As long as the Lord lends me life, I will remember 2022 as the year of the forgotten dream. This dream was to write poetry, though I little dreamt I’d write a whole book of it!
As a lifelong lover of English literature, I’d have been content to compose a few good poems. One Christian “Kubla Khan” and some sonnets like “Chapman’s Homer” and “On His Blindness” and “Death, Be Not Proud” and “Sonnet 33” would have sufficed.
My standards were high, but my dreams weren’t big enough. Certainly not as big as God’s.
God’s dreams for us are always bigger than our own. This is not wishful thinking or heresy. It’s biblical. The apostle Paul tells us that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). And Jesus Himself said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
What could be bigger than the kingdom? What could outvalue the “pearl of great price,” that inestimable treasure to obtain which the merchant sold everything he had?
Nothing. Not even a whole book of poetry.
Even so, a whole book of anything was the impossible dream a year ago.
When 2022 dawned, I had not published a book since The Blessing of Melchizedek Devotional was released in November 2016. For half a decade, I’d only produced a handful of blog posts, a couple screenplays, a few worship songs, and the odd limerick. I enjoyed writing it all, but my career as an author seemed to be over.
Whether the world had written me off or whether it was awaiting my next bestseller with bated breath, I cannot say. All I know is that I myself had no energy or inspiration for a new book—and I’m the kind of writer who needs both to get started. Once I begin, I rely more on grit and grace.
As I mention in the introduction to There Once Was a Man Who Suffered, I was very ill when I got the idea for the book. My grief over my mother’s death eight months previously had found its way to my physical person. For a whole week in January I lay in bed drifting in and out of sleep, at times wondering if the illness was going to be my last.
In this feeble, feverish state, God gave me the biggest surprise of my life! This surprise—the idea to tell Job’s story in limericks—is all the more special because it showed up on my younger nephew’s birthday.
Three days before, my friend Theresa stopped by after church to check up on me. Revived by her concern and the appetizing soup she’d cooked, I began telling her the story behind my first screenplay, Jericho. She listened with interest and without interrupting (God bless her), then suggested I consider writing a new book.
I winced internally. Although I told Theresa I’d pray about it once I recovered (a promise I meant to keep), I winced because I realized that my dearest reader would not be reading my new book.
The Lord has since shown me that I wrote the book precisely because Mummy would not be reading it. The book emerged out of my grief for her.
The story behind my new book reminds me to trust the Lord with other dreams I have forgotten or given up for dead. Which reminds me of Abraham, who believed that God “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Rom. 4:17).
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Rom. 4:20-22).
(c) 2022 Sharon Arpana Edwards. All Rights Reserved.