Your Big Dreams Are Not Dead
I was feeling overwhelmed with a sense of unworthiness. Normally, unworthiness brings about bad feelings - doubt, shame, incompetence. However, this time my unworthiness created good feelings - awe of God, humility, joy, gratitude.
"I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps!" Genesis 32:10 NLT
God takes the broken, the sinful, the rebellious, the prideful. He takes the unworthy and blesses them beyond measure when they choose to follow Him. Like Jacob said in Genesis, He takes our nothing and makes it full.
"The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him." Daniel 9:9 NIV
For about a decade, I was living in rebellion. I did what I wanted, never stopping to ask God what He wanted. I made so many sinful choices, regretful choices, that ended up leading me down a destructive path. And yet, amidst all my unworthiness, God still saw me, loved me, chose me, had a purpose for me.
"What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?" Psalm 8:4 NIV
A couple years after my rebellious season ended, I heard God's gentle voice say, "Let go of your dream. Follow me. Share your story. Write. Speak." I let go of the dream I wanted to pursue (with much resistance of course). I laid it down at the foot of the cross, trusting that God had a better plan for me. A plan to prosper me. A plan filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) I had no idea what that meant or what would come of it.
My ambitious mind wandered and wondered. Maybe one day I'll speak at a conference. Maybe one day I write a book. I figured my "go-getter" brain was directing those thoughts because God probably had something much smaller in mind for me.
I carefully prayed over each step I took towards this new dream. I read His word for guidance and God continued to confirm my direction every step of the way.
"Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track." Proverbs 3:6 MSG
I was feeling the fullness that comes from following God, but I often sat and wondered if I had blown it. I thought my sin had messed up "the plan". I wanted to believe Romans 8:28 - that God would work everything together for good - but there was a part of me that truly wondered how good it would be.
There was no way big dreams could be a reality anymore. I had missed my chance to dream big. I had definitely screwed that up. God had a plan for me, a good plan, but this would now be a much smaller version than what I originally pictured.
I think there is a lie we all choose to believe that when God calls us it should be hard. We think that if we want something, it is probably not what God wants. We feel as though we must suffer when following God's path. We feel guilty for being happy because if we are happy we must be following our own ways and not Gods.
Sometimes suffering is part of the journey, sometimes hard work is involved, but in the end, God's plan for us is always good and always fulfilling. It adds energy to our soul. It adds joy to our life. It adds peace to our mind. It adds rest to our pace.
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." Psalm 37:4 NLT
When we align our hearts with God's, drawing near to Him through prayer, we start wanting the same things He wants. It's a natural result.
That's what the verse in Psalm 37 is talking about. Not that God will just hand over everything we want, but that when we seek Him our true desires become known. When we follow Him and stay in His will, our heart's newly discovered desires - the ones God placed there - become reality.
"Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family that you have given me all this? For all the great things you have already done for me are nothing in comparison to what you have promised to do in the future!" 1 Chronicles 17:16-17 TLB
A few days ago, I was asked to speak at a women's retreat. Instant excitement. I sat and prayed, asking God if this was His next step for me. I've learned that self-led choices bring tension, but God-led choices bring tranquility. So, when I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, I knew it had to be from God.
This is when I faced my unworthiness. After all I'd done in the past, I couldn't believe God was granting the wishes of my heart. My big dreams were not dead. I sat there grateful, humbled, and amazed at His goodness.
"I cannot think of anyone more unworthy to this cause than I, the least of the least of the saints. But here I am, a grace-made [woman], privileged to be an echo of His voice..." Ephesians 3:8 The Voice
Thank you, Lord, for not giving up on me. Thank you for redeeming my mistakes. Thank you for calling me and giving me purpose. Thank you for letting me dream big again.
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service." 1 Timothy 1:12 NIV
What dreams has God asked you to surrender? Will you trust Him and let go?
Was new dreams has God called you to? Will you follow His lead?
The path He takes us on is eternally good. All we have to do is lean into Him (through prayer and reading scripture) and continue to follow His lead. I promise you won't regret it.