Wright: Big podcast hugs.
Jennifer Rothschild: Big ones.
K.C. Wright: Thank you.
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