Have you ever felt a little bruised and battered by your God-sized dreams?
I mean dreams can be so exciting – when they’re moving forward, evolving, coming true! And then they can be dashed. Kaboom! All the work, time, effort, prayer, emotions that went into that dream can seem all for naught. It feels like the failure of your dream. That hurts! And it can be very discouraging. I know – I’ve had that experience with Circles of Faith.
For years, and I mean like 20 years, I had this dream to have a place to share our stories. Through a number of experiences in women’s ministry, I saw how powerful, life-changing in fact, it was to exchange our stories, our God stories. Stories that are expressions of a Good God, a God of miracles and redemption, a God who demonstrates His love in tangible ways, a God who is near, who cares, who loves immeasurably. A God who is real. These stories deepen faith, encourage, bring hope, and glorify God!
I envisioned a magazine (I’ve been in the magazine business for over 30 years) that would serve my local community. I wrote copious notes and journaled for years, believing that when the time was right, the God-sized dream would unfold.
And that’s basically what happened. Through a series of God orchestrations, I met a group of women who had a similar dream. But now the worldwide web was full speed ahead. So we decided to start there and launched an online community/contributor site, Circles of Faith – Where Faith, Life, and Community Intersect.
We had awesome content from a team of amazing writers. We had a good social media strategy. We worked diligently, along with a team of dedicated women. But our subscriber numbers were flat. They never really grew much from our official launch. Meanwhile, the web was getting saturated with more and more blogs…and our engagement seemed to be waning. What was up with that? Very disheartening.
The good news is we have been able to shift our dreams.
That was not easy. But we took some steps that allowed us to move forward. And these 5 Steps to Shifting Your Dreams just might help you if you find yourselves in a dream boat that seems to be sinking:
- Pray – This might be obvious, but how many times do we seek the opinion of others instead of going to the author of our dreams? My partner/cofounder on Circles of Faith Kimberly Amici and I fasted and prayed through the holidays as we sought God’s direction. He was faithful to bring us to the same conclusion when we reconvened to discuss what we felt God calling or not calling us to.
- Pay Attention – God is so good at communicating with us if we look, listen, reflect. He flashes “neon sign” messages through songs on the radio, a sermon, a conversation that leads to an ah-ha moment. Also pay as much attention to what God is doing as you do to what He isn’t. Our discouragement can lead to a pity party that blinds us from seeing God’s guidance.
- Wait – God is not asleep. He hasn’t left you. Draw nearer to Him. God is always at work. He wastes no experience. Though you may not perceive His actions, God promises to fulfill His purposes in us and His timing is always perfect.
- Don’t Go It Alone – I am blessed with a partner and CoFounder who is diligent to pray and who is also very different from me, so we complement each other. I also have many praying friends and I reached out to them during our season of discernment asking them to please keep us in their prayers. Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer or a sounding board from an honest trusted person or even tribe.
- Trust – God loves you and He has good plans for you. That never changes, no matter how you feel. There is a new dream, an adjusted dream, a better dream around the corner. When you let go of what was, you open yourself up to what can be ahead.
The process of discernment, letting go, and gearing up for what we feel called to next through Circles of Faith has not been easy. At times it’s been disappointing and frustrating. But we feel certain that God is going before us and leading us. We’ve had some wonderful live events, which have allowed us to share stories in new and exciting ways – our Story Slices series is one of the results. And we are gearing up to launch our podcast, which will continue to allow us to gather with women and share stories in a fresh and dynamic way.
Have you had a dream shift? I’d love to hear about it!
Shared by: Elise Daly Parker