“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
Today I am once again struggling with what to write for my monthly column for the Young Salvationist Magazine. This is not a rare occurrence for me, unfortunately, but a monthly ritual. After my column for the month previous has been turned in on the first (really more like the 7th though), I start looking at the topic due for the next month.
That’s usually when I realize I have no idea what I want to say.
The topic for January 2017 is “Everyday Saint” (which will be the 1-year mark from my first story’s publication date with YS!). I receive the topic description and main points of each issue, and I have to take those points and come up with four sections for the “FYI” column. The description of FYI is to “move the reader ‘from couch to action’ by exploring each theme with thought-provoking practical applications.”
And I know exactly what my problem is: every month, my doubts freeze me up. I can hear them swirling through my head as I sit in front of the blank Word document. Should you really be writing in a national publication for young adults? You’re not that great of a writer. Do you really think you have anything important to say to them or that the topics you bring up will mean anything to them? You’re writing the same thing over and over. Do you really think anyone cares about what you have to say?
Before I started writing monthly for YS, I would grab a copy of each new issue from my corps, read through each of the articles, and find my way to the back of the magazine and the monthly FYI column. I remember one month, after having submitted my first article to YS and being asked to write another, I was chatting with a friend about the column. “How do you think one gets a monthly column in the Young Salvationist? I would absolutely love to write for the magazine every month.”
Not even a few months later I got a call from Captain Pam Maynor, the editor at the YS. She told me that their previous FYI columnist was leaving on happy terms to further pursue her calling, and would I be interested in taking over the column. In that moment, I knew that God was answering a prayer I hadn’t even really thought to pray for, since I thought it was an unrealistic desire. But that’s just how amazing He is! He can take situations that we think are unlikely and use them for His will for our lives!
You know what? I refuse to let fears and doubts dictate my writing for another moment. Writing is a call that God has placed on my life, and even though I’ve gone through periods where I’ve told myself that I’m not good enough, God has made it clear in so many instances that He thinks differently.
Maybe God has put a desire for something in your heart: music, writing, dance, medicine, finance. (Hey, no dream is silly!) And maybe you feel like you aren’t good enough. I’m here to tell you that you are. God thinks you ARE good enough, and He is going to give you the tools that you need to be successful. But at the same time, following God’s will for our lives should be our ultimate dream, because if we live for Him, He will make our lives richer and fuller than even our most lavish ideas could.
If God’s will for my life changes tomorrow, I’ll be happy with that. I know that He has me in His arms and is guiding my steps. He is doing the same for you, planning out exactly how you fit into His plan. Hold onto that promise, and spend some time talking to Him about your dreams today.
Until next time, know I am praying for you, and God’s will for your life.