The person across the table asking the question meant well. Perhaps the opportunity she wanted to lay out would be something I’d like to jump on board with. She waited patiently as I chewed my lip, unsure how to make what was in my heart sound logical—or at least more than a wild fancy.
I mean, I’m just a dreamer. Deep down, in those ten seconds as I tried to imagine not what I thought I would be but what I could be if I had my druthers, I knew I would always be a writer—was one regardless. But I also saw another dream I hadn’t discovered until earlier that year.
“This might sound odd, especially for living in a small town, and not even having an English degree,” I said slowly, hoping she wasn’t going to laugh, “but I’d love to be an acquisitions editor. Silly, I know, but you said if I could do anything…”
She blinked, nodded, assured me that was a good goal, and moved the conversation on. I felt a little silly, especially as the opportunity the lady laid out was so contrary to who I’d just described. But at least this was an opportunity, I thought. It wasn’t as if any publishing houses were knocking on my door, after all.
I learned that day that dreams make us feel out of place. If they didn’t, we would be too comfortable to pursue them. (Click to Tweet) I felt like my town and its limited opportunities would force me to choose between doing what I loved or living where I loved. Was I being irresponsible by staying? Or was lifestyle more important than a whimsy? After all, my calling is to be a writer, and I can do that anywhere. I might have a nose for talented writing and potential, or I might only be particular and opinionated. That didn’t mean I had any business fancying a job as an acquisitions editors.
I put it behind me. But I never forgot that conversation. Or that date. Sometimes, I was disgusted with myself for vocalizing something that was never a possibility (at least, in the way I’d imagined and in that time frame.) I’d remind myself as another year was gone, that dreaming is futile. Only action matters. And what plans have you made to institute this desire? None. It’s your own fault.
I still believe that dreaming without action is futile—most of the time. Other times, when your dream also happens to be God’s dream for you, it’s going to happen no matter what you do or don’t do.
You see, I applied for an associate editor, remote position at an up-and-coming fiction magazine. Even though my plate was already pretty full, I couldn’t not apply, somehow. I was hired with the understanding that I would, in a couple issues, transition into the lead editor role. I was amazed and excited. And scared.
A few months into it, I learned the magazine’s editorial process was altering a little, and I’d have a new duty: none other than acquiring stories.
That conversation about my two-year goals occurred two years ago this past Saturday. And now I can say I’ve undergone training and been able to do one complete batch of acquisitions.
But don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying I’m successful or that I don’t struggle with my work and career path. Quite the opposite, let me assure you! But I do say all this to demonstrate that when our dreams are God-given, He will fulfill them when, where, and how He pleases. (Click to tweet.) In those two years, not much about me, my area, or my education—the three things I’d put my focus on—changed. And yet, God granted me a desire of my heart. A desire He planted there. A desire He provided for. It may not have been exactly what I thought the dream would look like, but it suits me and where I am in this season perfectly. That’s how I know the best part of dreaming God’s dreams: they’ll always come true one way or another.
I’d love to hear from you. How have your God-given dreams come true? How do you hold on to the dreams that haven’t yet come to pass?
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