Have you ever felt like dreams were for other people? Have you been the cheerleader for other people’s dreams, but felt guilty or self-indulgent for having your own dreams?
I am thrilled to be a new contributor for God-Sized Dreams because I, too, once felt this way.
Allow me to introduce myself. I am originally from Northern California. I was raised in a single-family home with just my brother and myself. The environment around me pretty much crushed any possible dreaming that could have come from a young girl’s heart. I grew up in a toxic home. Perhaps you can relate? My mother was an alcoholic, and although no one ever said dreams are for fools, it was much implied. Life felt heavy, and my goal was to survive and get out of the house. Not sure that classified as a dream.
I remember when I was in 9th grade. It was during PE and we were asked to run around the track. What no one knew about me was that sometimes at night, when things at home got chaotic, I would run around my neighborhood as fast as I could. I would just run and run and run. I guess you could call it a healthy form of therapy. That day the track team was also warming up, sharing the track with our class. As I ran past the track coach, I overheard him telling another runner, “She’s fast, run with her.” And he came up alongside of me and ran, and I in turn ran faster.
When PE was over, the coach approached me and asked if I’d be interested in joining the team. I was elated! They wanted me.
I began practicing with the team, running long distance. The coach let me know that I would need to purchase a pair of quality tennis shoes before the first meet. I went home to ask my mom if she would buy me a good pair of tennis shoes for track.
Her response was one of many dream-crushing comments that reinforced that dreams were for other people. “Why?” she asked. “You’re not going to finish.”
You’re right, I thought in my head.
Who was I fooling? I wasn’t track team material. I probably wouldn’t finish anyway. The next day was team picture day. I didn’t show up so they sent someone to get me. I told him to tell the coach that my mom said I couldn’t be on the team because my grades were bad. Of course this wasn’t true, but I knew this was probably too good to last so I might as well quit now.
And so went most of my young life–those teams, those groups, those extra-curricular activities–those were for other people. And unknowingly and unintentionally, these unhealthy, unbiblical thoughts attached themselves to my adult thinking.
I gave my heart to the Lord at the age of 20. I moved from Southern California to Dallas, Texas, to go to Bible College.
And I struggled.
I struggled to believe that I was good enough and smart enough to be there. The enemy wanted me to quit and just give up, like I had done so many times in my past. But thankfully, with the support of friends and family, I finished.
The enemy is a dream-stealer. He doesn’t want us to know that our dreams are God-given because then we might actually have the audacity to pursue them. We might actually take God at His Word and believe in those dreams that He’s placed in our hearts.
What I’ve come to realize about our dreams is that they are for us, but they’re not ‘just’ for us. He gets the glory when He does something in our lives that can only be Him. If He gives you a dream, I have a feeling it’s a dream that will also benefit and encourage others as well.
What are the gifts, talents and abilities He has placed in your life that you could use to bring Him glory?
God-Sized Dreams. They’re for you…. But they’re not ‘just’ for you.
Have there been people in your life who have tried to crush your dreams or speak against them? Has it been hard to believe that He could use you because of your past? Has the enemy been working overtime to convince you that dreams are for other people? Remember, God gives us these dreams in order for us to further His Kingdom and to be a blessing to others. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy for one more day!
Remember that runner who came alongside me in high school? Someone saw something inside of me that I couldn’t even see, and because of that I pushed through, I persevered, and I ran my race with confidence. And that is why I am so excited to be a part of this God-Sized Dreams Community! So that together we can encourage each other, run our race, call some things out of each other that maybe we don’t even know are there, and dream together.
My challenge to you today: Teach that class, write that book, run that race, apply for that job, invite those families over, volunteer for that non-profit, make your DIY projects, serve the children, open that shelter, start that business, speak to that group… to God be all the glory!!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Shared by: Celeste Barnard