Manifesto


Storytime.

Over the past few years, especially, I've really struggled with my passion for stories.  At times I have felt that it was idolatrous or in some other way damaging to my relationship with Christ.  And I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes with this love -- I have given it too much of a priority at times, have become too obsessed with it, have probably watched and read and listened to things that I shouldn't have.  But God has shown me great things regarding this, and I now firmly believe that He has a plan for this gift and this passion.  Who am I to tell the Creator that something is wrong with the design?  Who am I to be the servant who received the one talent and -- out of fear of his Master -- went away and hid it, because he followed his own reasoning as to what would keep his Master's property safest (see Matthew 25:14-30)?  

Now, please understand me:  I am not glibly dismissing the issue of idolatry.  That is a struggle that we all go through at times.  What I am saying is that I can trust the One Who says that He "is able to keep [me] from falling" (Jude 1:24-25) and I can throw myself wholeheartedly into the talents and strengths He has given me.  Will I make mistakes along the way?  Sure.  Will I fall into the is-it-an-idol circle again?  Probably.  Will God lead me down a different road someday?  Maybe.  But for now, I am going to pursue the dreams He has implanted in my heart, prayerfully trusting Him to reveal truth to me. 

I have come to the conclusion that for now, at least, the Lord is leading me to pursue a college degree in literature, possibly even a doctorate, and eventually to become a writer.  When and how that will happen, I don't know.

Hence "Towards Indecisive and Palpitating Stars."  During one of the most intense times of questioning this issue, God showed me multiple glimpses of the right path to take, and one of those signs came in the form of remembering a quote from Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, from which comes the title of this blog: 

"In her distraction, instead of advancing further she walked up and down, beating the air with her fingers, pressing on her brow, and sobbing brokenly to herself. Then she sat down on a heap of stones by the wayside to think. There she remained long. Above the dark margin of the earth appeared foreshores and promontories of coppery cloud, bounding a green and pellucid expanse in the western sky. Amaranthine glosses came over them then, and the unresting world wheeled her round to a contrasting prospect eastward, in the shape of indecisive and palpitating stars."

~ Chapter 31 ~


You might wonder what the heck that has to do with any of this, and it's difficult to explain how it helped me, since it was such an inner-heart thing, but I'll try.  Basically -- and this is big -- God is showing me that it's okay to change your direction in life in order to pursue what, to you, seems like more of a "risky" and "impractical" and "daring" venture.  It's okay, even, to go so far as to claim it as an unexpected dream, cliché though that is.  And God has been showing me that it's okay to "not have all the answers" lined up in regards to where that new dream will take you.   It's okay to be uncertain about your future -- to look out and see only "indecisive and palpitating stars."  In fact, I can start looking at the uncertainty as an adventure.  I can -- *hint hint* -- start a blog with only a vague plan of documenting what happens next.  I can chill.  I can enjoy where He has me now, "be still before Him, and wait patiently for Him."  He's got me; He's got this; and I'm okay. 

I may not know what God has planned (cliché, I know), but I'm going to go forth in faith, trusting Him to reveal things in His timing, and determined to follow the leading that He gives me.  

Here's to the adventure!






7 comments:

  1. Do the thing. Get the degree. Become a writer. I believe in you, love <3 <3

    I know exactly what you mean by the "indecisive and palpitating stars" quote. Profound, and difficult to explain, but apt. Very apt.

    Also, oddly enough, I only just yesterday came across a quote that also really encouraged me in my own writing journey--I was watching "Stand By Me," and you know that scene where Chris is telling Gordie he needs to be an author even if his parents don't understand his dream? "It's like God gave you something, man, and He said, 'here's what we got for you, kid; try not to lose it.'" RIGHT IN DA FEELS, let me tell you. But it made me believe in myself more, and in God's plan for me; and I will always encourage you to do the same <3

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  2. It started out as feeling... and then grew into a hope. And then turned into a quiet thought, and then turned into a quiet word. :) (I would totally type out the entire song, but I don't think that's exactly necessary. :P)

    This thrills me! The fact that you are actually making a move to do something daring, crazy, out of your comfort zone - but something that you know you want to do! *hugs* That's my kinda girl. ;) I hope you get to go on an amazing journey and things turn out far better than you could ever imagine!!

    Also, you're really pretty. Xx And I still think you look like Amelia Warner.

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  3. I'm so excited for you and your new blog! :D

    I've come to learn that sometimes God doesn't show us the big picture right away, because he knows right where we're at and what we can believe for and handle in this moment of our lives. I heard the testimony of a preacher recently, who now does TV broadcasts and such, that when he was just getting started in ministry if God had told him then that he'd one day be doing television he probably wouldn't have hardly believed it, and it might have hindered him from pressing forward. But God led him one step at a time, and he obeyed and trusted Him, and it's benefited him greatly.

    So God may just give you one step at a time. Even if it doesn't make sense to your natural mind in the beginning, if God told you to do it, then you need to take the Nike slogan to heart and "Just do it" and trust Him, knowing that without the shadow of a doubt that He will help you and make provision for you to do what He's called you to do. <3

    Welp, I got to preaching there. xD Love ya, Olivia and I'm praying for you that you'll know exactly what God's calling is for you! :)

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  4. Oh, Olivia. You dear, dear girl. I just can't get over how similar we are with regards to our passion for stories and our fear that that passion is becoming an idol. I've struggled with that SO much over the years. But God HAS given you a gift for writing. And when He gives one of his children a gift I have an idea He means for them to use it.

    The fear of things becoming idols is definitely a legitimate fear (because that certainly can happen and we certainly don't want it to) but sometimes I wonder if the fear we struggle with is more a tactic of the enemy trying to get us to stand still and do nothing. You know what I mean?

    Anyway, don't ever give up on your writing. Just keep trusting God and giving it over to Him; and He'll do great things with it. :D

    Your new blog looks splendid! I'm really excited to see what you have in store for us. :D

    Love you, friend! <3

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  5. This is seriously so awesome. Best wishes to you!!

    I totally get where you're coming from since my dream career is film criticism but I know that it's not a very practical life plan. ^.^ And I 100% relate to the idolatry issue-- stories can become such an idol, can't they?

    Very excited to see what God has for you. :)

    Also, I love your picture at the end. :D

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  6. Ahhhh, Olivia, this almost made me tear up. :')

    I've been struggling with this SO much lately--the whole, "I should have my life planned out thing"....when I DON'T. And everything you said about pursuing dreams that seem "risky" and "impractical". I was just recently having some thoughts about that whole topic, and I love love love what you said.

    Basically, I'm really looking forward to anything and everything you're going to do...with this blog, your writing, your life even! Because if God is leading you, then what you're doing is ANYTHING but risky. You're in the safest, best place possible. <3

    I love you so much, friend. You're always in my thoughts and prayers.

    SO HAPPY FOR YOUR NEW BLOG. *showers it in confetti* :D

    *hugs*

    PS. Your title is so beautiful, and the excerpt that inspired it is beautiful, too. Should I read "Far From the Madding Crowd"?

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