I’m Done Chasing Your Dream


Do you ever find yourself getting swept up in the excitement of someone else’s dream?

I love to write. I’ve shared in this space before about what transpired when I faced my fear, picked up a pen, and started writing again. It was like a part of me which had been dead for years finally came back to life.

I started experiencing a joy I never knew existed. This is the first reason I write. Writing does something inside me that nothing else has ever been able to do. As I typed those last few sentences, I started to cry. And simultaneously the scene from the movie Romancing the Stone popped into my mind, the opening scene where Kathleen Turner begins blubbering all over her finished novel.  I’m a mess. 😉 (Thank you, Lord, everyone in my house is still asleep.)

I also write because I hope the words I share or the stories I relay might make a difference in at least one person’s life (other than mine). About the same time I started writing, I had this overwhelming desire to inspire others with my testimony. I wanted to spread hope and encouragement with my words.

To go back to my original thought…do you ever find yourself getting swept up in the excitement of someone else’s dream?

I know I do. Over the past couple of years I’ve had the beautiful opportunity to rub shoulders (at least through my computer screen) with other writers. I love it. I have learned so much from being in community with other folks whose passion in life is to make a difference with their words. But I have this huge tendency to quietly hold onto a very unhealthy misconception:

If you can’t or don’t move this way or that way, you have somehow failed at your craft.

I’m tired of secretly feeling this way. No one has ever told me this. It’s simply the pressure I put on myself. I get caught up in believing that in order for my words and message to be “good enough” then I have to strive for more.  And, not just more…but somebody else’s idea of more.

Then I go about attempting to fit a round peg into a square hole. It’s exhausting and not in a fun way either. I begin chasing after things I don’t really want…all because I get caught up in somebody else’s really cool dream.

It’s taken me 40 years, but I’m beginning to figure something out.

I am not a failure because I don’t have the same drive inside of me.

On a side note, I had to figure this out about scrapbooking a few years ago.  I wanted to love scrapbooking because I have a good friend who loves scrapbooking.  But, guess what?  I hate scrapbooking.

Perhaps, one day, God will light this fire or that fire in my soul. But it’s not there. And I’m tired of trying to make that fire start.

God is using me right now, the way He wants to use me right now.

I’m not a professional writer. I have no aspirations to be a full-time writer.  I’m a girl who has found joy in the process of getting her thoughts out of her head and down on paper.

I’m a girl who wants to encourage others by sharing, as authentically as possible, what is on her heart. And, if the Lord can use that…then all I desire is for the willingness to bravely and faithfully follow Him down the road.

So, in follow-up to my last post…

I’m saying NO to following someone else’s dream.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life  ~Galatians 6: 4-5 Message





31 thoughts on “I’m Done Chasing Your Dream

  1. Loretta

    good thoughts for me to think about, Eileen. I especially like the line “God is using me right now the way He wants to use me right now.” I need to embrace that.

  2. Marilyn

    Oh, I’m right with you! Your post and the scripture you chose are right where my thoughts have been for quite a while. Not chasing other peoples’ dream. Doing so keeps me from acknowledging and pursuing the dreams given to me. Loved this!

  3. Pilar Arsenec

    You are speaking my language, friend. I’m right there with you. I am following the Lord now and it may seem strange to some, but I realize the futility of following other people’s formulas or strategies. I’m not them. God made us all different and unique. We are to be who we are and not try to fit into everyone else’s agenda of what they define as success. I wrote about this last week and I will be posting more about my journey. I’m so thankful we are friends. Blessings to you sis.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Once again, Pilar. Extremely thankful our paths have crossed! I love supporting others in their dreams. I love being their cheerleader. But, sometimes, I just get swept along and before I know it…I am way off course.

  4. Pamela Hodges

    Wow, great post. I loved the bible verse. I have spend years following someone else’s dream. Or running from my own dream. It had been easier to avoid it, then to try. Old habits die hard, but I am killing the old habits, a little day, as I write my story and paint my pictures.

  5. Andi

    Love this post, Eileen, because I think it’s easy for lots of us (me included) to write things that can be read as pronoucements, especially if we don’t couch them in our own stories. We are a people who like easy, and a formula is easy. But it’s also absolutely debilitating when it’s not the formula that works for us.

    We all each follow our own calling – as writers and people. Thanks for reminding me of that today.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Well said, Andi! And, I like how you pointed out that we need to couch them in our own stories. We each do have our own unique paths.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thank you, Christa! I’ve loved that verse for a couple of years. It seems like God keeps pointing it back out to me over and over and over….;)

  6. Rachel @myheartsmission

    I can relate Eileen! I have been too concerned at times about how many comments or how many likes- but I don’t write for those reasons. I write because I love it- and I believe that God has called me to do so. I try to fit into the mold too- and to try to somehow measure my “progress.” But you nail it, it is about obedience- doing what God has called me to do with the gifts he has given me- nothing more, nothing less. Being content with the path he has called me to walk. thank you for these encouraging words. God bless you. 🙂

  7. EvieJo

    I know what you are saying, Eilleen. I am blogging because that is what God has set in front of me right now. He gave me (just like you) a gift and the blogging is sharpening my skills. When you write, sometimes it is hard to find people who relate to that gift in the regular realms of activity but in the blogging world we find those people. I, too, am wondering what the next season for me will be, because we are about to embark on a new adventure in April with YWAM and I am wondering how or if the blogging will fit in with that. Who knows? God does. So glad to have gotten to know you through your writings and linkys and I hope that our paths continue to cross. Love and blessings! EvieJo

  8. Stephen

    I definitely think I’ve felt that temptation before. That’s so empowering to give up on that- to admit who you are live into you’re uniqueness. Awesome!

  9. Jenifer

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this, Eileen! God has called each of us and give each of us our own unique gifting. It is SO easy to get caught up in chasing someone else’s dream. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement!

  10. Dan Black

    I have felt the temptations to follow someone else s dreams especially if they have had some level of success. During those times God always refocuses me on my purpose and calling. Great post and thoughts.

    1. Eileen Post author

      That’s true, Dan. We tend to want to follow in the footsteps of those who look like they are doing it right! Not a bad approach, but it sometimes throws me off course.

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