Realizing a life dream or goal takes a lot of time — and prayer.
I’ve found that the best gift of a dream is not in achieving it but in letting God change me in the process.
Writing books that cultivate intimacy with Jesus has been a life dream for me since I was in high school.
In my own journey of the soul as an author, I had written three books with leading Christian publishers by age thirty. But my workaholism, book head, and being pulled away from our little children caused conflict with Kristi.
At that time I heard the Holy Spirit, clear as a bell, call me to sacrifice my dream of being a best-selling Christian author, doing this out of love for him, Kristi, and our children.
I knew this was good, but for 14 years I felt like a dusty book, lost on a shelf. That depressed me.
During those long years of waiting on God, I slowly learned to be happy with Jesus in a career that felt like a small stage.
I was surprised one day when out of the blue I sensed God tell me it was time to write books again. So I self-published Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke for people I was ministering to. It was as easy as the title and blessed lots of people.
After this, we spent a few years developing and growing the ministry of Soul Shepherding.
Then at the urging of a number of pastors and my mentor Dallas Willard I finally set to work on writing for a publisher. I wrote a 241-page book called A Transfigured Life and shopped it around. But it was rejected.
I was so discouraged that I threw it in the trash. A whole summer of squeezing in hours to write was in the garbage. Five more years lost. I wanted to quit.
At that point, it had been 25 years since I’d written a book with a leading Christian publisher. That’s a long time to wait on a dream!
Then Kristi got in the saddle with me and we started riding the book horse together. But our proposal for a new book was rejected. More rejections and closed doors!
Why didn’t I give up on my dream at that point? Because I knew it was God’s call for me.
Finally, with a new literary agent and re-worked book proposal we got a contract from Revell.
Then came writing the book and that was very hard. With each chapter, we wrote it, threw it out, re-wrote it, threw it out, and re-wrote it. Three times we wrote this book! Kristi thought it was great the first time, but I was determined to make it more engaging and more practical for you and the people you minister to.
Finally, the dream is a reality! Journey of the Soul: A Practical Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Growth will be released on February 16, 2021.
In these 25 years, I’ve learned that pursuing a dream is not about the outcomes — I’ve put those in God’s hands — it’s about walking it out with Jesus, and loving God and people along the way.
Whatever you’re able to achieve with your hopes and dreams, if you walk them out with Jesus, loving God and people along the way, you’ll be wonderfully blessed!
Journey of the Soul helps you get through stuck places and spiritual dryness. It shows you where you are in your journey and the next step to take. It gives you fresh language for your feelings and faith to help you grow in your intimacy with Jesus, well-being, and loving relationships with others.
Join Our Launch Team!
Kristi and I want you on our exclusive book launch team to help spread the word about Journey of the Soul. We have lots of special gifts for you: admission into our private Facebook group, a digital copy of the Leader Guide, a free ticket to our webinar on “Group Shepherding,” and more!
To join just pre-order the book and upload your receipt at journeyofthesoul.org/launchteam.
Listen to this week’s SoulTalk: In anticipation of the release of Journey of the Soul, Bill reflects on his journey in waiting on God to fulfill his calling to write. Bill honestly shares the deep and powerful transformation that came through wrestling with the sacrifice and realization of a life-long dream.