Guest Post by Gena Anderson
I started writing in my early thirties. My thoughts, revelations, and the things God was pouring into me all spilled out onto pages in my journals, or files on my laptop. It didn’t take long to start sharing my work, though the thought initially terrified me. The first time I shared something I wrote it was only because I felt compelled, called by God. Despite a lack of confidence and a strong desire to avoid the vulnerability that sharing a craft requires, in that moment I felt keeping my words to myself might cause me to burst. The courage that first time stemmed only from years of listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompts. I had learned the result of stepping out in faith is always greater than the comfort of playing it safe.
It was around that time I started dreaming of writing a book. Though I doubted my ability to be an author, once the desire was stirred I couldn’t let it go. I didn’t really believe it would happen, but I wasn’t willing to dismiss it either. Chickening IN for me didn’t start big and bold, I gained quiet confidence by returning to God often and resting in His Word, just as Isaiah 30:15 describes. Writing privately turned into blogging for a Christian women’s ministry, and there I gained more skill and courage. As the years went on, this newfound dream of writing a book lingered quietly in the background, unfulfilled but not forgotten. One day I was going through an old photo album and ran across an article I had written when I was seven. It was about being saved by Jesus, and published in my church bulletin by my mother. Above the article she wrote “This was written by my daughter, she wants to be a writer when she grows up.” I suddenly realized this dream wasn’t something I formed as I enjoyed the fulfillment writing brought for me. It was one God formed in me before I was capable of rationalizing it away, in order to fulfill my heart in the most perfect way.
I had completely forgotten that my little girl self wanted to be a writer until I discovered it memorialized in my album. I knew why I had forgotten. As that little girl became a teen and young adult she let fear, doubt, and logic steal her dream. Once found, I gave it to God, entrusting him to lead me and use it in ways above and beyond my wildest imagination. Eventually, the dream of publishing a book was realized, and I have a front row seat to what God is doing with the work he predestined me to do (Ephesians 2:10).
A few years ago, while in the middle of writing my book, I met a young woman at an event. A recent college graduate, and she shared her plan to go directly to grad school. “I know it’s kind of dumb, but I’m actually thinking of taking a year off to write, instead,” she confessed. She told me how meaningful writing had become to her, and how she felt God pulling her in that direction. I looked at her: young, hopeful, dreaming, and scared. And I told her what I should have told myself before I buried my dream:
Your dream is not dumb.
God gave you the desire to write for a reason.
What God calls you to, he will see you through.
If you’re sure grad school is the right next step, go for it.
But don’t choose the path of certainty because you’re scared of the unknown.
It took me half my life to circle back to my dream.
You’ve got the chance and wisdom to start living yours now.
That is not dumb, it’s amazing.
Those words are true at any age and stage. Psalm 37:23 declares God solidifies the steps of those who delight in him, and part of that is delighting in His calling more than we relish our security. Don’t make an excuse when you could make a difference. Don’t wait when you have the opportunity today. Chicken IN, step out in faith, and trust that the God who gave you that dream knows exactly what he’s doing.
More about Gena: A Jesus-lover, writer, and nurse practitioner who loves to share wellness information & inspiration to the world around her. She loves writing, reading, traveling, and brownies. She’s working on that last one. She is the author of The Well Woman: A Journey to Wellness Through Loving Jesus. She lives in Hutto, TX with her husband Michael and children Jocelyn and Luke. You can find Gena here: IG: @wellwoman.blog, website: Well Woman Blog , email: Contact Gena.
Are you struggling to find the courage to pursue your dreams? Grab a copy of Chickening IN-from FEAR to Courageous FAITH today and stop chickening out on your God given dreams and purposes!