Last week, I looked briefly at the thought of moving from fear into faith (inspired partly by a post Kurt wrote called “If the Spirit Took the Lead.” Now, I want to look in depth at the changes that happen inside of us as we begin to find that faith growing and deepening in us.
Our dreams are re-kindled and stirred up.
I had a few dreams as a little girl. I wanted to be a marine biologist and swim with dolphins – and I did swim with them a few years back in Hawaii. I wanted to be the voice in a Disney movie, and while I never made it to the silver screen, I have numerous opportunities to sing. My biggest dream, though, was one that I didn’t really talk about. It was super-nerdy. It wasn’t glamorous like being a ballerina or doctor. I wanted to write and create books.
I recently found an old project from the 3rd grade – an artistic project. I chose to write, illustrate and bind my own book. It was a mystery novel called Murder on the 500 and it was about a female race-car driver who staged her own death on the Indy500 in order to solve a mystery. Then I got older. Other people were writers. I was going to be an English teacher. In many ways, the dream kept creeping up all throughout my youth. I edited a school literary magazine, I designed books and magazines in my head. I wrote stories and journalistic accounts and poetry in journals. But I gave up on the real dream. I settled for the dream that the world told me was acceptable, because the fear of succeeding with my own deep dream was too terrifying. What if I was popular, and people expected me to write more? What if I got writer’s block? What if people HATED my writing? It was this vortex of fear and shame and settling for second best.
When I began to walk in faith – in step with the Spirit, I began to lose the fear of my own dream. Many of us have spent so long training ourselves to live in ‘reality’ that we’ve drowned our dreams in disbelief and doubt. But when the Spirit takes the lead, we begin to believe for the impossible again. John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, was known for saying “Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.” If we are not afraid of failure, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous or strange our dreams may seem. Impossible dreams are always possible when we are fully dependent on and living through an impossibly great God. The God who created the universe, who delights over and over again in his creation, He has desires and dreams as well. And when we open ourselves to the divine dream—the one in which all people turn to Him in repentance and compassion—we, ourselves, begin to dream again. Those dreams that gave you hope and life as a child are part of the unique wiring that the Spirit wants to activate in order to see the Kingdom come alive. When the Spirit takes the lead, we have no need to fear our dreams. We have no need to fear failure. We can have faith that our dreams are part of the divine design.
I don’t know if I will ever become the publishing house that I dream to be. I don’t know if I will ever finish the book I’ve been dreaming about writing for years. I don’t know for certain that I’ll even manage to post regularly to my blog. But instead of fearing the unknown, I’m trying to have faith in the deepest dream of my heart – the dream to whisper words of life back into other people. I want to live further into the vision I had as a little girl that if I spoke a word and believed, it would accomplish everything that it was purposed for. I want to believe that being faithful to the dream is an end in itself.
I don’t have to achieve in order to be accepted. Living in step with His Spirit means reminding myself each day that regardless of accomplishment, God believes in me and believes in my dream. And if God believes in the dream, who am I to shoot it down with ‘reality?’
What did you want to be when you were younger?
What did it feel like when people encouraged your dream or told you to go for it? Alternatively, how did it feel when people shot it down?
What dream do you most want to re-kindle and why?