Dreams. We all have them. Desires and plans and goals. But for as many dreams as we can create for ourselves, it’s funny how rarely reality matches them. Or maybe I’m the only woman on the planet who feels that way?
If I had my dream right now, I would be the supportive wife of a godly Christian husband, probably working in ministry somewhere an raising 3.25 joyful children (because statisticians seem to enjoy splitting that last one about as much as Solomon would). I would be a published author by now and a veteran of the speaking circuit, signing books while I nurse my babies and sign three new contracts a week in my private creative consulting agency.
If I had my way over the situation, I would not be living out of a suitcase and traveling house to house in glitzy Dubai, trolling job boards daily and trotting off to Oman each month to renew my tourist visa while I wait for a job to open.
But that is my current reality. And it’s also the adventure I’m chronicling on this blog.
But that’s where a little perspective shift can go a long way toward fixing our dream-induced malaise.
Because what if the dreams we’re so hyped up about now are actually getting in the way of the ones God wants to give us?
Whenever I get stuck on how much I still don’t have, I find myself in need of a serious perspective shift. If we’re being technical, I am actually not really without a home, a job, possessions or a country. It’s just that what I DO have is not exactly visible to the naked eye. Mostly because everything I have comes from God.
God is my secure and certain dwelling. Serving Him is my Number One Job. Knowing Him is my most important treasure. And He says I belong to His country, which is (according to Hebrews 11) not of this world. But it took me a long time, and the loss of everything I had, to realize these comforting facts.
It also required me prying both of my tight little fists off the dreams I had for my life.
Think about it: how often are our dreams based on an infinitesimal understand of the possible realities God could bring about?
We have barely scratched the surface on who we are, what makes us “tick,” and what it would take for us to feel truly fulfilled in our purpose. Yet we cling to the belief that we know the answers to these questions. As a result, we often resist what God wants to bring into our lives because deep inside we do not believe He could possibly know us better than we know ourselves.
Do I still hope for the husband, the children (hopefully all in one piece, thank you), the home, and the sense of deep belonging in a Christian family unit? Absolutely.
But am I also constantly amazed how God knows me so much better than I could know myself? Am I shocked almost daily at the surprises He has planned for me that I could never have known to even want?
This is why the concept of getting clear on our desires and goals—while valuable—isn’t really a fool-proof guide to our purpose.
I don’t want my dreams anymore if they keep me from receiving the amazing plans God has for me. And remaining in that place of surrender is the safest and fastest way I know to see miracles come about.
I’ll take miracles over my pre-planned ideas, thank you very much. My desires may be predictable, but God is always full of surprises.
There’s no greater dream than to receive exactly what He has planned.
That’s why, right before I went to Dubai, I started praying the Surrender Prayer of Betty Scott Stam for the first time in many years.
I’ll warn you, this powerful prayer can be a dangerous one. After all, if you tell God you’ll give up all your own desires and hopes … He just might take you up on it!
There are several different versions of this prayer floating around on the internet. I borrowed mine from this fellow blogger.
The prayer goes like this:
“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Your will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to You to be Yours forever. Fill me and seal me with Your Holy Spirit. Use me as You want, send me where You want, work out Your whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.”
You see what I mean about how dangerous that is? But Jesus DID say that in order to find our lives, we must lose them. Recognizing that your own desires may be given by God—but might also be a stumblingblock to receiving our greatest joy and purpose—is the most effective way I know to let go of them.
Dreams are great. Plans are useful. But only God can bring the Impossible to life, in us and for us.
What more beautiful dream could there be, than seeing that?