The sign up for my giveaway is below, but please read this first! 🙂
Several years ago during a very difficult time in my life, I was lost. My life felt incomplete and I didn't feel like I was being used by God to accomplish anything on his behalf.
Admittedly, I was so desperate to be used by God, my prayers sounded something like this:
Lord – you gave everyone else a talent of some kind. Why on earth didn’t you give me one? I can’t sing, dance or draw. I’m not athletic - obviously. I’m not the prettiest, not the smartest or the funnies in a room – come on, couldn’t you have given me something? Here’s the deal: If you’ll just give me a talent of some sort, I PROMISE that I will use that talent to glorify you. I mean it Lord. I’ll use it to bring glory and honor to you and nobody or anything else. Do we have a deal?
I’ll be honest and admit that I was hoping I’d wake up one day and be able to sing beautifully, but if you heard me sing today you’d know that he didn’t give me that talent.
But, a few nights later, I had a dream. In the dream, the Lord and I were taking a walk together, and he asked me if I would join him in on a brand new journey.
Honestly, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to. I’ve been on journeys with him before and let’s be honest; some weren’t necessarily fun. As a matter of fact, a few of them were downright painful. It took me a bit, but I finally said "yes".
A woke up in the middle of the night and wrote the dream down so I wouldn't forget it. I had no idea what the journey would be, but I somehow understood that the dream wasn't just a dream at all - but a true invitation from the Lord to be a part of something new.
The very next night, I had another dream, but this dream was very different. This dream was of a girl who stood against an old pick-up truck and talked to a boy who stood on a porch. She called him "Riley" and he called her "Charlie". In the middle of the night, I woke up and wrote down the dream.
The very next night, I had another dream. I woke up and wrote it down. Then the next night... the same. And the next...
Every night for about two weeks, more of the story of these two characters would unfold, and I would wake up and write it down. By the time the dreams stopped coming, I'd written several chapters of a story. Curious as to what would happen to these characters, I kept on writing and about two months later, Salvaged was completed.
It's important to know, that right before I started writing Salvaged, my heart was aching. The movie Twilight had just come out and I was hearing girls and women all around me saying: “I wish someone loved me the way Edward loves Bella.” My heart would literally ache when I heard the words because the truth of the matter is that they ARE loved like that. As a matter of fact, they’re loved even more. They’re loved with a perfect, never-ending, unconditional love.
Knowing he was about to have me write the story of Salvaged, the Lord placed a desire in my heart to spread the word of his love. A desire to not only let people know of his unmatched love, but also his desire to communicate with us – no matter how it’s done. A desire to let people know that with the Lord it’s about relationship and nothing else. It’s about running to him in sorrow or in happiness. It’s about crying out to him when we’re hurting or shouting for joy when we realize how blessed we are. It’s about going to him with our questions: “Lord, where are you?”; “Lord, how could you let this happen to me?”; “Lord, how is it possible that I deserve all you’ve given me?”; “Lord, can you use me?”
It’s talking to him and listening to him. It’s about trusting that he wants what’s best for us and more than likely we don’t know what the best is. It’s about being willing to walk along side him even when we don’t know what lies ahead.
Since Salvaged was released, I’ve had so many people come to me and ask how I went about writing the book or what the publishing process is like. They also say that they wish that they could write a book – or they mention something else they’ve always dreamed to do. I don’t really know what to say to people. The reality of it is, this was never my dream. Never a goal in my life. It was God’s goal. It was his plan for me – a plan he had to talk me in to. Notice, he asked me to join him on the journey and waited for me to say yes, before he actually unveiled what the journey would be.
What about you? When you go to the Lord and ask for a journey, do you tell him what type of journey you’re wanting? Do you tell him that you want to write or sing or be a public speaker? What if what he has in mind for you isn’t at all what you want to do? Do you still want to take that journey? What if he wants to take you on a journey that nobody else will even see? Or, what if he wants to take you on a journey that EVERYONE will see, everyone will feel the right to analyze, digest, or criticize?
I don’t know much. But one thing I think I’ve learned is that we don’t know what we want and we certainly don’t know what’s best for us. We THINK we do – but we don’t. And the reality of it is: Is it even about us anyway? Isn’t all this about him?
If you want God to use you in some way, I encourage you to wipe the slate clean. Forget about telling him what you want to do – tell him that you want to do whatever it is that he wants you to do. I believe THAT is when your new journey will begin.
In honor of possible new journeys in the near future for all of you, I am having a give-away of the novel that started it all for me - Salvaged. Be sure to sign up for the giveaway and encourage your friends to do the same.