How Jo Saxton's book 'The Dream Of You' Helped Me With My Calling
I want to read books that change my life.
I started this website to combine my love of crafts and my passion for seeing children know Jesus for themselves with my desire to help people hear from God. And even though I started writing in January 2017, I didn't actually launch Raising Little Disciples until the September, and it took me even longer to discover this most wonderful truth I'm about to share with you...
"In your wildest, most exciting dreams, who were you? Did any of those dreams ever come close to your reality?"
Jo Saxton, The Dream of You.
I felt like it was easy, not intending to sound arrogant, but I really like kids and love crafts so surely it was just too easy? Shouldn't I have gone for something a little less cheesy and a little more challenging? Little did I know of the blogging world back when this was a pea-sized idea. Read my story here. Yet at the same time I had this huge sense of, well, terror to be honest. What was I doing?! And how now I've started, how will I sustain it? And will anyone find it helpful, or enjoyable, or even read it?! Will it be enough?
Am I even called to Children's Ministry? I never thought I'd end up using my gifts and leadership here, unless it was temporary of course. I knew I was good at "working with children" but that's just my personality, right? Children's work is just a stop gap between your "I must serve the Church" and your "I need to find my purpose" bit, isn't it??
Then I read Jo's book, a couple of months after having launched my website, and I realised with more profound revelation than ever, that this is in fact exactly who God has created me to be. A voice of encouragement to children.
This isn't a stop gap. This isn't a personality thing. This is a God-thing.
My website may evolve and lead to other ventures or ideas but my calling isn't temporarily interrupted or 'humoured' by serving kids, it's not a means to fulfil some greater opportunity working with "THE GROWN UPS". It's not just for now, it's not just for the future, but more profound than that I realised it always has been.
"What was the dream you had of yourself from the very beginning? Before life interrupted, before anyone told you who you were allowed to be? Take a moment now to recall the dreams you had, the dreams of who you could be."
I stopped. I closed my eyes and I asked that big, terrifying question:
Who was I dreaming to be?
I went back to the beginning. I remembered being on holiday in France, I must have been about 9. I made friends with the family camping opposite us with their 3 kids. The littlest, Jack, had a severe speech impediment, and his brother had a hearing problem. I sat with them in their caravan making up stories with their stuffed animals. When I couldn't understand the words little Jack said we used hand gestures, facial expressions and silly noises. I left that holiday deciding in my heart that I wanted to work with kids and make a difference to their lives.
I wanted to be a children's speech therapist.
I wanted to be a paediatrician.
I wanted to be a child psychologist.
I wanted to be it all.
Two of the most profound habits and functions we have as humans are hearing and speaking. Such things we can take for granted. And as adults, following the Lord, listening to God, speaking with Him, we can take it for granted too. I wanted do all the above AND throw in building homes for orphans. This is the part where I relate to Jo' Saxton's tale of wishing to be Wonder Woman.
I poured my tears over her pages as I realised that from a young age I had always wanted to do something with my life that impacts the life of children around me, and even those in other nations. I wanted to be ears to listen, a voice to the voiceless, and a home to the homeless. This was all happening many years before I knew Jesus.
Before I even knew of the Kingdom of God, I was hungry for it.
“There is something quite special and important about our unfiltered, innocent dreams. Even though they are so imperfect and naive in places, they are signposts to our aspirations and hopes, our longings and ideals. They express something of who we are, they speak of our identity, maybe even hint at the kind of life we were made for.”
This was my moment, last year when I felt my heart fill with the love and affection of the Father, the God who made me with purpose and personality. I read this and my heart heard His voice whisper between the lines:
“Amy. This is what you were made for. Loving, encouraging and empowering those around you, and I’m giving you special favour to do that with children. So that they can know my love and hear my voice like you do.”
It was a profound moment.
I felt I'd known my calling my whole life but I'd somehow missed it. Jo's chapters invited me to see how God had formed it all and was in the business of restoring it too. Her chapter The Day I Lost My Voice, pinpointed the moments when my voice was silenced, my vision uncertain, my dreams broken. In the following chapters of God's Child and Known and Loved, I found undoing my identity I could rise back to the true version of myself that God had made me to be. My calling was not accidental nor my dreams coincidental.
The rest of Jo's book unlocked a huge amount in me, brought wonderful insight and concrete truth that I will undoubtedly read again and again. This invitation to dive deep into who I was has helped me stand firm on who I am today.
I want to take the freedom and skills Jo equips us with in The Dream of You and empower children to embrace their dreams and love who they are. Empowering their dreams, and encouraging their hope. And that goes for you too my friend.
“We had a voice, tiny though it might have been, before it was muted.”
So I leave you with Jo’s question;
Who were you before the world told you who you were allowed to be?
Go find your little inner voice my friend, and let it free.
Thank you to Jo Saxton for including me on her Dream of You book launch team, I have felt honoured and have been extremely blessed to have been able to read the advance copy.
You can now purchase yours here: