This past Monday, I shared my secret with a close friend.
Ten years ago, I had a vision to become a novelist. My motives were pure. I wanted to write stories that were beautiful and real and full of hope. But something happened along the way. My motives got all tangled up.
What started out good became an idol.
I wanted to impress people. Write a bestseller. Be Somebody.
And I believed a lie. I thought I had to earn God’s love.
After writing four and a half novels (with multiple rewrites–probably a million words), I’d lost my joy. I dreaded climbing the 13 steps to my office.
“It feels like I’m climbing an endless ladder to Nowhere,” I told my friend. “But there’s no way out. I have to make this work.”
She gave me a verse of Scripture I’d memorized as a child but never understood.
“Take my yoke upon you, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29.
Rest? I had work to do.
“Julie, what if you wait on God and see where He leads?”
Wait? I had to hurry up and finish. I couldn’t risk being a failure.
The next morning, I wrote pages and pages in my prayer journal. Gut-level honest prayers. Another Scripture found me.
“Do you wish great things for yourself? Do not seek them…” Jeremiah 45:5
“Yes, Lord, Yes, yes. Please forgive me. I’ve wished great things for myself.”
Defeated, I climbed the mile-high stairs one more time.
I didn’t want to touch my desk or my chair, so I knelt in the floor of my office and turned on some praise music. For a long time, I just breathed.
If His love was based on my performance, I’d blown it.
Then the most amazing thing happened.
While I was kneeling, God showed up.
He didn’t turn away in disgust. He performed heart surgery and cleaned out all the darkness and lies. When He finished, it seemed He suggested the unthinkable.
Are you willing to let go of your novel?
I hesitated. One…two…three…four…five long seconds.
Do you trust me?
Yes, but how could You ask me to do this?
There was a long silence.
How could I tell Him no? He’d forgiven me of so much.
With trembling fingers, I removed all my notes and pictures from my whiteboard–everything I’d thought would make me Somebody.
I put them at the foot of the cross–the one my husband made 40 years ago.
Lord, it’s yours. I’m yours. If You want to resurrect my dream, You can. If not, I trust You.
I stared at my spotless whiteboard.
A new vision rose up.
My heart felt full and still. Peaceful.
What if I start small? If You’ll show me one person each day to encourage, I’ll do it.
I didn’t have to wait long. The first encounter happened the next day–the lady behind the deli counter.
I thought my word for 2016–DANCE – meant I’d finally be Somebody. But dancing means living in rhythm with Jesus.
I don’t know where God’s leading, but wherever it is, I’m following. Click to tweet
Are you experiencing the death of dream? There’s Life on the other side. Click to tweet.
More from Lauren. If you can’t see the video, click here.
If you have a prayer request, feel free to share it in the comments. My blog-friends pray for each other.