What part of your dream feels the riskiest? Have you ever had people misunderstand or disagree with your dream? What do you do when your dream is scary or when others don’t support you?
I was never that girl…the one boys lined up for, the one girls invited to their slumber parties, the first one picked for a team, the cool one.
And though those feelings were always present while I was growing up, the worst years were middle school and into high school.
Kids were mean, just because they could be…maybe it was fun for them?
I’ll never forget that day during my freshman year of high school.
It had actually started out a few weeks before as I was sitting at lunch with a few of the “friends” I usually ate with. We’d been talking about a few random things, and I confessed that there was a boy in my algebra class that I thought was really cute.
For some reason they thought this was information worthy of bringing up repeatedly, even if he was within earshot. Because, you know, it’s fun to be fourteen and Completely. Obnoxious.
Have I mentioned how much I don’t like mean people? And mean girls are even. worse.
They would talk about it often, seemingly day after day after day.
And what I didn’t know one day as I took my usual spot at the table? That they’d planned a little something.
How nice of them.
One of them leaned over and whispered to me, Hey, wants to eat lunch with you.
I remember giving them a strange look and questioning them, but these “friends” insisted that he was expecting me to go over to his table.
Reluctantly I glanced over his way, and he saw me. My heart was pounding, but I took the risk and I picked up my things and stood up to walk over to him when all of his friends (and he was surrounded by at least eight or ten guys) grabbed their trays and left the table, leaving him alone with me walking toward him.
He looked at me, and we both realized what they had planned. And the look on his face said everything.
Sorry, I’m not interested.
Let’s just say I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I’m pretty sure I went straight to the bathroom stall, my favorite one on the end, for a good cry.
It hurts, stings, leaves a mark. It damages self-confidence.
I’m mature enough now to realize that those awkward, teenage years don’t define me as a person. I don’t think of them often, and I certainly don’t dwell on the day when I realized that those friends really weren’t friends at all.
But when it comes to dreaming?
Dreaming God-Sized dreams like writing books and being a blog contributor? (And maybe even working on a medical ship someday? )
I fear rejection. It kinda makes me shake in my pretend boots. (Hey, it IS flip-flop season. )
The day I handed over my rough draft to one of my dearest friends…the actual, physical, letting-go of the draft was painful. Here was my heart and soul on paper, and she was only the first in a long line of people who will eventually (hopefully) read it.
What if she hates it? (P.S. Thankfully, she didn’t. )
What if I really am a terrible writer?
What if I get a bad review or a nasty critique?
What if there’s not a publisher out there who likes it?
Or, worse, what if no one buys my book?
I suppose these are things all writers stare down at some point…but this is somewhat new territory for me. And if I think about it all for too long, I start to feel overwhelmed.
Completely terrified to keep moving forward…because, honestly, those next steps scare me.
And, for me, next is a book proposal. I kind of did things backwards, not realizing I could submit a proposal without actually finishing the book. But, hey…live and learn and do things in creative ways, huh?
And I have to be honest and tell you that I listen to the enemy’s whispers far too often.
I let him tell me that my writing is no good and that no one will want to read it and that I’m a nobody in the bloggy world.
Thankfully, I know the Truth, but there are always those doubts.
Because with risk comes the possibility of failure. Of rejection. Of a confirmation of those feelings of inadequacy.
I have certainly failed in my life, and I’m not finished with failure, I’m sure.
From being a wife, mommy and friend to writing, dreaming, and doing, there are those days when I feel as if I’ve failed miserably.
Each day I have to remind myself that I’m His.
That this dreaming? It’s for Him.
And so I’ll pick up that rough draft again and pore through it. Pick out a few chapters. Send them with the proposal.
Allow my restless heart to beat fast and furious as I wait for a response, knowing that on the journey to a dream, there’s always risk.
But along with that risk is the opportunity for the Giver of my dreams to bless unexpectedly and wildly.
And that’s what makes this dreaming and doing worth it.
Happy Tuesday, sweet friends! Thank you for stopping by and reading my words. If you’d like a glimpse into the heart of some amazing dreamer friends of mine, you can find us linking up at Holley’s place. We hope you’ll join us for some inspiration and encouragement!