I want to lose 20 lbs. I want to drink more water. I want to quit smoking. Those are all great goals, but they are not God-size dreams.
I want to visit Ireland. I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I want to learn another language. Those are all great bucket list experiences, but they are not God-sized dreams.
So then what are God-sized dreams?
First let’s define what a dream is. A dream is more than a wish or a goal.
I love the definition one person gave which said that “dreams are the seed of possibility planted in the soul of a human being, which calls him/her to pursue a unique path to the realization of his/her purpose.”
A dream essentially is an encouraging picture of the future that energizes you and that you are empowered to achieve as you live out your full potential.
Now a God-sized dream has additional components, but before I share those I want to bust a myth and state one disclaimer.
The Myth: Sometimes we think God-sized dreams are only for people who have larger than life personalities or that are smarter, stronger, faster or more courageous than us.
The Truth: God-sized dreams happen through ordinary folks like you, me and the person you run into in the coffee line at work.
Disclaimer: I also want to encourage you with one disclaimer, I am going to share two God-sized dreams to illustrate the additional components, but please resist the urge to compare. As Theodore Roosevelt once said “comparison is the thief of joy.” Therefore, don’t see these stories as how to achieve a dream, rather see them as inspiration for what it means to be a God-sized dreamer. Know that your story could be included here and maybe someday it will be!
Katie wanted to take a year off after she graduated from high school to have “some kind of adventure” before she started college. That year she began searching the internet for orphanages in Uganda. In December 2006, before she graduated, Katie and her mom were on their way to Uganda to spend three weeks volunteering in a home for orphans. Katie said that her “heart had found its joy as she served the beautiful people the world calls “poor” but who seemed so rich in love.” She became obsessed with Uganda and by the end of her senior year she was serious about returning to teach kindergarten. Her parents were not thrilled, but they never refused to allow her to go. As she spent the year in Uganda, she began to notice the extreme contradictions between the life of a child in the United States and one in Uganda and she began to ask herself “what can I do?” She didn’t know what that exactly was at the time, but she knew she had to do something more to help the people around her.
She knew she couldn’t help them all, but she could help some of them. Katie made the choice to say yes to the calling God has placed on her heart and soon she started a ministry called Amazima, in Uganda that paid for children’s school, kept their bellies full, offered medical assistance and taught them about the love of God. That was nine years ago and Katie and her husband Ben and their 14 children still reside in Uganda and are pursuing this God-sized dream.
Bonnie had a dysfunctional upbringing, experienced a traumatic stint in missions and questioned the gift of singleness well into her thirties, but through it all she had her faith. However she decided to push aside the dream of becoming a writer and chose to go a more practical route and got an engineering degree in college. Bonnies says she always felt like the ugly duckling and at times questioned why she was even born.
Through faith though she was able to see the fruits of love, faithfulness and gentleness that God had placed in her and Bonnie began to ask questions about a dream that had been whispering in her heart for many years and one that she felt would bring her a new kind of joy and make her feel like she belonged. A joy that even though it felt very uncomfortable, also felt very exciting at the same time. She gave herself permission to experience this joy and began to write about her journey on www.faithbarista.com, which has now lead to her publishing two books and is a featured writer for (in)courage and Relevant Magazine. Through Bonnie’s writing she encourages others to create whitespace for themselves and find times of quietness in order to connect with and refresh their mind, body and soul.
Do you recognize the commonalities these two stories have in common? A God-sized dream has five key components. You might have a God-sized dream if:
- It is in Alignment with Your Gifts & God’s Purpose: Each of us has been given unique gifts and these gifts are what make us who we are. This is why our God-sized dreams can never be compared, because each of us has different gifts, but our dreams will utilize those gifts to serve others. Now not all God-sized dreams are super spiritual, many are practical, not all are super loud and out in the open, many are quiet and hidden, but all of them will fit with what God wants to express in this world.
- It Continually is Being Pressed on Your Heart and Mind: If your idea or dream doesn’t go away, you might have a God-sized dream. You may bury the calling for a season or try to ignore it, but in the quiet moments it keeps coming back. It’s like a voice deep inside of you is calling and it’s almost impossible to ignore and at times you can’t think about anything else.
- It Pushes You Outside Your Comfort Zone: As human beings we are hardwired for survival, but God doesn’t want us just to survive, He wants us to thrive! Many think that if we feel fear that means we should run away, but to me if you don’t have any fear at all as you pursue your dream, it’s not a God-sized dream. Almost always when God calls us to do something it is going to be outside our comfort zone and to take leaps of faith that stretch us. It also means there will be challenges along the way and that you may that feel that what you have undertaken is much harder than you imagined. Trust me though if God has called you to it, he will get you through it! Our job is to not quit no matter what happens and trust that God will take care of the rest.
- It is Something You Can’t Do On Your Own: God-sized dreams are bigger than just you and that means that you need to ask for and lean on others to help you fulfill it. If you can achieve it on your own, it may be more of a goal or bucket list item than a God-sized dream.
- It Leads to Joy: God-sized dreams may be challenging and frustrating at times, but they are also full of joy. God-sized dreams are meant to bring you joy, so if you never feel joy when pursuing your dream, you might be out of alignment. The joy is not found however in completing the dream, for God-sized dreams are ever evolving and enlarging. Rather joy is found in seeing serendipitous or what I call God wink moments happen, in discovering you are stronger than you thought possible, in feeling supported in a way you never could have imagined.
God-sized dreams compel us to move forward and even though they may be hard, we can’t let them go. You don’t have to have all the pieces figured out before you move forward. Just take the next step and discover your dream along the way.
Are you ready to take your next step in pursuing your God-sized dream? If so, this retreat is a MUST ATTEND event for you. Do not let another year go by with your dream collecting dust or being hidden in your heart. Attend this retreat where we will transform your someday dream into a TODAY REALITY!
Having been a Trainer for more than 15 years I know that many times people attend conferences or retreats and they get all jazzed up about the possibilities that lie ahead, but then they leave and go back home and within a few days or weeks the momentum is lost. That is why I am offering as a special bonus for the folks who attend this retreat 3 God-sized Dream Breakthrough calls which are to be used after the retreat at absolutely no cost. These are one-on-one calls where we can map out your personal dream journey, break through any blessing blockers that may be stopping you from making your dream happen and you can receive the encouragement you need to continue to put your dream to the test.
On top of that if you register for the retreat by December 31st I am offering a New Year, a New You $200 credit, which means that with the credit and the bonus calls you are saving $1,500. That’s how much I want you to attend this retreat.