Dreaming

dream; a strongly desired goal or purpose

I’ve always been a dreamer. One who looks to try and find something more out of something less. It’s just a part of me. But over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about dreaming. And what it’s taught me is this…

The dreams of our past will not always be the desires of our future. 

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And over the past few years, God has used a cycle to yes, accomplish my dreams – but also, prune the ones out of me that I thought would be what I was looking for. You see the gratification of dreaming usually is because we feel we will gain or become someone or something once that dream is accomplished.

It happened when I thought because I love to write, that I would be a great song writer. I wasn’t.
It happened when I thought I would love living in New York City. I didn’t.
It happened when I thought that I could make myself love cottage cheese, because ‘supposedly’ it helps you knock that plateau weight you have been trying to break. And it’s still the most disgusting thing in the planet to me.
It happened last year when I thought that I would LOVE to travel for work. And I hated it.

Some of these are silly – and some shaped and altered the direction of my life. God gave me an opportunity to experience what I thought was best, so that in the end, I could see that only He knows what’s best. And you know what, there are still countless dreams in my heart that I present to the Lord on a daily basis. Each time I pray that He would allow me the vision to see and the discernment to know if these are His best for me. And if they’re not, would He help me let them go.

Last night, I had a hard conversation with one of my best friends. The ones where it ends in a silent hug and both hearts are feeling and yearning so much for comfort, joy, and answers. And as I have been praying all day – I can’t help but think about a time when God taught me the lesson of sacrifice in a way that was painful, misunderstood (at the time), and overwhelmingly humbling.

{{{Over a year ago as I was driving home for the holidays and was praying about the trip and what it would be like. You see, it was the first Christmas that I wouldn’t spend in the house I grew up in, and wouldn’t wake up on Christmas morning with both my parents in the same house. And I was praying and asking the Lord to prepare my heart and give me an extra dose of strength and comfort for myself and my family. During this time, I began lifting up my future husband and our future family – and God asked me a question that in an instant brought tears, disbelief, and discomfort. He said, “Jessica, my love – if you never get married, will I be enough?

I was honestly, in shock. For years I resisted marriage and told the Lord over and over that I didn’t want it – and just a couple years before I had allowed my heart to be open to the idea. And now, now He wanted me to be okay if it never happened? “God – why? Are you teasing me? This doesn’t make any sense. Why would you even ask that?” So with all these questions flying through my mind – my mouth spoke the only thing my heart could muster up the courage to say “I can’t answer that right now.”

And I didn’t answer it for over 2 months. I couldn’t. And I knew I couldn’t answer it until I knew that I could have the same heart that Abraham had when he took that journey with Isaac. You see, his son was not the only thing represented in that sacrificial test – it was the dream of leaving a legacy that would also die alongside his only son.

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac his son to carry. He carried the flint and the knife. The two of them went off together. Isaac said to Abraham his father, “Father?” “Yes, my son.” “We have flint and wood, but where’s the sheep for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “Son, God will see to it that there’s a sheep for the burnt offering.” And they kept on walking together.They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son. Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! “Yes, I’m listening.” (Genesis 22:6-11 MSG)

Two months went by and almost everyday I prayed and asked God for the will to let go of my own dream, my own agenda, my own timeline – and lay it down for His dream, His plan, and His timing. And then one night at a service at my church – the time came when I bowed my heart and my head and opened my hands, and tearfully said out loud, “Okay, Lord – if I never get married, you will be enough for me.” And I’ll never forget that moment – it was one of the hardest ones of my life. To lay down the dream of a family, of restoration, of purpose from the pain – all for a reason unbeknownst to me. In the months following that covenant I had made with the Lord spiritually, began to fully echo into my entire life physically. From identity, to purpose, to insecurities, to it all. Through that promise that God was more important to me than my own dreams – I was able to fully receive my full placement, identity, and purpose in the Kingdom of God. I was able to fully receive because I had a glimpse of what it was like to fully give up.}}}

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV)

And now? I still don’t know when or if I will get married. I believe that is God’s will for me – but even if it isn’t, my heart is content. But you know what – contentment isn’t always pleasant. Paul was content in Philippians 4:12, but he was also in prison. His heart was content – but his physical state of being wasn’t the most comfortable. And I think that is where we get confused. We think that spiritual contentment will always breed physical comfort. And my friends, I don’t believe that is the case. 

In conclusion, I don’t know what your dream is. Maybe yours is to have a family, to be a mother, to be a teacher, to be a Governor, to climb a really tall mountain or take a really long road trip across the US. Maybe yours is to write a book, or a song, or poetry. Maybe yours is marriage or ministry. Or maybe, maybe you don’t know what yours is yet. My friends, my heart for us all is that we would allow God to intercede into our dreams and interrupt our lives so that, in the end, the “immeasurably more” He has in mind will find its way not just into our dreams, but into our reality. 

keep dreaming, friends.

xoxo

jess

p.s. to my friend. I dedicate this blog to you. I love your heart and all that God has done in you, through you, and around you. I love that you see things through a lens of love and not a lens of hate. I love that your passion meets your actions. I love that in a season of learning, growing, and finding myself – God allowed our paths to cross so that we could do it together. You are a rock and the dreams of your heart will come to pass. And my friend – I will rejoice in tears, laughter, and worship when they do. Until then – we keep going, we trust together, and we eat cheesecake and cry on each others shoulders until God sees fit for our reality to meet our dreams. all my love, jenny. 

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