Follow the Dream

A while back, I surveyed a writing group I was in about what they saw as the most important core values for a writer.

The desire to follow God’s call to write was one of those identified. The Bible talks of God giving us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4 NLT).

For me this is a scripture that can be taken two ways.

The most obvious is there is something I desire and He gives it to me. It could be a new or better job, a new house, a better car, a Christian spouse, a relative’s or friend’s salvation, healing for myself or someone else. Sometimes, it’s something as basic as money to pay the electric bill or buy food.

The other way is He places the desire in our heart and, through the Holy Spirit and time with Him, it comes alive and becomes what we desire. I think this is where we encounter His plan for our lives and step out in faith to walk it out.

My writing life came about because He placed that desire in me. I’ve always loved to read. Anything. Cereal boxes. Old magazines in the barber shop back in the day when men went to barbers and women went to beauty salons. It didn’t matter. If it had words on it, I read it.

The thought of writing my own novels would niggle at the back of my mind and I would make feeble, soon-abandoned, attempts. Poetry blossomed in high school and college—more dandelions than roses.

And then came marriage, and children, and jobs. And the interest in writing waned. Working for the government requires a lot of writing. Writing for bureaucrats and the courts will drain creative juices quicker than a hole in your gas tank drains your fuel.

Thirty years after college, the desire sprang to life again. I can’t tell you what triggered it other than putting on the computer screen story images that were floating in my head.

Several years later, after a serious health crisis, I clearly heard the call to write. I knew it came from my heart but I hadn’t put it there. He had. I finally heard it and chose to obey, choosing to answer His call on my life.

I know it was His perfect timing when the call became so clear. But I can see how He trained and prepared me all my life to step into it.

And now, there is nothing else I’d rather do. Even with all the frustrations that come with writing, there is a joy and peace that can only come from Him.

What about you? What is the desire of your heart? What are you doing to fulfill it?


10 Responses to Follow the Dream

  1. J.A. Marx November 29, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Writing. 🙂 Caught the passion ten years ago. Finally about to reap the harvest and my heart rejoices. Thanks for causing me to ponder this, Henry

  2. Henry November 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    You’re welcome, Julie.

  3. Jan Brand November 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Henry, this is a great word, and one we should all take to heart. I confess the burning desire in me isn’t writing, but still I love putting words on paper that make people think about God as the answer to the human expereince.

    Your paragraph five was the zinger and reminded me that it’s the Holy Spirit who has put a deep longing in my heart to help those who can’t help themselves, and he will lead the way. I don’t have to continually strive to do it.

    Thank you for that wonderfful word of encouragement. I needed to be reminded.


  4. Rachelle November 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Well said, Henry. Great blog today, as always. I remember that same pull in my heart about 8 years ago now. I’m like you – I can’t imagine my life without writing now! 🙂

  5. Henry November 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Jan, thank you for your comment. It’s good to hear from you.
    This was one of those very personal blogs because of how God has been showing me recently — reinforcing actually — that my writing is a gift and a calling from Him, and to trust Him with my work.
    Abundant blessings.

  6. Janet K. Brown November 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    I’m right there with you, Henry. I’ve always wanted to write books, but God continued to say “No.” Now, I realize, He was only saying “Wait.”

  7. Henry November 30, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    Thank you for your comment. I’m so glad we’re on this journey together.

  8. Henry November 30, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Janet, thank you.
    The times when I thought God said no I now realize he was saying, to me anyway, “Not Yet. You’re not ready.” There was some area I needed to learn more or mature more before I could step forward in his plan.

  9. DiAne Gates December 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Henry, years ago I felt the need and desire to write for children but became discouraged by several rejections. I put the books in a drawer and forgot them for a number of years. Life got in the way as well as pride and family tragedy.

    Four years ago, God used ACW to tap on my shoulder and say “Now”. Within thirty minutes of attending the ACW Conference in Dallas I found out why I received those rejections. Ignorance of the way to submit them.

    Sometimes God makes us wait ’til we’ve learned the lessons we need to learn as He transforms us to perform the task He has assigned.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and for your friendship.


  10. Henry December 3, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Thanks, DiAne.

    One of my foundation scriptures is Hab 2:2,3 because it reminds me to write the vision God has given me. That vision is to write. It also reminds of the need for patience in that the vision will be fulfilled in its due time. While we’re waiting, we learn and improve.


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