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Surrender Your Story Author Q&A with Tara Sun

I am so excited to have Tara Sun back with us! We featured Tara in 2019, and so much has changed since then. She got married, had a gorgeous kiddo, and she wrote a book. If I had to pick one word to describe her book, Surrender Your Story: Ditch the Myth of Control and Discover Freedom in Trusting God (launches March 7, 2023), it would be authentic. You can see Tara’s heart in everything she does, which is truly why her ministry is so powerful. Tara has a genuine way of presenting Jesus and His principles, and this book is an intimate and vulnerable glimpse at her journey with God. There is nothing cliché or superficial about it.

This book is for those praying for change, for the ones who have heard God’s voice or the ones who want to, for the ones who have realized they can’t control it all, for the ones who haven’t realized they can’t control it all, for the ones afraid to take the next step, and for the ones who feel there is something more waiting for them. I hope you are inspired by our conversation and that you pick up Surrender Your Story. Thank you, Tara and ICON Media Group, for making this interview possible.

I leave with you, Tara Sun.

Modern Witnesses (“MW”): Congratulations on your book, and on all that has changed since we last had you on Modern Witnesses! Your kiddo is absolutely precious. I really loved how you take the reader on a really vulnerable journey through your story. What do you hope readers walk away with from your book?

Tara Sun (“TS”): Thank you so much, Modern Witness family. I’m so thankful for the relationship we’ve had over the years, and I’m honored to be here again with you all! My book, Surrender Your Story, is officially out today! I’ve been praying over the readers of this book for a long time, and I couldn’t be more hopeful. After reading this book, my desire is that readers will walk away feeling a sigh of relief in their soul knowing that surrender offers greater freedom than any striving for control could. I hope readers will be able to close this book and know that God is truly good to them; He’s worthy to be trusted with their stories, and that surrendering is the better way of life.

“I hope readers will be able to close this book and know that God is truly good to them; He’s worthy to be trusted with their stories, and that surrendering is the better way of life.”

MW: The story you share begins with this moment where you heard God speak to you and this lead to a big pivot moment in your life. What would you say to someone struggling to hear God’s voice?

TS: God’s voice can feel like a big, elusive question mark, right? It can be intimidating and unclear whether God is speaking to us and how. But to the one who is struggling to hear God’s voice, let me remind you of this: God is not far from you. He is not hiding himself. He is near. God became flesh so He could dwell among you and in you through the Holy Spirit. He is always speaking – we just need to know where and how to listen. One of the greatest ways that God speaks to us is through the Bible, His Word. We wish for a big neon sign in the sky or the audible voice of God to tell us what to do, but that’s usually not how God works. John 1 tells us that the Word is God Himself and every word written is for our encouragement, instruction, and training (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Ask God to help you desire time in the Word each day. The more you get in the Word, the more sensitive you will be to his voice. (For more on God’s will and voice, read chapter 6 of Surrender Your Story!)

“But to the one who is struggling to hear God’s voice, let me remind you of this: God is not far from you.”

MW: Your book deals a lot with this idea of control—something we often pretend we have. What are ways in which you sort of try to check yourself when you feel self-sufficiency and other mindsets kick in?

TS: As I share in Surrender Your Story, self-sufficiency is an easy way for us to tell if we have a problem with control – if we are operating out of self-sufficiency, which is another way to say independence from God and refusing to depend on His strength. When I feel self-sufficiency and pride creep in, I must always bring myself back to this reality: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:5). I am desperate to remind myself of my neediness and the fact that it was by grace alone that I was saved in the first place (Ephesians 2:8). A practical way to check ourselves is to recite those verses over yourself and also practice the muscle of surrender in everything – big, small, and daily. God-dependence over self-dependence. (For more on this, read chapter 3 of Surrender Your Story!)

MW: In many ways, you talk about how your journey has taken you to places and things you never imagined. Things like ministry. What are the best things that have come out of the unexpected?

TS: The thing about surrendering your life to God is that it involves a trade. We lay down control, and instead, open our hands to God in trust. It can feel like we’re losing a lot, but in all reality, we’re just opening our hands and hearts up to God’s possibilities. Surrendering opens doors to the unexpectedly beautiful and however surprising it may be, it’s always more than we could have ever imagined (Ephesians 3:20-21). Some of the best things that have come out of the unexpected for me is the opportunity to be in an online ministry! I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be sitting here – writing books, running a podcast – but God turned the unexpected into something beautiful. And another one of the greatest unexpected blessings was getting pregnant fairly early on in our marriage, which wasn’t planned by us but planned by God all along! Following God is such a fun adventure.

“It can feel like we’re losing a lot, but in all reality, we’re just opening our hands and hearts up to God’s possibilities.”

MW: What are some projects you are looking forward to in the future? What should we be keeping on our radar to support you?

TS: Well, this is such a sweet question! Thank you! While I can’t disclose all the information, I am working on some more writing projects in the coming years, so if you’ve been encouraged by these words, my book, Surrender Your Story, or even my Instagram (@misstarasun), you’ll want to stick around. I also have a weekly podcast, Truth Talks with Tara, where we dive into Scripture, answer questions about the faith, and talk about Jesus in community. We’re all about knowing, loving, and living God’s Word!

MW: Is there something God is speaking into your heart at this time?

TS: The Lord has been using Philippians 1:6 to encourage my heart lately, so I’d love to share it with you. Paul writes, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 NLT). I find so much hope in knowing that God isn’t through with us. That He is faithful every day, in every season, and in every moment. That He promises to sanctify us through it all, and we can be confident in the fact that we are not finished yet. There is always purpose in Christ, so may we take small steps of obedience every day. God wastes nothing!

MW: What are you currently reading and what have you learned from it?

TS: I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who starts about 8 books at a time, and then has a hard time finishing one because I’m reading so many things! But I’m currently reading a book called, A Simplified Life, and it’s given me a sigh of relief and helpful tips to declutter and simply live. As a working mom, I am so exhausted a lot of the time, and clutter in my life and house doesn’t help, so this has been a fun and inspiring read.

MW: Do you have any advice for new moms?

TS: For the new mama who wonders if she will ever get back into the Word or into a quiet routine like she had before kids, I want to encourage you to be fully planted where you are now. Just because you have kids and a new lifestyle doesn’t mean that you cannot get into the Word and that God’s Word cannot get into you. It may look different. It may be shorter. It may be more chaotic and noisy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful or worthy. Steal away even just a minute in the Word or time listening to an audio bible while you do the dishes. Read a devotional while the baby naps. God wants to meet with you, even in your messy moments.

“God wants to meet with you, even in your messy moments.

Thank you, Tara, for taking the time to share with us. We are so excited about your book, Surrender Your Story. It is a beautiful and inspiring book. We are so excited to keep seeing what God will do through you.


About the Author:

Through the Truth Talks with Tara podcast, her Instagram community, her book Surrender Your Story and other resources, Tara Sun passionately teaches women of all ages how to know, love, and live God’s Word for themselves. She shows how to break down God’s Word into understandable pieces, while also adding an artistic flare through her digital art. Tara is married to her high school sweetheart, Michael, and is a mom to their newest addition, Hunter. You’ll find them living and serving the Lord in Oregon.

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