Between your longings and the demand for their fulfillment is a place as real as any in the tangible world. But it is uncharted and uniquely tailored to your own personal story. You will only know you are there when you feel a little on the edge of your chair—and you are strangely at peace. Getting there, sometimes, feels like a miracle itself. It is the place of trust. Trust hangs somewhere between knowing what your heart longs for and trying to dictate the shape or timing or outcome of your heart’s desire. It lies in the willingness to accept the particulars of how and when and where God chooses to intervene. It waits in the cool shade of surrender.”
–Paula Rinehart, Better Than My Dreams
Do you remember your dreams?
I’ve always been a dreamer. One of the very first books I remember reading was, “To Dance, To Dream” by Maxine Drury. Just seeing the cover on amazon.com made my heart smile. Published in 1965 (I would have been seven years old), I distinctly remember carrying that book around with me. Filled with aspiring words, my little girl heart dared to start dreaming.
And boy, did I dream. Having a natural propensity for baton twirling and dance, my mom made sure I had the best teacher possible. I spent hours and hours with “Miss Mary Ann,” twirling and whirling and tumbling and spinning. I couldn’t get enough. After winning my high school beauty pageant, I was invited to participate in local preliminaries for The Miss America Pageant. From that moment on, I had one big dream: Become Miss America.
Sometimes our dream is not the best dream.
Tuesday’s Heartlift reflected on one question: When did we forget to dream big? A question my pastor asked our congregation about a month ago. The moment he asked, I knew. A bit ashamed at my reason, I hesitated voicing it. Yet, I knew I had to. On the way home, I told my husband the truth.
I tried twice to become Miss Virginia, but it never happened. Heartbroken, to say the least, it took me quite some time to get over the loss of my dream. Time unfolded the better dream, a husband + three amazing children + a great, meaningful life. Slowly, I started dreaming again. This time, I dreamed of publishing my book. God smiled and it was published.
And then, after the publishing of my first book, I tried time and time again to get my second book published, yet to no avail. It seemed many of my author friends met with grand success, but me? Struggle upon struggle, to the point I almost quit. Without a doubt—somewhere between rejection 20 or so—I once again stopped dreaming big.
Sometimes we need someone to help us remember how to dream.
Until I met a remarkable woman at a writer’s conference. For some odd reason, she engaged me and wanted to hear my story.
For hours, we talked. I cried. She listened. I cried some more. Gently, she spoke affirming words that offered me another chance to dream big.
I am most grateful for her. She lent me her strength and courage when mine was running dry—enabling me to get back to writing and doing what I believe I was born to do.
One of my absolute favorite authors, Paula Rinehart, wisely advises, “There is an old expression that comforts because it is so true: God never wastes an experience on us. If we have given ourselves to him in any true measure, we find it all serves. All of it. Discovering the shade of God’s sovereignty is no small matter. It literally changes the lens through which you see your life—the story God is writing that is bigger than you can even think to dream” (Better Than My Dreams, 2007).
When did you forget to dream big?
Now it is your turn. When did you forget to dream big? Ask big? Believe big?
So, dreaming “big” really means to dream “to inhabit”—which makes me think of all of our conversations on our “spheres of influence.” No longer does “dreaming big” imply any sense of fame, fortune, or me-centric-ego-driven-all-about-me need which clamors for attention, but all about increasing our spheres of influence so lives can be changed, and ultimately, God’s story and kingdom can be advanced.
Now that is something I will dare to dream big for!
[A little visit to the ARCHIVES for this short, eight-minute reminder of dreaming big = increased spheres of influence.”]
Let’s keep this conversation going, shall we? Meet me tomorrow in our private, oh-so-trusting Facebook Friday Group, Be Remarkable Women, as we encourage and empower one another to dream, ask, and believe BIG. We are so much better when we dream big together. Shine like stars in the skies of our spheres of influence. If you have a question or topic you’d like me to discuss, please email me and I’ll do my best to address it tomorrow: firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to be with you!
Additional Resource for learning to dream big again: Be Remarkable Foundations