Do you have a dream or a long-time desire for something? Do you yearn and hope that one day it will come true?
I have dreams. But all of them may not be what’s best for me. God always has a better plan. Sometimes He tells me “yes”. Sometimes He has to tell me “no”, or to wait.
Publishing a book, especially a children’s book, has been a dream of mine for a long time, but I didn’t tell many people. I submitted manuscripts to no avail. My children’s book has been rejected several times. I just wasn’t what they were looking for. (Exact words.) I think of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) who was rejected by over 20 publishers and Norman Bridwell, writer of the Clifford the Big Red Dog books, who was turned away by 15 publishing companies…and I keep going.
My beloved and I decided to go the self-publishing route. I’ve been in the process of it for several months and it’s been more complicated than I thought. (I’m not good at waiting.) I have gone through several stages. Most recently, I received illustrations and even copies of the pages. It’s been surreal and exciting. “I can’t believe this is finally happening!” I’ve whispered to myself again and again.
A few weeks ago, I received a bizarre email from the publishing company. “Hi. Your dream is over. Your book will never be published…” It sounded incredibly harsh. “Wow!” I said aloud to my husband who was across the room. “What?” he asked, looking from the television. I read the email to him. It was just a few curt sentences informing me that the company was in financial trouble, all the employees had been laid off and my book would never be finished. The end. I was stunned.
I got up from the couch and my beloved moved toward me. “It will be OK,” he said taking my hand, ready to give me a hug. “I just need a minute,” I told him and went in the other room. It sounds corny, but it’s the truth: I needed to take a moment to pray. So many things were going through my head. Was this really the end of it? What should I do now? What about the people who were laid off? Had this not been the right thing for me to do? I got down on my knees and started to pray. “God, I have absolutely no idea what to do about this. Please show me what to do.” Believe it or not, I did not cry one tear. I was more shocked than anything.
Returning to the living room, my dear husband told me we would figure out what to do. He really wants to help me realize the dream of publishing a children’s book.
I didn’t tell anybody.
The next morning, in my prayer time, I told the Lord that I wasn’t going to bother Him about my book situation for a few days. For months, I had prayed for my illustrator. I had prayed for the project managers and everybody else I could think of all through the process. I was going to give it all a rest and just wait. As I dusted and cleaned during the day, I still pondered what this meant…or rather what I should next. I had other projects I was working on. The last thing I thought was that people I had told about my book would think I was stupid. Chances are some people already think that. Oh, well.
I emailed someone in the publishing company and told them about the bizarre email. “Is this for real?” I asked.
A couple of days later, I received a message from the Vice President and Director of Production. His email account had been hacked, and that’s why I received the harsh notice. I was so relieved! (Big exhale.) But…it turned out they were going through a restructuring and production will be delayed. At least I’m still an almost author!
Do you have a dream? Has it taken off or are you too afraid to even say it out loud? When was the last time you took a chance? Do you long to go on a mission trip, write a novel or sing in public? What would you attempt if you had the courage?
Dreaming is awesome, but daily I must trust in God’s timing. He always has the best plan for me! Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.”
I’m going to keep submitting manuscripts and contacting publishers for my other projects. Who knows what might happen? In 1995, I dreamed of having a column published in a newspaper!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.