It’s important to remember that Jesus didn’t necessarily say, “Pick up your cross and follow the dream,” but he said, “Pick up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).” I think sometimes when God gives us a dream, we get so fixated upon it that we begin to tie our sense of worth into fulfilling that dream. We tie our sense of purpose into publishing a killer post, putting on an awesome event, writing a book, etc. All good, Godly things, but the truth is not every season is filled with those sort of mountain top moments. Some seasons following the dream looks like constantly cleaning up kids’ messes, some seasons it’s lonely.
Those tend to be the times we question and doubt… did God really say that? Did he really put that dream in my heart? Is God really who He says He is? I wrestled with those questions the entire first year after I graduated college. I went from an environment where I was constantly built up, encouraged, and told, “You’re going to change the world for Jesus!” So when I graduated and was no longer daily saturated in that sort of environment, let alone continued to work the same part-time job, made the same hourly wage, barely afforded rent, groceries, etc… I began to ask, “Uh, did you forget about me, God? I thought we were supposed to change the world?”
I really struggled and doubted the calling God had given me. That season was not filled with glamorous moments, but God taught me one of the most important lessons. He taught me, “Amanda, I am all you’ve ever had, and all you will ever truly have. I am the solid rock you build your life upon, not on others’ accolades or cool opportunities, but on me alone.” He was continuing to put to death the desire for others’ approval.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
God doesn’t always act in the way we think he ought to. His ways and timing often don’t make sense. Unfortunately, it’s in these seasons where dreams often die because people refuse to humble themselves, and allow God to teach them. It’s in these seasons where we want to question, want to doubt, that we must cling to truth, cling to scripture, the word of God.
Romans 8:28 tells us God works for the GOOD of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Though his thoughts and ways don’t always make sense, they are always wise, and always good, because He is a GOOD God who LOVES us. We can trust Him as he’s working all things for our good.
That year after college was a much needed season of refinement and preparation for what is to come. It didn’t make sense then, but man am I thankful for it now. The seasons of “silence” are often seasons to refine us and draw out the things we need to let go of. They really are a blessing in disguise. God knows what He’s doing.
Follow Jesus, more than you follow the dream. Don’t get so caught up in what you’re trying to do for God that you miss out on who He is calling you to be. “Before God builds the dream, He builds the dreamer.” ❤