This April I am introducing a new theme on pursuing dreams.
When I was in my early 20’s, I had a dream about my future. I was at a concert and I had a brochure of people’s pictures and where they would end up in 20 years based on the choices they were making today.
I hoped to see my picture, and when I did I was immediately excited. In my picture, I saw that I was married and we had a daughter.
I couldn’t wait for this dream to come true.
I became very frustrated when the years 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25 went by with no hope of my future husband in sight. I started to wonder if I had heard God wrong.
I was raised in a conservative Christian home that groomed me to be a wife and a mother. I quickly learned I needed business skills and an education so I went back to college, to Biola University and finished my degree in my mid 20’s, and it was during this time a co-worker said this to me:
“God wants to birth a ministry through you–if you’ll let him–not to say your future husband isn’t important.”
What do you mean my future husband isn’t important?
My whole life I believed getting married was the most important thing I could do to secure a lasting future–so much so that I even had a dream about it. It took me years 26, 27, 28, and 29 to learn God really did have a ministry for me (writing).
I believe now more than ever–God wants to give 20 & 30-somethings big dreams.
And not just dreams for a future husband, a stellar career, a perfect family, or a padded bank account and a 401k retirement plan. No!
He wants you and I to identify with Him.
To deny our selfish rights and pride, pick up our own cross, take it with us on our shoulders, and follow Him. Doesn’t sound so appealing does it?
In foreign countries today, Jesus is visiting people in dreams and visions. Dreams and visions are not happening as much in the United States as they are overseas. I believe it’s because we are not persecuted for our faith (at least not yet anyway).
Why are dreams so important? Why is it that prayers and dreams lead prisoners to freedom over there and not here?
I read this sentence from Captive In Iran a new book published by Tyndale Publishers. It haunted me immediately. I read it after I had already decided on April’s theme of pursuing dreams. It was about the accounts of Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh–both 20-something women–who were imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran.
Their story shattered my American plastic Christianity pretty quickly.
Although I will never be able to share publicly why their story means so much to me–I can tell you I agree 100% about the statement that prayers and dreams lead people from imprisonment to freedom.
I wished I hadn’t spent so much of my 20’s fishing for a husband, when God wished to bless me with so much more.
Eventually God brought my husband to me anyway–I didn’t even have to go fishing.
Going back to Maryam and Marziyeh’s story. What impacted me the most from reading their story is the fact that they spent the entire book talking more about the other prisoners and less about their story. I was moved to tears at the end of the book when they found out one of their most closest friends in Evin Prison was hanged to death. She was only 28 years old.
Are your dreams big enough that you’re willing to die for them?
Too big that you run away? Or too small that you lose all hope? It is my desire this month to share other stories that will inspire you to once again pick up your cross–I mean dream–and follow Christ.
Maybe you’re currently experiencing the death of a vision.
Maybe you’re waiting for the dream to be born and it’s been years.
Or maybe you’re in the delivery room about ready to give birth to that dream.
I believe that God has a dream for you too–a personal dream that involves more than you’ll ever dare to dream, ask for, or hope.
“Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he” (Proverbs 29:18, AMP).