A Dying Dream?

Oh little band of faithful readers, I haven’t been depressed and disconsolate and ready to do myself in. I disappeared here for a time because  I joined with my church in a 21 day fast, and part of what seemed best during this season was  for me to abstain from  blogging  and commenting on blogs,  and I wanted to pray  for God’s direction about my writing in general.  Because  I have a dream to write a book.

So I was thinking of hopping onto the star-making machinery to go market myself at Mt. Hermon next month, because I think I have a compelling and important story to tell — and for any agents or editors out there in Interwebsland, here is my one sentence pitch:  my book is about the problems of  informed consent among Christians regarding psychiatric treatment,  why Critical Psychiatry is so distrusted among the “mental illness” gatekeepers in the Church,  and threaded through the book will be compelling testimonies from the Psychiatric  Survivor movement, including my own, and some of my family.  But  right now, I do not think I have the stomach for this monumental task.

Not now, not during this tumultuous time of great changes in my life, and not since I heard about the scandalous gaming of the bestseller lists reported by World magazine, here. It is so deeply disturbing to those of us who love books and respect deeply those who so carefully craft them. Jared Wilson ably sums up the problems this creates for would be writers, and I added my comments to the meta there, and this post is an expansion of some of my thoughts. Jared describes my dilemma:

 adding the dishonesty of system-gaming to the dishonesty of ghostwriting further hinders the work of real artists who are getting crowded out of the marketplace.

I feel crowded out. I know that even if I screwed up all my courage to the sticking place, and  I went  to the Mt Hermon Writer’s Conference, my book proposal would be rejected. I would be asked to develop my platform before they could even consider me as a potential author. But I am no good at being busy and witty, so I would stink at Twitter. Facebook is a huge distraction for an inveterate people-watcher like me. Pinterest is a little too twee for my kind of content, and I don’t want to go all PioneerWoman on my blog.  So what’s an outlier like me to do?

“Sometimes we have to let our dreams die.
And that’s okay. We will be okay.”

So I am doubly grateful to Jared Wilson, for those  words above which enabled me to still rejoice in the Lord  when I realized the  windows of Heaven weren’t opening the way I thought they would.  Now, if the whole building falls down…but for the time being, I will continue to write and speak. I will continue to dream big.  The dream may end stillborn, because the whole ecology of Christian publishing is terribly polluted, so that the vitality of the body of Christ is withering away and  important and prophetic voices are not being heard. Whatever else you think of Scot McKnight, he is right about platform and publishing.

But there is  a hidden beauty  in a dead dream, even in a pile of smoking ashes at the altar of a mighty God. Our dreams live on in heaven, if they are part of the living sacrifice we make of ourselves, everyday– every moment if we seek to live fully for him because we live in the light of what Jesus has already done for us at the Cross. The grey debris of our dreams have been transformed into beauty, they are jewels we will wear in our crowns for all eternity. Or they may be a different kind of glistening jewel,  they are the tears he has saved in his bottle, and he alone knows the purpose he has for their keeping. He knows our hearts, he knows that if our motivation in dreaming those great things was for his glory,  it is as if the work were actually done. And he is sovereign. If he says “no” to our living this dream — then we know it is for our good and his glory.

What a comfort this is to me now, as I offer up myself, even now a holy sacrifice. It is really a reasonable service, and the only spiritual worship.

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7 Comments on “A Dying Dream?”

  1. Petra Says:

    This struck a chord and the following most helpful: “Sometimes we have to let our dreams die. And that’s okay. We will be okay.” God will not not be heard. May He use you greatly as He already has.

    • Karen Butler Says:

      Thanks Petra, for your encouragement.

      There is beauty still in a dead dream, if it looks like ashes at the altar of a mighty God. Our dreams live on in heaven, because they are part of the living sacrifice we make of ourselves, everyday, every moment if we are really living for him, in the light of what Jesus has already done for us at the Cross. Those ashes of our dreams have been transformed into beauty, they are jewels we will wear in our crowns for all eternity. Or they are a different kind of glistening jewel, they are the tears he has saved in his bottle, and he alone knows the purpose he has for them. He knows our hearts, he knows our motivation in dreaming these great things was his glory, and it is as if the work were done. And he is sovereign. If he says “no” — then we know it is for our good and his glory.

      There is such comfort for me to be found in those truths.

      And thank you for helping me think further about these things. I knew I needed a better finish for this blogpost,so I am going to copy and paste these reflections to the end. Thanks so much for helping me ruminate so profitably.

      • Petra Says:

        Thank you so much for the additional encouragement! God uses us for His glory and honor, and the way He does this is so often contrary to how we perceive or understand things. And that is alright. We dream big dreams in our little broken hearts and huts while God has already accomplished the grandest feat of all through Christ, His beloved Son. Our hearts may feel broken but they’re not. They were healed that day. We see beauty even now in our (as yet) imperfect faith and God will show us even more. God is beauty beyond comprehension – love without bounds – joy without end… God is God and I am glad. Eternity will be most beautiful and glorious because God, all three in one, will fill it. Can you imagine anything better? Let us keep dreaming and hoping and yearning. Let us keep writing and blogging and loving, and God will use it, even if we can’t see how. And while we dream big let such small reminders, like His dancing daffodils in blustery winds, keep us real and really thankful. ♥

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Karen, Decided to retrieve the ETPW site to review some things on the false teachers and false prophets etc. Thought you might like this link since the site was removed. There is some great discernment on that site. Grab a cookie. God bless, BB
    http://web.archive.org/web/20111124085030/http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/

    • Karen Butler Says:

      Thanks, BB! Yes, I wondered at the motivation of “Miriam” that she would kill her darling. It was such a fount of great discernment, and great gospel writing! We were all so appalled at the abuse of the Charismata by the prosperity peddlars and those who have been slain by Another Spirit at the Lakeland Revival, and our indignation at the Scripture-twisting going on there drove many of us back to the simplicity of the Gospel. And most of us remained Continuationists!

      For those who have not read him before, Bob’s essay on the Cross is a must-read. It answered for me the question of the extreme violence of the death of Christ. The Passover Lamb, which is a type of Christ, was never tortured at its death. Why did Jesus suffer so? BB thoughtfully answerers these questions, in his Easter devotional: “The Spectacle of Evil” http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/the-cross-a-spectacle-of-evil-and-the-triumph-of-love/

      BB is the only guest writer I have featured on my blog. Read his piece, and you will see why. His essay was something I reprinted from the now-resurrected blog, “End Time Prophetic Words” — so thanks BB! Thank you for your service to the saints.

      • Bob Says:

        I wrote that? Had to be the Spirit. Thanks for keeping it. I need to preach that and may this Sunday. I’m now pastoring a small Baptist church in Cape May County, New Jersey. Here is a link to our church website: http://www.njcalvarybaptist.com/mainpages/sermons.asp
        We had a guest speaker on 3/2. Please listen to the message God gave me on 2/23 and also 2/16.
        God is in you Karen and using you. God bless you.

      • Karen Butler Says:

        Thank you Bob! Sorry to be so long in moderating comments, but I have been very neglectful here of late! Your comment is nourishing my soul right now, and I hope to listen soon. I am sure your message is true and prophetic. God is certainly continuing to separate sheep from goats, isn’t he?


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