“You’re never too old to dream a new dream.” This wisdom from C. S. Lewis was foundational as I launched Leave Nothing Unsaid back in February of 2013.
With wobbly knees but a heart full of faith, I set forth on an uncertain journey.
Unfortunately, there was not a How to Launch Leave Nothing Unsaid for Dummies book available. No “10 Steps to Success” that guaranteed this seed of a dream would germinate and flourish.
After three years, my belief in the importance of this message is stronger than ever. I’m convinced that this is a calling on my life and not just a crazy idea.
Has the journey been easy? Not in the least. Countless “skinned knees” and moments of frustration. But also, there have been many times when I’ve said “Wow, God,” as lives have been touched and incredible doors have opened.
In the hopes of encouraging you as you pursue your own dreams, here are some key lessons from my journey over the last three years with Leave Nothing Unsaid:
Pursuing a dream is harder and lonelier than expected. There have been many moments of self-doubt and wondering if I’m delusional about the potential for this work. Following an uncharted path is not for the faint of heart. But every life that is touched, every relationship that is strengthened, every grieving soul who has something tangible to hold onto reminds me that this is a dream worth pursuing.
Realizing that “it’s not about me” is the best weapon for fighting inevitable moments of fear. It’s natural to have flashes of anxiety when continuing to step into the unknown. (Being interviewed on a live, national TV program could cause the most courageous among us to have a panic attack.) When fear strikes, I remember the “why” behind this work. It always helps to lift my eyes off of myself and onto others.
Praying big, God-sized prayers fuels me daily. What kind of faith does it take to pray for things that can be accomplished in my own strength? Not much. The book Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson has been like B-12 vitamins for my prayer life.
Enlisting others to pray on my behalf has been transformational. Several years ago, a dear friend suggested that I ask a group of people to pray for me and the mission of Leave Nothing Unsaid. I call them my “Prayer Team.” What an incredible gift this group has been. Every month, I send out an update with praises and prayer requests. And every day of every month, at least one person is interceding on my behalf. Their prayers and words of encouragement have given me tremendous strength for this journey. The banner over this group is the reminder “you are not alone.”
Following God’s promptings, even when they seem crazy, provides direction. Over and over, I have had seemingly “off the wall” ideas of people to contact. I’ve sent many emails and mailed out countless workbooks based on those promptings. And I’ve seen some wonderful doors open as a result. I’ve realized that the response isn’t my responsibility. I just need to act on the “nudge” and leave the outcome up to God.
Waiting until you “feel” ready inhibits progress. For many months, I ignored the offer for a wonderful introduction because I wanted to lose a few pounds and improve my speaking skills. Finally, I felt very convicted to stop with the excuses and “jump.” And amazing things resulted from that introduction.
Trying to keep all the plates spinning is crazy. This is a lesson I’ve been slow to grasp. I’ve tried to “do it all,” and as a result, have had a lot of plates crash. It’s the classic challenge for small business owners. Going forward, I am committed to delegating tasks where possible and focusing on my areas of strength.
What about you? Do you have a dream that you are pursuing?
If not, you’re not alone. It’s something I hear frequently…and something that is always expressed with great sadness.
My answer? Ask God to plant His dream for your life in your heart. It’s a prayer I expressed in 2005. And it’s a prayer He faithfully and beautifully continues to answer.
Here’s to dreaming big dreams…praying big prayers…and encouraging one another to make a difference with our lives.
Happy Birthday, Leave Nothing Unsaid. And thank you, God, for your faithfulness. I’m praying that over the next three years, the impact of this work will exponentially expand.
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