The Question Every Dreamer Asks: God, Should I Continue?

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I didn’t want the open the email. The subject line said it all.

“Thank you…”

After a few years pursuing this writing stuff, I knew what those two words meant.

“Thank you but no thank you.”

“Thank you but this doesn’t meet our needs at this time.”

“Thank you, and please try again.”

My finger hovered over the delete button before sending the words off into cyber space oblivion. I opened the Word document for an article I was finishing and the cursor blinked, mocking me.

Why do you continue with this craziness? It’s not going anywhere. You’re wasting your time.

I slammed the laptop shut and busied myself with chores. At least I could do something right. After an hour the laundry was done, the dishes were put away and I was ready to pick up my youngest from school. And I was on time, a tiny miracle all by itself.

But I still couldn’t get the nagging voices of doubt out of my head. I knew instead of mulling over the situation and getting nowhere, I should bring it before God.

Do I continue to pursue this dream, God? Is this something you want?

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I was deathly afraid the answer would be “no,” but I asked anyway. I needed to know, one way or the other.

Sometimes when we come face to face with our fears, God speaks to us through a friend. Other times it’s through a song or a sermon.

The ways He speaks are as limitless as He is, but he’s always trying to reach our hearts.

On this particular day, He spoke to me through a story. And this storyteller loves stories.

It takes place during the years of the Old Testament when Samuel led the Israelites, and they’re facing an intimidating enemy who won’t stop pursuing them: the Philistines. In a moment of desperation Samuel cries out to God, and God delivers the Israelites from battle. (1 Samuel 7:9)

While this victory was impressive all by itself, God doesn’t stop there. Scripture tells us that for the the rest of Samuel’s reign, God suppresses the Philistines and there is peace.

To celebrate their victory, Samuel doesn’t just praise God and thank Him. He doesn’t count his blessings and move on. He builds a memorial.

He builds an altar to the Lord and names it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12)

As I read over this testimony of God’s faithfulness, I knew what God was asking me to do.

Stop focusing on the mountain in front of you and look at what I’ve brought you through.

We often get so focused on the obstacles, the next hurdle or project that we forget how far we’ve come. We forget to celebrate. We forget to slow down and take stock of the blessings God has poured into our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I need to stop obsessing over roadblocks and start building altars. More reminders that even when the cards seem stacked against me, God is faithful.

If I could attain each goal on my own, I wouldn’t need God. I wouldn’t need faith. And God wouldn’t get the glory, which is why I went down this crazy path in the first place.

Friend, the next time God brings you through a battle, remember to stop and take notice. Then, create a reminder. Build an altar, write it in your journal, or mark the date on your calendar. Do whatever it takes to commit it to memory.

The next trial will surely come, but we can face it with sureness of God’s power.

When we remember what God helped us overcome, the mountain in front of us goes from threatening to surmountable.

 

GIVEAWAY:

Congrats to Elaine Tomasello! You are the winner of last week’s giveaway and will be receiving a smart power bank and Hope & Joy mirror keychain! I will be contacting you soon to get your shipping info. Thanks for reading!

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19 thoughts on “The Question Every Dreamer Asks: God, Should I Continue?

  1. I love how God will bring about those moments that are clearly from Him – little reminders of His sovereignty and direction in our lives. What a great idea to write them down or mark them on a calendar. So when doubt begins to creep in (as it often does) we will be prepared with our memorial of what He’s done. Amen!

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  2. Your words are a song to my heart today Abby. Yes, that’s how I’ve been feeling. I need to build my altar of thanks today. He’s brought me this far.
    Thanks friend.
    Love you more than you know.

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    • So blessed to hear that, friend. You keep writing because I know I for one would surely miss your words if you stopped! And I know many others who would as well. Love you back. xoxo

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  3. Oh Abby, this is just so beautiful. Moreso to me since I’d recently asked God the same question, “Do you really want me to continue with this?” And I was so afraid He’d say “no,” but He said, “yes!” Love this: “I don’t know about you, but I need to stop obsessing over roadblocks and start building altars. “

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    • I loved hearing your testimony of God’s faithfulness in how He answered your prayer. So beautiful. And I for one am thankful he gave you that answer in such a tangible way. Amazing.

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  4. So glad I came across your post this morning. It helped me remember I’m not the only one who has ever experienced doubt and fear when pursuing purpose. But more than that, it was a blessed reminder of God’s faithfulness in this very area in times past, and not just the area of purpose but all areas of life. He truly is in all the details. What an assurance! Please continue to share. Grace and peace to you!

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    • Thank you for stopping by, Cara-Marie. Praising God that you were encouraged. Yes, God truly is in the details and He shows me this more and more each day. Blessings to you and have a great weekend.

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  5. Great post, Abby, and love the photos! (I have aeroplane parts stacked around the house waiting for me to become well enough to work on them again…yes, a dream.)

    As illness has increasingly ground me down, I’ve been tempted to give up on my dreams, and my internal dialogue sometimes goes along the lines of “Why bother? Why expend all that energy in something that’ll never come true?”

    And while that factually may be true, the reality is that attainment of the dream doesn’t matter, because it’s not ‘mine’ anyway.

    I see dreams as an obligation both to God and to the community. To God, as a concrete sign of faith that this existence is indeed worth what we may pay for it in pain and disappointment; and to the community as a shared vision we can use to encourage one another to take that one more step.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/09/your-dying-spouse-206-pneumonia.html

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    • Andrew, thank you for sharing. I think there are many ways we glorify God that we’ll never realize on this side of eternity, and we just have to trust the gentle nudge we receive from Him to keep pressing forward. I keep remembering how each life matters, even when the impact seems small. And yes, it isn’t about you or me, but the community and God.

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  6. Abby, I am so glad I was nudged to read your post today. Your words have been something I need to hear always just when I hear them. There are so many ways we can build alters of Thanksgiving to God. Today I am so grateful for you and the words that you write. Keep it up!

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  7. So encouraging! I have felt this many times, and I have asked many times the same question. He always tells me to keep going because it isn’t about my success; it’s about the few people I reach along the way. Sometimes plans are small to us, but God sees a few people being led to Him, and that’s BIG. I love this post!

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    • Amen, Rachel! Such truth and yes, every life matters. I try to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I write. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

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  8. Love this: “The ways He speaks are as limitless as He is, but he’s always trying to reach our hearts.” It’s so true. I love what you said about building altars. That’s so true of my life when I become obsessive about something that is not meant to grow me. Take heart. He has overcome the world. So glad I visited today. Have a blessed weekend, Abby!

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  9. I’m glad you’re continuing on and building those beautiful altars of remembrance. Amen, friend. You’re such a gifted writer, I praise God for the gift in you.

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