Hopes and Dreams

Got hopes and dreams? It’s the stuff life is made of.

But what happens when our hopes and dreams are put on hold for what feels like forever…say, forty years? Okay, so I didn’t just pick that number by random. That’s how long I have waited to be free to pursue my dream of having a writing and speaking ministry.

I began my first social work job shortly after I became a Christian in 1972. However, my life’s passion has been to share stories of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

My husband and I worked with the Youth Group at our church. Apart from interviewing clients and completing the required forms for my job, my writing and speaking was limited to preparing Sunday school lessons and delivering an occasional devotional.

Ten years later, during a career hiatus to raise my family, I was the volunteer director for a pro-life organization (currently the Life Outreach Center). I spoke to altar societies and various church and community groups and led board meetings. I wrote presentations, a volunteer training manual, and thank-you notes to our supporters.

When I returned to my social work career, an avalanche of paperwork buried me. I worked in the field of Substance Abuse for twenty years. I interviewed and counseled hundreds of clients. I wrote creative treatment plans, progress notes, and endless reports. I created presentations for high school assemblies and senior citizen centers.

I told stories of God’s goodness to my co-workers at the lunch table at work.

On a limited basis, I spoke at retreats and church-sponsored events on evenings and weekends. I was published several times. But I wanted to do so much more.

What has kept me from despairing when my dreams seemed out of reach for the past forty years?  I surrendered my heart’s desire to God. With palms up I offered back the gifts He gave me, giving Him the right to use them how and when He chooses. Robin Mark’s song, “All For Jesus” was my prayer song for the past decade.

I retired nearly three years ago. I am free – free, at last – to pursue my hopes and dreams. My prayer (with all due respect) is: “Put me in, Coach…

In April I signed on with an agent. He is representing my book proposal to a number of publishing houses. A magazine editor is considering an article I submitted. I have a workshop to prepare for the Gitche Gumee Women’s Retreat in September. My website, blog, and Facebook page are up and running. I am even on Twitter.

It’s happening! Actually…it was happening all the time. I see now that I was living my dream – writing and speaking – albeit on a smaller scale and in different venues than I envisioned.

Scripture tells us to not despise the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10). We are also told that if we are faithful with a few things, God will entrust us with many things (Matthew 25:21).

I have learned to dream big, but to never turn aside from humble beginnings.

Consider this: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37: 4-7 NIV).

Today’s Challenge: How about you? Got hopes and dreams in a file marked “Someday”? Have you surrendered the outcome of those dreams to God? Is there some footwork you can do today to take you one step closer to making your dream a reality? My fellow dreamers, God bless as you pursue your hopes and dreams…and as you wait patiently for Him.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Kay Seppala
    Aug 8, 2011

    Kathy, Thanks for sharing your heart. We are all blessed when you write and speak. May God continue to prosper your ministry!

  2. Kathy Fortney
    Aug 10, 2011

    Again, I have been blessed by your thoughts. Thank you and may God continue to use you in a BIG way.

  3. Marilyn Mickelsen
    Aug 22, 2011

    Kathy, God has blessed you with gifts including writing and speaking. Thank you for using these gifts to bring glory to God and to benefit others (including me).

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