Thursday, October 27, 2016

What Dreams May Come

This week I've been too tired to write. Too tired to focus, to think, and to put my thoughts in order. I've been down. Not depressed, not anguished, not sad; just down. Better yet, deflated. I have many dreams, aspirations, things I want to do, ways I want to help, and inspire others and this past weekend I had a good friend turn the light off, burst my balloon and wake me up. You see, what happened was that she reminded me of a past failure, something that happened about 15 years ago, warning me that if I follow my dream, if I do what I really want to do, the same thing might happen again. And I felt so lacking, so incompetent, that I decided it's best not to go forward with my plan until I'm better prepared.

Rejection would do that to an imperfect, and flawed person. It would do that to a person who's still under construction, like I am. Like you are. And it takes any kind of rejection. It can be that someone rejects me, or my ideas, or my opinions, or my cooking, or my baked goods. Really, it can be anything. Some people take a little, others take a lot to feel rejected. Take my husband, for instance: I have never seen him feel rejected by anything or anyone outside of our home. It takes a lot for him to feel that way. He has a great assurance in what the Lord has placed in him and within him. I, on the other hand, am weaker, most of all when my past failures come back to haunt me, taunt me, bother me, and annoy me. And I let them deflate me.

know I'm wrong! Oh, how wrong I am! I cannot let my past define me because I have been redeemed, and made new; my heart is not the same one I had before. God has changed everything. And even if my failures come after I've been saved for years, and after I've been walking with God for a long time, I know that each day God's mercies are new and that He let go of that past —even if it was just yesterday— as soon as I repented. So I cannot let what other people say dictate what I do because God calls me to focus on Him, on what He has said for me, and about me. I cannot be deflated by the words of others, by my failures, or by what I think people will think of me. I know this! And yet I second guess myself, and I second guess my assurance that this is what God wants me to do. I know I'm wrong when I do this, and yet I can't seem to shake off the doubts that were not there before.

If I know what's right, why is it that I can't seem to grasp it? It's because I cannot lean on my own understanding, I cannot rely on my own insight. I have to acknowledge God, acknowledge what He has said, trust in Him and He will take care of the rest (Proverbs 3:5-6). So what has God said? He has promised to give me a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11); He has promised to hold me by the hand, and help me (Isaiah 41:13). I'm not alone; God is with me, and He has put in me dreams and aspirations, good works that He has prepared in advance for me (Ephesians 2:10). So how do I know my dream is what God wants me to do? I ask myself: does it glorify God? Does it help my neighbor? Will it edify the Church or will it make it stumble? Will it help me to be gracious and show mercy to others?

So even if I feel rejected, or my ideas are rejected, I can trust God and I can trust that He will help me do what He has entrusted me to do. He will see me through. I can focus on Him and rest in Him. He has made me new. I can look at my past failures with confidence, knowing that God led me through them so that He could mold me, so that I could learn from them, so that He may use me now where I am —spiritually, emotionally, and physically— with what He has given me.

And my friend? I will look her in the eyes and with love and grace sincerely thank her for her concern and ask her to pray for me. Only God knows what may come from my dreams, but if I look at my dreams through His eyes, through His Word, I can see such a great blessing... I'll press on.

"And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

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