When You Realize Writing is Not Actually Your Dream

I saw the invite – a save the date, really – and immediately checked my calendar to make sure the day was still free. It was the last time I checked (when there was only the hint of an event), but I had to be certain.

Because when Emily Freeman started talking about this Barn event – an afternoon At the Barn with her family and a relatively small gathering to spend time in soul-encouraging conversation about art, dreams, goals – all I could think was YES.

I’m in.

when you realize writing is not actually your dream

But as I purchased the ticket, I couldn’t help but also stop and think about how I now find myself taking all kinds of risks (of the best kind) with community and events and opportunities – like spending an afternoon with a bunch of fellow blog readers or spending five days getting Wrecked in Guatemala with complete strangers … and then doing it again six months later. All because of this gift of blogging which began as an extension of this gift of writing.

And it’s all in the very same season that I find myself pulling back on the frequency of posts and re-evaluating the purpose of this space.

A couple of months ago, I wasn’t even sure if I should continue blogging. This community is small and I’m not always convinced my words are necessary additions to the noise of this world.

But this community is also growing, and opportunities keep crossing my path to connect with other artists and other Jesus-followers as a result.

And I just know.

It’s not time to give-up this blogging thing yet.

Someday, God may ask that of me, but as I’ve been praying over and carefully considering whether or not that time is now, although the sitting-still long enough to think and write has been hard lately, I find I’m not finished here yet.

I want this space to be a place of restful harbor, filled with peace, where God speaks.

And more than anything, I want to honor and glorify Him in and through it.

So this community is small and the growth is slow.

But it’s His. And it’s good.

I began this blog a little over three years ago with a thought in the back of my mind that someday I might like to publish a book of some sort, but I could go ahead and start blogging without knowing if that would ever happen. I could begin sharing the message that the Lord had placed on my heart. I didn’t have to wait for that.

But somewhere along the way, I began to realize that while writing is a part of me and is a craft that I both love and enjoy, writing (or perhaps more specifically, publishing) wasn’t actually my dream.

The only problem? I didn’t know what was.

But all I knew to do was to keep writing, to keep taking small steps in obedience and faithfulness, and to keep seeking the Lord’s face.

Because that’s always right.

And through the writing, I kept sensing that there was something in all of this, something that I couldn’t quite figure out, something that I still needed to learn.

So now in this season, as my dreams and goals for this life are shifted and refined, I’m beginning to see at least a part of that something.

I’ve sought hard and waited long for the sort of dream I’m now beginning to consider. The one that in intentionally broad and vague terms revolves around orphan care (and no, I don’t know exactly what that means or what it will look like), the one that is so far beyond me and my ability, the one that scares the heck out of me, and the one that feels more like a God-whisper than anything I could dare to imagine on my own.

I’m not against the idea of publishing if that’s where the Lord leads and I suspect this won’t be the last times my dreams undergo some refining, but I also know this dream that’s slowly unveiling finally feels like mine. Like something only the Lord could have orchestrated and begun to reveal. And that makes it worth wanting and working toward and continuing to figure out … because it’s really only just a glimpse of a fuller vision. A hint of what could be.

So I’ll continue to write and I’ll continue to blog in this space.

And I’ll continue to lead and encourage this community to draw near to Christ.

To seek Him more. To know Him more. To trust Him more. To rest in Him more.

Because nothing – no amount of dreaming regardless of how right the dream seems – in this life matters more.

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13 thoughts on “When You Realize Writing is Not Actually Your Dream

  1. Kelly

    “To seek Him more. To know Him more. To trust Him more. To rest in Him more. Because nothing – no amount of dreaming regardless of how right the dream seems – in this life matters more”….such true words! Amen!

  2. Susan Stilwell

    I love the honesty of this, Emily. And truth be told, I’m wondering the same thing: is writing really my dream? I’m not so sure. Looking forward to chatting in 3 weeks 🙂

  3. Tonda Horne

    I love the way you write. It does cause me to slow down and think about things. Life is busy and you are able to put thoughts into words beautifully. Allow God to take it where He wants in His time.

  4. Alene Snodgrass (@AleneSnodgrass)

    Oh how I’m not only hearing but feeling your words here. My schedule has gotten so hectic with crazy awesome God stuff, but I wonder where this gift of writing is suppose to fit in. And so I ponder probably way too frequently!!! But . . . I am so jealous you are going to the Barn. Oh my how my heart longs to go. to breath. to hear story and song. But for now — I totally can’t wait to see you again in a few weeks!!! YAY for Guatemala and how God will touch our hearts there.

    1. Emily Post author

      Oh my. Yes, with the crazy schedule full of crazy awesome God stuff! Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on where writing fits into all of this. Can’t wait to see you either!!

    1. Emily Post author

      1. It sold out to her newsletter subscribers before she even had the chance to open up tickets on her blog. I think I got one of the last tickets.
      2. Me too! Will you be back down this direction at all? Could we please try to make this happen before you leave the country for 11 months? 🙂

  5. Dawn Muench

    ok. CLEARLY we all have MUCH to talk about…and I want to hear more about where your heart is going and what you are dreaming about over there. I can’t help but feel like so much of ALL of these things is that we get EXACTLY what you are describing- the ability to hear and listen for him- to wait when He says wait and to GO when He says go…and yes- the writing- sounds like we all have much to say about that too (reading others’ responses 🙂 and I have some very clear thoughts on that in my life as well. Ok it’s official- I can’t wait to see you guys 🙂

    1. Emily Post author

      YES – we clearly all do!! And I’m very much looking forward to it!! 🙂 You all make me feel way less alone in trying to figure this out.

  6. Simply Beth

    Yes to this—> “But all I knew to do was to keep writing, to keep taking small steps in obedience and faithfulness, and to keep seeking the Lord’s face.”
    There are so many times I feel ready to call it quits but then once again He leads me to write and it’s out of obedience to Him that I keep on writing. My prayer is always that my words may impact just one person. Many times I find writing helps point me back to Him. Whatever I’m struggling with as I write He pulls me closer to Him.
    I just love the truth in what you’ve shared here Emily. Not only do I want to Guatemala with you, I wish I could have a cup of coffee with you.
    Thank you for your beautiful and honest heart.

    1. Emily Post author

      I find writing points me back to Him, too, Beth. Can so relate to that.

      Oh, and yes, coffee with you would surely be great! I can imagine that would be some wonderful conversation!!

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