March 4, 2013

Bless the Lord Reason #18: He Gives Me Chances to Walk Away

When I dream, I dream big.

Then, I make plans to achieve those dreams.

Then, when those plans don't work, I re-evaluate and make new plans--though often reluctantly.

I may question the plans I made, but rarely do I question the actual dream. Somehow, questioning the dream feels wrong, as if I'm growing weak and backing off. I guess I figure that if I question it, then maybe I'm not strong enough to ever get there.

But that's simply not true. Sometimes, we need to question the dream in order to reaffirm our commitment to it.

Those of you who have read my blog for any length of time know I want to someday be a published author. Last week, I attended the My Book Therapy Deep Thinkers retreat. It was an intense five days of learning about the writing craft.

So good and yet--overwhelming.

Because I found out just how much I have to learn. Actually, I probably only scratched the surface of it.

And I've gotta be honest. The thought discouraged me. Made me question whether this is really what I should be doing.

The doubt immediately made me feel like maybe I wasn't a "real writer." I mean, "real writers" stick with it no matter what, right? And they never feel like it's not what they should do. In fact, "real writers" just HAVE to write, even if they knew they'd never be published, yeah?

Maybe some writers never doubt their calling or their dream, but this one does. And I fully believe that's okay.

I think that sometimes, God allows these doubts to attack us because it's only through fighting against them that we reaffirm the surety of our dream. In other words, He gives us chances to walk away from the dream.

Questioning why we stick with it despite all the rejection and feelings of failure reminds us of why we do what we do, why we're pursuing the dream we're pursuing.

And that makes our resolve all the stronger.

So today, I'm thankful for those moments of doubting, because they've brought me full circle to realize this: I AM a writer, and this dream IS achievable if God wants it for my life.

Your Turn: Fill in the blank: I am a __________, and my dream IS _____________.

*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

21 comments:

  1. I dream to be a published author too, but I know I have a long way to go. Thanks for sharing your heart you inspire me to keep going. I want to keep walking through my doubts :)

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    1. Isn't it great to know we are not alone? I love how we can mutually lift each other up as we dream and plod onward. :)

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  2. I am a storyteller and my dream is God-given. I like to to remind myself of that fact...because when I know the dream's from God, then I can trust that He's going to make something of it. I don't believe he gives us dreams just to watch us struggle to reach them. Sure, the dream may end up looking a little different than we once imagined, but when He's walking the road with us, it's worth it! :)

    Loved your thoughts today, Linz!

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    1. "I don't believe he gives us dreams just to watch us struggle to reach them."

      You've told me this so many times, and I love hearing it. I love that you continually inspire me to keep hoping.

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  3. I am a writer and my dream is to have a career as a writer. :-)
    Don't be discourage! Yes, there are things to learn but that doesn't mean we need to be perfect or to get it all right before we can move forward. Give yourself permission to be less than perfect, and your work too. :-) God uses the imperfect, ya know. Heeeheee (that's what I tell myself!)

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    1. Amen on your dream! That's what I want too. ;) And you're right. We don't have to be perfect to move forward. I love that God uses imperfect people.

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  4. I am a messenger of God's hope and my dream is sharing that hope through fiction. I believe that it takes pruning time and God working behind the scenes to orchestrate everything to happen just the way He's dreamed it to be. He thought about every story, every opportunity, every single thing before I was ever born. Every thought was good. For my benefit.

    I think of Joseph. I think of Abraham. And I know. I simply, know.

    Love you and your heart, Linds!

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    1. Pruning...yes, I'm learning that it's a painful but necessary process in order to help us grow.

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  5. I appreciate your honesty and frankly, I can relate. I often feel like I'm a wannabe writer like you do, but here we are, still writing, still learning the craft. How many have said, "I want to write a book someday" but have never spent one day pursuing that dream? Those are wannabe writers. I was one of them. But I'm not now and neither are you. We are real writers. Not because we are published. Not because we have it all figured out. Not even because we can write all that well, yet. But because we write.

    As far as my dream goes, I have felt God leading me down this writing path, but I really don't know what to expect or even hope for. I would love to hold my very own novel in my hands one day, but I'm not sure that's the reason God has brought me here. On this journey I have connected with people I would have never met before, I have received so much encouragement from friends, and I am a happier person with a story playing in my head. I am also learning how to discipline myself to write even when I'm not inspired. It's an interesting journey - no matter the destination!

    (btw I just started following your blog. So from one writer to another - keep writing!)

    Melissa

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    1. Melissa, thank you so much for following my blog, for stopping by today, and for the encouragement you offered. I pretty much agree with everything else you said as well!

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  6. Your comment resonated with me: "Sometimes, we need to question the dream in order to reaffirm our commitment to it." For me, sometimes I need to question my motives or level of focus, but the dream remains constant. Interesting!

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    1. I love seeing your bright smile here each time you comment, Donna. You always inspire and encourage me! I'm so glad I'm not alone.

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  7. I am so many things and my dream is to use what I am to serve God. I've been having those same thoughts, Lindsay. For the first time in a year, I'm questioning my staying power. But I'm reminded that God has to separate the chaff from the wheat, to keep what is good and useful and to burn up what is not useful. Going through such an intense experience at Deep Thinkers is part of the process of removing the chaff from our lives, from our dreams, from our calling. It's a refining process, that by its very nature, is difficult. God loves us and wants us to offer up our very best. Thanks for sharing today. I love that there's someone out there who gets me. :)

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    1. Can I just say...I love everything about this comment!! You totally feel the same way I do, and for that I'm so thankful. Love walking this road with you.

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  8. Like you, & those who've commented, I am a writer and my dream is to write unto the Lord. I just read a chapter in one of John Ortberg's books that essentially says faith is not equal to doubt-free uncertainty. Faith is tenacious obedience. I'm with you. I often wrestle over the process and wonder if I'm really cut out for the long haul. But then I remember writing is a partnership. I'm called to be faithfully obedient to write. And God will do is part to see that dream come into its full potential at his perfect time. Stay encouraged.

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    1. I love the idea that writing is a partnership, as is anything God's called us to. My life verse is Phil. 1:6, which says God will finishes the good work He's started. I love that. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Crystal!

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    2. That's one of my fav. verses, too. It helps me keep things in perspective. So many times I try to be the finisher, taking on all responsibility to make something happen on my own. Those are the moments when I lose heart. When I trust God to be faithful in his role in the partnership, then I find peace once again. Wish it was an automatic response. Thank goodness for His gentle patience with us! :)

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  9. I love that saying, "there are those who want to succeed, and those who intend to succeed."
    I need to push myself deep into intention territory. And have the faith that God indeed gave me the storytelling skills to do the job.

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    1. I haven't heard that saying, but me gusta. ;)

      God's got this, doesn't He?

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  10. Oh, Lindsay, I can relate to the feelings you're experiencing. Like you, I wanted so much to be a published author.

    At one point I'd written five stories and double finaled in a national contest. On the one hand, I felt like I was doing OK. On the other, I knew I had so much yet to learn. At that point I took a year off to study craft, and I learned heaps.

    When I returned to rewrite one of my stories at the end of that year, I could tell a difference. And yet, I still had a major rewrite ahead of me when an agent offered me representation. Then there were the edits after the book was contracted, followed by reviews in which some readers pointed out perceived weaknesses.

    What have I learned through all this? That the learning never ends. Embracing that truth helps. I long to continually improve, so pushing myself to become a better writer at every stage of the journey is my goal.

    End of pep talk--and marathon comment. Hope it helped. That was my intention. Here's a (((hug)) to help.

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