At the beginning of the year, one of my goals for Authoring Arrowheads was to post more content promoting positivity, aiming to inspire readers to chase their dreams. Over the past few months, I’ve gone through a couple rough patches and kept pushing off posts like this because I felt like a miserable fraud who thought her dreams would never come true. I’ve experienced setbacks, rejections, and author envy to the point of (for the millionth time) wondering if I’ll ever publish another book. Because where I am right now, that looks like a lost cause.
But I don’t have a looking glass to see the future through God’s eyes. Only He knows what course our futures will take. We just have to be patient in arriving there.
Over these past few months of self-doubt and dream discouragement, I’ve taken to watching a lot of TED talks on YouTube. I’ve listened to countless speakers relaying their journeys or insights to the audience. While the overwhelming majority have been inspiring, I always heard a nagging voice in my head when the videos ended:
“You’ll never be like them. Your ‘big break’ will never happen. You’ll grow old and miserable, living from paycheck to paycheck, not chasing the dream you really love. Because time is ticking away, and look at all the time you’ve already wasted.”
Thoughts like these are debilitating. They kill our motivation. They hinder progress. They prolong the completion of our goals. But more than that, they make us blame ourselves for the “lackluster” place we’re in right now, when in reality, God has blessed us to be able to get this far.
Two years ago when I hit Publish on that first book, I was just excited about having my own book sitting on the shelf along with my other favorite books. I didn’t care how many books were sold or if I had reviews. As time passed, though, I began to measure success as an author by stats, comparing myself to other authors. Authors who have completely different schedules, work paces, experiences, and opportunities than myself.
It’s taken a while to accept it, but the fact is, no matter how hard we attempt to take the reigns and gallop into our future defining moment, God is still in control. God still has the ability to knock us off our high horses (imagine Saul here) and reroute our paths. We may think that being stubborn and worrying ourselves sick trying to make the big moments happen right now will work, but it doesn’t. Trust me.
If we’re relying more on ourselves than Him, we need to be thrown from our high horse. We wholeheartedly deserve it. Don’t get me wrong though; God doesn’t allow us to go through debilitating circumstances to bully us into submission, but rather to show us that we can’t do things on our own. To quote Walt Disney, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
Saul, who was later redeemed as Paul, can attest to that.
God’s not going to use us unless we want to be used. If we want God to use us, we can’t show up with our own schedules, hand a bulleted list to Him, and say, “Look, Big Guy, here’s the plan. Allow this, this, and this to happen. In that order.”
That doesn’t work. And I feel really stupid for ever thinking it would.
After reading Joyce Meyer’s book Let God Fight Your Battles, I learned that in order to let God lead us, we need to approach Him with gratitude and not a selfish attitude of “give me this now”.
If you believe in God, believe that He has the ability to use our work for His good. Believe that He will open doors for you as He sees fit. But most importantly, believe that He is a better planner than you. I know it’s hard, but have faith in His timing and be patient.
If you allow God the time to work and move mountains in your life, all the time you spent waiting will be worth it. Keep working hard, dreamers, and be patient.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Are you chasing a dream and worry if it’ll never happen? Tell me about that dream in the comments, and we’ll pray for God to have His will with that dream!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.