Picture yourself when you were a kid—say, ten years old. Old enough to have discovered a bit about who you are, but young enough not to be jaded by things like pragmatism and budgets and the real world.
What did you dream about?
What did you hope for?
What visions did you have for the future?
When I was ten, I had aspirations of becoming an astronaut and an author. The intergalactic dream died a quick death when I realized I didn’t like any classes ending in “ology,” but the writing dream was harder to shake. I fantasized about putting words onto paper in a way that clicked with people and made them think and prompted them to say, “You too?”
And so, with some help from Mom and her cabinet full of craft supplies, I managed to put together my own book—a gripping tale about Molly the Mouse, who is deeply misunderstood, gets lost in the countryside, and eventually finds love and a home. (I think this title is actually the first in a two-part series about Molly Mouse, if I could only dig up the next book somewhere in my box-o-treasures.)
When I grew up, I shelved the writing dream, immersing myself with words and books but not believing I could write. That was for people who were smarter than me, more creative than me—people who had something important to say. But that little nugget of a dream never went away.
I think that’s how it is when God plants a desire or a passion or a dream in us. It may get buried for a while, but he never forgets about that dream-seed.
So what are the dreams planted inside of you?
What is buried in your heart under the layers of sediment and years?
It can be scary to dig down and excavate those places, because when we do, we expose tender, vulnerable pieces of ourselves to potential hurt. And we open ourselves up to potential disappointment and failure.
But you know what is worse than failing? Never finding out what God would do with those dream-seeds if we gave him a chance. Never tasting the joy that comes with doing what we were made to do. Never giving other people a chance to be fed by our gift.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Twenty-five years after writing that first book, I am a little stunned to see my name on the cover of a real book real book. (It’s in small letters, but look closely—it’s there!) This book wasn’t handwritten and photocopied, and it required none of Mom’s craft supplies. But the feeling inside is the same, a quarter of a century later.
Whatever passion is burning inside of you, whatever dream is hiding there under the surface, I encourage you to chase after it—to go after that place where deep gladness and deep hunger collide.
And if you do, I’d love to hear about so I can be there, cheering you on.
In honor of launch week for StephanieRische.com, I’m giving away a copy of the Everyday Matters Bible for Women. To be eligible, simply answer this question in the comment section:
What was one of your dreams as a kid? What did you want to do or be someday?
Submit your answer by Monday, March 3, to be eligible to win.
I always wanted to be a veterinarian! The cat allergies did get in the way, but I think being a “people veterinarian” was just as much fun. 🙂
Aww, too bad about the cats, MMM. But I think God knew how good you are with people. Keep dreaming!
Holly H. says
In Kindergarten, one day we had to dress up as who we wanted to be when we grew up. I’m sure there were plenty of normal jobs represented, like firefighters and nurses, but I picked “art teacher.” I didn’t even know that was a real occupation; I just wanted to make art and be in charge! Though I’m much closer to the first part of that equation than to the latter, I guess you could say I’m still pursuing my dreams.
That’s a pretty creative kindergartener! I love that sometimes God reshapes our dreams into a slightly different version.
A mom! I always wanted to be a mom a give kids a loving and safe family to grow up in.
And you’re doing an amazing job at that dream, Sally!
Love this post! When I was a very little kid, I daydreamed about being an actress. I did like entertaining an audience, but I think what I really wanted to be was a professional make-believe player and that was the closest I could imagine. 🙂
That was before you realized there was fiction! Maybe immersing yourself in novels is like acting for introverts. 🙂
I began wanting to be “Nancy nurse” but that dream was quickly changed when it involved empathy for others when they were sick. Then I wanted to be a teacher. Although I was never formally paid to teach I believe that God has given me many opportunities to use those gifts – especially with my own family. My advice for everyone is to never stop dreaming – God sized dreams.
Nancy, you have definitely used your nursing skills and your teaching skills as a mom! It has been a blessing to watch you take on the new dreams God has given you too–even to far-flung places of the world. 🙂
congrats on the book !! they’re a cool couple. 🙂
Thanks so much, Kelli! I agree–it’s always encouraging to see people who are living out their faith in their area of the world.
Marcy Hanson says
Congrats on the book! I have a very similar kid story, only mine involves a cat ;). I’m with you, I wanted to be a writer but never had the confidence to do it, really do it, until the summer of 2012. Now I’m just trying to make it all work!
Thanks so much, Marcy! I’d love to hear about your books–the cat one and the current one! Blessings to you as you put words to the page.
I think as a kid my dream was to be just like my dad!
Daniel, you don’t quite have his facial hair, but you are helpful and generous toward people, just like he is!