Big Dreams, Goals And Stepping Out Of The Boat

Did you ever have a dream but were too scared to attempt it? Did you think the idea was just too crazy or too big for God to handle? Well, you’re not alone.

Before we get to my story, let’s first look at a prime example from the Bible – his name is Peter. Now, Peter likes to be outspoken, and in this particular scenario, the disciples see Jesus walking on the water towards them.  Naturally, Peter makes a bold statement, “If it is you Lord, tell me to come to you on the water.” As the story continued, Peter began to walk out to Jesus on the water, but when Peter saw the wind and waves, he was frightened and called out to Jesus for help. Jesus reached out to him and replied, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Paraphrasing Matthew 14:22-36.)

This passage is powerful and convicting. Why do we doubt God? Why do we take our eyes off Him? Why do we limit God? He has no bounds. He created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1). Nothing is too big for Him to handle (Luke 1:37, Genesis 18:14).

Ever since I was young, I dreamed of working in the healthcare field. Before I was accepted into my physician assistant program I would worry my dream was too big. Will I remember how to study? How will I pay for this? What if I am accepted and get in over my head?

Yet, here I am today practicing medicine as a physician assistant.

I had to be patient; I was accepted to physician assistant school four years after I graduated college. I had to step out of my boat and have faith. I had to complete prerequisites, take the entrance exam, perform healthcare experience hours, and fill out tons of applications. God had placed this dream in my heart, and I knew He would fulfill it, but I also had to do my part. I trusted Him, and I let God be God.

Was it easy to wait on my dream? Of course not! Was it worth it? Yes. God’s timing is beautiful. Everything fell into place once the timing was right. I was accepted to a wonderful school where I received a great education, and my classmates and I became incredibly close. We even prayed together – all of us – before every exam.

We have to do our part to help fulfill our dreams; and we have to get out of the boat. But once we are out in open water, and the waves and wind of the world start making our legs shaky and our steps uncertain, we cannot take our eyes off Jesus. We need to have faith. No matter how long it can take, we have to consider God has the situation handled.

Like Peter, because we are human, we are going to stumble. We are going to look out at the waves and wind and be petrified and cry out to God. Guess what He will do? He will reach His hand out to us.

If you have a dream or idea you have been mulling over for quite some time, go for it! God has it covered; nothing is impossible for Him. Whether it be starting a career, beginning a Bible study at church, or going on a mission trip, get out of your boat.  Get out of your boat and have faith.

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How can you prepare yourself to step out of your boat?

Pray and study your Bible

The devil knows it is easier to squash an acorn than cut down an oak tree. So find encouragement and guidance to keep on keepin’ on. God will show you through His Word and His actions that nothing is too great for Him.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

Find “dream-related” activities

If your goal is to become a teacher, help out with the children’s programs at your church. If you want to go on a mission trip, do some research and ask for advice from someone who does mission work or has gone on a trip (here are our four tips for going on your first mission trip!).

Be patient and confident. Know in your heart that God has started a good work in you and will see it to the finish line (Philippians 1:6).

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” -Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV)

Keep your eyes on Jesus

When you start to feel the world weighing you down and you hear that voice telling you to quit, regain your focus and know Jesus will reach out and pull you back to Him if you just ask.

Honey, do not limit what God can do through you. Get that out of your head right now. As my pastor reminds us often, God does not call the equipped- He equips the called. If you do not follow through with what God has asked of you, He will find someone else who will. If something was Heaven planted in your heart, do not doubt that. God knows what He’s doing (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I have more dreams and goals that have not been realized yet. But, like you, I am confident God has it under control, and I will keep my eyes on Him.

What are some of the “big” dreams and goals on your heart?

We’d love to hear and cheer you on in the comments!

PS. Check out our free devotional, “Thy Will Be Done” on how to figure out your spiritual gifts, callings and the dreams God has equipped you to live out!


Whitney can be described by the opening lyrics of a few Tom Petty songs. She's a good girl who grew up in a small Indiana town who loves her mama, Jesus, and America too. She practices medicine as a physician assistant at an urgent care. Whitney is a music enthusiast and leads worship at her church. She has a heart for people, and wants to help young girls and women find their worth in Christ rather than what the world says of them. Whitney loves a good dad joke, the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, Southern manners, working on her fitness, attempting Pinterest crafts, and cheering on Indiana University basketball.