Since we are on the topic of dreaming I thought I would share some secrets of mine with all of you beautiful people, that helped me to finish Running Mascara, and that continue to help me push through, keep my eye on the prize, keep dreaming, and work on finishing the current book I am working on...
When I met Don from Xulon Press at the 2015 Velocity conference he told me, “Tiffany, you have to write…even if the only person it heals is you! I love your story and I think it will go beyond you but even if it doesn’t, YOU HAVE TO WRITE!” I had no idea what to think of it all because I was literally having panic attacks while talking to him, my face and neck were blood shot red, and I was crying as if someone forgot to turn off the facet. I was a mess…A HOT MESS. But when I walked away those words drummed loudly in my soul. I knew that he was right…I HAD TO WRITE!
I told my husband on the way home, “Honey, I think I am suppose to write. Even if I fail…I have to write this book. I haven’t been this certain about something in such a long time!” My husband did what he always does, which is one of the million reasons why I love him...he supported me. He grabbed my hand with one hand as his other hand gripped the wheel and said, “Honey, I believe in you. You can do this! Write!”
I was so scared to start in fear of never finishing, which the beauty of living a life as a perfectionist, but instead of letting my hands be tied down I did what any normal person would do. I went and bought a poster board and some decorating materials. I did this thinking about the words that one of my mentors had spoke to me many years before, “Tiffany, write it down.” She was referring to Habakkuk 2:2 which encourages, “And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it (ESV).”
I had to put the vision down on paper and that is exactly what I did. I looked online of things that I wanted to include in the book. I looked up possibly cover ideas, quotes, and scriptures. I found pictures that reminded me of the book, chapter ideas, wrote out my “about the author”, “book dedication”, and slapped a picture of myself on the board. When I saw these things daily…I couldn’t deny that I had to keep writing!
After I made my board the next thing I did was choose 5 women in my life that could pray for me, that I could have read a few things to see what they thought and offer suggestions, hold me accountable, encourage me daily, and be honest with me. I didn’t want friends that would say, “Oh, you are so great” but be really terrible at something. I wanted the friends that would tell me if “the dress I was wearing makes me look like a cow” but on a much greater scale of course. I didn’t want to be the girl who thought that she had an American Idol voice but should remain singing in the shower. I needed real friends with real advice and real encouragement to the calling I felt the Lord was drawing me too.
I also told everyone I could about my book. I got people excited with me. I thought “the more people who knew; the less likely I was to quit!” I got my kids excited, my friends, my family, church members, and so much more excited with me. All the excitement and the hype made it so much fun to get started and once I got started it all gave me the courage to keep on going! Telling people about my book was the best thing I ever did!
Once I had my poster board, my girls, and excitement of others, I started to write. The first two weeks I had 10,000 words. The first six months I was pretty much almost done with my manuscript. After 8 months I had 60,000 words and was submitting my book to the editor. Now, after a year I have a book in hand to share with others the testimony of Jesus Christ in my life.
All that being said, I am not saying that just because I had my poster board, my girls, and my excited friends that everything was all that and a bag of chips. I had some really hard bumps along the way! There was one month that I didn’t even write at all because I had a major panic attack one night. I was sitting up typing and I literally felt like the enemy was fighting with me. I started to say scripture and rebuke him but it got worse. Then I ran over to my husband, woke him up and had him pray for me, and then I shut the computer down and didn’t write for a whole month. I was so scared to sit at the computer and write. I was scared that the panic would come back.
Then our family found out last October that our youngest son had to have a craniotomy. Needless to say, I didn’t do much writing because I was so focused on him. Plus, I had to make sure that our oldest understood what was going on and take care of his emotions. Our son had surgery in November 2015 and our family was a wreck. We held our breath and we were so scared to have him have surgery but we didn’t have a choice. The mass that was on the top of his skull was pretty close to pushing on the main artery of his brain. Thankfully, God took care of him and the rest of our family. He went through surgery and the recovery flawlessly. The mass was benign and he is doing great today! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
I say all this to say that just because you have all of your ducks in a row doesn’t mean that your dream will be easy! There will be setbacks, it will be hard, and the devil will do all that he can to war against you so that you don’t finish what you started. The BEST and most important thing you can do while pursing your calling is to press into JESUS DAILY! You can do nothing without him! Trust me I have tried! John 15: 5, “"I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” So, do all that you can do to press into HIM!!!
Pursue Him while pursuing your dream and GET EXCITED ALREADY!!!
Stay inspired friends,