Happy Monday … it’s so hard to believe that it’s New Years Eve!!! This morning started out a little later than usual! It felt so good to sleep until 6:30am… and even as I was sipping my London Fog and writing a few notes for my other blog I just felt so unsettled in my soul. I still can’t put my finger on why I feel unsettled BUT I know that I need to give it to God and allow Him to help me sort it out.
I know that no matter what… I will get through this day with a little sweet tea, a dab of marmalade, and a whole lot of Jesus !
I always find it quite funny that every year at this time someone always ask this question … “What God-inspired dream are you carrying around in your heart”?
Well… a few years back I was leading a Dream Big summit for young ladies (some were college students, some single moms, and some were just there for the hope of a second chance), as we were all crammed into a make shift chapel room .. I could have heard a pin drop as I asked that very question.
All eyes seemed to be looking down… no one made eye contact with me … and I found myself shifting from one foot to the other. Fingers fiddled with the summit handouts while others found their pens and began to fiercely doodle. One young lady was so focused on her Mountain Dew label that as I watched her a giggle almost escaped my lips. Seconds ticked by silently as I gave them time to think.
Surely someone will say something, I thought, as the silence turned awkward. It was so quiet that I just knew they could hear the beating of my heart and the slight panic sound of my breathing.
But no one said anything. Hmmm, then the thought came to me …maybe I’ll try another approach. So I revised the question, “What would you do for God if you were not afraid to fail?
Again, crickets …. lots of crickets!
I remember so vividly the sights and sounds of that day … and as I sit here in the early morning I can still see their precious faces.
Their ages ranging from 18-27 … my heart ached for these young ladies , because even though they were close in age they were all in different stages of life.
I knew from our M&M game at the beginning of our summit that most of them were not living in the “carefree” stage of life…. the had concerns … things that worried them and kept them awake at night… and caused them to fear taking another step , so they just stayed “unsure & stuck”.
Although they weren’t complaining, real challenges slipped into their answers: jobs, demanding schoolwork, caring for children without any support, failing relationships, health issues, family drama, and so much more.
The idea of a God-given dream must seem impossible when your raising a 2-year-old alone and your money is dwindling…. and you can’t juggle all that life is throwing at you. In fact, getting through the day without falling apart was the only “dream” shared that day by one tired young lady when the quiet of the question became too much.
The very lack of our dreams became the topic of conversation that afternoon as we realized we’d forgotten to dream for ourselves.
We knew how to dream years ago; children have no problem dreaming big dreams. Yet as life responsibilities pile up, it’s so easy to forget to dream. In fact, sometimes a dream even felt selfish when there were so many other needs.
Yet when God gives us a dream, it’s not for selfish reasons, it’s for His reasons…. Kingdom reasons … reasons that bring Him all the glory. And how amazing is it that He has uniquely wired us to be able to fulfill the dream with His help.
It’s one thing to read the scripture that I posted above this line …. It’s truly another thing altogether for us to believe those words with our whole heart. Especially when our inner doubts find their way to the surface… causing us to become blind to what God is really wanting to do in us and through us.
When the doubt clouds are vision we start thinking on the things that are not true:
How could God choose me for anything important when I can’t even go to Walmart without my child having a meltdown?
How could I be set apart when there’s nothing special about me? I can’t even get to up on time most days … but I’m set apart , unmmm, right… more like I’m falling apart !
A smile comes to my face this morning as I remember walking around the room and lifting each lovely chin so they would finally make eye contact with me ….. and in my softest most reassuring voice I shared this thought…. “here’s what I know about God: He crafted each of us with such great love and intentionality that the dream He wants to give us is what we were created to do.”
Now for those of you reading this right now… take a pause and let that sink in … because I actually said those words three times that day at our summit…. wow !
He knows our potential because He placed it there. Inside each of us, He deposited seeds of talent. He appointed our personalities. He established our strengths. And all these wonderful things lay in wait for His Spirit to empower us to pursue our God-given dreams.
So today on this wonderful New Year’s Eve let’s rip that “impossible” label off, crumble it up and throw it in the trash can. And then, like a child, let’s remember to dream again.
My dream of branding my own line of Doodle My Story Junk Journals was a dream I carried around for several years…. always afraid of rejection. So many nights I would doodle my plan, I would pray , and practice … but in the end I boxed it all up and placed it in the bottom of my hope chest !! That was until just about 8 weeks ago …. and that little dream birthed another dream that I had totally forgotten about.
I leave you my sweet friends with this nugget….”Perhaps the greatest reason we stop dreaming God-dreams…. is because we let people and their chatter, facts and figures determine the probability of achieving our dreams.….. when all we really need to do is look to the One that placed the dreams inside of us.
Happy New Year … and I know in my knower the best is yet to come.