“God will put you in a community of dreamers: people who support the dream even if it takes a while for it to happen. He will surround you with a unique tribe of God-following, dream-chasing, stargazing, Promised Land dwellers.”
Havilah Cunnington, Eat Pray Hustle; Dream Chasing God’s Way.
I was speaking at a women’s conference in Colorado. We had stepped down from our position as Children’s Pastors almost a year prior at that point. We were trusting God for the impossible. We had a dream- a big dream. I remember not wanting to write part 3 of my talk until right before the women’s retreat because I didn’t want to share my story on dreams until I could wrap it up with a pretty bow- you know, the answered dream part.
But I waited…. And God didn’t answer our prayers…. yet. And I knew I needed to share our story of what it looks like when you’re in the middle, waiting on a dream. And to face the reality of not only what it looks like, but to address what if God says “no”, or “not yet”, or “not the way you’re thinking”.
And so I shared my heart of, “This is where we are.” And I still had so many unanswered questions. It had already been almost a year of waiting. At what point do we start doing something different? At what point do we ask God if we’ve made a mistake and let go? At what point do we move on? All I could tell the ladies is that we had a dream, and I had no idea what God was doing but that we were called to be obedient and that’s all we could do.
We had testimony time on Sunday morning. Towards the end, a woman got up. Her name was Tracy. She had won a beautiful hand-painted cross from a local artist, Sarah G. She stood up and told me the Lord wanted her to give it to me and that she knew it was going to hang in our Ranch someday. (It was our dream to have a camp ministry year-round, and we had already found our dream property to do it at. The only problem was that we had no idea how we would ever get it.) When Tracy stood up that morning and said I was supposed to have it and it was going to hang in my ranch someday, my own doubts began to be overshadowed by hope.
Someone believed in my dreams.
But it sat in my in-law’s house for a time, and then it hung on the rental house for a year and a half and I thought maybe we all missed it. At one point I wondered if the right thing to do would be to send it back because she gave it to me believing it was meant to be in our dream ranch and we still had no clue how that was ever going to happen. But every time I looked at that cross I remembered her words…. that she felt so clearly in her spirit that this cross was going to be hanging in our ranch someday.
I remember when my son started cross-country. There was a heavy-set young man that joined the team also. We will call him Fred. Just seeing this young man want to better himself was so inspiring.
It was a hot, summer August day, and the team was in their first week of practicing together. I got there early to pick up my son and waited in the parking lot. What I witnessed next is forever etched in my heart. The team had finished. Or, I guess I should say, most of them. Everyone but Fred. And after waiting a few minutes the entire team along with their coach decided to go find Fred and finish the run with him. Some time had passed, and then I saw them. Tears streamed down my face as I watched this team run alongside Fred- he was beet red; his entire body a puddle. I wondered what went through his mind as he struggled to finish.
Why am I doing this? This is too hard. I just want to quit.
But his new teammates wouldn’t let him stop. I heard them shout words of affirmation and encouragement as he struggled to complete the run.
“You’ve got this. You can do this. Don’t stop, you’re almost there!” These boys believed in him and wouldn’t let him give up.
Ya’ll, this should be us! Unfortunately, we have allowed jealousy and our own insecurities and comparisons to stop our cheering squad. We have bought into the lie that if we celebrate other people’s dreams, our dreams somehow become less. This just isn’t so. The Bible says in Romans 12:15a to rejoice with those who rejoice.
If there’s anything I’ve learned on my own writing and speaking journey, it’s that we can’t do this alone.
It doesn’t take away from our dreams, it only adds to the joy, as we all pursue those things that God has put on our hearts…together.
In Chase the Lion Mark Batterson says, “Like Jonathan we need an armor bearer to climb the cliff with us, like Moses we need an Aaron and Hur to hold up our arms, and like David we need mighty men to fight with us and for us.”
What are some practical ways we can show others we believe in their dreams?
Write a note, send a text, share an encouraging scripture, let them know you’re praying for them, show up at their special events, give them a shout-out on social media, and make sure to celebrate their victories!
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (The Message)
After many years of wondering and wandering, the Lord fulfilled our dream of having a ranch and doing camps year-round. And one of the first things I did was find that cross that Tracy gave me. I hung it up in the center of my cross wall as a reminder of not only what God had done, but also as a reminder of someone believing in my dreams.
Who can you find this week to show that you’re rooting for them? Pray and ask God to show you someone who is feeling discouraged and how you might speak life into their dream. Think of all the ways that you would love someone to encourage you in your dream, and then go out and do that for someone else.
And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24 (CSB)
Be a cheer-leader, dream-defender, light-shining, others-centered, hope-giver!
Shared by: Celeste Barnard