This week, I let go of something that was difficult for me to release.
When I was in college, I took a digital media class where each student created a free WordPress blog for the semester. I started a recipe blog, and I was immediately sold.
This is what I wanted to do with my life. This is what I was good at. I wanted to cook, taste-test, invent recipes, and share them online. Was that possible?!
This was pre-Pinterest and food blogging really wasn’t a thing yet like it is now, but I saw the potential for making a career out of it. It combined so many of my interests: food, photography, writing, and social media. (I was 22 and it was 2010. Social media was my life.) At the time, everyone in my parents’ generation chuckled at the idea of anyone ever working full time in social media. I guess millennials got the last laugh on that one.
During this class and in the months following, I fantasized about food blogging. I strategized. I imagined what it could look like. It would be my dream.
And I couldn’t escape it.
So, a few years later, I went for it. With the help of my tech genius brother, I bought a domain and started my blog.
I couldn’t spend all my time on a project that didn’t generate any revenue yet, but I tried to fit blogging into the pockets of my schedule, and I was able to do so for a time. Eventually, I was even able to make a few bucks through the Amazon Affiliate program. Probably not enough to cover the cost of the domain, but it was something!
But then it became a burden. Though my website’s traffic increased a lot thanks to the impeccable timing of Pinterest taking off, that didn’t translate into any significant income for me. I couldn’t even get approved as an Amazon Affiliate for several more years!
I had to work other jobs since this passion of mine for blogging didn’t pay the bills, and I increasingly found that I didn’t have leftover time to even experiment with recipes, much less photograph them, post them on my blog, calculate the nutrition, and share the post on all the socials so people would actually see my content.
And somewhere in the middle of all this, God told me very clearly to start this blog. It’s not one I would have started without him explicitly telling me to do so, but I felt very strongly that I was supposed to prioritize his plan over mine. So I did. Albeit hesitantly. 😊
And now we’re here.
I haven’t posted a recipe in over a year. I have zero time. Every time I’ve even thought about it, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the steps I’d need to take before actually hitting “post.” It just isn’t sustainable with everything else I have going on in my life – things I know the Lord is asking me to put first.
I’ve been wrestling with this for months. I asked God if he wanted me to let go of this dream, and I heard from him. I could feel it in my spirit. It was time. But as I scrolled through all my old posts, finding them to be less cringey than I had supposed and recalling the thousands of hours I’d put into my website – into my dream – it was hard to make the call.
I looked over at my nightstand where I’ve strategically placed two Post-Its in my line of sight.
One asks, Are the gates of hell pushed back by what I am doing? Well…no. The gates of hell are not being pushed back by my cupcake recipes.
Where is God’s peace? The other Post-It inquires. When I think about maintaining my recipe website and how I could possibly keep going with it, I feel pressure, not peace. I don’t have the time, it doesn’t make financial sense, I’ve fallen behind the times as far as trends go, and I already have to rely on my tech-savvy brother enough as is.
God’s peace is in shutting it down. I know that and I feel that, but it grieves me.
Because I’m giving up a dream. One of the only ones I’ve even seen a measure of fulfillment in, and it’s hard to let that go.
I guess I share this story because I suspect some of you may be going through a similar process. Maybe God’s asking you to let go of something you love or loved. Maybe it’s something that once provided deep gratification but no longer does. Maybe it’s something you still have a passion for but no longer have the capacity to continue.
It’s a new season. Don’t hang on to the old wineskin when God has a new one for you, or he won’t be able to fill it. You won’t be able to grow in the way he intends for you to grow or pour out what he wants you to pour out if you don’t surrender the old and grab hold of the new.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”Mark 2:22 NLT
Letting go is hard. Of this I am well aware, and I imagine you are, too.
But it’s worth it in the grand scheme of things, because God always knows better than we do, and when he leads us to do something, it’s in our best interest to surrender to his plan.
At the beginning of the year, I resolved to trust God. I’m putting my money where my mouth is.
By the end of this week, my food blog will cease to exist.
I’m surrendering what was once one of my biggest dreams. Unlike many of my dreams, this one I was able to see fulfilled on some level. I am taking that testimony as the spirit of prophecy and trusting God to fulfill even greater dreams in this new season as I obediently set aside the old ones.
The old may have been good, but the BEST is yet to come. I choose to trust in that truth. Who’s with me?