Happy With the Sheep – Part I

“More often than not, you don’t discover your dream.  Your dream discovers you when you are faithfully tending sheep.”

Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion


I have spoken many times about the journey that God has allowed our family to travel. We fasted and prayed and dedicated it to Him long before we took our first step, knowing that whatever took place, we didn’t want any part of it unless He had covered it in His blessing.

When we first started walking, I confidently told God how many months I would be working another job before transitioning into writing full time.  My plan was to write fiction and be traditionally published.  I’m sure God belly laughed in Heaven when a year later I was writing strictly nonfiction and was walking the path of self publishing while still working my day job.  Almost five years later, I’m not working that day job anymore.  I now have switched fields altogether and have two jobs I’m juggling in addition to writing.

I hope you hear my heart when I say I’m not complaining at all in the above paragraph – just describing how I thought I was asking for God’s blessing in my journey by fasting and dedicating it to Him; all while telling Him my plans, wanting to retain control.


Each year of the journey, during my January fast, God would reveal to me the goals He wanted me to fulfill.  One year it was to write and self-publish 7 books… and 7 books were self published.  Another year it was 4 books and then still another year… nothing.  I didn’t hear one single goal for 2016.  I thought maybe my radar was broken or maybe instead God was saying, “Keep doing what you’ve been doing.  Do it again.”

However, during 2016, while I made a little headway with some of my projects, what I heard instead was “This is a season for your family.  Make them your priority.” It took me a few times of asking God to make sure I heard Him correctly, but He made it clear that this season was for them.  That coincided with me sensing a change in my spirit.

I realized that for me, someone who really wanted God in charge but had control issues she was dealing with, I needed to let go of the dream completely.  By that I mean this: Instead of trying to tell God what direction I planned to go, I needed to let go of my expectations and instead continue to walk faithfully in the areas I know He told me to walk, waiting for further instructions before changing directions.  Instead of using my time daydreaming about what I envisioned my dream to look like, giving it up completely and allowing God to repaint the picture for me… trusting that it would look far more spectacular when He was finished than anything I could have dreamed up myself.

Come back next time while I share the rest of the story…

© Cheri Swalwell 2016

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