It has been twenty-five years since I answered my sister’s question with those three desires; “I would like to home school the boys, be in ministry, and adopt a little girl.”
Throughout these years I have learned that God is very intentional in the dreams and desires He gives His people. While I once thought that receiving my desire was most important, I have discovered that it is the journey, from the time a desire is first put within my heart, until it is fulfilled, that God works in me to change me and prepare me for the fulfillment. For without the experiences along the journey I would not be walking in the good works that God created me for.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
The good works that God prepared for each one of us are wrapped up in the dreams and desires He puts within our hearts.
God dreams are intended to take us to places we could never go on our own.
God desires give us courage to climb out of our boat among the wind and waves so that we learn to keep our eyes on Jesus.
God desires require we take off our shoes and leave our ways and our insecurities so that God can equip and empower us to do what we considered impossible.
God desires are intended to refine and purify our hearts to take the “us” out of our desire so that others see God’s power, love, and glory!
God desires lived out in the lives of His people create stories that tell of the ways God took a once ordinary person and made them extraordinary!
As I think back to the woman I was when I first spoke the desires into the atmosphere I realize that because of those dreams I am a very different woman than I was. What I thought, at the time, were just three desires…
homeschooling, youth ministry, and adoption, were actually the journeys of life that changed me from the inside out.
They have changed me from a quiet, insecure woman who looked to things and people to fulfill, satisfy, and validate me… into a passionate, fairly confident woman who finds my fulfillment, satisfaction, and validation in doing what God created me to do.
I have been stretched way out of my comfort zone to find that what I thought was “comfortable” is nothing compared to the joy and enthusiasm I get when the Holy Spirit enables me to do things I never thought I could.
They have provided opportunities for my sin to be exposed, like when I got so frustrated at the boys when they didn’t do their school work, or when I allowed what others said to bring doubt so that I wanted to give up on my dream, or when I was jealous of other leaders…
My heart was convicted, like when God showed me the lies I believed about myself, when He revealed my shame and pride, and how subtly I had made Kayla an idol. I needed to confess believing the lies, repent of my shame and pride, and cast down my idolatry, and replace the lies with truth, and put God alone on the throne of my heart.
And I was humbled many times when I chose to trust in my own understanding and took things into my own hands, trying to fulfill my own desires in my way and in my time, only to be disappointed and frustrated.
But as difficult as those were they were the things God worked together for my good, they brought me to the end of self, because ultimately God wanted me to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to trust in Him alone!
Twenty-five years ago we had just moved to “the country.” The eleven years prior were bitter sweet for me. Mark and I enjoyed the birth of our three sons, the printing business Mark and his father began was providing well for us, we were surrounded by family and friends from our church… but my insecurities… they had produced some bitter fruit in my life. So the move to “the country” came with hopes of a “new beginning.” It also happened to be the first year the boys were all in school so I had several hours a day alone… with peace and quiet. In those hours I found myself diving into the word of God. I couldn’t get enough. The bitter fruit my life had produced left me dry and thirsty.
But God’s word was so refreshing!
His love, His hope, His promises began to fill up my dry, thirsty heart.
A heart filled with God’s word is ready to receive God desires!
God looked down on this young mother who desperately needed to learn how to love her sons and train them up in the way they should go,
on this young woman who had been insecure and afraid of speaking her convictions all through school,
and on this daughter who had never had a close relationship with her mother,
and He placed within me three desires that He used to fulfill the purposes I was created for!
Now twenty-five years later…
it is with great joy to see that our sons love the Lord and are living their own journeys of faith as they fulfill the dreams and desires God gives them,
it is with great joy to confidently share the word of God with teens in Community Bible Study with an awesome team of leaders.
and it is with great joy to have an awesome relationship with my daughter (God’s “Joy”) and to see her growing into a beautiful young lady.
These verses have proved true…
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” Romans 8:28-29
Writing these blogs about my three desires has taken me down memory lane and God has reminded me of how He worked all things together for my good. I have been reminded that it was when I allowed Him to have His way, when I surrendered my will for His, and when I chose to trust Him and not my own understanding, that I saw Him do amazing things within me and within the situations I faced. I realize it was when I chose to love Him above myself and my own ways that His ways were so much better. I’ve learned that the desires He gives are not about promoting me or bringing me glory, they are given so that God is seen in my life, so that His purposes are fulfilled here on earth, and so that He receives the glory! I am thankful that I am not the same woman I was twenty-five years ago. I would ‘t have changed anything along those journeys because they have formed me more and more into the image of Christ and have given me a story that gives God glory.
Thank you for coming along and I hope that in some way they have been an encouragement to you and most of all a tribute to God’s faithfulness and goodness!
P.S. I just heard another gentle whisper from God….
“It’s time to dream again!”
How about you?
Is it time for you to dream again?