Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Dream Of . . .

Lately I've been thinking about beginnings. No, not of books. Of stories. MY story. What was it that compelled me to write? See, for as long as I can remember, I've loved to read and writing stories was a natural extension of that. When I was around eight I started an ambitious project called “The Horse’s Story” on my Dad's old Panasonic word processor. It was about a horse named Loopter (how's that for an imaginative name) who would become Joshua of the Bible’s horse. He was going to be a witness of the walls of Jericho falling down, but . . . I never finished it.

Then there was my epic (started when I was twelve) called “Moby”, about a Labrador Retriever trying to find his place in this world. He tried being a lap dog (with some humorous consequences!), a fire dog, a police dog, a sheep dog . . . he never did find out what he was meant to be ‘cause I never finished that story either.

As I look back I see that writing has been in my life for many, many years. Did God put that desire in my heart? I think so now. At the time, I had no idea. When I was a teenager I remember practically begging God, "Lord, show me what I'm supposed to do with my life!" My parents would always tell me I had plenty of time to find out, I was still young, but at the time it seemed like my life was practically over. :)

When I was fifteen I started a story that would change the way I thought about writing. It was about two sisters who hadn’t seen each other for years but eventually met again. That story became my first novel, Thicker Than Blood, which will be published January 2010 by Tyndale.
If you'd told me at the time that story would be my first book, I don't know if I would've believed you!

I don't recall where I heard this advice, but someone has suggested we think back to the things we dreamed about and wanted to do when we were ten or eleven. Often, those desires are clues into what God has called us to do. And many, many times we forget about those youthful dreams, abandoning them for whatever makes more money, or makes more sense.

The cool thing is, it's never too late to pick up those dreams of your childhood, dust them off, and make them happen. It might take baby steps at first, and years before you see their fulfillment, but I'd encourage you to at least think back to when you were a kid. What were your dreams? Or better yet... what did you enjoy doing?

God really does equip us at an early age for our calling. I'm learning that, and it's exciting to think about.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

This brought back some very interesting memories. Thanks for posting it. Truly, the young listen to Him far better!

Kay said...

Great post, thanks. I thought everyone wanted to be a writer (of course) so I didn't think my dream was special until I was much older.
As a former youth minister and current parent of three, I try to draw attention to what the kids around me do well and enjoy. Not in a congratulatory - adult to kid way, but in an honest appraisal of their strenghts - and weaknesses. Your post reminds us we may be giving voice to those dream seeds God is planting right now!

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Media mogul... that's what I desired to be when I was eleven. And that's never really left me.

Tamara said...

Loved this post! What great thoughts. You know what "they" what you love. As kids we believe in what we love, but I think as adults we try to think rationally and that is why so many of us end up not doing what we love.

goodnewscowboy said...

Gosh. When I was 10 I wanted to be either a junkman (I'm old enough to remember there was a "profession" thus named, or a scientist.

While at college I found out that you needed to excel in things like chemistry and physics to be a scientist. Scratch that one off.

So now I'm left with the junkman dream...but if you were to ask my wife to comment about my work areas she would probably tell you I achieved my dreams of being a junkman early on.

Jim Rubart said...

Great post! I believe desire reveals design, and design reveals destiny.

From 5th or 6th grade my greatest desire/dream was to write fiction. But until my early 40s I was too scared to do anything about it.

Now that the dream has come true I (of course) wish I'd started sooner.