In 2005, the summer before my sophomore year of college. I made a “To Do List” on my computer of 5 things I wanted to do before I died. I completed the list, saved it and never looked at it again. Eventually, I forgot completely that I had ever written it. Three years later, as I was going through my computer cleaning up old documents, I came across it.
The list read:
Fall in Love
Lead someone to Christ
Travel the World
At that moment in my life when I was re-reading it, I had not only visited Hawai’i but I was currently living there, I had just gone skydiving that summer and my serious relationship in which I had “fallin in love” had come to an end. I had completed almost everything on my list within just a few years. But the problem with this “To Do List” was that it was all about ME.
“I” want to fall in love, “I” want to go skydiving, “I” want to visit Hawai’i, and “I” want to travel the world. When I was writing it back in 2005, I was not focused on what God had written as my “To Do List.” I also do not recall writing this list and then surrendering it over to God. When my dreams came true I was made much of, not God.
As I was checking off everything I had completed, I realized how powerful dreams were. Although, I had never looked at my list again after I wrote it on July 20, 2005, the list was already placed into my heart that day.
God wants us to dream. “God puts dreams in our hearts to give us vision and inspiration and to guide us to the right path. That’s why we have to make sure the dreams we have are not from our own flesh.” But in our dreaming, He doesn’t want us to exclude Him. At any moment God can take our dreams away. We can end up in a stagnant wilderness of frustration and confusion if we have made idols of our dreams.
I still of course have dreams in my heart that I would love to accomplish one day, but I don’t want to look back on my accomplishments and know they were not from the Lord.
God has not only been teaching me to be content with where I am at right now in my life, but He is also teaching me to be patient and obedient. It is not easy, and even if I am certain God has given me a vision or a dream for my future I must surrender it to Him first.
Dying to my dreams is difficult, but I can find peace in knowing that if I reach up and take my Heavenly Father’s hand, He will shine His light on this situation and walk with me through it step by step. All I can do now is trust that He is at work and He knows what is best for my life.
…if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
My Prayer in this time of waiting and uncertainty~
Lord, I release all my hopes and dreams to you this day. If there is anything that I am longing for that is not to be a part of my life, I ask You to take away the desire for it so that what should be in my life will be released to me. I realize how dangerous it is to make idols of my dreams, to try and force my life to be what I have envisioned for myself. I lift up to You all that I desire, and I declare this day that I desire You more. I want the desires of my heart to line up with the desires of Your heart. As hard as it is for me to let go of the hopes and dreams I have for my life, I lay them all at your feet. I know that as I die to them, You will either bury them forever or resurrect them to Life. I accept Your decision and fully submit to it. Lead me in Your path, Lord. I don’t want to speak a vision of my own heart (Jeremiah 23:16). You never said life would be easy. You said You would be with me. I now take each step with the light of Your presence as my guide.
Originally written in 2010