Originally published Wednesday, 16 October 2013.
Almost four years ago, I took a leave of absence from my counseling practice, boldly telling myself and anyone who would listen my reasons: that I love teaching and I love young leaders and felt called to do that.
On a good day, that’s what I would say, and I would almost believe it.
But the truth is, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even really know why I said all those things, except that they sounded good and I knew that I felt most alive when I was sharing what God was teaching me in scripture or when I was encouraging someone in who I saw they could be. But I had no idea how I would do that. That job didn’t exist.
I was confused and I was unsure and I didn’t quite know why I would walk away from counseling, something that I knew I was good at and that “fit” our life very well. I walked away because sometimes that’s all you know to do, when you know it’s right.
And then yesterday, three years and ten months after I said goodbye to counseling, I sat across from a young leader and I realized that it happened.
I teach. I run a full-time intern program at Hope encouraging young leaders and leading them toward who God has made them to be. It’s a job I have. It exists. It’s my life.
Could it be that a statement I would proclaim on a good day was not just some restless yearning or fanciful idea, but that statement was a divine whisper, a dream put in place that He would see through to completion? Could it possibly be that God is the dream-maker, God is the one who is Able, the God who can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or even imagine?
My dream back then was vague and dark, like a Polaroid picture that hasn’t developed. Little did I know that teaching and leading would involve so many other things–so many other people. Little did I know it would involve confusion and wrestling and doubt. I didn’t know it would involve character refining and seeking God like I never have before. Little did I know how little faith I had until it was actually put to the test.
But then, yesterday. I have a little office at the church that’s frequently full of young staff. I get to listen closely and hear not only where they are right now but encourage them toward where God is calling them to be. I get to help them with their dreams while living out my own.
So I wonder–have you given up on your dream? Do you wonder if that little whisper in your heart about what God has made you to be–do you wonder if you’ve heard wrong? Do you spend most days confused and uncertain? Maybe that uncertainty is the universal condition of the human race, this endless journey toward believing God. Maybe most of life is about developing the proper eyesight to see beyond the physical into the vibrant, adventurous, wild spiritual life all around us–the life of dreams and struggles and souls and faith. So if you are wondering today, if you feel like giving up, know this:
God is the dream-maker.
God is always at work, bringing all things to unity for his purposes.
God is willing, He is able, and His timing is perfect and even when you’ve given up–He hasn’t. His patience is endless and his kindness knows no limits. His purposes are perfect and His way is true. His mercies are unceasing and his compassion is new every morning and He loves you more than you can ever know, and He’ll spend the rest of your days helping you experience all that He is, in the dreams and the darkness, the clarity and in the confusion. You may not know who He’s making you to be–but you can know Him. And when you do, you just might figure out who you are too.