I have always wondered what those prayers/songs/promises of mine have meant:
"I give myself away, so you can use me."
"Here I am Lord, send me"
I always wanted it to mean to pack everything and move to Africa. But I never thought it would mean walking away from a life-long dream.
When I was a kid, I had three goals/ dreams for my growing up: 1) I would become a high-profile editor, 2) I would publish a book, and 3) I would win a Pulitzer Prize for said book (i have now amended that to one of any number of awards--just keeping my options open!)
How's it going? Well, it's evident that #1 is not who I am. I have chosen a life as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. I cherish the opportunity to teach math and reading and spelling and writing, to read books and make cookies, to stay in pajamas all day (if I wanted to).
#2? Well, that's what this post is all about. I have successfully written a book. It's 93,000 words. It is a complete novel with a complete story arc. It's not perfect, but it's a good base story. Last week, I submitted it to an editor who requested it. On Monday, his company offered me a contract. And this afternoon, I politely declined.
This is something I have wanted for my entire life. To write words and stories that move people, that make them think, that cause them to talk. I haven't ever really cared if my name was in print, but I have always wanted to tell a good story. I have that opportunity, right in front of me, with an editor who is excited for my book to enter the marketplace which is a fierce place for a first-time author.
And I am going to walk away.
Right now, as I type these words, it makes me so sad. I may never again have this chance. My book, as proud as I am of it, as much as I want others to read it, may simply become a neglected file on my computer or a space-claiming pile of dusty papers.
Well, there are a myriad of reasons, but there are one or two big ones waiting for me in Africa. After waiting all this time for them to come home, to be able to love them, to provide them with stability, a place to heal and a family to call theirs, I want to give them all of me, not the part of me that is preoccupied with deadlines, not the part of me that has to spend inordinate amounts of time on the computer marketing myself, not the part of me that tells them to calm their own fears, not the part of me that won't read them one more story.
I am turning away from my dream for the promise of putting hands on my children. It's what I've been called to do: open my arms and my home, to show one or two or more children the Jesus who rescues them from their despair.
I am giving my book and my dreams into the hands of a God who is bigger than any publishing contract, any life-long dream. Even now, as I write this, it doesn't make sense. Why would God allow such great things if I truly just needed to turn away from it? Why can't I do everything? How am I supposed to use this gift, if not in this way? Maybe this is just for right now and I still get to publish it later?
Right now I trust and I have peace.
The God who demands great things from us rewards richly. If you are someone who doesn't believe in God, the Lord, the Author and Perfecter of our Faith, this makes no sense. Maybe even to someone who does believe, this doesn't make sense.
But this is my call: to follow him with my whole life means to give up my deepest desires to have them be replaced by His. For now that means that I walk away from my dream.
And I wait for my kids.