This time last year I was making plans to go to a writer’s conference in the fall. I was a novice blogger and wanted to improve my skills, hoping way in the future I would be a professional writer someday.
I went to the conference with a cute little book proposal, because I knew I would get a 15-minute consult with one of the professionals there. I was hoping for some constructive critique of my writing.
Instead I got a book contract.
No big deal, only my LIFE’S DREAM right there in front of me.
My imagination went to work. I pictured my book on the store shelves. Imagined myself signing a copy over to my parents. (How proud they would be.) I even practiced the humble response I would give when people would tell me what an incredible author I was and how my book had changed their lives.
Yeah, so …
I found a literary agent, and she called to get details on the contract for me. While she did that, God whispered to my heart, I’m going to have you turn down that contract.
My agent called me back and said gently, as if to a small child she did not want to upset, I think you need to turn down this contract. You’re not quite ready for this step yet.
I said, Okay.
Now here I am, a year after the writer’s conference, with no contract, no book on the shelf, and no reason to practice humility after all.
This is because my future does not belong to me.
I was reading Jennie Allen’s book, Anything, and she says “We all have the pictures of our lives in our minds, how they ‘should be,’ how we hope they will be — how we picture them. We collect these pictures in powerful scrapbooks that exist in our heads. We plan it all out.”
This is what I had been doing. I planned exactly the route I thought my writing would take, and what God has actually done with me looks very little like what I had glued to the pages in my mind.
I am writing. That core dream remains, and I believe it is the gift God has placed inside me. But where and when and how he’ll have me write? I have no idea. It’s a new surprise every day.
Not only did God not give me a book contract, but he has put a different opportunity in front of me, something I don’t particularly want to do. It’s scary and big and … scary. A few nights ago I landed on my knees by my bed, crying to the Lord, This isn’t what I had in mind, Lord. This isn’t the direction I thought you were taking me. What are you doing with me?
He brought one phrase to my mind:
“Lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5b NIV).
Should we daydream and plan our future and lean all our hope on what we “understand” it will be?
Jennie Allen says we make “fictional scrapbooks.”
Do you have one of those scrapbooks? Have you been planning who your husband will be or how many kids you’ll have or what your house will look like?
When we come to the cross of Christ we must utter the word “Lord” in order to be saved.
That means Lord of where our feet will land.
Lord of where and when and who and how much.
Are we willing to look for and lean into God’s choices for our future?
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
How to Rescue a Day Gone Wrong in Your Marriage
Just because a day doesn't start well, doesn't mean you can't rescue it.
What Women Are Saying
-- Darlene Schacht, author of Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages and co-author of Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships6 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles5 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles5 years ago
Relationships10 months ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture2 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions