Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dare to Dream





Jaded.

There is no other word I can come up with.

I used to be a dreamer.  

A BIG dreamer.

Then life happened.  Things didn't turn out as expected.  People didn't cooperate.  I quit dreaming.  I became bitter.  

I became jaded.

I knew the desires of my heart and could not figure out why God wasn't giving them to me.  Girls this is a miserable place to be.  

So I want to share with a few things I have learned about broken dreams, bitterness, and healing:

First, God wants us to have dreams and visions about the future but they happen in His timing not ours.  Thats a tough one to swallow especially if what you long for is a good thing and you really can't see any real reason why it would not line up with God's heart for you. I know the pain of this one.  This is a dangerous place because we either keep believing and having faith or we become bitter.  

In 1 Samuel chapter 1 Hannah desperately wanted a child.  This was a good longing.  There was only one problem….her womb had been closed and she had become bitter.  The beauty of this story is we know the ending.  She has a son. The problem with our dreams and we really can't see into the future to know if they happen.  

We wait.  

We wonder.  

We don't know the ending.

I dreamed for many many years of a missions experience with my man.  I remember where the seed was planted.  I was maybe about 23 and we had lunch with a missionary couple from Papua New Guinea.  I listened intently to their story and I was immediately sold. I was ready to go into the unknown.  Sell everything.  Live in a hut.  I was READY….he was not.  I begged.  I pleaded.  He said no and I stopped dreaming.  Then I started going alone.  He was super supportive.  He sent me with his blessing but he would not go along and after every experience I longed even more for him to share it with me. I got a little bitter (ok I admit it I got a lot bitter). And finally after my last trip out of the country to Colombia I left go.  I decided to be thankful for his gracious support of me and to go when I could and to pray for our hearts to be one.  

I realized in my big dream to serve God- God was more interested in my heart than my willingness to go and He wanted unity in my marriage.

Guess what happened???  Just like Hannah at the point of letting go God gave me my dream.  I leave in less than 2 weeks to go to Ghana, West Africa.  Not alone but WITH MY MAN!!!!!

So remember I said that dream started when I was about 23…well I'm not anywhere close to that age any more.  This dream took literally years to be realized.  Its in God's timing.  Not mine.  

So my question to you is what have you given up on? Are you bitter?  Do you need to let go?  I can't make any promises how things will turn out because even though that dream of mine was realized in God's timing some of my dreams are still out there. But I decided I am going to dare to keep dreaming. 

I want to err on the side of faith.

I want to be the girl that dreams again.

No longer jaded.

No longer bitter. 

Full of anticipation in the wait.

Second, even though some dreams need to be put to rest,  some need to be resurrected.  I am resurrecting my dream of writing a Bible study.  I love the story of Hannah and I have spent two years studying those two short chapters in first Samuel.  And even though I'm terribly afraid of failure I have dreamed of writing about it and I decided unless God closes the door I am going to push on boldly.  

Girls don't let Satan steal something that is yours.  Your dreams are yours.  Don't let the enemy destroy them!

Finally, I dream of a place for women to grow and flourish.  A community where they can come together and be encouraged and resurrect their dreams.  Is this something that interests you?  Check out the Refresh and Renew Conference coming in October.  I think you will find this is a place just like that!

Blessings!

P.S. I am looking to do some teaching on Hannah this fall and spring.  If you are interested in hearing more and are looking for a speaker for your next event contact me!





3 comments:

Sara R. said...

Such a great post! So exciting to hear how God works through the longings of our heart. I just finished a fantastic book on this and I think you would love it too. Check it out here http://longingforparis.com/

Denise said...

Sara! I just ordered that book :-) Thanks for the encouraging words!

Sara R. said...

Oh great!! I'll be interested to hear what you think :-) Hope you can take advantage of the pre-order bonuses which include a pre-release digital copy of the book and a live webinar tomorrow night with Sally Clarkson. Details here http://sarahmae.com/2015/07/more-gifts-for-you-because-pre-order-loooooove/