Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Devotional /// Plans to Prosper

Last month as we gathered for our IF Table with a group of seven girls (we have one extra!) we started talking about dreaming those big dreams and how we can be content in who God created us to be. We discussed purpose, rest, prayers and business ventures… all the big things in Life. It was awesome and completely filled up my heart. We all come from different backgrounds, are in different stages of life and work in different capacities. We have a food blogger, a photographer, a music teacher, a stitch fix stylist and two beautiful stay at home moms who are rock stars with multiple itty bitty kiddos! It’s so encouraging to hear words of wisdom from other women going the direction you’re going, isn’t it?

As we were in the middle of the discussion, one of the women who I deeply admire and respect, said something that has continued to stick with me. Something I’ve heard for years but for some reason, this time, God keeps bringing it back to my heart.

As she was telling us of her dreams for her business + her family, she simply said, “Of course I dream big dreams. I will ask God for the BIG things alongside the small because I know He can do it, and of course He wants the best for me. And then if He doesn’t do it, I know He has something in mind that is even better than I can dream up.”

You’ve probably heard something similar before, too. “God’s got a a plan…” and the infamous “But if not, He is still good.” Of course He’s still good. We know that. I don’t need someone to tell me that… especially when I feel like I’m walking through a hard season. Can I get an amen on that one?

What I found as I began to rethink the conversation though, is that I tend to focus a lot on the “But if not” part. The part where it allows room for God to do something else without feeling like He’s failed me. The part that lets me tell myself that God may do something “other”, and it should still be “okay” with me.

But that night, what I heard from my dear friend was not that He might not do it, and it will be okay, but that she thinks that God wants the best for her. That she prays with expectation, just as James tells us to do.  (James 1) That she rests easy in Him because she ultimately knows He’s got her back. And the way she said was what stuck out to me, “of course He wants the best for me”. As if it’s not something that needs to be questioned.

Yet, here I sit in my comfy pink chair typing this and I think… I question that all the time. In fact, often, I might even find it difficult to believe, y’all. Not because my life is all that hard, but because I can’t quite figure out where He’s taking me on my journey right now. I can’t quite see His hand moving in certain areas, so sometimes, against all better judgement, it really can feel like He brought me here and then abandoned me.

Often, I find myself wondering if His best is actually better than what I have in mind for myself. Have y'all ever been here with me?

If we are being super vulnerable here, which I feel like we always are, I do dream big dreams for myself… for my business, for writing, in ministry, for my marriage, for my husband. I do desire success. I want to grow, to learn and to experience new things. To take hold of new opportunities. I want to collaborate with other women in business and write for someone else. I want the ministry that I’m a part of to flourish and to see more people brought to Jesus than I could imagine.

I hope we all dream big dreams.

Where I tend to get stuck, is that big dreams leave a LOT of room for disappointment. Praying those big prayers gives God a lot of space to not come through…. so, often I don’t pray them. Somebody please tell me that you relate? When I get stuck in this head space, I tend to hold my dreams to myself instead of voicing them out loud to the Lord, so I don’t give him a chance to let me down.

I get so inside my head that I actually begin to believe that He doesn’t want to give me those things. That He doesn’t have anything more in mind for me than what He’s already done. That I’ve failed in assignment after assignment so now He will call someone better, more qualified, more godly and who deserves it more.

But of course, my thinking here is all wrong. The fact that I hold my dreams to myself is absurd… because of course He knows the desires of my heart. Scripture says that if we “delight” in Him, then He will give us the desires of our heart. This isn’t to say that He’s going to deliver on everything we ask, but that when we are delighting in Him… seeking Him with the depths of our hearts… our desires become in tune to what He desires for us. He knows me, knows where I’m going even when I don’t and wants to walk with me every step of the way.

“For I know the plans I have prepared for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for hope + a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Of course He wants the best for me. Of course He wants me to prosper. Of course He wants a future for me.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

It’s okay that I have dreams. The Lord wants me to have dreams. The Lord wants me to make plans. Where we can get into trouble is when we hold onto the plans instead of holding on to the One who directs our steps. We get into trouble when our dreams become bigger than the Filler of those dreams. We get into trouble when we don’t trust Him with our dreams.

And that’s where I’ve found myself. Holding on tightly to my dreams, not releasing them for Him to do with them what He will. Where do you find yoruself today? Do you dream big dreams for yourself? FOr your family? Are you turning those dreams over to the Lord to do with them what He wants or are you holding on tightly scared of Him taking the dream away? Sometimes the potential of a dream feels like it might be better than handing it over and getting it taken away, doesn't it?

Let's release our dreams today, y'all. Let's do it together. He's got our backs. I might have to say "I trust You" over and over again, but eventually, my heart will get back on solid ground, knowing He's got this. He's got you. Let's choose to trust Him today.

1 comment:

  1. Becky, I know you posted this awhile back, but I am just catching up on reading your last several posts. AMEN to all of this! You have captured exactly where I find myself right now, too. I can relate in so many ways to what you have said, as I continue to dream big dreams for my business, for my desire to get married and raise children, for why the Lord has placed me here, now. Thank you for your authenticity. The Lord has used your words as an encouragement to me today!



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