I dreamed of becoming an author ever since I learned to read. In the fall of 2018, I decided that 2019 would be the year I finally made my dream come true.
I had a title, a detailed chapter outline, and a marketing plan all figured out. I wrote several chapters and sent them to a publisher.
I laid awake dreaming of distributing my practical, new-believer’s handbook written in my pen name, Victoria Grace, in churches all throughout the state.
Those dreams will never come true, but I learned this week that God’s plan for me is so much better than my dream.
What is your dream? Is it the same as God’s plan? How do you know?
His plan came true for me this week, and I’ve learned something about how to follow His lead rather than my fantasy.
Maybe if I tell you what I’ve learned, you’ll find the path to God’s plan for you too.
God is Not the Author of Confusion
While I wrote “15 Practical Ways to Grow in Your Faith” by “Victoria Grace”, I also learned about things like cover design, ISBNs, trim size, and so much more. All while I was going through treatment for breast cancer.
I had a plan and a headache.
One day when I was particularly frustrated and overwhelmed, my husband asked, “Do you want to do this by December 31, or do you want to do it right?”
Sometimes I hate that my husband is so smart!
In God’s Own Time
I leaned on Jesus for peace through treatment and I retreated to my blog for escape.
Writing was my sanctuary.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I know God was using cancer to refine me and my message. His message that He’d planned for me to share with other women searching for peace. Women like you.
God’s Timing is Perfect
When the opportunity appeared, I was ready.
I am now an author in not just one, but two anthologies. The author’s name in those books is not a fictional “Victoria Grace” — it me, Valerie Riese.
I am an author!
The first book came in the mail this week. Holding that book in my hand was pure magic. The colors, the soft touch of the matte cover, the crackle of crisp, new pages turning for the very first time.
I showed my husband and daughter my name, in the list of authors “Look! It’s me!!” I read half of the book that night, and when I turned the page to and saw see my own devotional, my words, in print…
Today I still cannot describe how it feels to see and hold God’s plan for my life in my hands.
What makes these books even more meaningful is the friendships I made working with an amazing group of Christian writers. I learned so much more than the nuts and bolts of publishing.
I journeyed through a process, a very precious labor of love with amazing women who open their hearts to share Jesus’ love with you. And I learned more about myself than I ever would reading publisher’s websites by myself.
How to Trust in God’s Plan for Your Life
God’s plan is so much better than my dream, but that doesn’t mean it was easy.
We’re all familiar with 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”. But do you also know the first part of the sentence, verse 6?
Here’s the whole sentence:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6–7).
Let me who you what I learned by taking this full sentence apart.
I had to let go of my dream. This meant releasing control of doing it my way. I found peace by accepting my husband’s wisdom and, in that moment, I opened the door for God to work.
This is especially hard for a woman with anxiety.
Your greatest fear is that you can’t do it all on your own according to your best-laid plans. And guess what — sometimes you can’t.
God cares for you, so you can trust His plans are better than yours, but first you have to let Him in.
…under the mighty hand of God…
I had to lean on Jesus through the fire and allow Him to refine me. I opened my heart and submitted to the changes He needed to make in me.
Coming under the mighty hand of God is about surrender. You surrender to His plan through prayer, reading His Word, and keeping Him in your daily routine. You can trust Him in such raw vulnerability because He cares for you.
…so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
I am a published author now because I didn’t force my agenda. Instead, I released control and followed His lead.
Ladies, here’s my biggest take-away this week: If it feels forced, then God is not with you. There will be difficulties in this life, but confusion is not of God. If it feels like you’re trying to put a square peg in a round hole, then your dream is not aligned with His plan. It’s time to re-evaluate and seek His guidance. If you stay near Him, you can trust that He will tell you when the time is right, because He cares for you.
…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
I could either trust Jesus or crumble under the fear of the “c” word as I did during previous illnesses. Honestly, I gave Him all my worries because I knew I had no other choice.
My dear sister, I’ve learned that “casting” is an operative, active word, meaning all the above hinges on you taking your worries to Him throughout every day. And this comes from trust, knowing that He cares for you.
4 Scriptures About God’s Perfect Timing
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you (1 Peter 5:6).
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:13).
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires (Psalm 37:3–4).
The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him (Lamentations 3:25).
Trust in God’s Timing Because He Cares for You
I let go of my dream, leaned on Jesus, submitted to Him, allowed Him to change me, and opened my heart to let it happen in His timing.
This week’s victory came only through surrender.
Dear one, please lean on Jesus. Read and study your Bible, if only for a few minutes each day, Go to Him in prayer, and immerse your day in His love.
You can trust His plan over your dream, because He cares for you.