Today I stepped out on a limb and did two things I rarely do. I wonder if you shake in your fuzzy socks as much as I do at the thought of sharing your dreams with others. And would you rather throw up than ask for help with making those dreams come true?
Dreams are personal…and scary…and iffy. Dreams are…well they’re dreams. You don’t know whether to claim them as promises from God or to cling to them with sweaty palms or to dismiss them the way you would a beautiful but only-visiting-no-time-to-linger butterfly.
So when you speak your dreams out loud to people, even those you love and trust, you get nervous in your tummy and light in the head. And what sounded like a no-brainer, splendid idea just moments ago, suddenly feels ridiculous and brainless and…exactly what were you thinking, any how!?
When Joseph shared his dreams with his brothers they hated him and eventually did away with him. Maybe he just chose the wrong people at the wrong time to share his dreams, but his experience doesn’t make us any more the confident to share our own God-shaped hopes and dreams.
But if we don’t share our dreams and we keep them hidden away in our hearts, Satan tends to snuff them out like smoking candles. All we’re left with is the scent of what once burned bright in our hearts and imaginations, but the motivating power of the goal God gave us has been lost.
I don’t want my dreams snuffed out. I don’t want to smell the smokey scent of the passions God planted in my heart that fizzled because I didn’t hold out my little flame and pass it on. I don’t want to look back and wonder what could have happened if only I’d been so bold as to speak out loud those uncertain words, those fuzzy dreams, those tentative “what ifs.”
That’s why I asked five dear friends to have lunch with me today.
I gathered them around me and shared my heart. The words got a little jumbled up in my mouth a few times. Sometimes they tumbled out like old, wooden building blocks–not eloquent, not graceful, not even making much sense. But my friends listened. They heard my heart over my words.
I’ve been needing some help with my ministry. God planted visions and dreams in my heart years ago for ministering to women. I’ve seen many of those dreams come true. And, quite honestly, I’ve been amazed. But there are still more dreams, more avenues, more opportunities. And I can’t do it on my own. I don’t need much. Mostly I need shoulders…to lean on, to walk beside, to lift me up occasionally, to carry a little of the load, to nudge me in the right direction. I need prayer and accountability. I need discernment and wise counsel.
So, not only did I share my dreams, but I asked for help.
More wooden blocks bumped around in my mouth as I tried to share my need. And once again, they heard my heart over my clumsy words.
My friends are going to help me. They’re going to pray and put labels on postcards and navigate opportunities and talk with women’s ministry leaders and listen to me and ask me tough questions and help answer emails and pray some more. They’ve leaned in and offered their shoulders.
They heard my dreams and they didn’t laugh. They heard my plea for help and didn’t run.
What about you? Is it time for you to share a dream you’ve held close to your heart, so close that no one else even knows about it? May I suggest that you bring it out into the light? Invite a few friends (there’s safety and joy in numbers) and gently, clumsily, obediently, faithfully share your God-shaped dream. Hey, it’s been thousands of years since anyone ended up in a pit because they shared a dream!
Or maybe you need to ask for a little help. Here’s the thing about asking for help. You have to be willing to accept a “no” as well as a “yes” or “maybe.” Each of my friends are helping me in different ways and to different degrees. They are in varying stages of life and have their own dreams to live, after all. But I am grateful just to be on their radar. There’s definitely something to be said just for being on a Christian sister’s radar, isn’t there?
Today I did two difficult things: I shared and I asked. Sister, if I can do it, you can, too. I’m so glad I did.
What have you done lately that took a little more courage than your normal, mundane task? I’d love to know!