With my SONshine Box being mentioned in Guideposts Magazine for March 2016, my head and heart have been full as I’ve recounted how God used Guideposts (again) to remind me of His faithfulness–and my God dreams.
So let me share my original post about winning the Guideposts writing contest over a year ago. I’m still marveling at how I’d already gotten the biggest win of being able to publicly share The SONshine Box just on my blog days before. That in itself was already a dream come true.
So in hopes of encouraging and reminding you of God’s faithful plans and dreams for your life, join me as I relive answered prayers and a dream come true:
My head’s been in the clouds, and I feel like I’m standing as tall as the Statue of Liberty. I should. Because I’m going to “NEW YORK CITY!” Yep, I said that just like the old Pace Picante commercial, complete with southern drawl and all.
I owe the woman who delivered the good news a brand new pair of ear drums after I let out a shrill squeal.
Turns out I won a slot at the Guideposts Magazine Writers Workshop Contest. About ten out of thousands of stories are chosen, and the writers are flown to New York for a week-long writing training by the Guideposts editors and author Debbie Macomber.
Here’s the kicker—and my personal tear-jerker. It’s a dream come true. Literally.
Not the trip, but the win. Yep. I dreamed it, and now I’m about to live it. But before I step forward, would you mind walking back with me for a few sacred steps?
Days after losing Mom at the end of 2012, I really did dream I won the contest. The dream, the win, made no sense in the wake of tragic loss. The last thing I wanted to do was write—or dream. I barely wanted to breathe.
Before she left, I had just recently entered the Guideposts’ contest on a last-minute whim, and of course didn’t get selected.
So in the dream I told God that it was over, and I wasn’t chosen. As if He didn’t know.
I then saw a hand giving me my submission back. And I heard, “But you will. It just needs both of your signatures. Yours and your mom’s.” I awoke, told my husband, shook my head, and then didn’t look back. Until recently.
My 2012 submission didn’t include her. But my 2014 one shared a personal story of how faith made a difference in my life, with Mom playing the “supportive role.” Naturally. And it had her signature all over it.
I’m stilI shaking my head here, and I bet Mom’s still nodding and grinning from Heaven. I can almost hear her, “Christie Charlene, I told you you should write.”
I know it’s no coincidence I’ve just been celebrating being able to share Sonshine Boxes here on this blog. Gifts that are given during times of discouragement. When we question moving ahead while life shoves us back. When we even question our worth—and God’s plan.
And then—His gifts of grace arrive—just in time. His time.
This Heavenly win arose after the depths of earthly loss. Pulled straight out of God’s Sonshine Box, made just for me. He has one for you too.
Filled with victories and wins, perhaps after long seasons of loss. This win sure didn’t happen overnight. They rarely do. They often come through sleepless nights, tear-filled days, minute by minute, hands to the heavens, and knees to the ground.
With prayers and cries that charge through the “Why’s?” and the “When’s?” well before the win.
I shared in prior posts that God will bless us for going through stuff, in the junk drawers in our home—and our heart. And there will even be a reward for the hardest part—sharing. Not so others will know our stuff, but so others will know our Savior.
And I‘ve told you before how I found lost keys, and right here—write here— I’ve found lost dreams. But most of all, I’ve found Him.
So through rain or shine, win or lose, we can choose to believe He’s still working all things for our good. Romans 8:28
Would you share with me your win, your loss, your highs, your lows? And know that I’m praying for you through them all. That’s the best part. I told God whoever He brings here to read these words, I’ll bring Him back loads of prayers for them. For you–and for your dreams and your victories. And thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:57