When God Calls You to Give Up Your Dreams
Growing up, I was a daydreamer. Books were my escape from the mundane ordinariness of reality. In the pages of paperbacks, I was swept off my feet by a chivalrous, handsome heartthrob into an adventure that took me to far-away places.
I lived vicariously through fictional characters whose made-up lives seemed more real to me than my own. Often, I would escape into a fairytale world of my own mind’s creation, imagining all sorts of adventures and stories that were infinitely preferable to my daily, dull existence.
As I grew older, I began to dream less and less about the impractical tales of princes, princesses, and dragons, and more about my desires for what my future real life might look like. My dreams weren’t bad, neither were they wholly selfish. In fact, quite the opposite.
I began to take my dreams to the Lord – dreams of marrying a wonderful, Godly man who would help me create a home where we could raise our children in the knowledge of the Lord; a home where we could adopt, take in foster children, and create a safe haven for all of the weary and broken people who need a place to stay.
I dreamed of marrying a guy who would be willing to stop the car if we passed a homeless man to help him; someone who would follow the Lord with all his heart, who would be a leader, yet humble; who would work hard and love well. And if he was nice to look at, that wouldn’t hurt either. Just sayin’.
As the years have passed, the Lord has answered my prayer. But not with the answer I was expecting, nor wanting.
I gave Him my dreams of using marriage and family to make the world a better place, to be a light for Him, to love the poor and needy. And He told me to give them up.
I was angry. Hurt. How could He do this to me? I had trusted Him, and I gave Him what my heart most dearly desired, in faith that He would take care of those dreams, keep them safe, and bring them to pass in the blessed way that only He can.
Except, His best way for me did not include the fruition of those dreams. It called for the sacrifice of them.
Sometimes, in order to experience the best possible life that God has planned, you have to let go of your own ideas of what your life might, could, or should look like.
Following Jesus requires surrendering your desires and expectations, and waiting with open hands to accept whatever He wishes to give you.
He may call you to places you would never have chosen to go or give you assignments you desperately wish had been given to someone else.
Faith is not believing God will make our ideas and plans happen if we give them to Him – it is a steadfast trust that what He leads us to and through is better than what we planned. It is choosing to believe that if He doesn’t make our original dreams come to pass, it’s because He has something better.
It may not look better at first. In fact, it may be downright painful.
But remember that we are not here for ourselves, to please our own desires. We are here for Him, to please the Father and do His will.
His will may indeed include those dreams you have held so dearly. But, it may not. Be willing to let go and love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength rather than worshipping your dreams. Because in the end, only He, not your dreams, can satisfy your longing heart.
Though it’s a hard road to get through, He does get you through it. And it really is worth it on the other side. Sometimes we just need a readjustment of our perspectives.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Hebrews 13:5
Dearest, don't misunderstand me. This is not meant to scare you, or make you stop dreaming, or make you think that God is mean, cruel, and doesn’t care about what you want.
The truth is, He cares so much more about you and I than we do for ourselves, and He wants us to trust Him that He really does have our best interests at heart.
Giving up our dreams in exchange for His does not mean we will live in unrequited resignation for the rest of our lives. It means that He’s going to use the pain of sacrifice to refine our faith, polish our hearts, and fill us with joy – after all...
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. –Psalm 16:11
Don’t miss this, dear one. Don’t make an idol of your dreams.
You may think that the fulfillment of your dreams will satisfy the desires of your heart, but trust that your Abba Father knows your heart’s deepest longings and wants to be the fulfillment of those desires Himself. He doesn’t want you looking to those dreams for wholeness – He wants you to look to Him. Because He loves you.
And the dreams that He gives you in place of the ones you gave up? Always beautiful and meant to breathe life and light into you and the lives of those around you. I promise. Actually, He promises. And He is a Man of His Word.