Q&A with InterVarsity
I recently had the privilege of talking to my friend Lisa who runs the InterVarsity blog. The funny thing about interviews is that you don't always know what's going to come out of your mouth (for better or for worse . . . ack!). Fortunately, most things that came out on this occasion were okay, so I thought I'd share a few excerpts of the Q&A to give my readers a better idea of not only what SOMD is all about, but my heart behind writing it. So thankful to Lisa and InterVarsity for taking the time to enter the conversation (Lisa is a fabulous interviewer!). You can read the full interview here.
Q: The Sound of a Million Dreams at first glance can look like it’s about vocation, and pursuing dreams God gives us. But it’s about something even more important. What one or two main points do you want readers to take away with them?
One thing I hope readers take away is that pursuing our calling is about the journey God takes us on as we listen to the things he’s telling us about what he wants to do with our lives. When we offer ourselves fully to that and submit ourselves to it, there is a process that happens in our souls that changes who we are. This definitely isn’t a how-to book. It’s not the “seven steps to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.” In fact, I would say it’s the opposite of that. It’s not about any destination, but the journey and process of how we change and transform when we seek to find our calling and to live out our dream.
I also hope people grasp the whole idea of paying attention, and listening to what’s happening inside of them. I call it “the Stirring”—things that the Holy Spirit presses at our soul about the things that we’re supposed to do, the people we’re supposed to be. It’s those things that we lay in bed in the middle of the night and think about doing, as well as the way that we’re wired, the narrative that our life has told, the threads that God has pulled through our story from the time we were little kids and on into the people we are today. In the busyness of life and all the noise and chaos of what we have to do every day just to get from one point to another—in the process of all of that, we still have to find a way to pay attention to those things that are niggling at our soul. That’s not going to happen if we aren’t intentional about making the space to listen.
Q: Both the internal work—becoming who God has made us to be—and the external work of pursuing a dream can be scary. What have you learned about fear on your journey?
I have a chapter about courage and fear because it’s such a big issue that can stand in our way. One of the big questions that most of us ask ourselves is, Am I good enough? Who am I to do this thing? I don’t have the credentials. It’s all those things that we tell ourselves about why we shouldn’t. I think at the core of it is a fear of rejection. That’s where my fears come from mostly.
I’ve learned that I just need to keep taking the steps that God has asked me to take in spite of the fear. Because if we let the fear rule us—if we listen to all those voices that say we can’t do it, or if we’re afraid of rejection or whatever it may be—we’ll never do any of it. And then we’re actually not being faithful to the things that God has called us to do because we’re choosing to believe that God is not who he says he is, that God is not trustworthy. If he’s really asked us to do something, then regardless of the fear, we have to trust that he’s going to give us what we need to do it, and step into it.
And it doesn’t mean that it will go smashingly well all the time. We might still fail. We might still be rejected. But letting the fear stop us becomes an issue of faithfulness. If I’m really being faithful to what I feel like God has asked me to do, then fear is not an option, even when I’m shaking in my boots to do it. I need to trust him through the fear.
And I imagine, if you’re continually asking yourself the question, Who do I want to be? and if the answer is, I want to be faithful or I want to be courageous, then your choice is kind of clear about what you need to do.
Yeah, it doesn’t leave us with the option to not be faithful. And it doesn’t mean that we’re not fearful, or that something doesn’t feel vulnerable or risky. It just means that we’re going to choose to believe that the Stirring inside of us, that call that God has given us, is real, and so we’ve just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other, regardless of how we’re feeling about it.