I have recently made a bold, internal decision to try new things. A whole bunch of new habits, goals, tasks, projects, approaches to situations, perspectives. I’m passionately opening myself up to God teaching me new. I love change. I love adventure. So it’s been exciting, but really hard at the same time! I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned in the two months I’ve been at this.
- God created us with dreams – little glimpses of what we are designed to do and be on this earth. I’m learning to take the dreams seriously. Here’s how:
- Hang onto them! I have been surprised how many dreams I am remembering that I had, but that I’ve set aside for the here and now. I’m determined to let the dream inform my here and now. I’m not going to lose heart, or forget what God has planted in me, even if it’s not time to do them yet.
- Get Ready! Getting ready is best summed up in one word: Practice. The time to prepare for something isn’t the moment the season starts, it’s before. Havilah Cunnington (I love her) recently made the point that if we have toddlers running around the house, we should have books on our nightstand about how to raise teenagers. I’m talking about that sort of long-term preparation. The type that says, Hm, someday I want to write a book. I can’t see myself doing that for at least a decade. But you know what? I’m going to write a paragraph a day until that day comes. This is also called ‘faithfulness’. Being full of faith that what God called us to will happen as we press in and prepare. I see it also as being a good steward of what God has given us. So we might not be the best or most talented, or be the brightest star, but will we say yes to stewarding (taking care of, cultivating, growing) what God has given us?
- It’s ok to stumble forward. In Dave’s wedding vows to me, he mentioned how in many ways we had stumbled along in our relationship, but that because of the goodness of God, we were standing together at the altar that day. For a while I wished that our story didn’t include so much stumbling forward…because stumbling can be awkward, it can hurt our pride. But I’ve come to see the beauty and value in stumbling forward. It always shines the light brighter on the one who catches us, who holds us, who gets us to the goal despite ourselves. It glorifies God. It takes bravery to say, yeah, I’m going to try this because I think it is something I’m called to. Because we hate exposing ourselves unless we’re confident that we’re going to look good. Raise your hand if you are one of the humans that don’t want to make big mistakes in front of people! Yeah, we’re all together in that. Fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives requires stepping out, even when we’re sure we’ll look a little foolish doing it. It’s the only way to grow!
Fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives requires stepping out, even when we’re sure we’ll look a little foolish doing it. It’s the only way to grow!
- Trying new things for the purpose of change and growth, and giving credence and value to dreams, is ultimately to glorify (to reveal, or make clear, to describe or represent) God. Dreams that are about self-promotion, or filling a gap in my identity aren’t coming from God.
- In the parable (a simple story used to illustrate a lesson) of the master who distributed money to three of his servants (found in Matthew 25), you’ll notice that the servants were entrusted with resources, but no exact directives on what to do with them. However, the expectation was that they would steward (care for, manage, direct) the resources and produce growth. If God has given us a gift, a passion, a skill . . . it is our responsibility before Him to steward (care for, manage, direct) the gifts in a way that causes growth and benefits the witness of Christ. Practicing and preparing and stumbling forward towards cultivating the dreams that God has planted inside of us isn’t optional for the follower of Jesus!
God made us to be dreamers. (And if you have trouble dreaming, ask God to give you dreams! And be bold enough to admit you have them, even if they seem ridiculous to where you are at now.) God also created us to be doers. Sometimes there is a long gap between the dream and the doing. During that phase➜Don’t lose sight of the dream➜Get ready for it➜Practice➜Acknowledge that you will stumble forward sometimes➜Keep your eyes on Jesus➜Feel the weight of responsibility that comes with the dreams, gifts and call of God on your life➜Be brave enough to try new things on the journey!