When I was little girl, I dreamed of becoming a writer. Seems like an odd dream for a little girl, I know. But it’s the truth. By age seven I had written “my first book”. It was about some girl who blew the biggest bubble gum bubble the world had ever seen. It could have been a children’s book bestseller if published. I just knew it. But then I became scared that perhaps my writing wasn’t good enough, and so I stopped writing and stopped dreaming.
When I was in middle school I dreamed of becoming the lead singer to a famous all-girls singing sensation. Me and some girls from church formed a band whose named changed as frequent as our school crushes. We were pretty good at harmonizing, I’ll admit. For years we sang together and I dreamed, attempting to believe that I could possible do something extraordinary with my life. But others kept speaking words of doubt to me. And I listened. So I stopped dreaming.
When I got to high school my dreams of stardom altered a little. For a while, I was slightly obsessed with TLC’s former reality show Trading Spaces. No joke, check my high school year book from my senior year and beside my graduation picture I was quoted saying that in 10 years (this year mind you) you could find me as the next best interior designer on this particular TV show. I believed in this dream so much that I applied (and was accepted) to a really good design school in Tennessee. Yet fear and doubt struck again. Who was I to think I could actually be great at something? So within a month of design school starting, I declined the offer and stopped dreaming.
I ended up at a Christian college in Nashville and there I dreamed of going into ministry. I dreamed of teaching. I dreamed of leading others. I dreamed of doing something radical, something BIG. And once again, I dreamed of writing. And time and time again fear, doubt, and the opinions of others attempted to steal those dreams like a thief in the night.
I have been dreaming all my life. Ever since that book about the little girl’s bubble gum, I have been dreaming of my talents. But reality has always sat close by, giving its opinion on my dreams.
I can remember being 12 years old and sitting in my friend’s house. I had just finished spilling my heart out about how much I wanted to be a famous singer someday. Her big sister (who I thought was really cool), meaning well, looked at me and said, “You don’t really believe that will happen do you? You need to start being realistic.” How did this translate in my 12-year-old mind? Dreaming isn’t cool. And if you want to be cool, you need to stop dreaming and be more realistic. So I did.
And I have always hated that. Not because I believe I was destined to be some famous superstar or anything, but for a long time I lost my confidence in dreaming. More importantly, I missed out on the reason why we dream in the first place.
Here is the thing: I believe God wants us to dream. Dreaming is where we can discover our God-given talents. Dreaming is how we can learn to live by faith. And dreaming is how we can become who God intended us to be for His glory.
1 Timothy 4:14 says to “not neglect your gift.” God gave us all gifts, beautiful gifts. These gifts are given to us out of love and with purpose, for it is by our gifts that God wants us to spread His kingdom. And these gifts, I fully believe, can be discovered as we dream.
So today I want to encourage all of you girls, young and old, to keep dreaming. Or perhaps if you are like me, pick up where you left off as a child and learn to dream again. That is what I am doing- I am finally learning to return to my dreams.
Somewhere, somehow, the world has told us that dreaming is childish and something we should grow out of once we learn that fairytales aren’t real. But you know what I think? I think dreaming is meant for all of God’s children no matter our age. I mean, just read through the stories of the Bible. It is full of dreamers!
So what do you say girls? Do you want to join me? Do you want to dream with me? Do you want to push aside fear, doubt, and the opinions of the world? And do you want to dream with me about using all of the beautiful gifts God gave us?
What about you?