What do you do when your dreams are still your dreams? What do you do when you’re at the point where you thought you would be more advanced in your job by now; you thought you would be a rock-star mom; you thought you would be living in that place; you thought you would be debt-free. But it’s not happened yet and it doesn’t look like it’s even on the horizon for you.
There are dreams I have that I’m still waiting to come to fruition. I feel like I’ve been through all the feelings of having an unfulfilled dream: I’ve felt depressed and hopeless, disregarded or forgotten by God… maybe it’s time to give up the dream; but more recently I’ve felt vague nudges of encouragement in my heart about these things. It’s really nothing new, it’s the sort of things I hear from a stage or from a friend, and I claim these things to be true, but for some reason in my dark nights I don’t believe that they are true for me. I’m asking God to work in my heart and show me that his love and his faithfulness is true for me. And, friend, the things I’m saying are true for you too. I pray you will have an open heart to receive it.
The timing of God’s plan for our lives is often far different from the timeline we have laid out for ourselves. We tend to think we know what would be best for us and when it would be best. But God sees the big picture of our lives, along with all of the lives we influence, we see only a small portion of the masterpiece he’s crafting. I think of it as wearing very big blinders. Jesus himself said his purpose is to give us a life that is rich and full (John 10:10). Now the trouble comes when we believe we know the only way our life can be rich and full… that amazing job, a perfect husband, those angelic kids, a body without flaws, my dream home.
God just whispered to me the other day, “Sara, I want you to shine wherever you are!” Whether I’ve arrived at the doorstep of my dreams or not– I can choose to be happy, I can choose to make the most of this day that I have in hand right now. Feeling sorry for myself is such a waste of my time and my joy. I’m realizing more and more just how short, fragile and fleeting life on earth really is. That’s why what we do with our everyday is so important. I heard it said once, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” If I spend my days moping about the things I don’t have, before I know it I will wake up and that will be the life I’ve lead! That’s not what I want. I want a life filled with joy so I need to bring that joy to the here and now. Shine wherever I am. Allow myself to have that rich and full life.
I’m doing my best to open my hands and let go of my dreams; drop them in the palm of my loving Father and trust what he has for me is good. I see this as an opportunity to prove my faithfulness to Him. I’m going to shine right where I am and let God handle the rest. He has his own good plans for me, and they’re even bigger and better than MY dreams for me (Jeremiah 29:11 & Ephesians 3:20)!
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
This verse is so relevant for this topic because God sent this message to a whole group of people (His people) whose dreams, I’m sure, felt disposed of. They had been taken captive to their enemy’s city. Can you imagine?? Being ripped from the life you’ve always known and just taken. Jeremiah 29:1-23 is a letter written to them, instructing them to settle in. God was letting them know they’d be there for a while, it was by His will that his happened and he knew it’s not what they wanted; but he wanted them to make the best of it. He told them to settle down, accept the people there as their own, build homes, do good in their new communities, be a blessing to the Babylonian people… live! He wanted them to flourish in their exile and not fade away. Shine right where you are.
I love the way David Guzik shows us these words are for us too: “This promise was made to ancient Jews under the Babylonian exile, but they express the unchanging heart of God toward His people. Indeed, these were God’s thoughts toward Israel under the Old Covenant; we should not dare to believe that He is less favorable to those who come to Him in faith, through the Messiah, in the New Covenant. God has a future and a hope for His people even when they suffer in exile, even when they hurt under deserved discipline or judgment. It is the devil’s deception to rob God’s people of their sense of His future and a hope for them.”
I really love that last sentence. I know how easy it is to start believing that God doesn’t concern himself with my hopeful future. Do you ever feel that way too? Take heart, my friend, our God is for us, not against us! Let’s live right where we are, let’s make the best of every day and wait with hopeful expectation to see what God’s got up his sleeve for us.