“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S Lewis
It’s quite surprising to me that it took me so long in life to understand this quote. Recently I was eating lunch with a friend at Chik-fil-A, because, duh. Anyways, as I was telling him about my endless to-do list items, and how it seems that my ‘dreams’ had come true, but explaining to him why I still felt so lonely, like – something was still missing? He then, more than encouraged me about my journey, but repeated this quote. And for the first time, I heard it the way I think it was intended to be heard. We all want the easy way…
For two years I was unemployed off and on, and all I wanted was the job I now have. For years I was held down by my innate ability to try and control all things – including trying to control people and situations – that I never really could ‘let go and let God.” But now, I don’t feel weighed down by the need to “fix,” “repair,” “hold together” anyone or anything. The prayers I spent tears and sleepless nights on, are answered. They are memorials to the mountains I faced in my past – that looked impossible – are not victoriously in my past.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? That we can pray and pray, and then God answers – and you know what we do? We start praying and becoming frustrated about the next mountain, instead of recalling, sitting and resting in a state of worship and thankfulness for what He JUST brought us through.
This month is a whirlwind of meetings, events, and emotional transitions that I really don’t even feel I am fully comprehending because my schedule is so demanding. But I remember what I promised God at the beginning of this month – remember and remind. So, I look back at what He has done and I remember what brought me to THIS relationship with the Lord. The raw, honest, truth-telling woman you see (or hear) on this side of the screen. She came from raw, honest, truth-telling with the Lord moments and prayers. I don’t hide anything from Him. Although, none of us really can anyways – I now, verbally process all things with Him.
If we’re going to verbally (written typing counts) with the world, why wouldn’t we with our Creator and the Lover of our Soul?
This series is about truly spotlighting #TheGoldenOne during my golden birthday month – so, I feel this is the best way to do it. Tell you how to be real and honest with Him – how exactly? Well, give you a few steps on the raw truth of dreaming with God. It’s not a magical carpet ride, no – it’s more like riding the Titan, backwards, blindfolded.
Relatable? I thought so – just wait.
God’s Dreams Can’t Be Figured Out
Believe me, I’ve tried. You won’t be able to figure out the details, the timing, the why, or the how. God is a God who delights in His children ‘being‘ with Him. And why would we need to be with Him, if we knew where to go and what to do already? Yeah, I know good question. He reminds me of that question every time I yell, “Really, God? What the heck are you doing?”
For instance, last year my total income was $22K – yeah, I know – I have no idea how I lived. Today, my income is more than double this. Why tell you this? Because right now God has me living with someone, when I could afford a place on my own. Has me not paying off extra on my loans, but having money to be able to bless someone when/if the Lord says on the spot.
And it’s frustrating, why? Because it’s not what feels comfortable to me.
2. God’s Dreams Won’t Be Comfortable
Yeah, you might as well get you a really good mattress because your dreams at night will be the only time you’ll be ‘comfortable’ while dreaming when you choose God’s way. You see, God’way creates uncomfortable moments along the journey – why? So that in that, you may work OUT of you and in the same moment God can work IN you. It’s a backwards game of Father/child that ends in you becoming more mature. (Romans 5)
How is this now? Well, you see – right now I am living my career ‘dream.’ It really could be gone tomorrow, but for now – I am truly humbled that God would open a door like this and give me the position that I have. It truly is a honor. So, the twist? My job is really the only area I feel is going according to the ‘dream’ or another way to put it, ‘my destiny.’
3. You Don’t Have to Know All the Steps
I don’t get what is happening, on a daily I throw my hands up and have to surrender – again, multiple times a day – to the fact that I have no idea what He is doing. And you know what? I don’t even want to know. I really do love surprises – just if I know when/how/where/what is going on. Yeah, chaotic mind – right? You see God’s ways are much higher and if He gave us ALL the steps to our life, we would be so overwhelmed we wouldn’t be able to properly fulfill anything.
He wants us to succeed. Therefore, He gives us what we can handle in the moment – even if we don’t necessarily think we can handle it.
A story for this one – in college I was in love with a guy. We had an emotional relationship that was ‘comfortable‘ for both of us. I got an internship that moved me to New York City. Once it was official I was moving, both of us became emotional volcanoes – always roaring, but never really erupting. We just caused fear and anxiety in each other constantly. That summer, God (divinely) led me to a friend who told me point blank that this young man (the college love) was not ‘mine,’ and ‘I needed to let him go.’ It was really hard to hear, but even harder to avoid the truth in it.
After a month of continual volcano drama, I came home from being in NYC for a couple months. We both knew we needed to part ways, but stripping away an emotional relationship is like tearing off duct tape from not so smooth surface – when you pull away, no matter how hard you try – some of the other person gets left, and some of you stays. It was the hardest thing (at the time) I had ever done. But you know what happened? Three months later I get a call from him saying he had met someone, and a year later I was at their wedding.
When that friend spoke to me that this man wasn’t mine – I was heartbroken, but what I didn’t know was that following through in obedience in that would not only lead to him having the heart capacity and emotional freedom to meet and fall in love with his wife – but also, prepare me to let go of a much closer relationship just a year later.
4. You Have No Idea What God Is Doing
So, God has given you a promise? One that will one day call you mom, or a husband or wife, or a company, a music store, a dance studio, a country to visit or become a missionary in? Whatever it is – there are SO many steps along the way – and focusing on the seen instead of having faith in the unseen will get you in real trouble.
Don’t pay attention to what you can see, trust in the character of the One you worship. This is the very reason is why I love worship so much. It’s where I tell the Lord, in many words, dances, and shouts – that I believe that what I see isn’t the end. That what He is doing is going to be “immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine.”
Having faith in the unseen is really hard. It’s literally looking at nothing and believing for something. It’s choosing to stay positive when everything around you screams that it’s okay to be negative. It takes courage, hope, joy, peace, kindness, love, and so much faith. But you know what? Your destiny wasn’t meant to be small nor easy – so why should the process to get it be anything other than complex or hard?
5. True Dreaming (Like God Desires) Is Hard
Heard of a man named Abraham? What if God showed up one morning to you and told you to leave everyone and everything you’ve known to go ‘somewhere.’ Yeah – I know. One day I’m gonna give Abe a huge hug and a slight shake, because – His story of faith and obedience tests mine daily. Each day I cry out to God for some kind of relief, answer, and/or clarity – God takes me to this story.
I will be honest with you, having a dream that is initiated by God won’t be easy. It will take a lot of work, a lot of faith, and a lot of recalling His past faithfulness and reminding yourself of His current character. God never changes, and His ways are perfectly timed. He’s not late, but don’t we all know, He’s never early either.
He’ll show up just in time – so the truth? The truth is your pillows will be stained with tears, your nights may feel lonely or empty at moments, your thoughts may have to fight negativity and self-pity, and your heart will constantly have to choose faith over fear, hope over despair, and joy instead of resentment. But you know what? God isn’t scared of those emotions either. He can take them. Remember when I said I verbally process with Lord? This is what I mean. I yell at God telling Him how I want to feel joy, but I’m resentful because I just can’t see nor understand why or how or what. I don’t shy away from what I’m feeling, because for years I swept it under a rug and I “hid” it from the Lord. But don’t we all know, the lamp doesn’t need to be covered – so why should the growth of our dreams?
So, now? Now I verbally process it all – when the joyous job offer comes through and I cry because I can’t image how or why or what – I scream and show with praise and thankfulness. But, on the other side of that – when I drive home after seeing countless couples, babies, and…families – I cry out honest and real talk asking God why not, how will I ever, or what and when. The difference is, after I’m raw and honest, I remind myself of His raw and honest truth. The truth that He knows me better than I know myself. The truth that He is for me, so who could be against me. The truth that He’s working ALL things together for my good. The truth that though I make my own plans and timing, He plans will always prevail. And honestly, I don’t want anything different – even if my temporary emotions tell me otherwise.
It’s this raw and honest truth that will keep you dreaming with God. Though He desires your raw and honest heart, He desires for you to know His more.
Don’t stop dreaming. But also, don’t try to do it alone. Stay steadfast, keep pushing onward, don’t give up, and choose to be raw and honest over pushing it under the rug. Your dreams will never come true under there.