On Tuesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your dreaming stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are so excited to welcome Gretchen Saffles to this space…she shares the important reminder that dreams take time to grow. Thanks for being here today, Gretchen!
Raise your hand if you’ve got lists stashed away in journals of dreams that seem too big to even speak.
Maybe you constantly have ideas swirling around in your head but aren’t sure how to connect the dots to make them happen. Or maybe you are afraid to try the one thing you’ve always wanted to do in this brief life. This is written for those who dream big dreams, the ones who are willing to take the risks to make it happen, and the ones who are still afraid to move forward.
Whatever place you are in, God is doing something new in your heart on this road to dreaming. I’ve learned over these past several years that there are different kinds of dreamers. There are ones who write down the ideas and lists and leave them in the journal or on paper because they are too afraid of failure or don’t know how to start. These wannabe dreamers stay stagnant in life, wishing but never doing. Then there’s the “let’s do this” dreamers who step out of the boat, face the fears head on, and embrace the failure when it comes. These dreamers are constantly moving forward one step at a time, making much of the desires God has placed in their hearts.
For a long time, I was the wannabe.
I have countless journals with big dreams written in them. They are mostly the same throughout and my heart would beat fast when I journaled about them! But once I was out of college and had to face the real world, I got scared. Fear stripped me of my ideas that all of the sudden seemed unattainable. I left them on paper, safely tucked away where no one could see them.
But God kept ruffling them up inside of me. Verse like John 10:10 kept rocking me – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” My life was far from abundant. Why? Because in many ways I wasn’t walking in obedience. I was safe and doing all the things I was supposed to do without daring to do the things only God could do through me. All of this came to a halt when my husband and I moved to a new place for him to work at a church plant. I had a fresh slate. No job, no history, and a heart that began to beat wildly again for doing the things of God.
Let’s first rewind a little bit so I can share some of my story with you.
Throughout my journey of dreaming, God has taken me on windy paths that I didn’t plan on taking. I graduated from college early, worked at a boutique using my Fashion Merchandising major, and then went to intern at a mega-church in the middle school ministry where I would later work in the women’s ministry.
I could have never dreamed of that path, and to be honest, each step seemed a little crazy and further from what I thought I might be doing. But that is the way God works. He leads us and guides us on windy paths because He sees the big picture and how all the dots will eventually connect. It is our job to keep walking faithfully, trusting Him for His good plans.
And walk I did. It seemed like miles and miles of doing things that looked different from the dream that I had planned on pursuing. Yet, even when my feet were blistered, my heart was tired, and my soul weary, God kept whispering that He was in control.
The dreams that were in my heart weren’t mine in the first place. They were His to write and to accomplish.
Looking back, I can see how all of those years and all of the unexpected circumstances I was in led me to the place I am today. As a little girl, I longed to be a wife one day! Not only that, but I committed to not date in the 7th grade and wait on the man who would one day be my husband. Later in high school, God planted a dream in my heart to write a book to encourage women to trust God to write their love stories and live part of a greater love story with Jesus. This dream was tiny and impossible at the time. Years down the road, I still had the dream, but no ring on my finger. It wasn’t until God continued to take me down that windy road to Tennessee to intern in middle school ministry that I would meet the man who would be my husband.
You see, all dreams start small. In order to grow, it takes time, watering, nourishment, light, and waiting. (<====Click to Tweet)
Yup, I said it, waiting. Waiting is necessary in all good things. God never wastes times of waiting but is constantly active in those moments of restlessness. When I was single, I was as restless as restless can be! I longed and ached for a husband. However, I didn’t have the vision God did to see the incredible story that He was writing. The waiting times are crucial because God is not only working, but He is equipping us for the task ahead. (<====Click to Tweet)
We will be sharing the second part of Gretchen’s story with you next week! So please join us then, AND we might just be giving away something extra special so you don’t want to miss it!!
Photo Credit: dmums
Gretchen Saffles is a follower of Jesus and lover of His creation. She is married to her best friend, Greg, and they live in the beautiful Knoxville, Tennessee. They are expecting their first child coming this May! She is a firm believer in God-sized love stories that magnify the glory of Christ and the church. Her passion in life is to teach women that they weren’t meant to live mediocre, mundane lives centered around themselves. They were meant to live for the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that fills us up to overflow onto the world around us. She owns Life Lived Beautifully, a business/ministry created to inspire women to share the Gospel through a life lived for God’s glory. She has four main roles in the business: creator/shop owner/blogger, personal stylist, speaker, and BIG dreamer. On a daily basis, you find her drinking coffee, adventuring with her husband, dreaming new dreams, and seeking to make much of Jesus through every opportunity God gives! You can find Gretchen over at Life Live Beautifully, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And you can purchase her beautiful products here!
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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