I bolted upright in bed that morning, as dreamers often do. The man beside me laid still, warm under covers, though I had thrown back my side of the blanket in the suddenness of the vision. Grabbing for the journal off the nightstand and the pen still sleeping between thin bible pages, I swung my legs over the side of the bed and sat there recording the inspiration.
A little backstory: My entire career before motherhood was as an actress, and that’s a big part of my God-sized dream today – how God can take a career out of the world and use it for His own glory. Today, amidst the blessed busyness of motherhood I still act, only now I perform monologues for women’s retreats, MOPS groups, conferences, and churches. Following each one-woman show, on the other side of tears and laughter, comes biblical application, teaching, or a simple Gospel presentation. It’s my dream, and it’s big and takes courage, but God is in the business of gently leading those He calls.
So this particular morning, as inspiration dripped intravenously from above, I wrote a dramatic piece about a woman who shared the Gospel message in the everyday moments of her life. Then it hit me, as suddenly as the concept, “I know what ministry this would fit with! That group of women over on the east coast who is always talking about this gospel-sharing life. They love creative story-telling. This would be a great piece for them!”
Later that morning, after I’d fed three kids, and the man who slept those few extra minutes beside me, and got them all successfully out the door to work and school, I hunkered down over my phone and sent a short note to that women’s ministry director who was knee deep in the planning of their annual retreat. I shared, with the fluid motion of thumbs communicating inspiration via text, my idea for the piece I’d just started writing and asked if she would like me to craft it specifically for their event.
I sent my offer then turned to the sink to finish breakfast dishes. From there I toured little boy rooms to see if beds all got made. Pajamas were strewn about, a towel was crumpled wet on the bathroom floor, and I discovered that one of my children had his bed made… in his closet. I wondered at what time he had moved himself there during the night.
When I walked back to my kitchen with an armload of plastic cups left on bedside tables I saw my phone, lit up with a text.
“No thank you, maybe next time…”
It’s amazing to me how quickly embarrassment can fall upon the heart of a dreamer who has dared to do the hard work of bringing those dreams to life. Taking bold steps in faith and offering those dreams to others – baring our hearts – our words, our ministries, our songs, all of it open wide for rejection.
The word catches me even now. Offering. How dreams are like offerings to the Lord when we lift them up and step out in faith. (<====Click to Tweet) So much like the bills we slip quietly into the plate on Sunday mornings. Offering. The way women serve their loved ones all year long and then the next year too, round and round, 365 days of offerings each year.
And each offering is given as unto the Lord. At home. At church. On the Internet. In your neighborhood. Dreamers holding dreams with open palms, saying, “Would you like this? Would this bless you?” Can you see it with me? How the dreamer must continually make these timid, hands open, fingers spread wide, offers?
The root word goes down deep and teaches me, how I must continually offer myself to others to make this humble offering of talents and treasures and dreams. That’s what I had done that morning – and it’s what you do when you take that idea to your church about starting a bible study for teenaged moms, or a prayer group for parents of prodigals. The offers you make are in fact part of your offering, as dangerous as it feels sometimes. (<====Click to Tweet) As difficult as it is when the answer is “No thank you.”
After the Offering
But here’s the secret to God-sized Rejection: We are not accountable to God for the reception of our offering, just as we cannot control what a homeless man does with the bills we place in his hand. We simply are called to give, to offer, and to keep offering in faith.
Would you commit to keep doing that today… tomorrow… and the next day and the next? Pouring your dreams out, regardless of the cost? Would you? Will you?
When was the last time you experienced the sting of rejection, in the pursuit of your God-sized dream? Can you look back and find some peace today, knowing that you did your job, offering yourself up to be used? Sometimes that’s all The Lord requires of us. Hearts that say, “Here I am, send me.”
Going Deeper in God’s Word:
You yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a royal priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to (offer) your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Hebrews 12:1)
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15)
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (Romans 6:13)
Dear Lord, we’re not always going to do this right. Sometimes we’ll shrink back, afraid of rejection, while other times we might go forward a little too quickly without praying for Your timing. Please grow us into a band of dreamers who talk through it all with You, who learn to discern Your voice and the prompting of Your Holy Spirit. And, Father, when the time is right and the inspiration is clear, give us the courage we need to offer ourselves humbly to You and Your people. – Amen
Shared By: Wendy Brunner
Photo Credit: Heather Kaiser