A Journey With My God-sized Dreams

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God-sized Dream = A desire in your heart for more of what God has for you.

photo by Walt Stoneburner

photo by Walt Stoneburner

We’re opening the door to God-sized dreams in 2013. So every week we get together to encourage each other {because don’t we all need it? yes, ma’am.}. This week Tricia Goyer is here to share about God-sized dreams with you…

*****

I wouldn’t change one moment of the journey. I’m thankful God didn’t listen to my whining and complaints for more … sooner. My wise Father told me “no” at times (many times) to prepare me for all the “yes’s” He had in store. — Tricia Goyer, Today’s Guest Post

I attended my first writer’s conference in 1994. I was a stay-at-home mom of three little ones ages 5, 2 and newborn. The only writing instruction I had was high school, one college course, and one writer’s conference. Yet I had vision and passion. I dared to believe in a God-dream to write novels. I could *almost* see my name on a book.

I tried to write a novel, but I didn’t understand story structure, plotting, characterization or theme. Hmmm…this was a hindrance for sure. I read books on writing. I dabbled with children’s stories. I attended another conference, but I wasn’t getting far. (Plus, I had three Littles at home to care for.)

My third writer’s conference, instead of focusing on fiction, I took a class on article writing. I followed the teacher’s step-by-step instructions and it worked! I had 30 articles accepted for publication that first year.

But what about a novel? I started lots of projects. Book proposals went to committee, but more rejections came. God, when will I see this God-dream fulfilled?

Then God called me to other ventures. My grandparents moved into our house when my grandfather was dying, and I helped transition Grandpa to his heavenly home. Soon after God made it very clear that I was supposed to start a Crisis Pregnancy Center. I obeyed Him, but I worried I was burying my dream.

As the center grew and volunteers joined, novel writing was still in the back of my mind, but inside my heart was full. Lives were saved. Hearts were changed. Mostly mine.

Then, like a whisper of acceptance that I’d obey Him well, the God-dreams I’d tucked away bloomed. My first two books came out in 2003: Life Interrupted, a book for teen moms and From Dust and Ashes, my first novel. Yes, God gave me that novel I’d been wanting so bad! And He’s given me many more.

During my long writing journey, I’ve seen other novelists go from “start” to “published book” in a few years time…while it took me ten years. But there were unexpected gifts the long journey offered.

The relationships I’ve built over the years are the cherries on top of my Publication Sundae. I love these folks. My long journey has gifted me with many traveling companions.Mostly, I changed over the years. When I started writing I was only five years beyond a teen pregnancy. I had pain, heartache, and character issues that plagued me. I was a young Christian still trying to do everything right, instead of living by the breath of God’s grace and depending on His strength.

I wouldn’t change one moment of the journey. I’m thankful God didn’t listen to my whining and complaints for more … sooner. My wise Father told me “no” at times (many times) to prepare me for all the “yes’s” He had in store. God’s dreams weren’t about a book. His dreams were about life transformations, the training I needed to do His kingdom work, and godly people to work alongside. Unexpected (amazing!) gifts to be sure.

 

{Tricia Goyer is the best-selling author of thirty-three books, including two novels that have won ACFW’s Book of the Year award. Her co-authored novel The Swiss Courier was also a Christy Award nominee. Tricia loves to travel and research for her fiction, and believes real life inspires great fiction. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have four children ages two to twenty-three years old. Tricia’s my recent release is Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska that she co-wrote with her friend, Ocieanna Fleiss.}

*****

Now it’s your turn!

What I love most about Tricia’s story is that she accepted God’s “no” along the way but she also kept taking proactive steps so she’d be ready when that answer turned to a “yes.” Link-up your blog post sharing what you’re going to stop delaying and start doing so you can be ready for whatever is ahead for you too.

Dream God-sized DreamsSo we can find each other, please include this button in your post. Also, love on your fellow God-sized dreamin’ sisters by leaving a comment on the post before yours.

For next week take this “do what you can” step for your God-sized dream: Find a God-sized dream story that inspires you and share it with us. It could be the story of someone in Scripture, your family, your community or the great, big world out there online. Then write a post about how that story inspires you and link up here next week. {If you don’t have a blog, you can share what you did in the comments.}

 

Not sure what to do next? Start with The “Do What You Can” Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better

Want more encouragement? You’ll find it in You’re Made for a God-sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You



Comments

  1. says

    Oh Tricia! Thank you for your encouragement and reminder that it is His timing not ours and that it is about the journey getting there. You are an inspiration! With Joy, Carey

  2. says

    I love to read Tricia’s story! What an inspiration. And I want to learn to live this, too, “My wise Father told me “no” at times (many times) to prepare me for all the “yes’s” He had in store.”

  3. karyn says

    I think God-sized dreams are HIS dreams for us. It depends on the individual. What the LORD gives us for free is to be freely given. It’s nice to become some big time person but it’s also good to be a nobody with God always in mind. I think it’s God’s dream that everyone writes down their journey with HIM and HIM alone and that it’s for everyone to see at no cost. I come from an upbringing where nothing costs and everything is free. I was brought up a Catholic girl. It never cost me anything. What I had never cost anyone anything either. God is not about cost or a book or something that would entail anything but freedom. HE died for our freedom. This is my heart from the LORD. From JESUS on the cross. But then … this is me.

  4. Debbie Watley says

    Thank you, Tricia, for the reminder that God’s timing is not necessarily our timing. I also have the dream to write novels, but right now being wife and mom takes most of my time and energy. Sometimes I even wonder if writing is my dream or God’s–I also struggle with wanting to do everything “right.” But, for now, I will keep moving forward and practice resting in God living through me.

    • says

      Debbie, Why don’t you give yourself 15 or 30 minutes a day to take a step toward the dream you feel God calling to you? You’ll never know if it is God’s plan for you until you take a few steps of faith. Pray and ask God what 15 minutes He wants you to replace. For me it was waking up a few minutes earlier. (I actually set my alarm 15 minutes earlier) These days it’s not watching those television shows I really want to watch. It’s amazing how 15 minutes a day can add up! And when God adds Himself to that equation it expands exponentially!

  5. says

    Oh, what a wonderful telling about all things in His time. And just think–had you not had those experiences in the interim, who would have been cheated!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      I agree, Mel! Looking back at the things I DID NOT want to do, like care for a dying family member or start a crisis pregnancy center, God showed me so much–taught me so much. I learned about working in a community, about loving unconditionally, about taking faith steps, and about God showing up in BIG ways!

  6. Jackie van Overdijk says

    Thank you Tricia!

    This truly is a reminder of (and I am speaking to myself here big time), that it is God’s timing and not ours, if we would only rest in him.
    I have not had time to post in a while. There has been so much change in the last three weeks since I last posted.
    When God said to me, “This is your year of transition.” I had no idea that in such a short period of time so much transition would take place. Prior to January 31st (I was fired without cause), the Lord also told me that it was my time to move on from my current job. That week I started to network and sent out my resume only because I “had to.” I was not expecting God to do it this way at all. I was told on Thursday January 31st that with great regret my employment had been terminated. The following Tuesday I went for an interview a job in hand within fifiteen minutes of being there! I was thrilled. My dream job had come true. Over the next two weeks I went for training and my new future employer and I conversed via email. This Thursday just past I arrived at work and opened an email from my new future employer which stated he had carefully reviewed and considered all of our email exchanges to one another but felt we have significantly different approaches and expectations with respect to the terms of our working relationship. Therefore with much soul searching and with regret he felt it made sense for both of us to part ways now and not begin a working relationship. I was gutted! I felt I had just been kicked in the stomach again. Two times within two weeks! Lord why is this happening. I did not know what to say or how to react.

    When this all started at the end of January I purposed to rise to the mountain top and not to “react.” I would not allow the feelings of betrayal, hurt or bitterness to drive me or set in. I felt that if I did this God would honour me and bless me more. It has been sooo difficult not to do this. Afterall I am human and not God! I took the email to my boss. He dropped his head and felt so bad for me. I stated to him, “AN EMAIL, REALLY! IN AN EMAIL!” He tried to advocate for me by having a telephone conference with my new future employer and this mand had judged me based on miscommunication. It was a “No.” So I can relate to God saying No to Tricia. It is not easy at the time…hey my dream job or what I thought was my dream job just disappeared.

    So today I sit home and I begin a new journey. A journey to rest to find my God sized dream with God. I have and will purpose in my heart to rise to the moutain top once again. As much as I have been mistreated (look what injustice was done to Jesus and his response was, Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”), I chose to take the path of least resistance and forgive. Yes this process has been done illegally from an employment standpoint (I work in law), I chose to go to the mountain top and I chose to forgive and journey on with Jesus…God direct me in your rest to my God sized dream. Yes I am human and yes this hurts big time. But God knew he told me ahead of time and he will honour my actions and how I chose to respond I believe is the key going forward.

    So I encourage you all of my sisters, listen, rest and chose the correct response. It is human to want to lash out but think of Jesus response with his accusers.

    journey on, rest in him and he will give you the desires of your heart…lots of love…Jackie

    • Joyce says

      I’m so sorry about your job losses. I too was fired once in an unjust way over a gross misunderstanding. I felt very hurt and betrayed. I went home and cried and told the Father and Jesus all about it. I greived, then I looked to God for the next step He had for me, which He did! I hope you’ve addressed your very natural emotions too. If you did, great. If not, I humbly encourage you to do so for your emotional and spiritual health. Read how David did this in Psalm 142. You are God’s daughter and He loves you and wants His best for you. He has a good plan for you!

      Blessings, Joyce

    • says

      Wow! Jackie, this has to be difficult for you. Congratulations on choosing to forgive and move forward. You wouldn’t want to work for someone who behaves this way. Keep praying and holding on to God’s promises. A good job will come your way.

    • says

      I’m so sorry, Jackie! I truly believe that God has a bigger dream for you than what you consider to be your dream job. I can’t wait to hear what it is!

      And I’m thankful that God is there to bring you comfort and joy even through the process.

  7. says

    Holley,
    Thank you for encouraging me with going forward with my God sized dream. Extensive knee surgery left me unable to work (no coincidence there) and so I have started my blog: walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com. It is amazing to see how God gives me the words to write each week and I am amazed at the number of people already reading my blog. I don’t care about reaching a big audience, but if I can just touch or encourage one person’s heart, then I will consider my blog a success. Your words always hit home with me; I sense we are a lot alike. Even though I am a few….ahemm….quite a few years older than you, I have gained many new insights through your writing. Keep up the great work of touching and encouraging many hearts!! Blessings, Bev

  8. Katherine says

    Thank you, Tricia, for this timely comment. I’m loving writing and wanting to get to that published stage. After talking with an experience author just YESTERDAY, she mentioned the importance of first-time authors going to writer’s conferences. Well, of course, my insecurity put on the skids and said, “Oh, I can’t do that!” I’m encouraged by your perseverance. Maybe this is God’s holy nudge for my own God-sized dream! May splashes of grace find you wherever you go!

    Blessings,
    Katherine

  9. says

    This ties in so beautifully with Holley’s gem yesterday: “We are responsible for obedience, not results.” Tricia’s story reminded me once again that when God puts a dream in your heart, He means to make it come true…in His time. He is at work in the journey while we open our hearts, listen for His voice and do His Will along the way.

  10. Alma says

    Holley,
    Thank you for today’s story, as I think many of us are going through periods of time
    where God says “no” to our complains. In my case it is finding the right job for me.
    I feel at times scared thinking I won’t be able to find a job. I am not seeing results, and I wonder sometimes why? My husband is out of work, I have two children to take care of, house bills to pay, and my unemployment is not enough. I feel frustrated, I haven’t asked why I lost my job in such hardest times of my life,
    I am sure God has a plan for me, but I don’t know what that is yet, I have so many ideas, dreams but I have not yet identified, which one I should follow. When will I find out, when will I know which dream to follow? these are the questions I ask myself, and I pray to my father, to help me and keep me going as I know something good and beautiful is ahead of me, and at the right time I will find out what my purpose is, and the right job will come around for me and my husband.
    Thank you for such inspiring words.

    • says

      Alma,

      There is something good and beautiful already happening in your life. Your open heart and trust in what’s ahead of you is a gift and I’m sure is pleasing to God who does have a plan for you that only you can fill. While you’re waiting for that new job, He is using you and preparing you for His dreams for you. I have prayed for you and would like to pass along this Dayspring video to encourage you. God bless you.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xav_qyiOfFA

  11. Joyce says

    Hi! What I am going to stop delaying is volunteering. I am the woman who was hit in a car crash last summer, and I just have to submit my application to volunteer at my favourite charity in our city. I feel this is the first step towards the future work God would have me do once I recover sufficiently. Thank you for Your guidance, Lord…

  12. Beth Horvath says

    Thank you for your timely blog post. It certainly was inspiring. What I am working on currently is getting a blog started regarding retired women and leadership within ministry. My problem is that I am spread too thin most of the time, even being retired.

    I hope to slow down and to listen to God’s word more effectively.

  13. Kathy says

    Very inspiring story to see how many detours of your dream brought results that helped launch the writing career. Sometimes we need to just follow the Lord and see that He wants us to experience more lessons of obedience. Then, we will be found faithful and out dreams can be fulfilled. Thank you for giving me the hope to dream again of actually writing a novel.

  14. says

    Holly, how do i find a dream, especially a God-size dream when physically I am very limited? I have spiritual desires that I believe and know Jesus wants for me, are these similar?

    • says

      Absolutely, Deborah! Those spiritual desires and dreams may very well be exactly what God desires to do in and through YOU! No matter your age, stage in life, or abilities we are all called and created to be about the redemptive purposes of God. And that’s what I believe is a God-sized dream! Thanks so much for sharing your heart with me today. I look forward to hearing more from you as you journey with your dreams!

  15. says

    I have already started and stopped delaying…. My husband and I have been praying for a ministry to do together, and God has answered. This past week we started a small group (14 people) in our home through the church where we are members. It was a long time getting there, but the timing had to be right. And God said “Now”. My own God-sized dream is starting too, with a blog. If you click on the link above, you will see my post about being healed of cancer through prayers. I am sharing this story, so people will know that Yes, God answers prayers, we just have to be patient, and faithful, and know that God will answer. I also linked my story with my Facebook page. I just keep taking baby steps….

  16. says

    Empowering message today, thanks to Holley and Tricia. I am going to be open here for a moment. I am searching for my God-sized dream. I am in my thirties and a fulltime RN since 1998. I have major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and PTSD from childhood sexual abuse, parental neglect and emotional abuse. I committed myself to inpatient psych facility this past August due to many things, but mainly I knew nothing but despair yet knew my two precious daughters would be devastated and their lives put on a different path if I took my own life. I am doing so much better, praise God! Yet, I am still fragile. I find myself increasingly frustrated with the healthcare world in general. I feel like a hamster on a dysfunctional wheel right now, yet I know God desires better for me as well as I and my husband do. All that being said, I am praying and searching intently for what God has in store for me. This blog is so encouraging. Thanks for letting me be transparent. Nik

  17. says

    Tricia,

    The first thing that drew me to you and your writing was your transparency. You opened yourself to us, your reader, letting us into a small part of your life. From there, I ventured into your fiction and have fallen in love with it.

    Thank you for journeying, persevering, rolling with the punches and pursuing your God-sized dream. You are such a wonderful inspiration.

  18. says

    It has taken me almost thirty years. What an adventure it has been. All the years of pruning and shaping…like a bonsai. I am SO not the same person as I was when He started working in me and SO thankful that God cared enough to not just let me grow wild! I always had the desire to work as a creative, but needed to make money. So, I got an office job and decided that if I couldn’t design clothes/costumes/jewelry that I would design software. Along the way, I kept taking creative classes and settled on jewelry. Fast-forward through the years of joy, frustration and growth. Here I am in a new city ( first move ever) able to work full-time on designing jewelry that touches the soul…beauty with purpose. It’s all finally happening…my online store is shaping up, I am in the gallery in our town and scheduled to teach a class there. Just the way God planned it! As Maya Angelou says, “I wouldn’t give nothin’ for my journey now!” Don’t give up, ladies! God is shaping you and your dreams into His beautiful bonsais! Tricia, thank you so much for sharing! Holley, thank you for making a place to share the journey!

  19. Megan says

    Thanks I’m also trying to publish my book this summer! I been having this dream from 5 years no matter what I do it won’t die down.I need help though I have writers block.is there any advice you can give to a 13 year old I’ll really appreciate it

  20. Anita says

    My one big fear that had haunted me from my Kindergarten days till I was 32 was this one question, “Who am I?” The fairy tale ‘Ugly Duckling’ was my life story. When the bell rang to tell us it was playtime and when all the other girls in my lower Kindergarten class sat immobile, I raced with the active boys in my class to get into one of the few toy cars. You had to settle for a tricycle if you couldn’t get a toy car. Except for one other girl in my class who could be persuaded by the teachers to ride a tricycle the rest of the girls sat motionless till they were coaxed to sit on a rocking horse or a rocking duck, which had to be rocked by others. Most people found me to be strange because I was so unlike them. My Christian mother told me that even not having “girlish” interests like playing with dolls, but wanting to fly kites or burst loud crackers like boys did, was an unpardonable sin that I was committing, and that I was being an enemy of God my Creator. Though I loved the Lord Jesus from age 4 and had accepted Christ when I was 11, this accusation from my mother turned me away from God in a way. Often I willfully rebelled against God, but He kept drawing me back to Him after every rebellion. When I was about 20, I mustered the courage to ask Him if I was sinning against Him by being different from other women. He spoke to me through Isaiah 46:4. One of my spiritual mothers named Isobel counseled me to hold on to His promise and not worry about anything. Instead of resting on His promise or asking Him to explain further, I turned to psychology for finding my identity. So I had to learn my lessons the hard way that lasted for some years. In February 1999, I felt so free to be His woman when He spoke to me through Isaiah 54. Now I’m so happy and free to be His woman pleasing Him alone, that I often thank Him for creating me as a woman and not a man for reasons known to Him and me ( Ha! Ha!). Our Jesus alone understands us and lovingly carries each of His daughters just as a father would carry his son. We don’t have to try to quack like ducks or even try to imitate any other swan. Our Father has created each of us uniquely for His purpose (Psalm 139). Cygnets should not try to dance to the tune of ducks. Ducks are real quacks!
    I do a bit of freelance evangelism and I am happy to be answerable to our LORD alone for what I do. I had the joy of working among some children of rag-pickers in Chennai, India from 1997 till 2002 along with my sister Ruby by the help of some friends in the Indian Evangelical Mission. Recently I had the joy of befriending a Christian rag-picker and also some other women and girls who had suffered different sorts of abuse. I thank GOD for showing me clearly in 1997 that HE had singleness in HIS plan for my life. HIS will for each of our lives is the best, though we might not understand it sometimes. Single Christian women like Amy Carmichael and Corrie Ten Boom greatly inspire me. My spiritual grandma Nesaruthina Carunia is a living inspiration for me; she is 80 years old now.

    “…Not that He doth explain
    The mystery that baffleth; but a sense
    Husheth the quiet heart, that far, far hence
    Lieth a field set thick with golden grain,
    Wetted in seedling days by many a rain;
    The End – it will explain”.
    – from Amy Carmichael’s poem ‘The End’.

    My God-sized dream is too big for my mind to conceive; so I pray that HIS dream would come true in my life.
    – Anita S. Arul.
    http://holleygerth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Dream-God-sized-Dreams.jpeg

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  26. Marilu says

    I do not think that Holley would mind if I post this, but I have a question I hope I express well. You see I have been working on a God box called Caterpillar to Butterfly Kaleidoscope of God which is all my purest truest Godly etc & and so on heart desires dreams goals prayers and hopes. I want to write a prayer on it. A prayer that shows I invite God in, I desire God. I desire his Will, His Plans, His Details, His Perfection: All him, All he is. For I believe C2BKOG(in short) is from God and of God for I strive to be true to myself and my Abba. I have faith that all I desire shall come true exactly, however of course in God’s perfection. Such as one of my desires is to become one of the top writers in the world. I desire to be so to inspire others. Before it was so I could impress, but I realize I desire to share with others. To open everyone’s heart souls and eyes. I have faith that it shall not only come true, but it shall be more. That is just an example. I was wondering how can I say all C2BKOG shall come true, and not only that it shall be God’s Way, his infinity? Will you please help me? I just want to write a prayer. I mean I know it, but I cannot put it down on paper. If you have anymore questions please let me know. God bless

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