Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Dream in my Heart

After Charlie died, I was really, truly seeking the Lord and asking Him what I should do with my story. I mean, two babies of mine were gone and, by His grace, I was still standing. That's no small thing. I felt this strong sense of obligation to not waste my story, to not let the embers die. The Lord gently prodded me along.

He reminded me of the time after Evie passed away when I wanted to write a book. I wanted to share my journey with her with the world. But it wasn't the time. My purpose and perspective weren't what they needed to be. And so, the desire faded and Jocelyn came and I found new purpose mothering my two little people.

But then Charlie. And afterwards my heart was crying out for a purpose, for God to show me what to do with this story that touched people and pointed them to Him, something a little bigger than this blog can hold. Certainly I couldn't bury it, like the foolish servant had buried his coins. No. I had paid a price for following Jesus and that investment needed some hardcore interest accumulation. I felt it deep within me.

So, the Lord reignited that desire for writing. I told a friend about it. This amazing friend is currently in the middle of getting her own book published, so I figured she would have some good advice.

Lauren encouraged me to write. But, she told me, if you're really interested in publishing, you'll need to build a bigger audience. You'll need to think of a way to get your voice "out there" a little more. She recommended blogging more regularly and submitting posts to bigger blogs. It was a good place to start.

So I tried. And, the more I blogged and the more I tried to submit guest posts to places with a lot of traffic, the clearer it became that this wasn't exactly the way I needed to go. Instead of gaining followers, I actually lost some, and some of the big places I submitted to didn't email me back. At all. Even after lots of tries. Point taken! I would have to find a different way.

I was feeling really discouraged one night. I was drying some dishes and talking to the Lord and was asking Him to please, please make it so clear to me. If I was meant to write a book and needed to grow my audience, how was I supposed to do that? I prayed and thought and prayed and thought and then, a spark. A thought so random and unpredictable that I know it wasn't from my own mind. 

A podcast.

A what now? I had literally only listened to a podcast for the first time a couple of weeks before (yeah, so I'm a little behind the times ;). This was crazy. 

"How hard is it to start a podcast?" I blurted out to Josh who was sitting in the living room.

"Not hard," he said, "Why?"

And that was it. That's how the idea for the Heart Lessons podcast was born. I know it was from the Lord because, on my own, I would have never thought of it. I feel like I don't have a lot of finesse as a speaker, I don't love the sound of my own voice, and I kind of already felt like I had a lot going on. But, here I am. I felt like Moses who, when God asked Him to speak to the people, thought of all the reasons he shouldn't be their spokesperson. But God said to me, "Yes, there are a thousand people more qualified than you. But I didn't ask them. I asked you."

So that's the podcast, which I have been incredibly blessed by over the last several weeks. I love deep conversation and have been able to connect with friends and do just that. It has breathed life into my soul. It's been amazing.

But I still feel like there's more in me. I have a fire in my belly. Kind of like Smaug, I guess except, less scary. And I don't love gold as much. But anyway, you get the point. I'm motivated. Motivated to do what? I don't know exactly. But I think it involves writing. And speaking. And sharing what the Lord has done for me and how He can help others as well. Stories are powerful; I believe in stories. Maybe that's my mission.

I'm dreaming big at this point. I feel like I'm right at the start of something. I want to matter to God - I want my story to matter. I want other people to hear my story and be challenged to trust God more or, for the first time even. I want to reach people on a grand scale. 

I'm trying. It's a lot of work and there is a lot of work to be done still, but I'm willing. I'm trying to take one step at a time and look at today and see what I can do today to accomplish my goals for tomorrow. 

Anyway, that's where my heart has been lately. Restless. And seeking. 

There's a song my kids have been listening to. This one line speaks to me so much right now:

With Jesus as my strength I'll do my best, He'll do the rest.

I'm trying Lord. I'm trying my best. Thanks for taking the rest.



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