“I have a dream…”
Those powerful words by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. never cease to stir me. I hear his iconic voice reverberating with passion and remember his dedication to that dream in the face of terrible injustices. And yet I wonder if I really understand the meaning of those words. Am I living with purpose? Is there something that compels me, something within me that ignites my imagination and stirs my willingness to face hardship and persecution? Do I have a dream?
I remember as a teenager being asked that question. It seemed that nearly everyone had plans and dreams for their future, and everyone else wanted to know mine. But at that time in my life, I didn’t have a dream; I was just trying to survive. Eventually, though, those questions began to rise back up in my spirit.
I began to remember.
I remembered what it was like to dream as a child. Sitting at the top of my swing set at dusk, I’d watch in awe as God drew the curtains of day once more. I remembered how natural it was to fellowship with Him, how big and capable He made me feel and yet how small I was.
And I began to dream.
I dreamed that God would restore the years that the locusts had eaten (Joel 2:25)…that one day, I would love and trust someone without hesitation or fear. I dreamed that in spite of what happened to me, I would walk out of those nightmares and into my future with confidence and peace. I dreamed of becoming a wife and mother who could function as God intended.
Now here I am, fifteen years later. God has fulfilled all those dreams. I have a wonderful husband, in whom I see God’s character and who still amazes me with his gentleness and wisdom. I have three beautiful children whom we are raising in the “training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4, New International Version). And I walk in His confidence and peace—the nightmares are but a fleeting memory—with scars that are nearly indiscernible.
I was listening to Andrew’s teaching on Lessons from Joseph recently and felt God stirring me again. Andrew said,
God has a purpose for every one of you. It’s not up to you to pick and choose what you want to do; God has a design on your life. You can’t just do your own thing and ask God to bless it. You’ve got to find out what God’s purpose for your life is. Your talents, your skills, where you live, the time that you were born, everything about you was created by God. It was designed for a specific purpose.
I know that the things I dreamed were part of God’s plan for me. Being a godly wife and mother are high callings that I will not trample. But I also know that’s not the extent of His purpose for my life. He has made me an overcomer (1 John 5:3-5), and it’s time to start dreaming again!