Thursday, July 26, 2012

Leave Room for God

Many years ago I had the dream of writing children’s fiction. I had it all planned out. I was going to write, which would allow me to stay home with my young daughter, and once I was published I would also be contributing to the household income. I even planned to be able to give books away at schools, libraries, and churches.

The plan was in place and I prayed about it, asking that if it pleased God it would happen.

So, I wrote, rewrote, and submitted to publishers, all the while praying and researching. The rejection letters were numerous, but I knew it came with the territory. I reminded myself that many famous authors went through years of rejection before their first big break. I received some encouraging hand written comments and even won 3rd place in a writing contest. My hope was kept alive.

For a while.

Meanwhile, my daughter was getting older and when she started school, it was time for me to go back to work. Around the same time, a final rejection came—the one where the editor asked to see the complete manuscript. I thought it would be a perfect fit for the magazine. But the editor thought otherwise and didn’t use the story.

The disappointment ran deep. Although this was my plan, I decided it wasn’t in God’s plans for me. I let the dream die and eventually forgot about it.

Fast forward to this past year when God led me to start an online women’s Bible study. I had never thought of writing for women before, and the idea of leading was not a welcomed one. And yet, God had been laying it on my heart.

I was now leading Bible studies through which other women and I were growing closer to God. I was writing on a regular basis, and other opportunities to write opened up. It was fun and amazing, and I knew it was God’s work.

And then one night He reminded me of my past dream—the one I let die when it didn’t happen how I expected or when I wanted.

It was like God said, “See? I’ve been working all this time.”

I realized I had put a time frame on my dream. I had decided how my plan to write would happen, step by step. In my mind, I even left myself open to God’s leading. I was willing to write Christian non-fiction books for children. You know, to stay flexible, so God could work. Ahem.

So when it didn’t happen in the years I’d planned, I decided it wasn’t meant to be. What I see now is that it just wasn’t time yet, but it wasn’t wasted time either. In those years, a lot happened. It was a time of growth in my personal relationship with God and within my family. 

He worked in ways I never imagined. And in His time, not mine.

God was changing me and growing a new energy and excitement in my heart. Those years were necessary to move me where He wanted me—to find my hope in Him, rather than people, plans, and goals.

I think that’s why I love these words from Angela Thomas so much…
“Would you leave the door open for God?...Would you leave room for hope? For the miraculous? For what God has beyond anything you dream for yourself?” –Angela Thomas, Do You Know Who I Am? (pg. 198)
I’ve seen God’s work in my past, and I have the confident expectation He will always be there in my future.

And now I ask you…

Will you leave the door open for God?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Thank you so much for spending some time here with me. This week we are in the final chapter “Do You Know I Am Disappointed?...He is My Hope.” of our online study of Do You Know Who I Am? by Angela Thomas. If you’ve participated in the study, I pray it’s been a blessing to you. God bless!

In Christ,
Laura


14 comments:

  1. Thank you, this is an encouraging post for me. I have always felt led to write a book but my life has taken other turns and I came to the conclusion it was my dream not God's. Then a few people kept telling me I should blog about my experiences something I had not envisioned doing but I started a blog recently. I now leave it in God's hands because through experience my life has not turned out at all how I would have imagined but I believe God has a plan.

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    1. I am finding out that life rarely turns out the way we want, expect, or hope it will. But God can do truly amazing things when we let Him be in control.

      Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!
      God bless,
      Laura

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  2. I am right there with you friend, leaving the door open for Him. He is amazing, you ever had those times where you ask yourself how you end doing some things :), I do...I surely can't do it without Him.

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    1. Oh yes! I have those times when I question how I can do something. But I know, and still have to keep reminding myself, that it's not me...it's all Him. Otherwise, self-doubt will start creeping in again.

      Thank you friend!
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  3. I have been reading your study and it has been a good one!! You have a gentleness in how you share and that is so valued. This touched my heart.

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    1. Judith, you touched my heart tonight with your kind words. Thank you, it means a lot to me!
      In Christ,
      Laura

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  4. Thank you for this encouraging word today! I am in a similar place right now and feeling very rejected. It is so easy for me to ask God why he brought me to this place...but I know there is a plan waiting to unfold in his perfect timing and way above my hopes and dreams.

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  5. Laura:

    Your post is encouraging to any would be writer, want to be writer, or writer. I also had plans for writing fiction (adult Christian fiction), but God keeps leading me in a different direction. He led me to begin my blog three years ago and I write in obedience to Him.

    I love this, "Will you leave the door open for God?" Certainly this is something we need to continually ask ourselves.

    God's blessings upon you as you continue leading these online studies.

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    1. Thank you Joan. I have enjoyed visiting your blog and have learned much from your writing. You write for God and others benefit. Thank you for your obedience to Him. God bless!

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  6. God has many surprises in store for us - some we never dream of. I understand the disappointments but it seems God opens even bigger doors for us! I've been learning to just let go and let God - Wonderful and thoughtful post to be sure.

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    1. Thank you Kathleen! Often our disappointments are wonderful opportunities to lean on God, to trust Him, and let Him take care of us. It's something I need to remember! God bless!

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  7. This post reminds me of something the Lord laid on my heart for posting today:

    http://www.encourage-1-another.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-best-laid-plans.html

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  8. I've been reading your words on my kindle and never remember to stop by later to comment...but when I woke up this morning with you on my mind, I decided to make a date of it this noon.

    Oh what God can do through you, Laura! He's blessed me beyond measure. and I'm only one...

    Striving with you to leave the door wide open.

    Thank you for always blessing and encouraging me!

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    1. Nikki, you bless me equally! I'm so glad to have gotten to know you through this blogging world! Thank you for your kind words and caring heart!
      God bless,
      Laura

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!