by Yvonne Lehman
Answers to that question vary according to writers’ gifts, experience, God’s leading, expertise, and desires. But as Christian writers, we generally want to make a difference in the lives of readers, glorify God, and use our talents and opportunities for good.
After I was led into writing and attended my first writers conference, my dream became to change the world, accept humbly the inevitable fame and fortune, and cheerfully give God 10%. Okay, I was young and foolish and inexperienced. But that dream motivated me.
After my first book rejection and my wondering what happened to God’s leading, I realized I wasn’t accomplished but only had potential. I returned to school and took every Writing, English, and Literature course available, one at a time.
After my first two books were published, others were rejected. I knew I needed more training and the only conferences were Mt. Hermon in California and the Billy Graham School in Minneapolis. I couldn’t afford annual trips, so for 2 ½ years, I tried to get someone to start a conference in North Carolina. It was for me and to give opportunity to area writers who couldn’t travel far. I didn’t imagine God would choose me to lead the conference when I was the least capable.
I’ve learned he shows his strength in the weakest of us when we are willing to let him lead. It’s easy to praise God and exclaim his goodness when my books are published. But I’ve questioned my dream when there were rejections or no contract.
I’ve learned my faith seems smaller than a grain of mustard seed when things look bleak. But surrendering my dream to God never failed to bring a blessing. I’ve come to realize His dream for me was other than my dream for myself. He has allowed me to be published and for over 30 years has allowed me to be a part of other writers’ lives through my conferences.
Perhaps God’s dream for me is not that every book I write be published. Maybe it’s to learn the lessons that my characters learn. They have problems, conflicts, trials of all kinds. They find answers to the difficulties as laid out in scripture, through the character’s searching, or through a spiritual leader in the story. My characters find answers, or hope, or acceptance.
In writing about their trials I must search the depths of my own Christian faith. Perhaps publication isn’t always God’s dream for me, but that I examine and present the faith I have about life’s trials, and get to know him better. Of course we should have goals and dreams. But in looking back over the years in my writing career, I’m seeing that God’s dream for me was so much bigger and better than I could ever have…dreamed.
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