Doubts, Fears & Preconceived Notions
By Tabitha Caplinger
About a year and a half ago I was sitting in an arena full of women listening to Christine Caine speak. (PS I love her.) I had spent over ten years toying with the idea of writing a book. Then I wrote one. It was non-fiction, a collection of essays about youth ministry. I think ten people have read it. Its fine because it was my first book and I had no idea what I was doing and I self published it and did no marketing because I didn’t know you were supposed to do that. (Inhale.)
Fast forward a couple of years and two devotional attempts later and I started writing another book. This one was young adult fiction. I don’t know how I went from trying to write devotionals to a book about demons and angels and sword fights. Really I don’t, and that brings us back to that women’s conference.
I sat in my seat and told myself I was being selfish. I was a pastor and a wife and a mom, and taking all this time to write an imaginary story was wasteful. I should be focused on ministry. I should be spending that time discipling girls. I should go back to those devotionals because that’s what pastors who write, well, write.
God had given me a vision for my ministry and fantasy novels wasn’t going to get me there.
“Who says it won’t?”
That’s what my spirit heard so loudly as I sat in that arena. (I actually sat up straighter because the silent voice was so clear it startled me.)
It was a pivotal moment for me, God speaking to my personal doubts, fears and preconceived notions. For the first time since I had started writing my trilogy I knew that I knew that it was more than just a story that popped in my head one night, it was part of the calling God had placed on my life.
I wasn’t being selfish, I was being obedient.
Now, don’t think I’m tooting my own horn here because there are still days I struggle with the time I put into writing when it isn’t paying the bills. My family makes sacrifices for me to be obedient in a way that often still feels arrogant and selfish. (No one tells you about all that marketing you have to do and that it’s not for the book but yourself. It is weird and awkward and I worry I’m coming off self absorbed. I promise I’m not.) So I am constantly reminding myself of that moment where God whispered to me over the roar of several thousand women.
He whispers to you too…in the middle of cleaning up your kids’ mess, writing your blog, teaching that class, cooking dinner, taking that morning jog. (I can’t speak from experience on the jogging part, if you see me running its from bears, or dinosaurs, or zombies, but I’m sure it applies.)
We all have a purpose and there is no formula for which to figure it out. There is no template you have to fit within aside from God’s Word. So, if you have ever been like me and worried your dream was selfish or didn’t seem to fit, talk to God about it and take the time to listen for His voice of assurance.
Don’t be afraid of obedience that the world might not understand. After all we aren’t being obedient to them but to our Maker. In the end, it is Him we need to make happy and He doesn’t care about your, or anyone else’s, doubts, fears and preconceived notions.
ABOUT Tabitha Caplinger
Tabitha Caplinger has been in student ministry for close to 15 years, and currently pastors at Faith Community Church in House Springs, Missouri with her husband Brian. They have two sassy daughters, Lila and Rory. Student Ministry is core to who Tabitha is; she loves discipling others and helping them see themselves through Jesus’ eyes. Her goal is for every young woman to be confident that, “she is loved more than she will ever know by someone who died to know her.”
When not working, Tabitha and her family like taking in a good movie or walking through the park. She also admits to being a little obsessed with TV.
Connect with Tabitha online:
Facebook: Tabitha Caplinger
My little novel, if you’re interested, is The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline. Its the first installment in a trilogy. The second book is releasing this June.
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