On Tuesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your dreaming stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are thrilled to welcome Tanner Olson, who shares the important reminder that no matter what we are facing, God helps us write a story worth sharing.
At the age of 23 life came to a halting stop as I found myself at an unexpected crossroads in life. At the time this crossroads felt more like a roadblock with no hope of ever getting back on the road. I was a single guy, living alone in a new city hundreds of miles from my family, and had recently been released from my first full-time job out of college. Oh, and days before being fired my free subscription to Netflix ran out.
Devastation and confusion ensued while I desperately began to search for answers. In my wondering those around me would tell me without hesitation that, “God has a plan.” Many would quote Jeremiah 29:11 in an attempt to bring comfort, but would ultimately lead to the end of our depressing conversation, rather than the start of a hopeful one. Don’t get me wrong, I believe God does have a plan, but I didn’t know what it was and I needed to find a glimmer of hope to help pull me through this unexpected struggle.
Most days I woke to aching wonder, contemplating what purpose I had, if any. My current strangling state of constant struggle was defeating me spiritually and emotionally. Most days I wanted to give up, but prayed, asking God to keep me clinging to His hope. I knew something needed to change; that this wasn’t how life was meant to be lived. Exhausted from attempting to answer badgering questions I put my sadness aside and decided to live for something more.
I stopped, got up, prayed God would give me the courage to press on, and chased after life.
And so I went.
With the guidance of a mentor, I did as he encouraged, and began to chase my dreams and purse my passions. From a young age I had been interested in writing and thought I could offer the world something positive and honest. One winter morning I turned the page and began to write a new chapter in life, hoping to begin living a better story. After pouring myself a fresh cup of coffee I scratched up the internet, created a blog, and became a writer.
My God-Sized Dream was beginning to come alive.
As an unemployed, coffee addict I would spend mornings, afternoons, and evenings writing at different coffee shops; eventually landing a job at one. One passion turned into another and before long blogging led to writing and performing spoken-word poetry. Writing and performing became more than an outlet, but a classroom and friend. Blank pages invited me to be honest with the world, allowing me to shed the skin of the person I was, encouraging me to become a better version of myself.
Looking back I can see how God carried me through my struggle. He wasn’t absent, but remained active and faithfully present as he helped write a story worth sharing. We can call it a crossroads or a struggle, but no matter where we stand in life God continues to reveal His love as He steps with you. His plan will forever remain more than we can understand, yet when we see Him for who He is, we recognize that hope is alive in the midst of struggle.
And where there is hope, there is an invitation to dream. (<====Click to Tweet)
My God-Sized Dream has never been to become rich and famous.
My God-Sized Dream has never been to be re-tweeted by _____ or followed on Instagram by ______.
If you ask me what my God-Sized Dream is, it’s simple: To write, speak, and live honest words of love.
I’d like to write something that allows us to see Jesus from a different angle.
I’d like to put thoughts into a book and in 50 years find it in the rough piles of a used bookstore.
I’d like to speak something honest that grasps vulnerability and love, reaching like hands to the lost and broken.
I’d like to live a life that points to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Most of all it is my dream to love others better. (<====Click to Tweet)
And maybe sit down with you for a cup of coffee so we can help each other see that our crossroads are just roads under construction taking us a different way to a better destination.
Tanner Olson, a native of Oviedo, Florida, is a writer, spoken-word poet, speaker, and full-time dreamer. He currently serves at Camp Luther in Northern Wisconsin as their Program Director. In his free time he writes, travels, runs, and drinks black coffee. He is currently working on his first book and his second spoken-word album. You can keep up with Tanner on Twitter and Instagram and follow his writing and poetry on Facebook or at www.writtentospeak.com.
Do you have a God-sized Dream story to tell? We’d love to have you share your journey with us!
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