I’ve never really been a dreamer. Day-dreamer, yes, and I definitely have an imagination to envision great things that definitely haven’t come true, but dreaming of the future isn’t something you will catch me doing. I think that part of my brain was pushed into a back closet or attic in my head somewhere because it’s an exercise I’m learning to dust off and figure out lately. It all hapepend because of the book, “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. I realized I don’t dream about the future at all. I’ve been unpacking why that is. I never would of considered myself a fearful person, I definitely act and take risk and enjoy change. Something about dreaming scares me, and I’m pretty sure it is mainly because I am afraid to be disappointed. I know this stems from lies I’ve learned to believe about God and His Will for my life, but also our society isn’t really encouraging to those who have big dreams for themselves.
The book The Circle Maker has radically changed my perspective of on dreaming and faith. I think I Always thought dreams had to die with faith and that the imagination had to be left up to God. I know I resigned from dreaming because I figured whatever I wanted anyway wouldn’t come true because God wouldn’t “allow” for it (bad theology right there). I think by a few disappoints and maybe wishes and prayers that didn’t come true, I formed my opinion about God and His dealings in the dream department.
Through this book, I realized I didn’t pray enough and I didn’t dream big enough. I was so scared of disappointment, I stopped actually believing God would come through on my dreams. I Also didn’t pray enough for my heart to align with what He would want! If my heart was set on Him and His desires for me, my dreams would eventually become exactly what He wills for my life. I wouldn’t want anything other than what honors and glorifies Him. I didn’t pray enough to see that, nor was I in the Word enough.
This book has encouraged me to pray until the dream is seen through, or if God answers it in a way I may not desire, the answer is there: keep praying and dreaming. We don’t see God working, but we have can have peace and know He is always doing something. Even if it isn’t obvious, He is answering my prayer in a way I wouldn’t have ever imagined. My son Oliver has eczema, and it was getting really bad in the summer. I try to avoid chemicals on him, being a baby in all. We went to a naturopath, bought every “natural” product anyone told us about, changed soaps, detergents, I avoided many different types of food, but the rashing continue to worsen. I took him to the pediatrician, we did allergy testing. No allergies! So next step was a dermatologist. The dermatologist gave us some chemical creams, we tried two different kinds, and during all that we came to the conclusion it was all because of the heat. My son’s skin is so sensitive, living in the 100+ degree heat in the summer was causing his fair, soft baby skin to break out into these awful large red splotches. Once we figured that out, we took precautions to avoid the highest temps of the day, get a good bath time routine in, and use a temporary strong cream on the large and uncontrollable rashes. It took a few months, but God answered my prayers in a way I never knew. It was hard, a blind faith, and I had to let go of trying to control it all. I had to believe God loved Oliver more than me and was going to help mend his skin.
Another big point from Batterson’s book is, we don’t usually pray enough to see a dream through. I’ve lived in Phoenix, AZ my whole life, and I’ve wanted to move for most of it. I’ve tried to leave, my husband and I have tried, and recently this past year we were extra aggressive in the prayers to move. My husband applied to close to 50+ jobs? We got no answers. We took the memo, dug our heals into the desert sand, and pressed into the community and life we have in Phoenix even more. I still had this restlessness, the weight and pressure to move, but I knew God’s message was clear for us to stay for the time being. I took it as an opportunity to pray more and surrender even more, and for clarity when it was the right time to move. Little did I know God would move us so quickly.
Stephen left for Uganda in August, and during that week he received a call from another nonprofit. He didn’t pay much attention to it since he was in another country. When he got back, he told me about it. We kind laughed considering certain things about the organization, and our commitment to staying in Phoenix, but then we realized we should pray about it and be open to anything God puts on the table. Things moved quickly, and Stephen went through interviews 1 & 2 smoothly. An interesting side note, before interview call number 2, Stephen’s Father notified us of some abnormalities on his kidneys, and of a surgery that is schedule to find out if he has cancer (doctor’s told him 80% chance). This was a testing time for us. We prayed a lot that week!
We’ve been pressing in, praying hard ever since. They flew us out to North Carolina, where the nonprofit is, for interview round number 3, and less than a week later offered Stephen the job. Side note, on the way to Stephen’s dad’s surgery is when he received the call of the offer. We’ve been walking through what all this means, what God has for us, and we are ready and willing to leave when He wants us to. We’re just clay in His hands. We’re ready and willing to do Your Will, Oh Lord. We’ll keep praying and circling the dream, realizing dreaming big and praying hard have hard things that come a long with it. The life of a believer isn’t easy, but Lord you lighten the load and you carry our burdens, and we can hope in you.
Is God causing you to surrender a dream or desire in your life?
If you’re interested in the book The Circle Maker, you can buy it on Amazon here http://amzn.to/2lGaoPS. If you purchase through my blog, you support a new writer. Thank you!