The Season Of Waiting

Called To Write Dream Series Part 2: The Season of Waiting

By deBrandon Willis

After completing the test, I proceeded to a waiting area where I met up with my wife. It seemed to me my chances of getting the job were favorable due to the fact that I made it this far. It also seemed as if I was going through this testing process as a formality—as if everything was being initiated for a greater purpose. However, I was still concerned about the results.

After a while, the lady who had administered the test called us to the back. As we sat down, the lady began to talk and somehow, we got on the subject of her daughter. She told us that her daughter was on a plane, possibly a private jet, headed back home with a man that had been trying to force himself on her. This man, who I believe was responsible for her on this plane, was still being allowed to be around her. The daughter I believe was somewhere around fifteen years in age with long black hair; about 5’5”, 130 pounds.

As we continued to talk, my wife and I were somewhat confused. We wondered why she would let this happen. As the woman was explaining this, she seemed to be reluctant. She knew that this was foolishness.

The dream continued, and I believe we had finished talking with this woman or just moved on within the conversation. However, the dream transitioned before we heard the results.

 

Application Part 2

By Chris McKinney

After we go through a test, we won’t always get an immediate result. Sometimes, God calls us to step out in faith and do a hard thing. Then, it will seem like nothing happens for a while. The experience can often feel very anti-climactic. However, we know God hasn’t missed anything. Rather, He gives us a chance to listen to and help others while we wait. We are often asked to help people who don’t seem to want to help themselves. They may even do things that are destructive as we are trying to help them. It can feel for a time like our efforts are fruitless. This is actually another type of test—the kind that we don’t recognize as being a test.

 

What you’ve just read was the second part in a series. Please click here to see Part 1 of the Called To Write Dream Series

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The Odds Are In Your Favor

Called To Write Dream Series Part 1: The Odds Are In Your Favor 

By deBrandon Willis

I arrived at a gated entrance to what looked to be an abandoned worksite. If not for my headlights, I wouldn’t have been able to see much at all. Upon exiting the vehicle, the gate slid open, and I walked through the entrance, into a courtyard surrounded by wooden cabins.

Photo by William Daigneault on Unsplash

I proceeded into a building which consisted of old fold-out tables, concrete floors, and fluorescent lighting. As I entered the building, I was led to a table on which sat a computer monitor. This computer looked to be from the early 90’s.

I had to take a test on this computer. This test would determine whether I would be hired for a particular job. The test didn’t last long. It consisted of maybe five multiple choice questions, some for which you could choose multiple answers. However, the questions were unreasonably timed, and the computer screen was cloudy. This made it almost impossible to choose the correct answer.

 

Application Part 1

By Chris McKinney

When we go through a season of testing, we will often experience confusion (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). We have an enemy that does not fight fair. Often, we will feel like the test is rigged for us to fail. But, while the enemy may play a part in the testing, he has no part in grading the test. Your Dad is the one grading the test. He’s looking at your heart, not your performance (Luke 22:60-62, John 21:15-17).

 

More to Come

What you’ve just read is the first part of a series. The series is based on a single dream deBrandon Willis had. When Chris McKinney read about the dream, he recognized a possible application for people who are moving into their calling.

We hope the Lord will use this “Called To Write Dream Series” to speak to individuals and Christian writing groups as you discover your purpose and journey toward your calling. Hopefully, you can recognize yourself or your group in one of the different phases and be encouraged that God is at work. It could also help you anticipate the types of challenges that may arise.

If you would like to get a weekly summary of our blog posts, email offers for free and discounted content, and other awesome stuff, please sign up for our email list here. We respect your privacy, and we typically will not send more than one or two emails per week.   

Team Colors

Beautiful beads, each color separate in its own tackle box, covered Genia’s dining room table. Excitedly she shared her collection with us, helping us find beads, charms, and pendants fitting the vision for our pieces.

In our ladies’ meetings at Genia’s home, we often make jewelry. I was excited because I wanted to make a pink bracelet this time to match my new pink sweater.

Abbie and her daughter, Mary Grace, were each consumed with making beautiful long necklaces with pendants. The rest of us were making bracelets.

I sought for the right pink beads for some time, finding none that worked. All around me, beautiful jewelry was being created, but I had made nothing. I usually made two bracelets each time, but my creativity was taking a siesta.

I saw myself respond differently than I would’ve in the past.

First, if it weren’t coming together, I would normally have put it aside until another time. Now, my group wouldn’t allow me to give up because they knew how much I wanted that bracelet. They know I tend to withdraw and feel hurt when I stand out as different in a group of people. They wanted me to feel a part of the fun and be happy about what I’d created. Thus, the encouragement began.

Second, I would normally get frustrated and take on an independent demeanor, becoming offended at people trying to help, wanting it to be all my idea.

Instead, the changes birthed in me through my writing small group this semester quickly became evident. I began to desire and ask for their input!

Cathy found pink rocks! They were so pretty and just the right shade! They were tiny, so Genia suggested a different cord for them. I found multi-colored beads that resembled the earth from space with their blue and green shades. I added some transparent pink crystal beads in between. Slowly it was coming together! Cathy found the perfect green bead. Karen suggested other beads and gave opinions on the ones I’d chosen. I would typically make it very matched and symmetrical, but Genia’s more free-form artistry influenced me. Ginger suggested one of the tiny crosses she had used on her bracelet, which looked so lovely with the beads she had chosen. I chose a pink one and was amazed to see a beautiful bracelet come together!

I realized some key things that night indicating a huge change in me.

Throughout the semester, I’ve been part of a writing small group. We set up a website and have been submitting our writing to each other for editing and ultimately, publishing our pieces.

When my bracelet didn’t come together, I found I craved the feedback, suggestions, and support of my fellow artists who knew how important it was to me that my work was beautiful.

Like my writing group, what my ladies’ group offered to me brought more color and dimension to what I could do on my own. As a team, we came up with the colors.

Team colors.

As individuals, we had separate ideas. Together, we made a beautiful, sparkly bracelet. I wanted a pink one, but I got a bracelet with complimentary colors that looked much better together. Sort of like my writing group and my ladies’ group.

The Lord brought the point home to me further when I remembered a story from the Easter service at Church of the Highlands.

I was touched as Pastor Chris showed two photos that inspired the colors spelling out ‘Easter’ on the front of the worship guide. The first showed a dry, brown desert scene. The second showed that same desert after an unusually heavy rain. As far as the eye could see, pastel colors had sprung up all over, pink, green, blue, and yellow.

Desert bloom photo source: skyglowproject.com

When I later ran across the worship guide in my Bible, I realized what drew me about the colors in the bracelet I had made. Except for yellow beads, which I wanted, but were not available at the time I made the bracelet, all the colors in the photo were reflected in the bracelet!

I later added yellow beads to my bracelet to complete the team colors. I ran that idea by the ladies in my group and showed them the yellow beads I’d purchased.

We are a team, after all!

 

Are you part of a team? Why not form your own Christian writing small group today? It’s a lot of fun!     

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Writing My First Christian Book: 5 Things I Learned

For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed writing. Even as a little girl, I wrote short stories and poetry. If I did not have my notebook with me when a great idea came to mind, I would write my stories on napkins. I also enjoy reading, and I knew that one day I wanted to write my own book. However, I had no clue what I would write about or how the publishing process worked.

Years later, in 2014, I began to sense more strongly that God wanted to use me through my writing. I had a few ideas in mind, but I wasn’t exactly sure what His plan entailed. I prayed diligently about my next steps and in 2015, God placed it in my heart to begin writing my first book.

At the time, I was in college, working a part-time job, and being paid minimum wage. I didn’t know how everything would work out or if I would be able to afford it, but I truly believed that God had asked me to do this. So, I decided to walk by faith and trust Him throughout the entire process. It has been a challenging yet fulfilling journey, and I have grown so much along the way.

Here are some things I’ve learned:

 

  1. Prayer

As a Christian writer, your greatest asset is a genuine relationship with God. He shares wisdom, insight, and creative ideas with those who are willing to listen and learn. God has the ability to reveal something to you in one moment, that may have taken hours to research and learn on your own.

Before and after I wrote anything that would be in my book, I prayed. Not only are we held accountable for our words, but I also wanted to make sure that my words were crafted in a way that was welcoming, genuine and relatable. Pray for your message and the impact it will have on those who read it.

 

  1. Purpose

God has a great purpose for calling you to write. He crafted you with special gifts and unique characteristics. No one else on this earth can do what God has called you to do, quite like you can. It simply won’t be marked by the beauty of your individuality. That idea you can’t stop thinking about, or the story you’ve been working on, will be a blessing to someone else.

However, if you choose not to answer God’s call, He will find someone else to fulfill that specific need in His Kingdom. Life goes on, and so does purpose.

 

  1. Prioritize

God is serious about your writing. Are you? If writing is what you truly believe God has called you to do, are you putting in the time and effort that is necessary to work on your assignment? Even if you don’t write every day, I suggest writing consistently and making it a priority. I have found it extremely helpful to make time to write, as opposed to finding time to write. I knew this was something that God had asked me to do, and I wanted to show Him that I had a serious and willing heart.

 

  1. Preparation

The hard work of a Christian author is not over once the manuscript is written. There are practical aspects to consider when writing a book. If I can be transparent, I could have spent much more time researching the process. There is quite a bit of strategic planning which must take place in regard to editing, formatting, publishing and promoting. When I write, I feel as though I am doing exactly what God has called me to do. However, preparation is just as important as writing.

 

  1. Pressure

You will face trials when you write a book that honors God. Do not allow those trials to discourage you or cause you to quit. They were designed to develop you and make you stronger. Everyone’s story will be different, but the most challenging part of my writing process was overcoming fear and shame. I chose to be vulnerable so that I could reach as many people as possible. That was not an easy thing for me to do, and God was still teaching me many of the things that I was writing about. He brought me to a place where I was comfortable sharing my story, and I began to understand that my writing was not about me, but the people who would be reading it. Again, God has purpose in mind when He calls you to something, and He will equip you with everything you need to fulfill that purpose.

 

As Christians, we are called to walk by faith. If you believe God is leading you to write a Christian book, go for it! God will bless you with the resources and support you need. He is ready to guide you beyond your comfort zone and into purpose!

If you would like to get a weekly summary of our blog posts, email offers for free and discounted content, and other awesome stuff, please sign up for our email list here. We respect your privacy, and we typically will not send more than one or two emails per week.   

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