Expect the Impossible: Speak Up Round 2 Finalist Dori Durbin
As Christian authors, we sometimes doubt whether or not we have anything worthy to share. We question our calling and wonder if what we have to say is actually worth anyone’s time. After all, we are only human. But the truth is, we all have a story to tell. Each of our voices is needed in today’s world, and if we could — just for a few moments — embrace childlike expectations, we might see our writing journey in a totally different light.
In this episode of Publishing Secrets, guest host Dori Durbin shares a word of hope for anyone who’s ever felt uncertain about their writing: what you think is a mess is really your message. It’s an opportunity to be used by God in a way that is real and relatable. It’s time to listen up and take Dori’s advice: don’t give up on yourself! Keep sharing what God has put on your heart, and trust Him to use it for His glory.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How perspective impacts our understanding of what it means to “expect the impossible” — and why it isn’t always positive
- Why childlike hope is necessary for creativity
- Why you should share your negative experiences through your writing, even if you think others might not appreciate them
- How to help others “expect the impossible” in only good ways
This episode is part of the Christian Authors Network global speaking competition, Speak Up. Click here to learn more and stay up-to-date on the competition!
Dori Durbin: Childlike Hope & Expectations
Is there nothing sweeter than being a writer? God has gifted you something uniquely yours, something that others even see as being difficult. And yet, despite the difficulty, your words are being crafted into power and encouragement.
But if you’re at all like me, you might question occasionally whether or not you really have something worth sharing with someone who’s desperately seeking out hope. Even though God tells us in Jeremiah 30:20, “Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book,” I can feel the anxiety when I’m getting ready to write.
Sometimes, what I believe I should write feels too personal, too conflicted, and way too messy to be on a blank page for someone else. So I pull back and don’t want to deliver.
Experience Impacts Hope
Instead of questioning the worth of our message, we need to consider our perspective. Perspective is defined by our experience, and our experience can build or banish hope. It’s our experience that fuels whether or not we believe something can happen, either in a positive sense or a negative one.
Consider, for instance, the statement “expect the impossible.” If I’m thinking about expecting the impossible and I’ve had a good experience that day, I can expect the impossible as something positive. I can believe that my hopes and dreams of the future can happen, because it’s been a great day, and I feel that hope and sense of security.
On the other hand, I may have a day where things are just not going well. One those days, “expect the impossible” seems to mean it’s just not happening. Those hopes and dreams are just too far-fetched, and just aren’t going to work.
Just from this one statement — “expect the impossible” — there can be two exact opposite outcomes based on how you experienced the day. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Back to Childlike Hope
The same thing can happen when we write. Sometimes, we get the sense that whatever we have to say isn’t strong enough, so we start to rely on our experience to provide our hope.
We need to go back to childlike hope — that hope we once had where we believed that God could do anything because He wanted to do anything for us. We trusted that we could believe and achieve our dreams, because they were out there and we could grasp them.
It’s that same childlike faith — that blazing childlike faith! — that makes our parents worry about us into our mid-20s. But we tend to drop that as we get older, because it seems like we’re being too naïve, too foolish, or too childish. We lose our sense of hope, awe, and wonder.
The thing about being a child is that when you create, you don’t judge what you do. You don’t decide that one piece is going to determine the fate of your future. You just do it because it comes out of you and you love to create! Wouldn’t it be great to get back to that?
Don’t Cut It Off at the Core
The other wonderful thing about being a child is that you take in stories, and they can resonate in you deeper. You live those stories and really feel them with your heart. So now, let me tell you a story.
We have several plants. They’re all different kinds and different qualities of plants. Most of them were in their pots, but this one strawberry plant was jutting crazily out of the pot. And I had the thought, “I’m just going to trim this back so it looks neater and doesn’t look like it’s jumping out of the pot.”
As I was in the process of trimming back the node, my son came out and said, “No, don’t trim that back!” He knows a lot more about plants than I do, so I listened. He told me that the end piece of the strawberry plant was actually the start of a new plant. Over time, it would grow into a completely new plant.
I was skeptical of what he said to do instead, because in my experience, things die when you cut them. But we planted them in a pot, and lo and behold, we had two beautiful plants within just a few days. Had I lopped it off, I would have lost the opportunity to grow a completely new plant.
This experience got me thinking. How often do we take our writing and lop it off at the core to make things look better? Our experiences that we see as negative we tend to discard and decide they’re not something other people need to see or will appreciate.
However, I believe that those experiences are actually what God is wanting us to share with others, to show them that bad experiences don’t always equal a lack of hope or expectation. When you share a bad experience that you’ve overcome — that has now become something that gives you hope — it’s such a powerful tool to create a full expectation of the impossible in a good way.
I believe that God is trying to use our stories just like that. He wants to use our words to reach directly to the readers who need to hear it. When you write something, they see it as truth, and they actually can visualize you talking directly to them. That’s what God wants — that relationship.
Easy Messes Influence Perspective Forever
When you get ready to sit down and write, remember this: Easy Messes Influence Perspective Forever.
- Easy: Keep it easy. Don’t prejudge what God has given you.
- Messes: Life is a messy process.
- Influence: We are called to be relational to other people.
- Perspective: A person’s negative experience can be made positive.
- Forever: Change doesn’t happen with just one writing, but one writing can make a change in a person’s mind that grows on forever.
Christian authors, please know that it’s not an easy process that God is taking you on. But it is an important one. You can take your ugly messes and turn them into something that changes the experience, the hope, and the expectations of someone forever. Let’s help others expect the impossible in only positive ways.
About the Author…
Dori Durbin is a Christian wife, mom, author, illustrator and a kids’ book coach who after experiencing a life-changing illness, quickly switched gears to follow her dream. She creates kids’ books (and coaches others) to provide a fun and safe passageway for kids and parents to dig deeper and experience empowered lives Dori has written three children’s books in her Little Cat Feelings Series: “Little Cat Needs Space,” “Little Cat Feels Left Out,” and “Little Cat & Dog’s Birthday Bake: A Recipe in Caring” and will always own a furry horde of cats. Visit Dori’s website here. Connect with Dori on Facebook and Instagram.
The Christian Authors Network Speak Up Competition
The Speak Up Competition, sponsored by the Christian Authors Network, is a powerful source of hope and light for people all over the world. This year’s theme, “Expect the Impossible,” is a reminder that no matter how dark our situations may look, we always have hope because we know that all things are possible with God! The inspirational messages featured in this series are from the round two finalists. Stay tuned for updates as the competition progresses, and please pray with us that God will use this competition to bless and encourage His people. We know that the speak up community has the power to make a difference in this world, and we can’t wait to see what God does through us!