What's Your Dream?

I wrote a lot of books between the ages of 9 and 11, and they all had one thing in common: a hand-colored front page (usually featuring a spooky-looking old house) with three precisely placed staples.

But then my family life took an ugly turn, and the joy of writing got buried, one traumatic event at a time.

My dream to write only resurfaced after many years in an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus. God began to reveal to me (through literal dreams, no less!) that I had buried the gift of communication He had entrusted to me. By that time, I was in my late 30's and stunned about the whole thing. The gift was so deeply buried I did not even remember it existed.

I did not connect the joyful passions of a little girl to the calling God had on my life.

So how did a nearly 40 year old woman shift gears and begin to finally reclaim and then pursue the dream God obviously gave her? For me, it was a process--sort of like a slow awakening. If you come from a difficult background, know this: it's never too late and you're not 'too damaged' to pursue your God-given dreams.

The five keys below can help you:

1. Ask God to reveal any talents that are buried. Few of us get through life unscathed. Physical and emotional wounds take their tolls in different ways, but I believe that the enemy of our souls uses hurts primarily for one reason: to prevent us from fulfilling our God-given destinies. Ask God "Have I been sidetracked?"- and implore Him to clearly show you His purpose for your life. Ask for confirmation, wisdom, and clear direction.

2. Recognize and articulate the dream. This was a hard one for me, because my dreams were submerged beneath a lot of dirt. But Jesus stooped down, unearthed my dream, brushed it off, and graciously handed it back to me. This required a lot of prayerful listening on my part, a willingness to allow Him to restore the passion for a long-lost destiny, and then time for my focus to become sharp and clear. Habakkuk 2:2 says "...Write down the vision and make it plain so that whoever reads it may run with it."

3. Ask God to bring healing. We're all works in progress, but in order for us to effectively minister in any capacity, we need His healing touch in our hearts, our emotions, our lives. No, God does not require perfection before we step out. And yes, our testimonies are powerful. But we want to be careful to minister out of His love, not out of our hurt.

4. Dare to believe what God shows you. Initially I thought, You must be kidding. I didn't want my name out there and resisted my 'public' calling because of fear and lack of education. I felt totally unqualified. But God wants us to believe Him. God "selected (and deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame." - 1 Corinthians 1:27

5. Run with it. Dreams are where faith, passion, and hard work collide. When we diligently apply ourselves and cooperate with the Holy Spirit, our dreams begin to unfold. Yes, we start out taking baby steps. But eventually we will run like the wind--empowered by God's grace. (See Hebrews 12:1)

We all have different callings on our lives, and different spheres of influence. So tell me, what's your dream? How has your life affected your ability to pursue your dreams?

* Photo taken by me, for those of you up north dreaming of beach days.




16 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

Your posts are always so encouraging to me Julie. One of my dreams is to be a speaker. I've always been painfully shy and never confident to even try out for speaking parts in plays in school although I wanted to badly.
Next month, I will be speaking for the first time because I finally decided that God put this desire there and I must follow what He puts inside us.

Karen said...

Love your tag for the photo!

Great words, I had/have trouble with some of those, like unearthing the dream. I just kind'a dig around a bit. Thanks dear Julie for the encouragement.

Bonita said...

Great advice, Julie! I chuckled at #4 because those are the exact words I said to God when He asked me to step into the realm of public speaking.

Jan Cline said...

Like Terri, my dream is to speak and connect with other women. I also have a dream to join with one of my children in telling a story of deliverance, but God hasn't finished the work in my child yet. It will have to wait for His timing. So for now, I will ask God to open the doors to speak. By the way, the title of my blog is What's Your Dream. :)

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I am sorry for the little story telling girl . . . but glad your dream is renewed.

I am needing a dream for my life in my new city. I am sure it will be in similiar area as the rest of my life . . . but where and with who?

Thanks for this very practical and beautiful post.

Fondly,
Glenda

Wanda said...

So needed to read this today. Appreciate you sharing.

Cheryl Barker said...

Writing became a dream of mine, too, but not until I was an adult. I'm blessed to be living it out now. So glad you're living your dream out, too, Julie!

curtissannmatlock said...

I also had the dream of writing as a child. Thank you for your inspiring post. I have lived all that you speak of, and appear to be going through yet more 'peeling of the onion', as God leads me in a new direction in writing and my life. I cannot hear too much to keep asking God's help.

Jill Beran said...

Hi Julie, Thank you for your encouraging words and points of advice. I too have always been one to put words on paper - journaling, writing motivational pieces and poems as an athlete and then a coach. In those days I even "dreamed" of writing a basketball book, but now as I'm in my mid-30's God is defining that dream a bit more! I no longer write about a sport I loved, but instead of the faith by which I walk! I am also beginning to embrace HIS dream for me rather than chasing the ones I've created and it's neat to see how there are some similarities. Anyway thanks for stirring up some good thoughts and reminding me to let God do the dreaming for me!! Blessings to you, Jill

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Great post Julie.

It opened up a lot for me. Except... I don't know anymore what my dream is. All I can think of is meeting Jesus in Heaven one day.

I need to really pray.

Erin MacPherson said...

Love the photo... and love the part about running with it. Sometimes it just takes GOING to get going.

Michele Katherine said...

Julie,

Thank you for sharing something that I'm sure was not so easy to do. I experienced trauma at an early age, and it held me prisoner for many years. As most people know, hurt turns into anger especially when at such a young age our minds are not able to process thoughts as adults do. Sadly, anger made me pursue darkness, that is until the Lord broke me, and I surrendered my life.

Like yourself, I also wrote as a child, but my writing did not become Christ centered until He became the focus and source for my writing.

It breaks my heart to think of you, "That little girl" having the joy of writing books, turned upside down at such a young age. I think your blog post is brave, and selfless, in that by sharing a piece of your past, you have given hope to others, hope in Christ.

Blessings,
Michele

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm amazed at what God shows us when we open our hearts to him. I'm so glad you answered the call. Wonderful post.

Graceful said...

What a convicting post, Julie -- thank you for sharing it here. I, too, started down this writing road rather late in life -- in my late 30s. I'd never even considered writing creatively -- I assumed I was a corporate writer and that was it. I assumed I didn't have that gift...or any gifts for that matter. That God has brought me this far is nothing short of shocking -- He is amazing!

Thank you for visiting Graceful yesterday and leaving such an encouraging, supportive comment -- it's lovely to meet you here!

Tea with Tiffany said...

:)

Julie, I understand the wounded past part. I've been there, done that.

As far as my dreams go, I'm a mixed bag of nuts.

I dream of using "communication" to change lives. Spoken and written words along with my photography. Using drama too.

I dream of traveling all over the world to impact lives for Christ. I'd love to see the captive set free and living life with passion.

I believe God wants ALL to know Him intimately. It's there I've found TRUE LOVE and believe me, I've went on many rabbit trails to find Him. Nothing satisfies like the JOY of knowing Jesus.

I'm slowly walking towards that dream(it's not in full color and clear yet), but I hesitate for the same reasons you mentioned. Not feeling qualified, ect. Even though I tell others "God qualifies the called." Ha.

Thanks for making me think again. I appreciate your writing. I'm believing for your book to be in my hands someday.

Write on.

Love,
Tiffany

pinkdaisyjane said...

I've found that God often reawakens dreams by reconnecting me with friends; they always seem to bring up such and such a dream I used to have to ____________.

The amazing thing {but should I be shocked with our God?} is that all of these "old" dreams fit so well with the new thing He's been doing in my life over these last few years...

He's so good.

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