Beth Troy is an American educator who teaches courses in Creativity + Innovation and Women & Entrepreneurship at Miami University.
Beth Troy used to hold life and dreams in separate hands. For years, she just thought her life would have to look completely different before my dreams could happen. Then she took a leap of faith, wrote a book, and learned that there was space in her life for dreams – and dreaming.
Are you ready to step out and embrace what God has for you? Allow Beth’s advice to encourage you today!
CNJ: What advice would you give to those who gave up on their God-given dreams and purpose?
Keep praying, and remember that God’s call has a “what” and a “when.” We see this all over the Bible where God calls people to their purpose long before it’s go-time. Abraham and Moses are great examples. God promised Abraham a son, and Abraham tried to make that happen in his own time and messed up. God gave Moses a vision of deliverance, and Moses tried to make that happen in his own time and messed up. Each instance brought reprimand and a hands-off period, followed by restoration where they claimed their purpose, but in God’s way and time. Sometimes, God shows us our “what” and then puts it on a shelf for a better “when” – usually because we need to grow up to it to deploy his purpose well. Don’t ignore what God has given you. Talk to him about it. Listen. Hope. Trust. God will let you know when it’s time to move again.
CNJ: What have you learned about sparking your creativity and passion again?
First, I give myself permission to cultivate it! In the early years, I questioned even this. Perhaps my time would be better spent cleaning or working a job that brought a paycheck? I set my writing time in faith and wrote in faith that it was okay for me to write. It turns out, it’s more than okay! In creating stories, I see God as creator. Now, it’s another facet of his character that I know, enjoy, and trust.
Second, I make messes before I bring the polish. Most of my writing starts as handwriting in a journal or legal pad. I feel zero pressure to make something of it and will toss aside the scribbles as readily as I wrote them if they’re not working. There’s no pressure, only exploration. If/when the draft turns into something special, I’ll move it to my computer.
Third, I engage in variety. I like to write books, but if I channeled all of my writing passion toward books, I’d burn out fast. So, I bring that same energy to thank-you notes or smaller form pieces, like this interview. They’re of no less importance to me, and they bring immediate gratification of work done quickly!
CNJ: For those who would say, “I am too busy or too old” to achieve their goals — what would you say to them (you’re going to love her answer!)?
For those who are “too busy” – You have 24 hours every day! It’s your choice to see that as an abundant or scarce resource. I choose abundance. I choose to receive my time not as “mine” but as a gift God has granted me. This sets God as #boss over the day and me as #manager – a role He’s set me up to play well. As such, I remember I have choices, and those look pretty practical in my life, like setting my alarm early so I can work toward my Priority One goal before anyone else is awake. I batch my work to move through it as efficiently as possible. I hold off on email until the afternoon. I remind myself that a string of strategic “no’s” builds to one amazing “Yes!” So, I don’t go on social media much or watch much TV because I’d rather use that time to write books!
For those who are “too old” – God does amazing things with old people. Not to bring him up again, but Abraham was beyond old by the time he had Isaac. Paul had already built a whole other (and opposite) career by the time God called him to missions. Age might mean something to you, but it doesn’t mean anything to God. As long as you’re here, you have purpose. Get to it!
CNJ: We live in a stressed-out society, how can we apply our faith? How do you accomplish this?
First, acknowledge the stress – as in, “I feel stressed.” There’s no use in pretending otherwise. Second, invite God into that stress – “What would you have me do with this feeling of stress today?” Third, know God will help you because He has promised to help you, and fourth, open your mind to the different forms God’s help can take.
I have felt quite a bit of stress lately. I’m a professor, and it’s mid-semester right now. My editor just returned the manuscript for my second book. I am raising three boys! The other morning, my to-do’s for the day kept spilling into my prayer time, and finally, instead of trying to pretend I was focused on God, I stopped. I said, “I am stressed.” I asked God, “What would you have me do with this stress?” His response isn’t always immediate, but this morning it was, and it looked a series of images.
First, God showed me that he is the rock that can displace a cup of stress at any time. Second, God showed me that if it’s his will, I could toss back this stress like a shot. Third, God showed me that though my to-do’s were deep, that didn’t mean I couldn’t dive into them and splash and play. Fourth, God showed me buoyancy. I could float in my cup of stress, if I wished. And I did! That day was a full day of hard work, but I worked it completely differently. I floated.
CNJ: How does your novel, Lu speak to women today?
Lu is a modern woman’s journey to faith that takes into account the WHOLE woman – her highs and lows, her hopes and doubts, her emotions and mind. Women struggle with a sense of belonging. Am I heard? Am I seen? We do this even in God’s presence, wondering if He really loves us where we are and as we are. The story of Lu meets women at this point, and the response has astounded me. “I don’t know whether I am Lu or want to be her” is the feedback I’ve heard from so many readers. The answer of course is, you are you! God is real and God loves the real you, as you are. Now go forth (and hand off the book to someone else who needs it).
We all need to be cheered on, so pursue your dreams, and like Beth says, ‘Now go forth.’
Beth Troy is a writer and educator who teaches courses in Creativity & Innovation and Women & Entrepreneurship at Miami University. Her first novel, Lu, is a modern woman’s journey back to her family, her faith, and herself. Beth will be publishing the sequel in Summer 2020. Beth lives in Ohio with her husband and three sons. Go to her site or follow her on Instagram to read more about her life and writing.
CNJ’s Corine Gatti-Santillo has spent two decades as an editor, investigative reporter and web content strategist; her work has appeared in The Christian Post, LifeZette, the Washington Post and CBN, among other outlets. She is host of the program “Mom on the Right” on The Liberty Beacon TV. She and her husband, Rocky, live in Virginia with their infant daughter and yellow lab Maggie.