What is your greatest desire? What dream do you have that you want more than anything else? Now what would happen if that dream were taken away and you could never have it. Who would you be? What would you do?
I believe dreams are given to us for a reason. I believe God instills unique dreams within each of us for his glory and purpose. I have many dreams. I dream to be an Olympian. I have a dream to be a mom and live out in the country with my husband, kids, and animals. I desire to make a difference in the lives of those around me. However…what happens when we cling so tightly to our dreams that we lose sense of who we are?
Earlier in my college career, I struggled with finding my identity and value in running. I put so much of who I am into something that can let me down and is temporary. Sophomore year of college was my down year for running, friendships, and overall happiness. I struggled to improve physically and mentally. I was often discouraged by my results on the track. In response to my poor performances, I worked even harder and pushed myself physically and mentally every day, but that didn’t improve my races. The beginning of Junior year was much better, but my race performances where still not where I wanted. I remember one night sitting in my room with my best friend talking through my tears about how tired I am of being disappointed and how confused I felt. I remember saying that maybe God didn’t want me to be a runner and maybe he’s closing the door on my dream to be a professional. I admitted to her that I had gotten my identity wrapped up in running instead of who I am in God’s eyes. Galatians 1:10 reads “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” I was trying to please everyone around me. I was trying to be perfect and thought admitting my struggles made me weak. How wrong I was. That night I gave all of my dreams to my Savior and said “thy will be done”. I was terrified that by giving my dreams to God, that he would take them away from me, but He didn’t. Instead, he strengthened them.
From that night on, everything began to come together. I was having incredible breakthroughs on the track. Most importantly, I did not find my identity in running anymore. My identity was secure in God so no matter what happened on the track or in life, I was never shaken. It has been about 2 years from the night I gave up having control over my dreams and let God “run” with them. Looking back, I have seen God’s hand in so many of my dreams.
I often say to people, “never settle, but always be content”. I believe God gives us passions and dreams and it is our duty to use our gifts to glorify Him. In that regard, we should never settle. We should always strive to better ourselves and not waste what we were given. However, we should always be content in knowing that even if our dreams are stripped away, our value and worth do not change. Our identities remain secure in Christ.
Life with God, whether or not your dreams are fulfilled, is an adventure and is better than what you have for yourself. A reason to rise is to see what He has in store for each of us every day.