“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
I’d just dropped my daughter off at school. And, as I often did, I began speaking to God on the way back home, muttering the same old prayer and plea for help over the top of my travel mug. Normally my morning prayer was a sleepy-eyed attempt spoken from sort of a shallow place inside more out of routine than anything else; thank you for this one and for that one, help me to be all You want me to be today, yada-yada-yada.
But this morning was different. There, in the quiet of the car, I prayed and spoke from a much deeper place – a much deeper need.
“Lord, you know all that’s weighing on my shoulders, and only You know this inner turmoil I’ve felt and the constant fight. So show me, Lord. I’ve wanted to do something useful with my life for so long – something more, but I want to hear it from you. If you can hear me this morning, then please, speak to me…what is it that you want me to do?”
Finally, that day the answer came through clearly in three simple words: “write – for – me”. I almost stopped the car and dropped my cup! The words were nearly audible.
My first thought? Well, duh? We’re supposed to glorify God in all we do and say, so it only makes sense that He would lead me right back to my passion; my love of writing, AND to do it all for Him! I just needed to be clunked over the head with it, in a gentle, God-loving way of course.
So, it was time to dust off the old self-esteem and confidence issues and resurrect the articles and the book manuscripts that I’d tossed in a corner waiting for “someday” to roll around.
But that’s when the Lord showed me
that I was indeed living my “someday.”
He made me realize that without the fire of a dream burning within us – without a passion for opportunities that come our way, we become fruit that withers on the vine. When we lose site of our dreams or the magnitude of the possibilities, it’s easy to talk ourselves into thinking it’s too late in life to pursue them, or that the obstacles we face are greater than our abilities…abilities we possess only because our living, loving God has already gifted them to us. Again, If you’re still here – there’s still work to be done!
You are never too old to be blessed or to be a blessing to others.
It’s true! God has plans for YOU, and plans to prosper YOU. He is our hope in attaining our dreams and goals. He saw the obstacles in your path long ago, and even way back then, He knew your inhibitions and your insecurities.
So, what’s holding you back from pursuing your life-long dream?
Lack of self confidence or resources?
You may see them as obstacles, but nothing is too big for our God.
Is there someone in your life, either intentionally or subtly, stealing your joy, ultimately preventing you from pursuing that which makes your heart sing? Remember that it’s God’s plans for you that matter. You have the power of the One who conquered the grave on your side, and He intends to watch you succeed. So why not work toward your dream knowing that the Lord is on the sidelines cheering you on!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish." (Hebrews 12:1) NLT
As we go through this series, it’s important to first realize and acknowledge the fact that you DO indeed possess gifts and qualities uniquely yours.
There are women all over the world who have lost their spark. They’ve mastered the look of composure and contentment on the outside, but in a more intimate setting where true feelings are revealed, you find there’s a real storm brewing just under that smile. Many have either become bogged down with the stress of life and have relinquished control over to obligations or painful memories of a treacherous past, while others are victims of circumstance and shattered faith. Many simply can’t see beyond the sea of pre-school toys, bottles and diapers and have lost the sense of who they are and who they want to be.
Wherever you are in life, the Lord is ready and waiting to comfort and guide you toward your dreams – so, let’s identify and clarify your dream or calling in life in order to begin the process of attaining it.
However, don’t confuse your life’s dream with simply something you enjoy doing in your spare time. Your innermost dream is that one nagging desire deep down in your heart that doesn’t fade with time; the one thing you’ve felt called to do all your life but inhibitions and that little voice of negativity have prevented you from moving forward.
That’s the dream upon which your Creator wants you to act.
How do you know your dream in life is the one you should pursue?
Have you prayed about it?
Have you listened for God’s answer?
Your innermost dream is not a misplaced jewel. God knew exactly what He was doing when He fit the dream to you. He’s always known that you would be the perfect one to carry out His mission. Whether it’s a position in ministry, starting your own business, earning a college degree, writing a book or setting sail for a distant country, it’s going to require taking that first step beyond what’s comfortable for you….the good news? You won’t have to do it alone!
"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." (Isaiah 58:11)
Your innermost dream is the one that brings about emotion as you allow yourself to remember what it meant to you before life got in the way. This may or may not be the first physical step toward actively pursuing what you’ve been called to do with your life, but it may help to think of the word “dream” as a noun; an object you are striving to obtain, instead of a verb (such as the act of dreaming). Your dream is very real to you, and very real to God.
Take a minute now to write out your dream whether in a Word doc or in long hand. You may surprise yourself as you acknowledge and visualize your goal, but remember: don’t write what you think will be acceptable to someone else – this is your dream, so use your own words.
Once you’ve written out your dream, put it someplace visible so you’re reminded of it throughout the week. Even if it’s just a Sticky Note on the front of the fridge or microwave, or even simple words scratched on the back of an envelope and stuck on the bathroom mirror, it will serve as a reminder that the dream is still alive. It still exists and so does God’s confidence in you!
Thanks so much for letting me share these thoughts with you. Join me next Monday for Part 2 of “The Courage to Fly.”