If I were to be honest, this was not the life I expected.
I never expected to go to grad school in Oklahoma.
I never expected to dive into community and leave it a year later.
I never expected to move to Seattle after graduation.
I never expected to pursue a degree in theatre.
I never expected to attend Baylor University.
I never expected to leave Texas.
I never expected to maintain only a handful of friendships from high school.
I never expected to meet some of the dearest friends through my blog.
I never expected to find a passion for God’s purpose and power in the arts.
I never expected to find freedom from the painful comparison of my past.
I never expected to be where I am, but I always should have expected God to be good. It’s His nature and He cannot help it.
One of the biggest lessons I’m learning in this season is how sweet it is to dream with Jesus. To dream BIG with Him. There is no fear or flaw in that because He is the God of big dreams. Have you seen the world He created? Have you read, heard, or seen the goodness of His people? Have you been redeemed and rescued by His elaborate, sacrificial plan of salvation where He sent His Son to pull us from our self-destruction and seat us in a place of honor and value at His side? And have you heard of what He is going to do to set all things right again? Talk about a God who thinks BIG. So why shouldn’t we do the same?
I used to think small. I used to think about today and find myself dizzy with the tiny details, or only worry about tomorrow and ten years from now, tearing away the days on my calendar to “make it” to this check point or that. Neither of those were okay. Neither of those were what He asks of us. Neither of those do I claim to have fully recovered from, but I’m surrendering it whenever I can.
As His sons and daughters, we are called to live in the present but for the future.
Let me say that again. We are to live IN the present but FOR the future. Sadly the world promotes the opposite. The world says “We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so live it up today!” This is where YOLO comes from. Please give me a good kick if the word letters YOLO escape my lips. It’s true though. You only live once. So what are you living for?
Take a moment to read the following verses:
Did you read it? Good. Now read it a second time.
What stands out to you? Three things jumped out at me from the start:
1. Long ago, God chose us (you and I) as the focus of His love.
2. He chose then and there to adopt us into His family (and He delighted in this decision!).
3. He is a God of lavish gifts (see Gift #1: His Son, Jesus Christ).
Y’all! This seriously blows my mind! Before the world began –before He created day, night, land, sea, sun, stars, water, air, man, woman, ANY OF IT– He knew your name! He knew mine. He desired a relationship with us and wanted to adventure with us in the work of His kingdom. And He knew what He was getting into when He created us and chose us. For more on this, listen to “I Knew What I Was Getting Into” by Misty Edwards. Over and over again. It has wrecked my world in the best way possible.
He did not stop there though. He chose not only to save us but to adopt us! To bring us into His family and give us an inheritance! An identity directly linked with His! We were trapped in sin, deserving of death, but he wiped the slate clean and promised goodness and grand gifts. Who does that?
Oh, yeah. He does.
And so, I dream BIG. I dream in six different directions at once and I’ll be the first admit it. But I know that I can because at the heart of those dreams is a desire for His dreams. We hear the verse in Proverbs quoted over and over again, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I believe it, but I’m beginning to see it in a new light. I do not want to delight in Him in order to get my Christmas list. I want to delight in Him so that He may put His desires in my heart. If He is my delight then His desires are my desires.
I may be free to dream in six different directions but I am free from those dreams –dreams that at one point threatened to tear me from God in desperation to make them happen on my own– by surrendering them to His greater plan. He is the Creator of the universe! I certainly trust Him to create my future with just as much care and skill. And His timing is perfect and not on our clock. A day to Him might be a thousand years to us, but it is worth it because He is worthy of it all. I am living in the present, trying to BE present with the people He has put in my life and the opportunities He puts in front of me and leads me to, but also living with a future (Kingdom and eternal) mindset. My discipline and surrender now will pave the way for intimacy and fruit later.
Goodness, all of this simply bubbled out in, as the theme has been, six different directions, but it’s where He’s taken me and I simply had to share! All in all, this is where I’ll leave you:
Currently, this isn’t the life I imagined or expected. It’s so much better!