This post has been excruciatingly hard to write.
Because I like to tell the truth. The most common compliment on my writing is that it is authentic, raw, vulnerable, real, and brave. Honestly, you bolster my spirit with your love and graciousness as I share my messy, broken, beautiful with you. You have spoken life into places in my mess that I believe were the very loving words of God to me.
But at the same time it is a blessing it is also a battle. Because my heart is prone to wander. Because we were never meant for the praise afforded God and although we bear his image, we are often clumsy and inadequate with praise. There is never enough room in my heart for my vanity and a holy adoration of God.
I am prone to seek my own glory. I am prone to seek praise. I am prone to forget that any talent I have is not of my own doing. Not born solely on effort or skill but a gracious gift given to me not for my own purposes but to point to the Giver. I am prone to think I am all that. And then because of all I have invested in my own abilities, I can bastardize the ministry that He has blessed me with. I share this now not for a simple pat on the back for telling the truth but because this is a constant struggle with chasing God sized dreams.
And so when I read Holly’s challenge to name our God sized dreams, I felt this false humility raising its head. Can I really name what I believe God has made me for? Could I say aloud what I think God purposed my life toward? That the stories woven through the years of my life would point to this dream. That the thundering heartbeat stirring when I ponder the calling, were from Him and I am claiming them.
And it scared me. A lot.
What if I name them and people think I’m being presumptuous? What if they think I have none of these self-perceived talents and I’m just fooling myself? What if none of this ever comes to pass and I have this troublesome post out there for all the world to see? A testament to my failure.
Yes, my failure.
How much more evident is it that I believe in myself, that I believe success depends on me and what I can accomplish, that I grapple with the sin and idolatry that run straight through my heart?
The truth is, I fear that I can be raw and real and authentic when revealing the wicked ugly that often resides in my heart competing with God’s place because I don’t feel self-righteous. I probe the depths of my own depravity, have in fact wrestled with the cost of my sin and come to the cross as wretchedly poor as the prodigal having to return time and again when my pockets are empty and I’ve rolled in the filth of my own way.
But I am self-reliant in the spirit of service.
“Oh Lord, if only you’d move out-of-the-way and open the door for me, look what I would do for you! I would serve you with all the finesse of one truly gifted. Oh and thanks for that too, God. You’ll get your money’s worth. I got this, God. “
And hasn’t this been the lesson of my whole life? Haven’t I been a spectacular failure despite the giftings God has blessed me with? Haven’t I been through this fire before? Haven’t I dreamed big and felt that it was God, only to watch it be a lesson learned in humility and dependence.
So when I realized I was struggling with this post, I realized it’s not insecurity about the dreams in my heart, it’s pride. I don’t want to say it aloud because I am afraid I won’t come through. I won’t be able to pull it off.
I am forgetting that God will go before me.
I am forgetting that the result of my dreams is not the point, my obedience is.
I am forgetting that what He works in me is more important than what He works through me, and that I have no control over the end result. That I may do great things, and no one may see them, and that’s okay.
So in obedience, pushing aside the pride that so easily ensnares, I am naming my God sized dreams.
I want to set my feet in Africa, even though right now the obstacles seem insurmountable. I want to follow my heart there and be taught, sit with stories and look deep into their eyes, I want to advocate for the things that bring my tears, choke me up, and set my spirit ablaze. I want to be a voice, even if it’s nothing more than a whisper of friendship and empathy. I want to be taught to love well.
I want to put my life into words. I want to share what God has done in my life as an anthem of hope and grace, not because I am so great but because He is.
I want to stand before women and speak life into them. I want to tell them that they’re brave and strong. That with God, we can change the world one heart at a time. He changed mine.
I want to name my dreams and go confidently towards them, not with false humility or pride but with the assurance of a God who guides my steps if only I will walk with Him.
Do you have God sized dreams you’d like to share? Join in over at Holly’s at say it out loud.