On Wednesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are excited to welcome our friend N. W. to God-sized Dreams. Thanks for being here today, N!
God’s plans had collided with my own halfway through college when everything in me began pulling towards an international move. I resisted at first, because I had other plans. Didn’t God know I had been working towards a career in dance since my first dance class at four years old? The call became so clear that I surrendered with joy, even after much struggle.
Whenever I began to doubt, I held onto the dream God had put into my heart. When it became apparent that the path God was leading me down was different than that of my college boyfriend, I let the relationship go, and clung to my dreams of planting my life internationally.
When I struggled through those post-college years (the only single person of my age in the church where everyone wanted to fix me up), I proudly told them about my plans to move to South Asia the next year.
Already convinced of my calling to India, I had the opportunity to spend a couple weeks in Thailand the summer before my planned big move. Everything about being overseas felt like home to me, and I was never so sure of my dream when I sat down to talk to a couple that had planted their lives there for years.
This man who was living the life I wanted to live, opened his Bible, and told me he felt he had a word to share with me. He read from Proverbs 19:21 the words that shook my world – “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
He told me to hold my plans loosely, even the ones I believed were from the Lord.
I continued down the path I was on, trying to just take one step at a time. Doors opened up so easily that I didn’t doubt the plan. As everything began to fall into place, I moved back to my hometown to spend time with my family, plans in place to move six months later.
An advisor that had walked through the past years planning with me joked, “Now just don’t go home and fall in love or anything.” I laughed at the thought, content in my singleness.
I spent my days studying Hindi and the Bible, working and spending time with old friends in the young singles group at the church of my youth. It was a joy to reunite with people before a big transition, and I started spending time with one particular old friend.
It was only years later that he told me the moment I walked into church that cold January evening, and he set eyes on me for the first time in six years, that he said to himself, “I am going to marry that girl.”
By the end of the year, we were indeed married.
I will never forget the moment we sat talking in those first days together with tears in our eyes. He told me to go to India, that he would wait for me to return, two years later. The dreams I had been walking towards for years had collided with the dream of a husband, one I thought I had laid to rest.
I remembered the words of the Proverb that had been spoken over my life, and I asked God to show me His purpose, just the next step.
I did make it to India that year. I spent two months assisting teachers in the slums of Mumbai, my heart expanding for the work of God all over the world, my dreams shifting with His. The day after I returned from India, he was there waiting for me with a ring in his hand.
I have learned time and again (I am a slow student) to loosen my grip on the dreams God has given me. They so often change and grow as we transform into who He created us to be as different seasons of our lives emerge.
It’s a lesson I still forget, and I hold so tightly to my plans; like gripping them to my chest can will them into being.
It is only when I loosen my grip, and let Him guide my steps each day that I really discover the perfect plans He has for me.
Do you have a God-sized Dream story to tell? We’d love to have you share your journey with us!
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