Friday, October 11, 2013

Boulevard of Broken Dreams…

Is this where you are? Have you been here?

Has the past taught you to dream big . . . or dream safe?

I feel like for many of us, and even some of the best and most passionate writers I have ever had the pleasure to know, we cut ourselves off at the knees. We let doubt and fear and those pesky little odds and insecurities creep in and derail our dream. Have you? Have you been wondering, after those rejections come back to chip away at you . . . am I fooling myself? Wasting my time? Will my words ever see print?

For most of my life I didn't dream of becoming a best-selling novelist. I didn't even dream of becoming a writer. I was a singer. And that dream, for so long, was completely tangled up with my identity. In some ways, it will always be a part of who I am. But, my life without pursuing music . . .

Is it devastating? Void? Am I itching with every stalled note in my chest to stand before a crowd and pour out my song? Am I heartbroken?

No. I love music. Love to sing and worship and belt and harmonize. I LOVE it. But that dream of my youth dwindled and found its place in the real world.

Now I have a new dream... Isn't it great how, at any point in time, God can birth something new in you? He can expose a passion you didn't even know existed. I write. Not only because I love it. Because I do. I also love music. And running. And baking. But the simple truth is, I simply can’t not write! So this is my dream. And for however long it’s mine to hold, I’m gonna make it BIG!

Let’s face it… dreams can be brutal. I mean, can you imagine how foolish some of the greatest minds in the world must have felt… failing time and again? Having people ridicule them for their ludicrous theories and ideas. But imagine what we would be missing if they listened to the wrong critic... if they let go too soon.

On the other end…
A hard truth of life is that sometimes dreams don’t come true.

But maybe we just haven’t found the dream that God has for us. And whether it’s writing, or something else, you've just got to trust that the one who gave you those dreams will help you see when to hold them tight… fight with everything you have, get beaten down a hundred times before you see that beautiful thing take off into greatness.

Or... trust Him to know when to let go of those lovely detours, or maybe just see them for what they are, and find what you were meant to do.

Don’t hide your dreams in a safe place. Don't let the enemy steal something that is meant to be yours. Be bold. TRUST that the one who knows the desires of your heart has a great plan for the right dream. The right spouse. The right job. The right house. The right future. HIS way.

I’d love to hear from you…Have you ever wanted something that, in hindsight, you’re grateful you didn't get? Do you have any dreams that have carried on from your childhood? Have they changed? And how do you stay encouraged when your dream feels like a sinking ship?

Amy Leigh Simpson writes Romantic Suspense that is heavy on the romance, unapologetically honest, laced with sass and humor, and full of the unfathomable Grace of God. She is the completely sleep deprived mama to two little mischief makers and would challenge anyone to a cutest family contest. Represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

Amy, what a beautiful, encouraging post. I used to want to sing for a living, too. :) But, God's plans were different than mine, and I'm so glad. Knowing me, had I pursued it too hard, and God had given it to me as his second best, I probably would have fallen apart.

I love that He knows His best for us. And it's so much better than the dreams we create for ourselves.

I love writing, and I'm so thrilled God brought me out of my fear of failure to pursue it. When I am discouraged, I tend to flounder a bit, but then I pray and usually talk with a friend who helps me see things in a different light. I'm so glad this journey isn't truly a solitary one. :)

Unknown said...

Amy, this is fantastic. FANTASTIC. I've had a similar thing pop up in both books I've written so far--an underlying thread of, "I had this dream, but I think maybe God is giving me a new dream." I even sort of laughed when it came out in the second story, because I thought, "Again, God? Are you saying something to me here?" :)

And I LOVE your challenge to dream big and dream boldly. I'm all about that. I think sometimes in a quest not to be disappointed or feel negative emotions, we try to convince ourselves things don't matter. We don't let ourselves hope too much or whatnot. But I feel like the big dreams are worth the big emotions--disappointments and all.

Anyway, I'm rambling now, but I really loved your post!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Jeanne, I didn't know you were also a singer! I think about what my life would have been like had God fullfilled that dream... not a life I would have wanted. It would have cost me the things that matter the most. Difficult to see at the time. That's why I am so glad someone else is in charge of my life... and my destiny. :)

Soo very excited to see what God has in store for your writing dream!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Melissa, how funny! God knows how thick we can be sometimes, I guess. I seldom catch what he's trying to teach me the first time around. Or the second. Or the third, unfortunately. And your book is in my TBR pile! Can't wait!

And I agree. Sometimes, after we've been burned by failure, we tuck our dreams into this safe little box where it can't grow and become something too big or too risky. I've done this, and let me tell you, it robs all the joy out of that gift and smothers it before it becomes anything special.

Thanks so much for your response. Even the rambling. Made me smile. Glad it struck a chord. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Wonderful post, Amy! I first wanted to write as a child. A teacher encouraged me to write a book. Took me a LONG time, but I actually typed it out and sent it in to a publisher for kids fiction. Got a lovely rejection letter and then my dream sat dormant for about 25 years when I suddenly got the itch to write again.

And I am delighted to say (for those of you who haven't read it on Facebook) that my dream is finally coming TRUE! I just signed a contract with White Rose Publishing for 2 contemporary romances!!!! So excited!! YAY!

Perseverance, trust and prayer can accomplish some amazing things!

I know you all will achieve your dreams too!


Angie Dicken said...

Ah, you've been peeking into my heart?? This is beautiful, Ames. I am so thankful that my perspective on my dream was made clear a few months ago, and I realized it was for keeps and God delights in it! Knowing that, makes me so happy that I was told no in the past, because God hadn't grown me yet. I needed the years of rejection and growing pains to come to the reality that God's got this. Those detours were blessings in disguise. Yes, doubt still creeps to mind, but I feel like my feet are firmly planted and doubt no longer makes me tumble. Thanks for this post! You are beautiful inside and out!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh , what great testimony, Susan!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ang, I must confess... In some part this post was inspired by you! Your an amazing writer, with such a natural gift, and I felt like you were putting in this cramped little box that was already filled up with all your self doubt. God has great dreams to fulfill for you, mama! Dream big! You're destined for greatness!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

And thank you so much for sharing your story. Gods timing is always right! What great reminder!