It's funny how we can know in our spirit that God has spoken something to our heart, only to let years of disappointments and circumstances of life cause us to doubt. Maybe we heard wrong? Maybe I just imagined it?
I recently finished reading Rebekah Lyons' book, "Freefall to fly", and God has used her words to remind me once again of what He has called me to do.
As instructed by Rebekah, I've written down my earliest dreams for my life. I thought long and hard and they go back to my childhood.
I can remember hoping to marry my prince charming and living a fairy tale life with a cute house and children. I dreamed of decorating our home and turning it into a haven for my little family. My children would be just as cute as the house and so sweet and well mannered. My husband would adore me and make me feel like a queen.
I am now married to my prince charming and I have my cute little house....and I just have to add that Dillan is as cute as it gets ;) But this dream did not happen the way I envisioned it. Much to the contrary. It would come after three divorces and one miscarriage. Years of depression and suffering physical, emotional, and verbal abuse.
I could write a long time about why it took so long for this dream to come true, but the point of this post is that I'm reminded of how God uses our successes and failures, our choices, and our relationships with others to write our story. If we pay attention along the way, we will learn life lessons and be reminded again and again of our deepest hopes and dreams.....God-given dreams.
I believe we all have dreams. He has created each of us for a divine purpose on this earth and it's up to us to find our purpose. It's not a secret that He's locked up in a box and buried somewhere. It's there in plain sight if we will do our part and seek it.....want it.
After I found the man that God had created for me so long ago and we began our life together, I started dreaming again. I felt God calling me to full time vocational women's ministry. And the Lord certainly knows I ran after that dream and tried to make it come true on my own!
I also started writing again during that time. I remembered how much I had loved to write poetry as a child/teen. I sought opportunities to share my words with others, hoping it could be an encouragement to women going through difficult times in their own lives.
Over the last 14 years, I have chased after these dreams at times, but I have also lost sight of them when it got too hard or uncomfortable. My dreams have been there all along, waiting for me to pick them back up and continue with pursuing my calling.
God has been so faithful and patient and has taught me so much over the years. I believe my life experiences over these last 14 years have only helped me to gain insight to be able to see more clearly the full nature of my calling. I know that although circumstances of life can shift our dreams and take us in other directions at times, we can be sure to see it to the end.....a successful end. I want my time on this earth to count. I want to be remembered as a girl who didn't let her past determine her future. A girl who loved God more because of what she had been through. I want to be an example of Christ.
I've written down all of my dreams. The fairy tale marriage, cute house, cute kid, and my dream of becoming a writer (author) and working in ministry full time.
I also wrote down the major turning points in my life. Depression, marriage, divorce, becoming a mother, having my writing published, ministry opportunities, and earning my degree in Christian Counseling.
My talents center around writing, organizing, homemaking, encouraging, and administration.
Lastly, I did what Rebekah suggested in her book and wrote down my greatest burdens. My greatest burdens center around having a close relationship with Christ, my son's relationship with Christ and helping him know and accept his own calling, and my burden for women living in abuse and in bondage to sin and depression.
When I looked at everything I'd written down, it became so clear that I truly have known my calling all along. It's also clear how God has used each and every circumstance and every relationship (good and bad) with people who have been in my life at some point to mold me and shape me for the work He has for me.
I know I will still have doubt some days and there will be times when I want to give up, but I'm determined to accomplish something for Christ with the assignment He has given me....with the dreams that He instilled in me even before my birth. To help me keep focus, I've written down a descriptive statement of what my responsibilities might be:
"My calling is to empower and encourage women to find healing in Christ from depression, abuse, and divorce".
I'm eager to take the next steps and to see what opportunities God puts in my path. I would also love to hear from you about the dreams and desires God has given you. Let's pray for one another and encourage one another! Maybe we have something in common? If you live in the area of the country where I live, maybe we can accomplish some things together for Christ?
Hope to hear from you soon!