Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dreaming Dreams

My husband, J. is home and doing some better. He still struggles with chronic pain. Thank you for praying for him.

Last night in our Write2Ignite! Chat Room we discussed our writing dreams. As writers we all have a place we hope to be in a few years. However, we all agreed that our plans don't always work out the way we hope they will. That could drive us to despair except for one thing:


Those of us who were chatting are all Christians. We all believe God has a plan for our individual lives. And that means He has a plan for the things we write. The Master has a master plan for each of us. So, when our plans don't align with His plans, He has the right to interrupt them--to send us on what appears to be a detour.

My Pastor frequently says that God can (and will) interrupt our plans any time He wishes. Pastor encourages us to see those interruptions as God-opportunities. Sickness, family distresses, work obligations, volunteer obligations, hurting people, "accidents" can all drive a wedge into the cogs of our plans. They can redirect us and interfere with writing, with research, with submission and publication. That can be irritating and frustrating if we let it.

Those of us in the Chat Room last night all agreed, however, that those interruptions are part of God's providence for our lives. Accepting that and being at peace with that is one of the secrets behind joyful living and writing.

When we view rejection letters (those ugly form ones) as coming from God's hand, they don't sting nearly as much.

When we view the successes of writer-friends as part of God's plan for them, and remember that His plans for us are different from His plan for them, we can sincerely rejoice with them in their successes.

When we remember that writing is merely God's current assignment for us, and that His calling on our lives is something much bigger--to love Him with all our being and to love other people as we love ourselves, then we don't sink into despair when editors and agents don't fall in love with our submissions.

Repeat after me: I am not what I do.

My worth is not wrapped up in the products of my mind.

My worth is wrapped up in the Lord Jesus. Period.

What about your dreams? Are you living them right now? Are you afraid to take giant steps to make those dreams happen? Or, have you forgotten how to dream?

I hope as you prepare for the new year (2011 is just around the corner.) you'll summon the courage to take bigger steps, to dream bigger dreams, to ask for bigger assignments from God.

Nelson Mandela said:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So, dream.


Step out.

Take risks.

And shine.

Jesus said: "You are the light of the world."  [Matthew 5:14]


Linda A. said...

Jean, you let your light shine and you encourage others to follow their dreams! I don't believe I would have found the courage to blog without your regular posts and your direct question to me about blogging for Write2Ignite. Thank you for helping me to step out and try.

For others reading this--consider attending the Write2Ignite Conference in Feb. 2011. You'll be glad you did! Learn more about it at www.write2ignite.com.

quietspirit said...

I really received a blessing from your thoughts here. We are never in control. GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL.

Jean said...

Thank you, QS. I am glad the words blessed you.

Your faithfulness is a true blessing to me.


Cheryl Barker said...

Jean, love the photo that you chose to go with this post. So much good encouragement offered, too. Blessings to you!

Jean said...

Thanks, my faithful friends, Cheryl, Linda, QS, for your words of blessing.