Dear lovely young dreamer,
I wanted to drop you a message. A few words of advice from your older sister in the faith. I see your eyes shining with idealism and promise. I want to encourage you, and caution you, if I may be so bold.
I’ve loved and mentored some precious teens and 20-something women of promise and expectation, and I’ve seen how easily we can get lost on this journey. I know firsthand how quickly you can lose your way – I spent years chasing the wrong things in my 20s.
A simple caution first: don’t ever let money be the reason for a decision. I heard a young woman just this week say she wished her boyfriend had more money. She looked at her friends and their pricey adventures and outings and longed for it herself. She let the lure of what money could buy distract her from the precious gift she’d been given.
Second, but closely related, cheer instead of compare. I know it’s hard. Heck, the entire country conspires to have us compare ourselves, so we’ll buy more and do more and work out more and spend our time yearning for more. Even after decades, I look at other women and can find myself wanting their dream or parenting style or weight or career. There is a specific purpose God has for you and ONLY you. There are works that God has prepared in advance for you (Ephesians 2:10). He knew exactly who you would be because He made you that way. He needs your unique voice and body and style and passion and perspective. It is okay, even useful, to admire others for achievements they have made – admire, not desire. When our eyes are on the Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2), then we can cheer others on instead of tear them down or compete against them.
Third, and last for this little note, would you guard your heart (and mind?) (and body?)? I have watched with great heartbreak the destruction the enemy can wreak on the most promising young dreamers. The devil knows if he can take you out early, he can keep hundreds or thousands of people from knowing who God is because he dimmed your light. If you have run away, or if you are living with someone just to feel loved, or if you are suffering under addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can come back. You can return to those who love you and believe in you. You are welcome, day or night, in the arms of Father God.
There was a young man in the Bible who let the things of the world entice him away and when he finally realized he’d wandered too far, he came home to a waiting father:
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15
And for you who are fighting the fight against what your peers or the world or the talking heads say you should be doing, and you are listening to that still small voice guiding you in what feels like the babiest of baby steps, take heart (Psalm 31). Do not be discouraged in what feels like rejection. Do not give up when you step out in faith and what looks like failure looms.
You are not only fulfilling your dreams and His purpose for your life, but you are planting seeds and laying the foundation for others who will come behind you. Sit down and read Hebrews 10 through 12. See that in the midst of that encouragement to persevere, the pillars of our faith were “commended” but “none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:40)
It’s hard in a culture to see past the me, to the we, but the dream God has for his children is so much bigger than you or I. It’s a bigger picture. We’re individually contributing to His masterpiece.
Do not be discouraged. Your sisters in this dreaming adventure are so proud of you. We believe in you. We are standing a little further up the course cheering you forward.
And if you found this and you have gotten lost along the way, we are praying for you today. You are always welcome home. It. Is. Never. Too. Late.
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12)
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)
Your Dreaming (Older) Sisters
Art by Susanne Vincent
Shared by: Gindi Vincent