Several years ago, God put it on my heart to get serious about this secret dream of writing I’d had since I was a child. In fact, He compelled me to take the stories that had been swirling in my imagination and write them down. That story became Carolina Reckoning. My second novel, Aloha Rose, was the result of a God-ordained reunion and now in March Beneath a Navajo Moon releases.
Olivia’s story came to me in its entirety in a dream. The Navajo put great stock in their dreams; God often reaches them through the kind of dreams with which He once visited upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I think maybe we’ve grown too sophisticated to hear His voice either in our nighttime or waking dreams.
Sometimes people stop themselves for reaching for their dreams because of fear of failure. Whatever your dream, I am the living proof that there is no expiration date on dreams. Rather in my life, God carefully orchestrated my experiences with me being at a place that would bring Him honor through my writing offerings.
The desire for the God-planted dream overcame my fear of taking a risk—to risk a maybe failure versus the certain regret of never having dared to reach. I want my life to be more than a dash between two dates. If there is some dream God has given you, my advice would be twofold: 1)obedience is yours to choose; the outcome belongs to the Lord, and 2)examine your motivation for the dream. God honors those who honor him.
Questions to ponder—Does your life proclaim Christ or self? Will this dream if realized honor God or self? Are you willing to allow God to billboard your sufferings and difficulties so that the light of His glory is able to shine? How transparent are you with your weaknesses, cracks, and wounds?
II Corinthians 4:7-9 reminds me that when I give back to God my plans, goals, and dreams—offering all on the altar of service to Him—He shines all the brighter through my cracked, broken jar of clay.
God requires complete consecration. This consecration begins with an awareness of God’s presence—Are you listening? When God speaks, He will ask you to do something. This dream consecration continues with total abdication of self without reservation to His purposes—all you are, all you have, all you dream of. And because an altar (Romans 12:1-2) implies sacrifice, consecration finally demands the hardest thing of all—giving to God what is most precious. That person or thing and most especially the dream itself. If not submitted, that object has usurped God in His preeminent position in your life. If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. This is the painful lesson Erin Dawson learns in Beneath a Navajo Moon; a lesson I’ve also wrestled with.
We must learn to trust God more than we trust ourselves or want this dream. Whatever your talents or desires, we are here on this earth for His glory. God blesses us with dreams and abilities so that we may use what He’s given us for His purposes, not our own. And we should prepare ourselves for the probability that His purposes will take us places—on wonderful, scary, exhilarating adventures—that we couldn’t have begun to imagine.
And so, I write. Stories given by God of incredible loss and unforgettable triumph. Humanity in all its weakness. So that others might see their great need of Him and find healing and the truest of all loves in Jesus Christ. The ultimate paradox is that although I proclaim His worthiness, each story brings me to my own weakness and unworthiness. Perhaps this is indeed the moment we become of use to Him—when we’ve reached the end of our confidence, the end of ourselves and our own sufficiency. When we embrace Who He really is and accept who we really are. It is as Erin remarks in Beneath a Navajo Moon often “a long obedience.”
What about you? What has God appointed for you to do? Are you satisfied with the easy life filled with comfort? Or are you willing to embrace the hard life of great significance for His kingdom? Will you live a life of blessing to those around you? Will you choose obedience so that you might make a difference in this life and in the life to come?
What dream is He calling you to in 2014?
For more photos on the inspiration behind Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.