Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God, the Dream Maker

I am slightly unhinged, 5’9 proof of God’s immeasurable grace. 

Since coming to know Him in my early 20s, God has always ‘wowed’ me. Even when I’ve veered from Him and made mistakes leading to difficult consequences, God has always answered my prayers, come to my rescue, and blessed me so much more than I deserve. 

I’ve always been aware of God’s faithfulness and provision. But, this past year, I’ve literally been awestruck as my greatest dream has come true. A book I wrote in my stained-pink bathrobe, hiding from my kids at night, is about to get published. To me, this is as miraculous as if the Red Sea parted before my very eyes.

Ever since falling in love with a creative writing worksheet in second grade, my greatest aspiration has been to write books. I’ve always written for newspapers and websites, but the thought of actually being an author has always been such a big hope. For years I felt silly even talking about it.

Now that it’s happening, it feels beyond surreal. Every step of the way has been an unbelievable adventure. The fact that after many a rejection, I found an incredible agent who landed me a publishing deal with DC Cook (Francis Chan’s publisher, people!!), who decided to pay for the details of my domestic fails and wayward mothering, still amazes me. How is this happening? Oh yeah. All God.

When I look back on my life, I see so much of God’s grace and blessing, even when I wasn’t aware of it, and even when I wasn’t a Christian. He’s provided for and protected me from so much that could’ve occurred in my younger, wilder years. He didn’t remove consequences of bad decisions, even after I got saved. But he’s been with me, guiding me, giving me peace, and teaching me to gain my strength and joy from him, not outside circumstances. He’s always come through with more than I’ve asked, when I least expected. Always. 

But last year, when I got the call at work from my agent, with an offer for my book, I was so shocked and floored—I nearly cried my way to heaven.

It might seem dramatic to some. After all, thousands of books get published each year, and this isn’t exactly the great American novel. I write about burnt dino nuggets and playdate fails, for goodness sake. Who knows if it’ll even make money. Doesn’t matter. It’s my one dream, and God made it happen.

He made it happen after years of wondering if my hopes were just naïve pipe dreams I was pathetically clinging to in order to feel better about my life. Even after hitting 30 and thinking for sure I’d have written a book by now…what if it’s too late?  I literally forgot a child at my sister’s, last week…who’s gonna read a book by me? But then I remember hearing a voice—clearly not my own—saying, “I believe in you.”

I’ve had a hundred reasons to give up. I wrote half the book in a twin bed, in my old high school bedroom, after moving in with my mother through a marriage separation and the last half of going through a divorce. I felt like a total failure and loser at times, and around every turn came that voice, “Why are you even wasting your time? Look at your life—it’s a mess!”

Exactly the point. I can sit here and honestly say any success I experience comes from God. I did nothing on my own strength—just His. Somewhere between half-written chapters like “Flip-Flops and Barney Songs,” my faith grew and I never gave up, because of Him. We might be tempted to throw in the towel, feeling inadequate or fearful. But He’ll never let us down. He’s the one who planted the abilities, desires, and dreams within our spirits to begin with. We just have to realize that God wants us to succeed even more than we do.

Going through this book process has taught me to never look at our circumstances, however hopeless they seem, and always believe in God’s goodness. God is working and planning for our good, even when we don’t see or feel it. Even when we think we’ve messed it up, veered away from the right path, or think it’s simply too late. Nothing can stop God’s plan for our lives.

Whatever you’re waiting and hoping for, my encouragement would be to trust God that it’ll happen at the right time, in the right way. Keep your eyes on him, and never stop trying. I realize now that I had to mature a little, live through some trials, and claim some victories before I was ready to write some of the spiritual content in my book.

So, as excited and amazed as I feel about my book dream, the real miracle I celebrate daily is God’s amazing, overwhelming, never-ending faithfulness. If He can help turn my written rants about bad babysitters and the horrors of Cub Scouts, He can do anything.

Thank you God, for never giving up, and blessing me…so much more than I deserve.

Copyright © 2017 Jessica Kastner. Used by permission.

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