When God Asks For His Dreams Back
Originally published on October 7, 2014.
Some nights I am simply a hot mess. The kind of emotion where you plead, “for the love of God don’t ask me how I am doing.”. Because you know if someone asks, you will have to tell. Not that you want to say, but your tears will betray you. They will come without permission and they will come hard. Steady and hot.
There is a dark side to dreaming and we don’t like to talk about it much. We like the planners and inspirational quotes. All the feel-good things and the stories of those who’ve gone before and tackled the giants. Bringing them down with bare hands and then taking on the perception that we ought to do the same.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all about the big dreams that put a fire in your heart and a spring in your step. But if that’s all I tell you on here then I am lying. Withholding the painful truth.
Sitting here in my chair I can’t help but recount the cycle I know too well. God made promises, but they didn’t come about in the way I expected. A million examples roll through my head. The moments of inception followed by the birth. And then the release. The hand off for someone else to grow the things I have planted.
Handing my work over was never what I planned. My mind envisioned these days of expansion. When I had nurtured this thing inside of me beyond it’s infant vulnerability. When it recognized me and produced the kinds of things I intended for it. Seeing the fullness of what God had purposed it for. So many times I had made plans around the dreams I carried.
I suppose mostly though, I envisioned being there. Still at home in the midst of the dream. Having carved out a space for me where I was safely tucked within the walls of the promise. Somehow it belonged to me and I belonged to it.
But, I am here now. Outside looking in. Watching as new hands shape the things I once held. Because God called me away and invited them in. He asked me to give the dream back. Handing it over for another person to carry. Of course the dream will still be a part of me. I’ll carry it in prayer, but reality is that I am part of that dream’s past. The founder but not the current CEO of my ideas.
Truth be told, it makes me a bit sad. Sad to not be a part. It is sad to sit outside the house that you have built and watch another family move in. Sad that in so many ways the story didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to. Because the story had chapters that extended beyond my portion. The dream was no longer mine. It had it’s own legs and went on without me. It became an independent being.
And that is the journey of dreamers. We carry things, believe for things, contend for things that are brought forth from within ourselves. Ideas we have created, beliefs we have fastened. But so many times, the intention was never for us to carry it forever. It either outgrows us or we are simply called away to craft a new dream. To create once again in the deep places of possibility. It is the blessing and curse of being a visionary.
It seems cruel at times, as if it is the dark side of dreaming.
The truth is that it isn’t cruel. It is hard, painful and humbling at times. Dreams come and dreams go. But this one thing remains.
This Kingdom of God is a generous kingdom. One that gives and recieves freely. As freely as God moved and dropped all the seeds of ideas and promises in our hearts, He asks us to hand it back over. Not always, but sometimes.
Because somehow in His all-knowing way, He knows we need some other adventures ahead and to birth new things. He isn’t taking it away – stripping us of all our work. He is giving us the opportunity to carry more. Fresh new ideas. He is adding to our hearts.
Because He is generous.
Gallons of tears and aching months later, I see that now. I see how it has all played out.
I still get sad and that’s okay with God. He can handle grief.
Today I will let myself get a little bit sad for what is no longer mine.
But mostly I will celebrate that God has allowed me to be a part something so beautiful. His generosity to me in allowing me to have a spiritual inheritance. Those things I get to keep.
Because God is generous.
IfHe asks us for the dream back it is because He knows what is best. Because He is waiting to give us something else.
Today, some of you need to hear that. You who are feeling the loss of the dream or promise. The thoughts racing through your mind wondering what you did wrong. Why someone else was chosen to run the next lap on the track you built with your own hands. And then the dread sets in as we wonder the most deadly thought for dreamers. We see ourselves as the victim. The one who was robbed of the blessing and acknowledgment. Fear that who we are and what we have done will be forgotten during the turnover.
The truth is that God is offering to give us more not make us less.
We don’t need to worry about just being the pioneer or the forerunner. Fearful that whatever we birth will be taken away from us. If things are with us for a month or a lifetime, it is because God is generous. On those days where we dread God asking for us to give back to Him what we have built, we remember this. It was His generous invitation to allow us to be a part in the first place. And God’s invitations never run out. There is always more that waits ahead for us. God never forgets. Ever.