Pursuing God-sized Dreams
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Ephesians 3:20 NLT
I'm thrilled to share that I've recently published a women’s devotional, “Women of the Bible”, through Christian Faith Publishing. Writing this book has been an exciting, emotional, God-led journey, that has taken nearly four years to complete. This project brought me out of my comfort zone as I followed God's prompt and allowed Him to bring it to fruition.
In 2017, I went on a mission trip to Honduras. I was a busy mom of two school-aged kids, knee-deep in activities. We were assigned a book to read before the trip in preparation for morning devotion time together. The subject was dreaming big and trusting in the LORD to pursue our God-sized dreams. The author kept asking, “What is your God-sized dream?” I remember thinking, "Right now my God-sized dream is to get everyone dressed, fed, and where they are supposed to be on time or relatively close." Thinking about a God-sized dream seemed unrealistic and overwhelming, but I felt guilty for feeling that way. During one of the morning devotion times, the leader talked about how there are certain seasons of life where our job is to tend to our flock and take care of our families. It may not seem grandiose, but it is where we are called to be. I felt like God was speaking directly to me through him, allowing me to give myself grace for not being able to come up with a God-sized dream at that moment. But then there are times when God does put something big on our hearts that seems beyond our capabilities. We cannot ignore it. We must listen, obey, and trust that he will lead us through it. Publishing my book became my God-sized dream.
In 2019, my friend Debbie and I were doing a study on the Bible app about women in the Bible. Typically the studies and devotionals in the app will have scripture verses along with writers' commentary. This study had rich scripture about women in the Bible but did not include any commentary. I remember thinking, “Well that's disappointing. I wish there was some commentary to go with these verses." Then I heard God say, “Maybe you should write the commentary”. And so, my adventure began.
As I started writing, I felt completely ill-equipped. I do not have a Theology or English degree, yet I felt this persistent nudge from God and followed it, trusting He had a purpose. It became a huge learning experience that has brought me closer to God, leaning on Him in my weakness. From the beginning, my desire was to be a vessel God would use to deliver His message to other women. When I started a writing session, I would pray, “LORD, give me the words you want me to share.” As Paul says in 2nd Corinthians chapter 12 verse 9:
"So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
Around the time I started writing the book, I had the honor of being a breakout session speaker at a women’s conference. In my session, I talked about how after decades of being a Christian, I finally developed a consistent habit of daily devotion time and how that time went from being a task to check off my list, to one of my favorite parts of the day. What helped me develop this habit was having devotionals and studies that were relatable and applicable to my life. My hope for this book was to create a devotional that women would find relevant and encouraging and that it would inspire them to spend more time in the Word and deepen their walk with Christ.
Throughout this process, my prayer was to stay focused on glorifying God, rather than try to gain accolades for myself. Writing this devotional felt very personal and vulnerable. I knew I would be opening myself to potential criticism and bad reviews. I am a recovering approval addict. Caring too much about people's opinions of me has always been a struggle, so this vulnerability gave me more than a little anxiety. I recognized my need to trust that God put this book on my heart for a purpose and that if I was obedient, His purpose would be fulfilled. I also realized that His purpose may be different than what I would consider success. My goal was not to get rich or famous, but naturally, I wanted my book to be well-received and reach a decent number of people, but maybe God’s purpose was to bring one woman to Jesus through my book. I needed to be faithful, keeping my focus on Him. That was easier said than done as I faced several roadblocks throughout the writing and publishing process that brought me to tears of frustration. When we are working to advance God’s kingdom, we should expect to be attacked by the enemy.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
I have experienced several spiritual attacks that brought tears of frustration, made me want to give up, and caused me to question why I even wrote the book. But that is exactly what the enemy wants. I can’t let him get that foothold. God has conquered Satan. He has conquered death. The power of the Holy Spirit is within us.
“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”
I needed to surrender my vision of what I think things should look like and trust God is in control to fulfill HIS purpose with this book, being obedient in what He has called me to do, diligent in trying to get things right, but releasing to Him what is out of my control.
I want to encourage you to follow what God places on your hearts.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
1 Peter 4:10
If the LORD has called you to do something that feels too big, beyond what you think you can do, this is when He has the greatest opportunity to come in and fill that gap. Surrender to Him. Seek His Will. Let His power overcome your weakness.
For more information about my book and how you can order it, please visit: https://www.christianfaithpublishing.com/books/?book=women-of-the-bible