When Your Dreams Don't Seem To Fit
When I was young, I had some Barbie townhouse inspired dreams. My favorite toy, the Barbie townhouse with the orange elevator and avocado colored appliances was a place to dream about life. I would have a family, of course, that lived in the Barbie townhouse. I would also have this amazing career as a lawyer. I have no idea where that last part came in.
Where your dreams come from
I grew up a little the day we gave away the Barbie townhouse to a young girl in need. I was older and had stopped playing with Barbies. But I hadn't given up on my dreams to be a wife and a mom and maybe still a lawyer. Or had that already shifted to something business-y?
I went to college and became a Christian and everything changed. My dreams changed from getting a job as a lawyer/business woman to helping others grow in faith. I dreamed of doing a job with purpose and meaning. I was committed to getting this type of job out of college.
But when I graduated, I could find few jobs that would take me and none of them involved helping people grow in faith. For over 10 years, I worked in the import/export industry and wondered how my dreams of yesterday fit into my life today.
Do our dreams still fit
As I write, I wonder about you. For some of us, we may be living the dreams we've always had. I have friends who dreamed about being a teacher and they have lived their career doing what they love. Others have fallen into careers that they never intended and are content to stay in those places. While others of us know, that our dreams still chase us and wonder if our dreams can still stay the same after 20+ years and kids and other jobs and responsibilities.
The dream question
The reality is that sometimes our dreams change and sometimes we're asked to wait on our dreams. Life unfolds and we are sometimes left wondering if those dreams we had 20 years or 10 years ago or last year even work with the life we have today.
So what's a girl to do when it comes to the dreams we're still waiting on?
It's all about the journey
Have you ever felt your dreams have taken on a life of their own? Back in my early 30s, I was starting to get antsy. You see those God-sized dreams were not coming at the rate I had expected. I felt the clock ticking on the ability to shift gears and transition in my work. I was still working in the import/export industry and wondering when God would throw open the door that would allow me a job in ministry and helping others with their faith.
In the process, I made myself and those around me miserable. You see, I had made my life and my dreams about the destination. When I finally get there...life will have joy. When I finally get my dream job, life will have meaning. When I finally arrive...I will be enough.
I did get there and I still wasn't enough. Because no matter what you do, dream job or not, there will be good days and bad days. And what I learned by working my dream job is that no job can give what only God can give you. Significance. Value, Love.
It was during this time that I came to realize that life was not about the destination. Life wasn't about arriving at the dream. Life was about the journey. Enjoying each moment. Embracing what God has for me today. Learning to hold tomorrow loosely as I found purpose in each day. So enjoy the journey.
Holding On Loosely
Some of us have a death grip on our dreams. We have cherished them for years and even when God is asking us to hold onto them loosely, we close our grip and refuse to let go.
God's dreams for us are far better than any we could dream up for ourselves. And sometimes you and I need to say goodbye so we can say hello.
I know what you're thinking. Nope. No thanks. Saying goodbye is hard especially when it comes to our dreams. If we've held onto it for a long time, we have a hard time letting go.
What if a better dream is waiting? What if God is working in your life right now to bring something you will love and thrive at and He's just waiting for us to start enjoying the journey and let go of those old dreams that are not His dreams for us at all.
Let me say this: this is not easy. It involves grief. And knowing yourself. And obedience to God's plans over our agendas. And to be honest, maybe a little weeping and gnashing of teeth (I may or may not be speaking from experience). What I've learned over the course of my journey is that every surrender brings new dreams and new rewards.
Don't be afraid to step...
If you're anything like me, you may be tentative when it comes to taking risks in this area. Sometimes we want to make sure we're stepping perfectly-so in the end, we never step at all.
My office roommate at my last job used to tell me that God can't steer a parked car. You and I, we need to take a little baby step and see how God directs. If you're still holding on to that dream even though it doesn't seem to fit, maybe you need to embrace it with a baby step. It takes courage to take a step when you have no idea if it's the right step. It takes courage to let God redirect you and steer your once parked car. It's also a rush to have God show up and gently lead and/or redirect you to His path.
For those of us who know that it's time to let go, our next step may be being open hearted with our dreams. It may be stepping out and asking God to give you new dreams that fit into your life today.
No matter what your dream or how long you've been dreaming, there is one thing I've discovered. God hears your prayers. Our job is to trust him with our dreams and follow where He leads.
I'd love to hear from you! What dreams are you trusting God with today? Comment here or contact me. I'd love to pray with your about your dreams and God's plans for you.