Remember when you were just a little kid and you had big dreams and wonderful aspirations for your future? What happened to those dreams? Do you still have a dream?
A friend recently recommended a book: Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The book really touched my heart, and I was surprised when I saw one of my favorite quotes in there.
The quote is by George Bernard Shaw:”This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
This quote meant a lot to me during a season when I was praying and seeking to find God’s purpose for my life. This is a crucial step in the process of breaking free from food struggles. People who have any form of addiction are usually so consumed by the addiction that they loose track of their identity and purpose in life.
While reading the book Crazy Love, I pondered over my purpose once more. Here I was after many years of freedom from food addiction and it seemed that I was at a crossroads again. I know that my greatest purpose in life is to love God with all my heart, soul and strength. But I felt sort of lost again in the day by day grind:
So what am I suppose to do again?
Why do I feel so without direction?
Why doesn’t my life make sense?
Why do I just go through the motions every day?
What happened to my passion, my dream of helping others?
Two things started to surface
Number one has to do with the above quote:
My dream has to be SOMETHING THAT I PERCEIVE AS GREAT!! Not my husband, my friend, my parents, my pastor or anybody else that has influence over my life. It has to be my passion related to gifts God gave me and desires He alone placed in my heart.
I can clearly see where things went wrong again. I started looking to others (again). I wanted to please those around me. I craved their praise and compliments more than the smile of God over my life.
Here’s what happens if it’s not YOUR DREAM:
1. You will have no passion for it
2. You will start to resent the person you hope to please
3. You will find any excuse to procrastinate
4. You will blame anything and anyone for your lack of motivation
5. You will feel like a failure and become depressed
The other thing I was reminded of: EXCUSES!
When I found God’s unique dream and purpose for my life I started out with a BANG! I had so much zeal and loved the feeling of being consumed with my purpose. It made everything so much easier. I could handle the mundane and challenging things life threw at me, because when I sat down to write or to counsel someone it brought joy to my life. I was a better friend, a patient mom and a fun wife. I didn’t even moan and groan about the dishes so much (seriously!)
However, dreams are not built over night. Our patience gets tested, our faith starts to waver. In the end it basically comes down to rolling up your sleeves and keeping at it. Just to clarify, I don’t like this part, but it is what it is:)
As far as the excuses go, they can sneak into your life in a very subtle way:
1. It usually comes in pretty packages with pretty bows: A prayer meeting, a woman’s tea, a manicure or a long phone conversation with a friend
2. It can also come in package marked IMPORTANT, OPEN RIGHT AWAY such as: A mountain of dirty laundry, a child’s request, a last minute report or grocery shopping
HOWEVER, IT’S ALL JUST EXCUSES! HOLDING YOU BACK FROM FULFILLING YOUR DREAM!
So I asked God to quicken His dream again in my heart, the real one, the reason He created me. Then I asked for my eyes to be opened to the excuses. It’s one thing to ramble off excuses to my friends, but it’s another story to try and sell it to an all seeing, all knowing God.
The people I know that are passionate about their goal in life don’t make excuses. They have busy and difficult lives too. They also have businesses, kids, husbands, pets and houses, but they’ve set their eyes on their dreams and they refuse to be moved!
A person who is not passionate about life, don’t have any time for anything, but the one who found her true calling always has time somehow to do more and serve more. It seems upside down, but honestly, it’s true! I’ve been both those people at different times in my life.
The best part for me: My relationship with God always seems to take off and grow deeper when I follow the path He has prepared for my life.
So I’ve decided to focus in again. I made up my mind to not get distracted from my dream, and stop making excuses. No more time for negative thoughts, fights about nonsense, wondering if people like me or not, thinking about a hurtful comment and brooding over my own shortcomings and inabilities.
God said to seek His Kingdom FIRST and all these other things will be added. So, it’s time again to zoom in on my dream and it starts with making time for the Dream Maker!
What about you dear sister. There is something about you… Nobody like you has ever been created and there will not be one like you again… You are unique in every way and you have a purpose over your life. I dare you to take up that purpose and run with it… It may be the thing that changes your life forever and makes the shackles of bondage fall from your ankles for good!
Lots of Love, Heleen
PS: I devoted a Week in my 12 Week Online Program to this topic.
I also recommend that you read the following books if you need guidance and encouragement to find the purpose God has for your life:
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God by Francis Chan
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge