How to step into your God-given dreams
It was 4 years ago this week that I stepped into one of my God-given dreams. I stood in front of our entire church as I stepped away from church ministry and toward my own life coaching business. I literally had no idea what I was doing - well, I did complete my coaching course so I had that going for me.
But other than that. I had never owned a business. I had never dreamed of having my own business. In fact, I didn't make the business school muster in college and ended up switching my major to International Studies. And just in case you're wondering, this change did not prepare me one iota for owning and building my own business.
If we were meeting at the local Starbucks and chatting all things dreams and purpose and pursuing obedience to God above all else, I would admit to you (over my cold foam cappuccino with white chocolate) that pursuing your dream is not all I thought it would be.
There have been moments of amazing joy because I get to do what I love. And moments of intense stress as I figure out how to make it all work and still pay the bills. So far, Moose and I haven't ended up in a box living on the street. So we have that going for us.
All that to say - just because our dreams our God-given doesn't mean they'll be easy. Dreams comes with work. And failure. In front of people. They come with dependence on God. And doubts over whether you took a wrong turn somewhere.
And I wonder if you too are having a few doubts? About your life? About how to balance the life you already have with the dreams you thought you would have accomplished by now? Maybe you're wondering if that dream even fits with the life you're already living? Or you have that nagging feeling that it's time to step into something new but have no idea how to do it?
It's only natural to doubt especially when you're stepping into the unknown. My own journey has been filled with doubts. And overthinking. And wondering if I've lost my way.
And if you feel like you've lost your way in life. In relationships. At work. With your health. I've got good news. It's never too late to change you life or step into God's dreams for you. And that starts with embracing the idea that God cares about who you're becoming more than what you're accomplishing. So if you're ready to step into God's dream for you, I'd love to share a few things I'm learning on the subject.
Remember Who You Are
As I celebrate 4 years this week, I knew I needed a reminder. A reminder of why I got started in the first place. A reminder of the gifts and passions God has given me. A reminder of how much God loves me for me.
So I went to church and God surprised me with that reminder. You see, when I started One Foot Coaching, my dream was to empower women to step in courageous faith just like Peter did when he stepped out of the boat to walk on water. I wanted to encourage women to live with obedient faith - following God and doing the next thing.
As I sat down for our message this week, our guest speaker was speaking on that very story. Peter getting out of the boat. Peter willing to follow Jesus even if it looked crazy or seemed unsafe. Peter willing to bravely step toward Jesus.
For me, it was that reminder of why I started all of this in the first place. In the middle of my doubts. In the middle of my fears. In the middle of everyday life. God placed a dream on my heart to walk in obediently toward Jesus and encourage other women to do the same.
Bring Your Dreams To God
As our guest speaker began to unpack his message, I began to get a clear sense that I had been trying to get to my dream in my own strength. God planted the vision in my heart. But somewhere along the way, I had stopped talking to God about my dreams and had started tweaking it to make it profitable.
God knows your dreams. Those dreams that you keep hidden and don't always talk about. Those dreams that feel far away as you deal with the challenges and maybe even an occasional crisis that comes in the everyday ordinary moments of life. And as we're paying attention to those challenges, we can forget that God knows. He cares. And He has not forgotten.
So instead of hiding our dreams. Or trying to make them more successful in our own strength. Or putting them in the storage unit. Let's bring them out. Not to try to get it done on our own. Let's dust them off and bring them to God. Ask him to show us what's from Him and what's not. Ask Him to open doors when they need opening and which paths we might need to step toward.
And after all that, let's trust Him with the dreams in our hearts. Allowing Him to redirect our path. Allowing Him to give us new dreams. Allowing Him to power our dreams one baby step at a time.
Choose Obedience Over Success
I had one major struggle when I stepped out of the boat four years ago. I had the impression that since I took this giant leap that things would be easy. And successful. And come together naturally. Instead, I learned more about hard work. And trusting God. And choosing to follow God instead of success.
In the end, I learned is that God defines success differently than us. Sometimes success looks like hard work. Sometimes success looks like a small community striving to live in faith together. Sometimes success looks like failure, because in the end, God cares about who we are becoming than the things we're accomplishing.
For some of those seasons, I needed to remind myself that pursuing the dreams God gave me meant that the outcome would not always look like success in the world's eyes. That God defines success in terms of obedience and not in terms of dollars or numbers or that job you've always dreamed of.
God's greatest desire is for our hearts and that we follow after Him wholeheartedly. Yet, you and I can get so caught up in pursuing our dream and discovering our purpose that we forget who it's all for.
We step into our dream when we choose obedience first - regardless of the outcome.
If you've gotten this far, you probably already have a dream. A dream to do what you love. Or a dream to make an impact. Or a dream for when you empty nest. Or a dream for your kids and family. But for those of you who aren't natural dreamers, I want to say this. Take some time to dream a little. No dream is too small or too big. Dreaming with God helps us lean in with our gifts and find Him faithful when we choose obedience over success.