I remember this dream I had, it was right after I read Blue Like Jazz, I wanted to write. I loved reading, loved writing my thoughts, and loved hearing that my words meant something. To me it was something I could do to bless others, I tend to fumble over words when I’m talking but when I write I have this blank page and the backspace key and I don’t have to see your face snarl when I’m “too honest” (always been a problem).
Then I went to college and people kept telling me to pick a major and get a job, be someone in the world, people told me I could be a leader, be a business woman, be recognized but I wanted to put words to a page. I wanted to spend my days in coffee shops not big meetings. When people asked what my dream was (a question that’s stops being asked when you get to real life) I said, I want to write. People turned up there nose. What do you want to write? Do you know how hard it is to be published?
I did, So I quit. I pursued a more practical dream of being in PR and Communication, or anywhere where my ability to talk to a wall would serve me instead of hinder me. The dreams stayed though and throughout the random jobs I had (where I was mostly miserable) I would imagine what it would be like to really do the thing God had laid on my heart.
When I finally caved in it was only because I couldn’t find a job and if I watched anymore episodes of Friends I was going to believe I was really one of them. I started writing my story, not because I wanted to write a book (which was the only thing I always said I’d NEVER do) but because God told me to and because someone once told me that if you want to see God’s faithfulness write down your story. I did and along the way I saw his faithfulness and his love and I realized God placed a dream in my heart because he knew it’s how I could glorify him.
When I finished the book and started having conversations about it I realized there was a need for girls to see the real side of sin, the side that you don’t see on TV or in Cosmo, the side that doesn’t need a checklist of “ten things to make you happy” but the side that needs a real holy God to lift you out of your own mess. I decided to publish, not traditionally, just on amazon for free to have as a resource. God had other plans and a year later I was meeting with publishers and asking myself.. how did I get here?
How did I go from the girl in the apartment in Texas with no better way to see God than to write down her messy past to getting to live out my dreams? I got to because when we dream with God we get to do things we never planned on. When we dream with God we get to take the things he has placed in us and live them out.
The publishing process was not easy, I had a lot of people tell me that “teens don’t read books”, “you don’t have a platform”, and “you will never get published”. I would smile and nod because they were right. I don’t have a platform, I’m not anyone, and statistically teens don’t read books (twilight and hunger games aside) but I did get published, teens are reading the book, and I’m still no one.
Here’s why, God had a plan for teenagers to hear truth, God loves and cares about teenagers, and all I had to do was be obedient. I really believed when God whispered to me, “I want to use your broken past to show young girls my love”. I knew he didn’t need me but I knew he was inviting me, there is a lot people with a messy past, a lot of writers, better writers, a lot of people with platforms and connections to do what I’m doing but the invitation was for me. I knew I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to watch his love being poured on a generation of girls who barely know what the word love means. He still doesn’t need me he just lets me get to see his glory and love capture girls hearts. He invites me to dream with him and when I do I am always awed by just how small my dreams are compared to his.
I have had a few people tell me recently they want to write but the whole process is scary. I agree it is, but when we step into Gods calling for us a lot of times it is scary, its not ordinary, and people don’t understand and when I start to doubt I have to remind myself who I answer to at the end of the day.
I have to believe people thought Moses was weird when he went to go save the Israelite’s and I bet people told peter to leave the guy in the sandals and go back to casting his nets. They faltered and they questioned but in the end they were obedience because when we truly taste and see what it is to be following the Lord no dream is too big when he is behind it.
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.(emphasis added)