I caught the tail end of a TV commercial last night and it got my wheels spinning. The compelling point the announcer used to close the sale commanded, “Don’t let anything get in the way of what you love.”
My heart instantly felt a weightiness that I wanted to shrug off but couldn’t. My mind curled around the reality that so many things in life do just that to all of us—they get in the way of what we love.
Some of our dream-stoppers are self-imposed. Self-doubt, self-consciousness, uncertainty, fear and the damaging words of others halt so many of us in our tracks when we think about pursuing that which we desire and dream. On a parallel track, there are things outside our own doing that derail us. Financial constraints, family dynamics (moms understand this best of all because our kids come first while we’re raising them), a tough job market and an unsupportive spouse can all be the dictators of our paths in different seasons of our lives. We have dreams, usually many of them, and we want to pursue them all, but there are mountains and valleys and nay-sayers and our own wounded hearts that get in our way.
In his book, Desire, Christian author John Eldredge writes, “There is a secret set within each of our hearts. It is the desire for life as it was meant to be.” He is talking about Eden, the perfect garden God created at the beginning of time. He goes on: “Yet how do we uncover our desires and learn to decipher them? We all share the same dilemma―we long for life and we’re not sure where to find it. We wonder if we ever do find it, can we make it last? …We must journey to find the life we prize. And the guide we have been given is the desire set deep within, the desire we often overlook or mistake for something else or even choose to ignore. The greatest human tragedy is to give up the search.”
So, what are the barrier breakers? What can we do about all the things inside and outside of us that come against our pursuing our dreams? What if no one supports us? What if we doubt ourselves? What if we don’t know where to start? What if we’re so damaged we aren’t even sure what our dreams are?
We have dreams, usually many of them, and we want to pursue them all, but there are mountains and valleys and nay-sayers and our own wounded hearts that get in our way.
I have to start with God. That’s what Eldredge is talking about when he identifies a “desire set deep within.” It’s a desire for a perfect relationship with a perfect God. So I must begin with the truth that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God; that I am made in His image; that I am a daughter of the King; and I am a woman He wants to prosper and not harm. That He delights in me, and that He sings over me. These are all statements God makes in the Bible about the women He creates and loves. The flawed individuals, all of us, that He sacrificed His son Jesus for so that we could have the healing and thus the freedom we need to pursue abundant life on earth―to pursue our dreams.
I have a lot of dreams. I have pursued some of them, and some I have not. There are still barriers both deep inside my heart and outside of my control that hinder me every day. And sometimes my dreams are not God’s dreams for me, and I need to let them go because I know—even if I can’t see right now—that His are bigger and better. In the meantime, He offers continual healing and hope. And when I get to those places with Him when I’m brave enough and ready, He stretches out his hand and says, “Come. Trust me. I know the way. I will guide your steps.”
Below are some reminders from your Heavenly Father of how much you are loved, how special you, and that He cares for your heart and your every step in life:
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8