Follow the Path of Your Dreams

Note: This is post #6 of My Journey into the Rubble series.

When I began this series, I was uncertain how long it might take me to tell the story. A few months ago, my typically cluttered schedule rose to tsunami levels and I was swept away in the day-to-day agenda. Not a moment would yield for me to revel in the rubble.

Follow Your Dreams

God often uses our secret dreams to lead us down the path of ministry.

Now, at last, as I’m enjoying a much-needed, relaxing vacation, thoughts about my journey seem eager to find expression. So today, I want to zoom out and focus on the story from a more panoramic perspective. I’d like to reveal a snippet of my dreams. My hope and prayer is that this “wide-angle” view of my journey will encourage you, especially if you feel stuck. Maybe you’ve heard God’s call to ministry, and it’s been some time ago, but you feel as though you’ll never get to the place you imagined when God initially spoke to you—that place where you truly feel a sense of purpose and destiny.

The Reveries of Childhood

As a child I wrote a lot of poetry and short stories. I kept journals in middle school and was feature editor of my high school newspaper and yearbook. Some of my early pieces were published in creative writing journals. In college my composition teacher told me I should become a writer. At her words, I felt my heart’s desire ignite inside me. But I had recently become a Christian and I knew I wanted to serve the Lord in full-time ministry. So, I kept my secret dream tucked away, cloistered in my heart, as I pursued Christian ministry with great ambition.

It wasn’t until many years later, after going to Bible school and serving on the mission field, then getting married and working on staff at a large church, that my two passions—writing and ministry—merged together in a God-kind-of-way. Up until this point, I had been able to use my love for writing in different ways.

For a while in the mid-80s, I served as editor for a small outreach magazine produced by my church. I wrote feature articles and had the honor of interviewing Christian musicians like Steve Camp and Nancy Honeytree. Remember them?

In fact, one of the most embarrassing moments of my life happened then. Just minutes before sitting down to interview then popular Christian music artist Steve Camp, an opportunity I was quite stoked about, I stopped in the ladies’ restroom. I had driven a long distance to the Christian retreat and conference center where he was performing and speaking to a group of single adults. In my rushed exit from the bathroom stall, I dropped my Bible and notepad into the toilet (fortunately, post flush).

Explaining to Steve Camp the reason for my soggy interview notes proved to be an excellent icebreaker, helping me relax, shake off my nervousness, and enjoy a comfortable conversation with one of my musical heroes.

Returning to My Dream

Later, while serving on the mission field, I penned many letters and kept a journal about my experiences working with street children and living with my Brazilian brothers and sisters in Christ in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. After that, as office manager and assistant to our pastoral staff at my church, I began writing and editing regularly as part of my daily duties.

My life has been full of adventure and excitement. I’ve certainly reveled in the ministry and writing I’ve done in the past. But in 2005, when I applied and was selected to cover the topic of Christianity for About.com, I encountered my passion. I felt as though I’d stepped into my “perfect fit.” I was able to focus my writing on the subject I was most passionate about—my Savior Jesus Christ.

Today, I make my living through freelance writing. I could say that I never would have dreamed it was possible, but I did dream it … many years ago. And our great and infinitely loving God took what seemed an impossible dream and made it a reality in my life.

An Important Disclaimer

I don’t consider myself an accomplished writer. It still amazes me that God has chosen to use me in this way. I wish I could afford to hire my own personal editor to proof and polish all of my work. But since that’s not in the budget, at least not yet (Oh, please, Lord!), I throw myself at his feet daily, asking for inspiration and the ability to write for him. I fully realize this gift is not mine. It’s his.

“God never asked me if I could,
He used me because He knew I trusted that HE would.”

— J.D., writer at Compassion Can {Beyond Measure}

What God Has Prepared

I’m amazed that the Lord has taken this dream and used it to touch lives. My newsletters and articles are read by people all around the world. (Get out!) You see, while I dreamed of being a writer, never in my wildest imagination did I think that through my writing I’d one day share the love of Christ with people in Papua New Guinea, in Japan, New Zealand, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Ireland, Peru, and anywhere the Internet is accessible. It is completely humbling and thrilling for me when I receive an email from a brother or sister on the other side of the globe saying, “I accepted Christ while reading your website,” or “Your newsletters have blessed and strengthened me spiritually.”

It reminds me of this verse in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (NLT)

Follow the Path of Your Dreams

So, may I ask you something personal? What is the secret dream you’ve tucked away in that hidden cubby of your heart? Have you considered the very real possibility that God is the One who planted that dream?

And, if you have a similar dream-come-true story, I’d like to hear it. Maybe, like me, God has wonderfully meshed your secret passion with your calling to serve him in a way you’d never expected. Or maybe you’re struggling, still waiting for your dream to come true. Please express yourself in the comments.

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8 Responses to “Follow the Path of Your Dreams”

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  1. Mary says:

    Hi Mary. 1st-timer to your site.
    As I grew up and out of a childhood with minuses, I wrote and wrote and shook my fists against painful wrongs. Today, perspectives widen as I follow in God’s mighty footprints– my gentle and wise King who knows how to turn my neck this much to see His Hand in the rubble.
    It’s writing for me. A book. His book. My largest limit is simply doing everything else that keeps me in motion– everything else gets a high priority sticker. I trust God knows this and will one day set my understanding in place and my pen and mind writing down all He wants.

  2. joy says:

    this is indeed a blessing to read of how u now are able to live your dream. but what do you do when you don’t even know what your dream is? All I know is I want to be able to have money and take care of my family. That is not a concrete dream now is it? lately I have just been moving from day to day not really knowing where I wanna go. I know we all have destinies but I am not sure yet what mine is. Any advice?

  3. Karen says:

    I love that your mom posted a response (saying exactly what I was thinking). I did feel called once, as a teen and influenced by the Nicky Cruz stories. But, incest, counseling, triplets, divorce, physical disability, and “fits and starts” in various ministries have left me in a cloud of doubt, clouded vision and Moses-like thinking. I know God has a plan and purpose (2 Cor. 1:4), but I just can’t seem to figure out where my next step goes.

    Karen 🙂

    • Reveler says:

      Ah, the blindfold. Maybe you don’t need to figure it out.

      You’ve been through a lot and certainly the Lord is using you even now to comfort with the comfort you have received (1 Cor. 1:3-5).

      Thanks for stepping into the rubble! 🙂

  4. Mom says:

    I love reading all your articles. My humble opinion is you don’t need an editor. 😉

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