[Guest Post by Amanda Casanova – I’m excited to introduce you to a new voice today. I’m sure everyone, like Amanda, has experienced the every day changes life can bring including shifting dreams. If you aren’t sure what dream to pursue and how–be encouraged by her story.]
What happens when your dreams change?
I was in the news business. That meant you probably didn’t like me.
That meant I was either too liberal or too conservative. It meant I asked a lot of questions that were probably none of my business. It meant I couldn’t tell you I loved Jesus.
Now, I had wanted to be a newspaper woman for a long time.
I love telling stories.
While most 10-year-olds were out scraping their knees or hopping fences, I was assembling a two-page newsletter for my neighborhood. The “newspaper” featured spotlights on local children, advances for community events and even a section devoted to advertising. I called the effort “The Ginnway Gazette.” How a 10-year-old knew the word “gazette” still boggles me.
It wasn’t surprising then, when I spent my college years taking internships at Texas newspapers, chasing down fires and car accidents and writing feature stories about festivals and new businesses. I became the editor of my college newspaper, and although I hardly slept that year, I loved the experience and knew I wanted to be a reporter.
After graduation, I tackled the grim odds of landing a newspaper job and took a position with a newspaper along the Texas Gulf Coast. Slowly, I became the city hall reporter and slowly, I found a passion for city politics.
Then last year, I married and moved with my husband to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for his job, and although I was madly in love, I was mad at the change.
I had loved trading business cards in the working world. After a bit of small talk, I would watch the other person reach for their wallet and slide a card into their palm. I’d tug on my laptop strap and pull my stash of cards out too. For the first time in years, no one reached for their business cards when I met them.
A few weeks into our move, I just wanted a role. I prayed for God to open a door so I’d stop feeling frustrated and discouraged.
Only God doesn’t want us to be discouraged.
He wants us to be his.
I realized I had wanted a sign and not a savior.
I had wanted a duty and not divine love.
I realized I had the chance of a dream I had long tucked away, a chance to combine my love of the written word with my faith. I realized I could finally start that book that’s been sleeping inside my head for so long. I realized I could start telling stories about Jesus.
There was a reason I had buried that dream.
It was a far stretch from political reporting and I was just an English major with a Bible. Sometimes I worry that there are better people suited for this line of work, people who have been to seminary and people who have been teaching Sunday School for 20 years.
Anybody but me.
Then I read Paul’s words to the Ephesians,
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
I can’t imagine where this dream will take me, but I’ll start here.
Trusting God to hold my ambition in his hands and make it his, I’ll start here.
Telling stories, I’ll start here.
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Texas with her amazing husband. She is a perfectionist turned journalist turned story teller. She blogs at http://amandacasanova.wordpress.com and is a writer for Whole Magazine.
[Photo: Nhoj Leunamme = = Jhon Emmanuel, Creative Commons]