On any given day, I’d rather have flowers over chocolate … their beauty nourishes my soul.
Last summer, we planted lavender plants along the walkway going to our front door. I’m not much of a gardener and while the flowers lasted through the summer, I wondered if I would see them come next spring.
And they did – except for one. One day, as I came home, I saw a green leaf poking out from where the lavender should have been.
I pushed the pebbles away and pulled back the black tarp that covered the dirt, and found an entangled plant having nowhere to go but sideways. I dug it out and out popped this plant several inches tall.
The following morning as I sat with a cup of coffee in my hands, the image of the plant trapped beneath the tarp and pebbles flashed in my mind and I heard a quiet voice saying,
That’s you and your dream to write.
And the tears came.
For years I’ve been afraid of fully pursuing this dream to write. It’s been buried under the weight of fear – fear that I’m not really much of a writer, fear of rejection and doubt that I could really do this. Yes, I’ve journaled just about every day since 6th grade but I’ve never taken this writing thing seriously … that is until this year.
When I saw Jerry Jenkins’ ad tagline: “This is the year I write my book,” I knew it was for me. I joined his writer’s guild and realized that I had so much to learn, but I was excited because I was finally beginning to believe in my dream.
Still I had to get over my regret of why had I not started this years ago? Why had it taken me so long? But never mind. I was starting now and there was no point looking over years lost. What I do have is a treasury of years lived, experienced and the present.
So in the past eight months, in the midst of living life as a wife, mom, teacher, missionary, I’ve tried to carve out time to write and cultivate this dream of being a writer. It hasn’t been easy. Every dream takes time, perseverance, diligence and discipline and these traits don’t come so easily to me.
But I’m encouraged because I’m removing those rocks every time I sit down to write. In addition to joining the guild, I’ve signed up for an online writing course, become a member of a critique group, and written more blog posts than I ever have. And I while I did write the manuscript for the picture book that’s been in the back of my mind for years, I’m learning that a lot of writing is re-writing and polishing and at times beginning all over again. After submitting the story to a critique editor, I’m still re-writing the story.
Just as the plant I freed, came fully alive in the spring air, I too want to live in the place of grace, where I’m free of shackles that keep me from being all who God created me to be.
And so the image of the plant buried underground trying to break through is my visible reminder of God’s desire and plan for me….not only in this writing endeavor but for my whole being. I was created for joy, love, life – yes, a life free of shame and fear.
I’m choosing to believe … to believe that I can do this with God’s help. And I hope you will believe with me. Because as I’m learning, part of being fully alive is being able to live your dream.
What about you – are there dreams in your heart that have been buried? It’s never too late. What one step could you take to move toward that dream? Or perhaps you’ve had a recent breakthrough in your God-given dreams and desires. Drop me a note, I’d love to rejoice with you!