A Guest Post by Barbara Snyder…
When my dreamer daughter asked if I would be interested in writing a guest post about dreams on her blog, my first thought was, “What do I believe about dreaming now that I have seen so many dreams fulfilled in ways so unlike the ways I first anticipated they would play out?” As I began reminiscing over the years of my life, I came to the realization that most of the dreams that have come into existence are the dreams I never dreamed. At least not directly.
When I was a teenager, I dreamed of being a wife… but I never dreamed that I would not marry my high school sweetheart.
I dreamed of singing… but never at a funeral for someone’s baby girl who blessed their lives for only a few short months.
I dreamed of having children of my own… but I never dreamed of experiencing a miscarriage.
I dreamed of being a faithful friend… but never dreamed I’d stand beside my friend as she unexpectedly buried her teenage son.
I dreamed that my children would be scattered across the world for God’s glory… but I never dreamed of the heartache that would come with the physical separation from my son who fulfills that dream on the other side of the globe.
I dreamed of writing a book… not authoring curriculum for a missions organization.
I dreamed of watching my mom grow old as she watched my children grow up… but I never dreamed of cancer or death, or that my youngest child would barely remember her.
I dreamed of impacting lives through missions… but I never dreamed God would add to my family by grafting in young missionaries who call me “Mom.”
So many dreams that I dreamed were limited by my own small perspective.
Looking back, it’s easy to see that many of my dreams were selfish and self-motivated. Dreams to draw attention to myself instead of to bring glory to God. In hindsight, I can honestly say that the best dreams that have ever been fulfilled in my life have occurred when God has asked me to sacrifice my dreams upon the altar of His will. To lay my desires before Him and trust that He would resurrect them into something far better than my own.
Recently, a friend of mine asked me for prayer as she prepared to sacrifice a longstanding dream that involved more than twenty years in a particular ministry. In her words, she was “going to Mt. Moriah with a knife in one hand and fire in the other.” And while she was unsure as to whether God would provide a “ram in the thicket” as He did for Abraham, she was going nonetheless. And while I know that it will be hard for my friend to climb that mountain and put this particular dream to death, I’m excited for her. I’m excited because I’ve seen how God resurrects dreams. Even those that are placed before Him with gut-wrenching agony and tears, or maybe I should say especially those.
Yielding my dreams into God’s keeping has been a continual challenge throughout the years. But as I’ve opened my hands and allowed God to steer my heart and redirect His purposes in me, I’ve experienced the joy of His presence in miraculous ways. And I’ve come to understand that my dreams are not just meant for me. My dreams, the ones that God has given, are always meant to be shared with others. The greatest dreams of all are the ones I can’t make happen – the dreams that depend upon God working through me to complete the vision that He has given. The vision that encompasses far more than my earthly eyes can see.
So with this thought in mind, I encourage you to keep dreaming. Dream those dreams that are bigger than you. Dream outside the limits of this world. Dream beyond the practical and realistic. After all, if your dreams are realistic, then they won’t require God to do the impossible. But most of all, dream the dreams that God has already dreamed for you – dreams that will bring Him glory and touch the world with the light of His love in powerful ways. For those are the dreams of eternity.
And one day when I meet you in heaven, I can’t help but imagine that we will stand together before our Savior and in awe proclaim, “Lord, I never dreamed…”
Barbara Snyder, like her daughter, still believes in dreams. She is married to her favorite person in the world and is mother to five incredible kids with a family that continues to grow as God grafts missionary sons and daughters into her life. She strives to live the moments with her eyes looking for God’s presence and hands open to His leading as she presses toward the culmination of all dreams – eternity with her King. She blogs at www.merewhispers.wordpress.com.