[Guest Post by Joanna Hyatt – Thanks to my other site, Quarter Life Conference, I got to know Joanna. She said she would be glad to share about it on her site, and one thing lead to another, and now she’s sharing an encouraging piece on when dreams becoming reality for you all!]
This time a year ago, I was the Director of an established Non-Profit program with a growing national presence.
The job could have been mine for as long as I wanted it, bringing the opportunity for broader influence. Yet by May of 2012, I had walked away from that to pursue a different dream.
As great as that job was, it wasn’t quite where I envisioned my life going, where I felt I could be best used, what I thought was my calling. I felt so sure that I knew what this next chapter would look like, certain that the dreams I had been harboring in my heart were God’s dreams for me and would therefore happen as soon I had the faith to step out.
“Calling” is a word we throw around a lot in Christian circles.
What is your calling in life?
What has God created you to do?
We then spend our lives searching for that perfect fit of job/family/life experiences, slightly in fear that we’ll miss it and therefore miss our purpose on this earth. As though we’ll get to heaven and God will say,
“You tried really hard and did some great work, but that’s not exactly what I had planned for you.”
It’s a fear I regularly have to battle and call out as a lie.
In this season where my reality hasn’t quite matched up with where I thought I would be at this point, Abba has been gently teaching me two very hard and yet freeing truths about dreams and calling:
1) What you do matters less than how you do it.
When I look in scripture, I don’t see God picking the CEO of the Fortune 500 companies for His big works. He tends to go for those who are doing the jobs the world would call lowly, socially insignificant, or common.
A young sheepherder and the youngest brother becomes a King, a teen mom the avenue for the world’s salvation, a tent maker the greatest evangelist ever, and a loud-mouthed fisherman the rock of His church.
What they all had in common was the attitude with which they did their work.
They were faithful in the small things, the mundane day-to-day tasks. They sought to serve God with their whole heart wherever He placed them, giving thanks for whatever their present circumstances might be. Most of our heroes in scripture never even saw their dreams realized, trusting only that their faithfulness today would bear fruit in the future.
In his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes,
“A Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s man or woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things. Never protest by saying, “If only I were somewhere else!” We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people.”
Whether we are waiting tables or dining with presidents and rulers, our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who, “…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…he humbled himself and became obedient to death.”
2) Love the Dream-Giver more than the dream.
Dreams are a good thing. Dreams are a God thing. I believe God has more planned for our lives than any of us could ever imagine, and He wants to continually surprise and delight us.
But those dreams are given as a way to experience Him, not as a replacement for Him.
When my focus becomes the dream, rather than the Dream-Giver, I risk becoming so intent on doing great things for Christ that I neglect to spent time with Christ.
Where I think I’m sacrificing so much through my time, energy, or resources, it may be that my greatest sacrifice at that moment is actually the surrendering of those dreams I believe God has given me.
The dearer the dream, the harder that is to do.
But as Jaimie Bowman put it so beautifully in her post When Dreams Die,
“Every great dream has to die at least once, for that is when the dream becomes less about us and more about Him.”
Success is not measured in numbers or accolades but in the quite and humble, “Yes,” to whatever God might ask of us today.
By letting go of my expectations and giving back the very gifts and dreams He has given me, I’m learning that’s really when dreams become reality. I’m also learning to live each day with purpose and joy. Whether I’m speaking to thousands or doing laundry and sweeping the floors, I can rest in knowing this is exactly where God would have me today.
Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna Hyatt is a national speaker on dating, relationships and sex, and the author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents. She blogs at www.joannahyatt.com and tweets @JoannaHyatt.
[Photo: Angélica Vis, Flickr]