My whole life, I’ve been too scared to dream. I just wanted to do what God wanted me to do; which, to me, was living from paycheque to paycheque, surviving, never missing church on Sunday, pouring everything we could into said church, trying to get people to come to church, and not really living in true joy. It’s what I grew up with and what I knew. I thought when I grow up, I’ll get married, have a couple of kids and that will be pretty much it.
I tried my hand at college, but the sophomore slump is an uphill battle and I only made it halfway through my second year before I came home. So any dream of getting a degree and doing something with my life, died. Back to square none.
I don’t even think I realized that I could dream until I was a newly single mom of three very little girls, and I didn’t know what my next move was. I would pray, “God, I don’t know what you want me to do with my life. I don’t have a dream for myself and I don’t know what to do.” I didn’t even know how to dream or what it looked like to dream.
I remember standing in my kitchen, praying about this and the Lord said to me, “you don’t know what to dream because the dream I have for you is bigger than you could ever imagine for yourself.”
I thought, well I do enjoy speaking, so maybe I could be the next Lisa Bevere or Christine Caine or women like that, in ministry. The Lord told me to think bigger. I didn’t know what could be bigger than that. However, I also realized that whatever we’re doing, when it’s God’s dream for us, it’s huge. Whether it’s being a mom to three little girls or being a speaker and preacher known worldwide, it’s all big to God.
I think as moms especially, I suppose dad‘s too, when we are in the mundane, day-to-day, raising kids, living from paycheque to paycheque, and just surviving, we don’t dream. We don’t know how to dream, or we just put whatever dream we may have, to the side. But when we put our dreams away for a long period of time, or even permanently, it can cause us to lose hope.
Writing wasn’t a dream of mine until recently. It started as more of a battle actually. The Lord would asked me to write and I would think of every excuse not to. I kept myself so busy doing so many other things. I didn’t think that I was a good writer, either. I still sometimes struggle with that actually, but like anything in life, the more we practice, the better we become. I enjoy it now, and look forward to getting my thoughts on paper.
I also thought that if the Lord wanted me to write and speak, that I would go from being not known what-so-ever, to very known like Lisa Bevere or Joyce Meyer, in no time. If God was going to make it happen, there would be no in between and I wouldn’t have to work for it. I see now that that’s not how it works. Honestly, it makes me chuckle thinking I had that kind audacity.
Now, I am trying to follow the Lord‘s leading and do what he’s asked me to do. Sometimes it’s with a fight. I tell him that I am very unqualified, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to do it and I don’t want to do it. But deep inside the very core of my heart, there’s a dream and a love for writing and speaking. And the more I do it, the more I can’t stop thinking about it, the more ideas I get, the more it comes to me in the night time, and the more passion I have for it.
I also think that the idea I had in my mind about what writing would look like, was more glamorous than it is. Often times, we have a picture of what we think it should look like when we do it. I never pictured myself sitting at my desk in my bathrobe, with major bad head and remnants of yesterday‘s make up still on my face, drinking coffee, trying to get my ideas on paper before my head explodes. But here I am, in all this glory, and getting up every five minutes to let my dog in and out, because she can’t decide what she wants to do with her life either.
I had a conversation with a friend who said that she’s been afraid to dream for quite some time. But God has been speaking to her about her dreams and the things that he has planned for her. After seeing me go for my dreams she was inspired to dream again, too. The baby dream seed I recently started nurturing into something bigger, little by little, has prompted her to start nurturing her baby dream seed.
I often think of the verse in Ephesians, that God is able to do more than we could ever ask for, think of, and dream for, according to the power that works in us (3:20). He has way bigger dreams for us than we could ever have for ourselves. Getting out of the mindset of settling for the mundane, day to day it’s not something I want do anymore. When Ephesians 3:20 says, according to the power that works in us, to me, that means taking the first step into the unknown, into a life that we didn’t know we could dream for.
We tell her kids to dream big! They can be anything they want to be! So let’s tell ourselves that too! No matter how much life we’ve already lived, we can still be anything we want to be! More than likely, the dream that you have for yourself; the huge one that’s in the back closet of your heart and soul, the one that keeps you up at night, the one you would never voice out loud because it’s so big; that dream was put there by the Lord, himself.
Sure, you might have to wait a few years until the kids get a little older and you’re in a better position to pursue your dream. Or maybe you don’t have to wait! Maybe you can step out right now. And maybe it will only be a baby step, in a direction you don’t know, where it feels so dark and uncomfortable. When I initially asked the Lord how to take the first step, and which direction to go, he just said, “just go forward.” I had no idea what that looked like.
Talk to people who you know will encourage you with your dream, even if it’s just in part. I’ve had people give me huge time management ideas, in quick, passing conversations. I was dropping my daughter off to a birthday party, and my daughter’s friend’s mom, told me what she does to make time for her dream. It was so helpful! Other people have really encouraged me to keep going when I wanted to give up. Still others have given me contacts, websites to go to, good apps to use, or ideas on how to get my book from my computer, to published, and into the hands of readers.
It is God’s pure joy and delight to see us living our dream. To see us living the dream that he planted into our hearts before we were even born. So I encourage you to take that first step!