"Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work." Exodus 36:2 (NIV)
The International Christian Retail Show is a big book convention where publishers, authors, agents, media, and bookstore owners all gather to talk shop. Books are pitched. Books are sold. Books are talked about a lot!
I went to this conference years ago when I was a wanna-be writer with a book proposal and a dream. Last year, as I signed pre-release copies of my 16th book Unglued, two thoughts went through my mind.
First ... thank You Jesus that people actually came to my book signing. Seriously, there's nothing quite like standing there with a big stack of free promotion books, a permanent marker, and not a soul interested.
So when people actually came, I just wanted to hug every single one of them. Seriously. And if I had lots of money I would've bought them all a steak dinner. I'm not kidding.
The second thought was ... look for those desperate for your encouragement. Many who came through my book signing line were interested in writing a book. I remember being there. I know what it feels like to walk around with a tote bag full of book proposals and a heart full of nervous hope.
I felt the weight of responsibility to give them the encouragement I so desperately needed when I was in their shoes.
Maybe you are there right now. Maybe you're looking to actively pursue your dreams in this New Year. Whether it's the hope of being an author or another dream you have bumping around in your heart, here's what I've learned:
Always remember, rejection from man doesn't mean rejection from God. If God has gifted you to write, write! You don't need a book deal to have an impact with your writing. The same is true with other dreams ... sing, create, teach, paint, develop — use your gifts right where you are to bless others.
Most overnight success stories are years in the making. Value the daily discipline of small steps, hard work, honing your craft, and putting in time learning and developing. Take classes. Be mentored. Push through those moments you want to slack off. And do it over and over, year after year.
Be a blessing to others. Don't keep your work to yourself. Find people who could be blessed with your work. I love to write. But what I love more than writing is seeing my writing help other people. That's where I find the encouragement to push through the hard times.
Expect opposition. The challenges and disappointments and set backs are all part of it. And honestly, these hard times serve a great purpose. I've learned much more from my failures in writing than my successes. Use these lessons ... don't waste them by giving up too soon. And remember to glorify Him whether it's a struggle or a success. God uses all things for good.
Look for the small open doors right in front of you. I always scratch my head when I meet people who tell me they want to write and speak but aren't willing to teach a small Bible study first. If God is calling you to do something — He'll have a door open in front of you. But it might be a small door. Look for the small door and walk through it.
Actually, dance through it with great joy because He will always do great things with people willing to be faithful in the small.
Dear Lord, I praise You for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams. I am so humbled that You would call me to serve You. Please help me persevere as I come up against opposition and frustration in the process of saying "yes" to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond: What goal are you looking to reach?
What small step toward that goal can you take today? Remember, we can't go directly from A-Z. There are many stepping stones along the way.
Surround yourself with a positive support network. Having a strong group of friends/family who will stand with you and be honest with you on your journey is crucial.
Power Verse: Philippians 2:13, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." (NIV)
© 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org