When I was 13, I assumed my parents knew everything.
At 17, I thought I knew everything.
Then, when I was 21, I realized that I knew nothing.
Now, at 32 (I think…let me do the math…yep 32 till July), I realize that knowledge has much more to do with life and experiences than books and degrees.
I have changed my major in college five times and attended four different universities. I have owned 4 different businesses (two MLM’s, a graphic design studio and a photography business), was the pilot employee for the best Feminine WordPress Designer on the internet and took over $6,000 worth of Photography classes. I’ve jumped from business to business; school to school and hobby to hobby. I have spent the better part of the last 15 years of my life trying to figure out who I am and what I am doing with my life.
This blogging journey began in 2008, on a whim, when the leader of the Mom’s Group I was a part of shared a bit of her writing with us. “I can do that,” I thought to myself, “I can write a blog…that’s just like writing in a diary and I’ve been doing since 2nd grade.” I went home, opened Blogger and started a blog. I’ve been writing online ever since.
My blogging has morphed from “mommy blogging” where I shared every little move Noah made and joined every blog party here ever was online into a space less about my kids and more about my journey through life. I have written over 1,000 blog posts in 12 years on everything from potty training to mental health; spiritual guides and bible study tools. I have loved every single minute of it.
Don’t panic, I’m not leaving the internet or this blog. For one, I have too much money, time and online memories here. I’d never do that. Noah’s entire childhood and my entire pregnancy with Jonah is logged on this website. It would take a whole lot of Godly intervention to force me to leave this place behind.
I am, however, shifting my focus a bit. I’m 22,000 words into my first fiction novel and 14,000 words into my first non-fiction book; both of which I aim to market to a Christian Publishing Agency upon their completion. I honestly don’t know which book (if either) God will open doors for but I know that this is where I’m supposed to be. I may never may a dime writing, but the stories on my heart and in my mind have been there for too long. I have actually prayed that God would take the passion for writing and the dream of publishing books away from me so that I could do other things (God willing).
So far, that passion has remained. If anything it’s gotten stronger. I read a great post from Jeff Goins the other day called “Don’t Pivot” all about finding your true work. I don’t think any thing has resonated with me as much as this did in a long time. Our culture keeps us busy and occupied; shifting our focus from what we are meant to do to what we feel like we are “supposed” to do. I was born to be a writer. A lot of people with aspirations of being career authors say that; I have heard it from so many people in my life.
But, I believe that when there’s a dream on your heart that you cannot shake…a vision for your future that you can’t ignore…and a desire so strong that it almost strangles you…or a hope that you can’t even pray away…you have a calling. You have a God-given dream. Maybe God will use whatever it is He is wanting me to share to save someones soul. Perhaps, He will use it to provide hope and encouragement during this chaotic time we live in. Maybe He will do nothing more than use the stories I write to bring joy and laughter. Who knows?
What I do know is that when God gives you a dream and you don’t do anything with it, you are walking in disobedience.
Last week, when I shared on Instagram that I was taking a short social media hiatus, I somehow landed in Deuteronomy 1. My husband and I had been talking about what I wanted to do and what I felt I was called to do for a while. I told him I wanted to take a break and figure it out. That morning, during my quiet time, this bit of scripture came up.
Let me back track and give you some context:
God had already told Abraham and Isaac about the Promised Land. He had done everything so far to pave the way for them to get there. He had set the stage and laid the ground work for Moses and the Exodus; intending to bring the people out of Egypt and into the Land of Canaan. Problem was, the Israelites not only didn’t have the sense God gave a goat, but they were also faithless and struggled with disobedience. (Sound familiar?) The journey from Egypt to Canaan was only 11 day…but because of their idolatry, complaining and constant griping, God let them wander for 40 years. FORTY YEARS, y’all for complaining and not going where God led.
We see in verse 21 that God told them to go and possess the land…all they had to do was go take it. He had done all of the other work; all they had to do was walk in faith and it would have been theirs. But, look at what verse 26 says:
“Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; and you complained in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.” ’Deuteronomy 1:26-28
They complained and they whined. Then, they deliberately refused to do what God had called them to do. And because of that, because of their unwillingness to trust, they wandered. Lost, confused, living pointless and meaningless lives for 4o years.
In 40 years I’ll be 72, almost 73. I don’t want to waste anymore of my time wandering because I am too scared to step out and take hold of what God has promised me. Will I write New York Times Bestsellers? Who knows? Maybe. Maybe not. Will any of my work ever be published alongside some of the great Christian authors like Jennie Allen or Beth Moore; or my fiction work be on shelves beside Emily Giffin and Nicholas Sparks? Who’s to say? But, I know that I can’t wander for another 40 years looking for a neon sign with a roadmap attached.
When God calls us, He expects an answer. He’s not privy on calling qualified people. He’s pretty great, though, at using obedient ones who follow hard after Him.