I have been reading an amazing book / personal bible study by one of my favorite authors – Lysa TerKeurst. It is called “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith.” I’ve actually owned the book for over a year now and even started reading it once or twice before, but I guess it wasn’t really the right time for me to read it until now,
Today’s chapter had a quote by Joel Osteen in it (based on the parable in Mark 2): “When the wineskins were new, they were soft and pliable, but as they aged, they often lost their elasticity; they wouldn’t give anymore.They would become hardened and set, and they couldn’t expand. If a person poured new wine in an old wineskin, the container would burst and the wine would be lost… This lesson is still relevant today. We are set in our ways, bound by our perspectives and stuck in our thinking. God is trying to do something new, but unless we are willing to change, unless we are willing to expand and enlarge our vision, we’ll miss His opportunities for us.”
I have really been struggling with not understanding what God is doing in my life, where He wants me to go, where He is taking me right now. I have had these dreams that I thought were aligned with His purpose. However, recently it has felt like God was taking those dreams away from me or ending them. I am not ready for them to be over, I’m not ready to let go of them yet. I kept saying Lord, I don’t understand, I thought this is what you wanted for me, how can you give this wonderful thing to me, only to take it away from me?
I have been afraid that if this dream ended that it would mean that I had failed. It would mean that I would be flat on my face again with nothing to show for my efforts and that all this time, all this work, all these years, that it had all been for nothing. I have been afraid of the pain of letting go of this dream. I have been afraid that if I wasn’t doing all that I could do to make this dream come true, that it never would or that I wouldn’t be worthy or deserving of it.
Did you notice how many times I said “I” in that last paragraph? That is where the problem is. It’s not about me. It’s not about what I accomplish or don’t accomplish. It’s not about what I think success is. God’s idea of success is very different from my limited idea of it. I have been trying to make those dreams come true in my own way and my own time and not in God’s way or His time. I have been fussing and fighting and crying like a two year old who’s favorite toy had been broken & not seeing that my parents had bigger, better toys waiting for me.
Our vision for our lives is so small compared to God’s. These little dreams that feel like they are being shattered are nothing in comparison to the bigger dreams that God has in store for us. We have to give these broken dreams back to God (not like they were ever really ours in the first place) and trust that His plan is bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine or make possible on my own.
I have to focus on doing everything to the glory of God, even if that means doing things I do not want to do and going places I do not want to go. I am going to have to let go of my limited view of success & my limited vision in order for these dreams (and even bigger, more amazing dreams that I am not even capable of seeing right now) to come true.
I have a feeling God is about to test me big time on all of this. I have a feeling this famine I have been going through the past few months is going to get a lot worse before it gets a lot better. Instead of being afraid of that trial & this time of famine, I am trying to have hope of the promised land that is waiting on the other side of the dessert. I am trying to embrace it and learn from it and not be afraid of being stretched.
I hope to encourage you to break out of your old mindsets, to let go of anything that has caused you to harden or any broken dreams you are clinging to. I pray that you will expand your vision and your faith & follow God’s will and not your own idea of success.
Being stretched is very, very uncomfortable, but I am learning that it is necessary so that we can be filled with all the blessings God has in store for us. I don’t want to miss out on the amazing opportunities He has planned for my life just because I am afraid of being stretched…
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