It’s been a journey.
A wild, crazy, unexpected, and treacherous journey.
Over two years ago I started to map out my book, The Footsteps of a Dreamer. Dreaming is what had always kept my heart alive. It was what kept me going even in the seasons and the days that I didn’t understand.
But something started to happen – the people in my life who I had also always known as dreamers began to give up. There was something going on in my generation, a deep discouragement that was drowning the hearts of these dreamers, which was also drowning their dreams.
And I grieved. I didn’t always understand why I grieved…I think just somehow deep down I knew that the enemy was having a heyday with the dreamers in my generation. I think he knew – he knows – what a threat the dreams of this generation are to him and his schemes. He knows that these dreams are bringing us closer and closer to fulfilling the Great Commission, to bringing “Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”, Kingdom in all its facets of truth, beauty, compassion, power, creativity, courage, and victory.
I couldn’t stand to see these gifted and called dreamers give up anymore, because even the very nature of this attack on my generation said to me – we’ve got something of God within us that needs to be brought forth. And so the idea for this book was born. I wanted to do whatever I could to ensure that dreamers in my world would not opt out; I wanted to equip them to keep going when things got tough and to lend courage and hope to their journeys.
What I didn’t know was that there was more stuff I had to walk out myself in order to learn what this looked like in real life. Yes, I had been through some tough things, even some things that had felt like the death of a dream. But in a lot of ways, I was still naïve, thinking I had figured out how to go through difficult times without quitting on what God had called me to do.
I actually finished my manuscript that first year and thought it was ready. I thought the book was pretty much done. And then my world fell apart.
So much of what happened I actually can’t share here. So much of it has been stuff I’ve had to fight through and cry through and grieve in private. Some of it I have been able to share publicly – the pain of transition and disappointment, of dark nights of the soul and never feeling like enough – and I did my best to be open and vulnerable about walking through these things, hoping to encourage you while I faced them myself. These two aspects of what I walked through – the parts that I’ve had to keep private and the parts I have shared openly – comprised my reality. And somehow in this messy reality I was unable to touch the manuscript I had written before everything fell apart. If I touched it, I thought the pain of it would break me. Why? Because I knew I was on the brink of becoming that giving-up-dreamer.
I felt abandoned by God. I felt like He had forgotten me. More than once I screamed at the heavens, “Don’t You remember me? I’m the girl with the dreams! You told me I was created for a purpose and that I’m called. I’ve been good. I’ve been obedient and pure and have done everything You’ve asked me to do! So why have You forsaken me? Why am I here alone with no hope and no future?”
Yep, that’s the truth. I fell into a deep black crack of despair I never even knew existed, and I had no idea how to get out.
But something beautiful happened down there in the darkness. It was there that I faced the same questions Jesus asked His disciples so long ago, “Do you take offense at this? Do you want to go away as well?” (see John 6:61&67)
His ways don’t make sense to our minds sometimes, and for the first time, I was really struggling to reconcile the not-making-sense things with what I thought I knew of God. Would I choose to be offended now at the way He had chosen to work in my life? And if so, would I go away as well, along with the many who had given up on their God-dreams – or worse, on Jesus – because they, too, had to face the dark crack of unanswerable questions?
But no, I couldn’t go away. I couldn’t leave Him. How could I? For I, like Simon Peter, could only look up into the face of Jesus and reply to His question of “Do you want to go away as well?” with, “Lord, to whom would [I] go? You have the words that give eternal life.” (John 6:68, NLT)
That was it. That was my answer. There was absolutely nowhere else for me to go. I knew that He had been there for me my whole life. I knew that He had called me. And I knew that, no matter what, I had to take Him at His Word, for His Word was LIFE. So I pressed in. I pressed in to Him and to His promises. I chose to believe that He was who He said He was and that I was who He said I was in Him, even when things looked positively bleak.
And friends – oh friends – His Words brought me back to life. For even if I couldn’t see the evidence of the promises immediately before my eyes, I believed them in my heart. I could feel them germinating and growing a faith in me unlike any faith I’d ever had before. It was new, green, deeply rooted, and sinking into a soil that could never ever be shaken or washed away.
And it was out of that place that I picked up this manuscript again. There were still days when what I was walking through hurt like hell, but I had this fierce hope of Heaven inside of me that kept me going and wouldn’t let me fall. I had Jesus and His Words of Life guiding me like a beacon through the treacherous terrain I was navigating, healing the wounds I brought before Him, and breathing new life onto these pages of The Footsteps of a Dreamer. It was precisely this process that made the book what it is now – something so full of strength, grit, beauty, joy, hope, tenacity, and holy anticipation that it leaves me breathless to go back and read it myself.
I can’t wait to share this book with you. Creating it has truly been an honor. It has been a sacrifice of deep love for God’s dreamers and their dreams – for you. Because every single child of God is called by God to something unique, special, and specific. And every single God-dreamer is going to have to face waiting, pain, dark cracks of despair, and hard questions, and each one is going to have to decide if He’s enough.
When Jesus asks you the question, “Are you going to go away, too?” what will your answer be. I hope it will be, Absolutely not. You are the only place to go, for You have the words of eternal life. I’m in this with You forever.
Keep your eyes open for the launch of The Footsteps of a Dreamer on June 15, and maybe some fun perks coming your way before that. J In the meantime, check out some inspirational teaser quotes from the book on Instagram under the hashtag #thefootstepsofadreamer. Share them with friends. Get the word out. Help me spread this message so more God-dreamers can be equipped to stay the course and not give up.
What an honor it has been to carry this message in my life and with my words. What an honor it will be to share it with all of you.