Living the Dream: Your Dream, God’s Will
I had a lot to say in my previous post, Living the Dream. So this Part Two. If you have been following my blog for the past couple of years you’ve probably noticed things went quiet. I had a lot to learn. What I’ve learned is what I’m sharing here in the Living the Dream series. My prayer is that this series will bless you full-time parents or others pursuing a love for writing.
Though I love my boys, it’s easy to feel trapped when I have other dreams and ambitions floating in my head. It’s not that I’m asking for more to life, it’s just there are parts integral to me such as a love for adventure, imagination, creativity and writing that aren’t being used as much during this early season of parenthood. Though I give my boys everything, I’m still not tapping into that part of my mind as often as I’d like. After a while it’s easy for me to believe the lie that I’m not fulfilled; that I’m not chasing after my passion and working towards my dreams and goals, or worse my current life won’t allow me to follow my dream. Read that whole sentence again! I said it was a lie. It’s a lie that my current life won’t allow me to follow my dream! We call it feeling trapped. When I start to flirt with this lie it’s time for me to stop, and put my life back into perspective.
Perspective is a gift. God gives us perspective over our lives when we take His will into consideration. God’s will plays out differently between all believers, but the common denominator for all of His children is to love Him and love our neighbors. In everything we do we are to first love God and then our neighbors.We all show our love differently. No matter what we do; caring for kids, writing, running a business, making diner, driving, playing the piano- we have to do it all in love. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3) We love God and our neighbors by sacrificing our resources, time and talents. That’s where the variances of God’s will come into play.
You are an individual, gifted by God with a unique set of talents, curiosities and experiences.
We can’t ignore that. The God who made all things, knows all things made you unique. There is no one else like you. I know you have heard this before, but stop and wrap your mind around that. You are not a mistake. You are immeasurably valuable, but it’s not because of what you have done or what you think you are capable of doing. You are valuable because of the price God paid to redeem you. He then gives you a skill set and then says, “Hey go love people in my name, and have fun doing it, and don’t worry about anything because I’ve conquered it all.” * And I woke up this morning at 5:00 annoyed because my 20 month old was hungry… I then entertain the lie that I’m trapped because I can’t write in the morning like I use to. It’s all because I’ve lost perspective.
Here are 4 things I try to remember when I feel trapped.
Ugh, that sounds cheesy. I wrestled with other names for the first step, but I kept coming back to believe. I really believe we can reach our dreams. In Living the Dream I talked about how our dreams are a gift from God. It is a way God can direct us to His will for our lives. The problem many people have is that they taint their own dreams. We make our dreams about us and what we want from this world. God reverses the order. To God it’s all about the needs of the world and how we can serve. Remember our dreams come from Him to be used for Him. If we accept that, we will find joy and fulfillment far surpassing than what could imagine. By the way, God doesn’t lose. So if he started you on a journey chasing the dream He gave you, it’s a sure bet you will reach your dream. Not only do we have to believe we can reach our dreams, but we also have to believe God’s plan for our lives is more fulfilling than anything we could scheme up for ourselves.
2. Remember God’s will
Let me reign this in a bit. I said earlier we taint our dreams. This happens because we avoid God’s will. How do we avoid God’s will? We stop loving others first. We want to run over others for us to achieve our tainted version of God’s dream for us. We end up sacrificing more for something far less. Aren’t we crazy?
3. Accept your freedom
So I’m a stay at home dad. As for now this is my priority. God has planted me here to love Him and everyone else I contact throughout my day. He also gave me a love for reading, writing and imagination. There are a number of things I could do with those interests, but I have chosen to blog and write novels. It’s a natural fit with my life as a full time caregiver. I believe God gave me the freedom to choose this for myself, but I understand it doesn’t supersede God’s calling for my life.
4. Make Disciples
I have to keep my will in check. Part of me wants my blog to be more popular and my books to become more successful. God reminds me often that may not be His will for my life. What is most certainly part of His will is using my talents to make disciples. A general rule of thumb, whatever your endeavors, the more you make it about bringing up disciples the more fulfilling it will be. When I focus on only that, I can honestly say I’m living the dream.
By remembering these four things I’m able to keep my perspective and at the same time pursue what I enjoy doing. Whatever it is you are doing in life, whether running a small business, stay-at-home parent, teacher, or practicing law, don’t let the boundaries you face make you believe you are trapped and unable to do what you enjoy doing. Perhaps those boundaries are there to keep you in place and bloom where God has you so you can love Him and your neighbors with your talents and gifts. Living the dream isn’t about fighting through every obstacle and running over everyone in your way to obtain what you want for yourself, it’s about realizing you’re equipped and wonderfully made to serve your neighbors in a way that God intended before you were born. Rather than chasing a dream, it’s accepting and appreciating where you are now and allowing your circumstances to direct you to the dream God has in mind for you.