We are in the final days of another year and it is a time to look back at all God has brought us through. I have said it before that this dreaming journey is often crazy and unexpected. We think we know where we are headed and then God veers us off onto a new path, one that He has planned.
That is what happened to me this past year.
I was hoping that 2016 would be easy. I had come off a pretty difficult 2015 and was ready to be done with the “fire.” I knew that there was refinement that needed to take place in my heart, but I was so very weary from the journey that I wanted to quit. But I persisted and continued forward. God had some more work to do in me and I wanted health and healing in my life so it was important to see it through.
While the process was necessary, it left me feeling as though there wasn’t much left in the way of a dream for me. I felt as though I was walking in that wilderness area. I had stepped away from many of my passions and didn’t really know what I was supposed to do.
At the time I was involved in a bible study at my church with some amazing women. These ladies walked with me through some of my darkest moments. They loved and encouraged me. They challenged my view of God, they helped me to seek and find truth. A truth I so desperately needed. We were doing a study on Elijah, the story of how God helped him triumph and then fear pushed him to flee when times got scary. But God met him, even in his lack of faith, and provided for him.
I realized that I was Elijah.
I had run from different things I had once been called to and found myself under my own broom tree, telling God that I was done. And just like God provided for Elijah the nourishment he needed, God did the same with me. It was in a different way than in the story you will find in 1 Kings 19, but nourishment none the less.
My passion for writing was rekindled and my fear over the process was pushed aside.
Late in the spring we started talking about what we wanted to study next and someone in the group mentioned the book Fervent. I had read it through 3 times and it had really changed my perspective on prayer. I was excited about the prospect of reading through it again…I had no idea that God would stir in me a passion to write a companion study for the book.
But that’s just what happened. Early the next morning I woke up and just started writing. Within a very short amount of time, I had typed out 5 of the 12 studies. This was crazy! I don’t write book/bible studies! The book is so well written that it was easy, but this was new territory for me! Before the fear could creep back in I quickly emailed the leaders of the group. This is what I wrote:
I picked up my Fervent book again after we talked about it at Bible study on Tuesday and Wednesday morning when I woke up I just started writing. There are 10 strategies that she writes about and 2 intro chapters. Both of which are full of great information – so this would be a good 12 week study.I started breaking it down into a week at a time and have written 5 weeks so far. This could be used as a guide and companion to the book. I haven’t ever done anything like this before so I have no idea if it is acceptable…and I don’t want to step on any toes either! 🙂 But if we decide to read this book I am willing to prepare something for each weeks study.
They responded with such grace and encouragement and so I set to writing out the additional weeks materials and in the summer led the women in my bible study through the book.
It was an honor to be used in that way. I learned so much during that time but thought that would be it. But as the study wrapped up I felt that stirring once again and one morning I mapped out the outline for a 31 Days series on Fervent Prayer . By the end of August I had over half of my posts written for the October series.
Going through the book a fourth and fifth time added more insight, sharing it with women I respected gave new meaning and depth to what I had already learned. In October I launched my new series. It wasn’t a series that went viral, I didn’t gain new readership or followers because of it…but I found some once lost confidence in the process. A deep passion for prayer was stirred in me that I didn’t expect and again I found myself humbled that God could and would use me to share my experiences on such an incredible topic.
I am finishing out this year grateful. Grateful to have grown. Grateful to have found one of my loves again in writing. I have absolutely no idea what the new year will bring. I have hopes that I might turn my series into an e-book. I am going forward cautiously so that I am certain it is God-led and not Kristin-driven.
This dream of mine was unexpected and came out of nowhere. I want to make sure that I am honoring God in the process because I believe He is the One who brought me to this place.
Friends, I don’t know where you find yourself today, but maybe you too are walking a path that seems unexpected? If you are, I encourage you to be in fervent prayer. Asking God for guidance and direction. He WILL make your paths straight. If we are seeking Him we will be able to align our thoughts and dreams and ideas with His perfect plans for us.
Look back on the last 11 1/2 months and recount all the ways God has been faithful and pray with hope and expectation for what He has in store. I can’t wait to hear about all God will do in you and through you!
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Shared By: Kristin Smith