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June 02, 2010

Phases to Your Dream-Come-True...

God on the water  

Happy Wednesday, Dear Friends!

Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. I was supposed to announce the winner for May last week but it slipped my mind since I was writing my blog post while on vacation. :)

May's winner for the $10.00 Starbucks giftcard is...Megan Kaeb! 

Congratulations, Megan! Just email me your mailing address and we'll get your gift card in the mail. Thanks for being a part of this online community.

Win an I-pod Shuffle!

Just a reminder to you, my friends: I am giving away a 4G I-pod Shuffle in July. How do you win? Pick up a copy of my newest book, "Growing Grateful Kids" - post a review on Amazon and send me the link. Contact me for more information.

Now on to my topic...

Maybe you've read the famous Hudson Taylor quote before. I love this quote: I have found there are three stages to every great work of God: It is impossible; then it is difficult; then it is done. 

This has certainly been true in my own life. What about you?

Years ago - right in the midst of the worst parts of my battle with Lyme Disease (and the financial stress that followed), God put it in my heart to write a book. I knew that my budding dream was from Him because it was way out of my comfort zone, it made my heart beat faster; it stirred up all kinds of fear and excitement and anticipation; and wise mentors confirmed the gifts within me. And yet, I still had a process to go through in order to lay hold of such a promised land.

Currently, I am in a new place, about to lay hold of a new land, and here again, I find myself in the familiar place of unfamiliarity. If I hadn't walked through this series of emotions and feelings before, I'd be tempted to think that maybe I'm not suited for this next place. 

If you have dared ventured to a new place that God has for you, I'm sure you've encountered the same questions and feelings. But we must remember, the Bible says that even Moses felt like a foreigner in his Promised Land. Even though we have promised places to lay hold of, it doesn't mean that we'll lay hold of those new places without effort, obstacles, and whole lot of conflicting emotions.

Many years ago, out of the ashes of my pain, my writing career started this way: I self published my first book, then I started writing for Focus on the Family, and then I was contracted to write a devotional journal. All of those steps were necessary and exciting steps in their own way. But when my first big book contract finally came through (the thing I was dreaming about), I was utterly surprised by my first emotional response. You know what I felt? Instantly depressed. Does that make any sense at all?

It didn't to me either until I heard a story about when Beth Moore received her first contract. She knelt down on the floor and cried - not for joy - but out of sheer terror that she might fail the Lord in some way. That's exactly how I felt. 

When the dream is far away, it is typical to experience intermingles feelings of excitement and impatience. But when the dream is suddenly within your grasp, and it starts to touch your human-ness - and you become very aware of your own potential to make a mess of things - well that's just downright scary.

As far as I can see, the phases of our 'dream-come-true' journey look like this:

A dream far off - exciting, waiting, wondering, impatience

A dream up close - fear, second-guessing ourselves, stepping out of our known zone and into the learning zone, wondering about the cost now that the dream is so close, wondering if God made a mistake in choosing us; we can't go back - we're not the same after having this dream - but feeling unsure and unsteady about moving forward.

A dream realized - once we begin to take the land and we find a new normal, our learning zone becomes our known zone, we become more seasoned and strengthened to stand in this place, but not without effort, fatigue, faith, and trust; we wouldn't have it any other way, and yet, no one but God knows what it took for us to step and step out like we did. This is the life of faith.

Anne Ortlund wrote these beautiful words: Lift up your eyes. Your heavenly Father waits to bless you - in inconceivable ways to make your life what you never dreamed it could be.

Dream big. Dream with Him. Then walk forward unafraid - to places you've never been. Be willing to be stretched and strengthened. Embrace the unknown places with Jesus at your side and experience God's miracle of life working in and through you. What a way to live.

God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (Ephesians 3:20).

~Until next week.


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Dear (Prada?),

Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by. I'm so grateful that you enjoy this blog. May God continue to speak to you through the messages posted here.

Blessings to you!

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I know that God delights in using people like you! Your passion, faithfulness, and conviction are like fertile soil for Him to plant a harvest that is one hundred times greater than your natural ability! Disproportionate to your weaknesses! And totally conceivable because you walk with God! Bless you, bless you!


Bless your heart! On one hand, you are completely normal (as far as being in the midst of the sameness of walking out your dream, and struggling with the sameness of it all, while dreaming of that next place God has for you), and yet, you're exceptional in your love for God and your desire for His highest and best will in your life. You must know that He is SO proud to call you His own! Be at peace once more, my friend, for the Lord has been good to you, and He'll be good to you again. Glad you stopped by. :)

Dear Jill,

Good for you for stepping out and stepping in to your dream! I remember when I self-published my first book, it was altogether scary and wonderful, and such an important first step in my writing journey. May God continue to establish you and make you hugely fruitful!


Thanks for sharing your powerful insights, and YES, it makes perfect sense! God is with you! Plant those seeds of faith, let the 'waiting' seasons send your roots down deep; soon and very soon you will see incredible growth, fruit, and break through! Blessings to you, my dear!

Ha ha. Thanks for the post, Pam!

You are not alone!


Dear Kimberlee,

I've said this before, but you are a brave, wonderful, faith-filled woman. May God seem especially close to you in the coming days. Please keep us posted on how you're doing and how we can be praying for you.
Bless you~

Dear Nikki,

Congratulations! That is wonderful! What an honor and encouragement for work well-done. I'm excited for you! May God continue to fill you up with peace and faith as you move ahead and step into the things He has for you! Blessings!

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for your note! YES! Put fear under your feet! Walk forward unafraid, and when you're tempted to look down and be self-aware, choose to look up instead, and be God-aware! (Talkin' to myself here, too). :)
Blessings to you!

Dear Sweet Helen,

You have such a way with words. I'm so thankful that God has honored me with the privilege of speaking into your life. You are a precious soul and I can clearly see why God intends to use you mightily.
Bless you, sister.

Dear Teri,

So nice to meet you! Again, your blog post moved me to tears. I posted it on my FB page. May God continue to establish you, open doors for you, and fill you with more of Himself. You are His treasure! Blessings to you~

Dear Anonymous,

That verse has been foundational in my faith journey. In my weakness HE is strong in me! What a concept. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Susie! He is navigating me to this dream......it is surreal. I am glad to hear you are ready to take hold of your next promised land that is encouraging and timely for me as well. Today, God refreshes me with your words and I am humbled as well, that He would use me, and now maybe in the fear phase, but have too had those phases of depression along the way feeling so unqualified and does He know what he is doing? Is this a set up? Ha Ha!
I'm taking hold of more than I could ever imagine~ amen to Ephesians 3:20. I can smell it coming! It is good, very good to hear your testimony of these phases and know I am not alone! Oh, I loved hearing your stories of how your job description for the Lord unfolded:) I can't wait to hear about your next place Susie!! Praising God today with you Susie for what he is empowering in your life!

Susie, I know one of your many ministries is to mothers. Coming to your site, today, for an encouraging word for this weary mom who is seeking the life the Lord has promised- one of joy and purpose. I was thinking this past month about how God had Abraham and Sarah wait so long for a promised baby that by the time it came she was laughing about it. Sometimes we wait a long time for something, and get worn out, and cynical whilest waiting. We still get it the promised gift, but we sitting around being cynical when it comes. So glad that is not your story. My thought from the Lord lately has been that I need to be trusting that God is giving me what He has for me today, BUT that it is not ALL that He has planned for me. Greater things are yet to come. (A very comforting thought for a mom of 3 youngins who are spitting up on her clothes, exercising their independence with such words as "MINE!" and "NO", and whining about having to eat "real food" on a daily basis) ;0) Thank you for your reminder that the 3 phases (of living out your purpose) are normal and that the phase of "a dream far off" is actually part of the process. Wish you lived next door Susie! :) That is my far-off dream today. :) Have a blessed day!

Susie, I sit here with tears in my eyes; your words describe where I'm at - I too have self-published a book - a very scary step that progressed just like you described. And now God never leaves us where we're at - beginning to think the 'uncommon' woman is never the 'comfortable' woman! Thank you for the encouragement today - God spoke to my heart with your words. Blessings to you and thanks for setting an example for those of us following behind. ~ Jill

Thank you SO much Susie. My daily, if not minutely, challenge as of late is to remain under what God has for me today and to believe in what I hope for, and abide in the certainty of what I do not see. There's tension between remaining-under and faith to dream/believe. I'm realizing God uses the "abrasiveness" of the tension to refine us and to till the soil of our hearts through our circumstances. My roots cannot grow deeper into the soil unless I remain and allow the tension, which is really growth, to take place. Does that make sense? For Is. 61:3 to take place, to become "an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor", as the roots grow deeper (which is our faith to keep-on keeping on!), they are pushing beyond hard soil and rocks (which are obstacles for growth: my oppositions are fears, doubts, insecurities, etc.) and the roots must go down deeper in the soil (or it'll be shallow and wont withstand the storms); it's thru this process, I'm learning, the tree can then grow upward, outward, stronger and displaying more fruit for the Kingdom. I need to keep believing/dreaming big, even where God has me today, knowing each step of faith is a step forward.

I hope this makes sense!! But I was sooooo blessed by this Word~ God is truly faithful and we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living!

I love knowing that my weird reactions to situations are not as unique as I thought. phew!

My verse!! (Eph 320-21) :)
Even though this was written with something more hopeful in mind, it still spoke to me, when I think that I may face grieving. That is my unknown territory. But I know how faithful God is, and I know He will be with me through it. But the unknown is always the scariest. I love that H. Taylor quote! That is how I feel about the miracle He can do. He is the only one who can make these ashes into something beautiful. And Laura Story writes a song that echoes my soul, Make Something Beautiful with my life.

this is an amazing post. I'm in that place and feel all those feelings you mentioned. excitement...fear...I self published my first book with so much apprehension and it's recently been shortlisted for a literary award. When He calls...I just want to move forward with Him. Thanks for this awwesome post Suzie.


Thank you for writing these words down! You don't know how many times I've been to the dream up close to only get busy with something else. Today, I am there again with so many doors open to me. I have to put the fear of failure and of not enough aside and let God do the rest in me.

I had no idea that my reaction to my current circumstances was to be expected. (My dream is coming true right in front of my eyes, and my emotions about it have sometimes been a bit depressed.) I've been feeling like an ungrateful freak, which increased my sense of unworthiness, and the idea that, "There must be some mistake!"

This is why you are my de facto mentor. I have no one else to tell me this stuff, but you change my life on a weekly basis. So thank you.

:-) H.

WOW! You have NO idea how I needed to hear your story today. God has been speaking to me VERY loud the past couple of days to be obedient to what he's calling me to do. I'm clearly at the dream up close stage and 'shaking in my boots' - self doubt, fear and embarking on NEW territory. I've been struggling with procrastination and the concept of "who am i?" Why ME?? REALLY? THANK YOU for sharing this today. I truly appreciate your wisdom and transparency. May God continue to bless you as YOU ARE a HUGE blessing to others! Teri

2 Corinthians 12:9b has a profound amount of wisdom:

"My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

It is comforting to know that we don't ever have to rely on our strengths, just on our faith in God, and faith that He means what He says.

Thanks for the always timely encouragements Susie!

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