When the World Says “No!”

Have you ever gotten really excited about something and then the world comes along and squashes your joy? Or maybe it’s a certain person who is always telling you that you can’t do something.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a dreamer. My dreams have always been big. Some would say too big.

But I don’t care. (Insert stubborn little foot stop here.)

If you can’t dream, life is a pretty boring place to live. God made us to dream and dream big. I wrote about the abundant life a few weeks ago. God wants us to not just live, but live abundantly!

We’re created in the image of God. That means we’re created to create too. We’re created to imagine and dream too. We’re created to do incredible things too!

So what happens when we do that, but it doesn’t work out? What happens when we dream big and work hard, and our dreams are crushed?

We either end up defeated and discouraged or we keep dreaming.

We give up or we try again. We throw in the towel or we try a new route or dream a new dream.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a missionary and serve the Lord overseas. I did on several amazing, but short, trips over the years. Then, before I could go long term, sickness interfered and kept me at home.

But God helped me to keep dreaming and eventually fanned the flame of other dreams that were buried deep in my heart. Dreams of writing and using photography to share the beauty and glory of God and His creation. He is using the very thing that tried to take me out – illness – to minister to people all over the world.

So I started writing.

I dreamed of the day I would have a book on the shelves of bookstores with my name on the cover.

I’ve been working hard for years. Learning the craft, building platform, attending conferences, connecting with so many other writers. Cheering them on when their dreams came true and looking forward to the day it will be my turn.

I had book ideas that didn’t pan out. I wrote stories that never went anywhere. I wrote in multiple genres trying to find my niche.

I failed and failed again.

I had moments of success that fueled my dreams and helped me to keep going.

I wrote and I rewrote.

I tried new things and I surprised myself by enjoying writing picture books. My first attempts were horrible, but I kept trying, I kept learning, and I got better.

If you’ve been keeping up with me, you know I have a children’s book about a special little donkey that I have high hopes for. I’ve received incredible feedback on it and it’s a book that our world needs.

But the world says “No!” The world says that this isn’t the time. The world says wait. Because of the state of our world today, now is the absolute worst time to try to find an agent and get a book published.

But I have a feeling about this one and I’m not one to give up.

I’m working hard on a book proposal and it’s almost done. Endorsements for the book are coming in and it’s thrilling. The day my first endorsement came in (my first one ever!) I was on cloud nine. Then that evening I was part of a training session where I learned about the current difficulties and challenges of the publishing world.

The temptation to give in to discouragement and give up was there. But God reminded me that His timing is perfect and He can make a way where there is no way.

He reminded me that He has not abandoned me or my dreams so I press on. I will finish what I’ve started. I will make the proposal the best that it can be and I will send it to anyone who is willing to look at it.

I will pray and I will trust God and I will keep dreaming and keep working hard.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28, NIV

I know that God has something special planned for me through this book. It may never be published, but God is already using it for my good. And all those other books and stories that were never published – or aren’t published yet – He has used those for my good too.

You see, when God says, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” He means ALL things.

The good He has planned for us and our dreams may not look anything like what we imagined, but it’s good nonetheless. We have to look for His good in the midst of our joys and our pains alike. We have to trust that His plans for us are good, even if the path to the good is hard.

When the world says “No,” ask God what He says about your situation. #JosiesJoyfulJourney #DreamBig

There’s a time for everything and perhaps God is telling you to pause one dream in exchange for another – for a time or for good. Or maybe He’s telling you to finish what He’s called you to do and trust Him with the results.

Often life isn’t about the destination, but the journey along the way. Let’s trust God with our journey and look for joy along the way.

Have there been things in your life that have been affected by the world we live in today? How have you seen God work for your good in that situation?

Until next time,

Josie

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13