How to Follow Your Dreams While Still Following God’s Plan

What’s your dream? Everyone has one. Sometimes it’s the same dream you had as a child and you’ve never varied from that dream. Sometimes, it’s a new one. But everyone has at least one. Is it to travel? A specific profession? College? The pursuit of a mate?

I’m a firm believer in following one’s dreams. If it’s your passion, make it your reality.  But how can we follow our hearts but remain true to God’s plan for us? It can be tricky to be that discerning. Sometimes we want something so much that we manipulate signs or words from God to make them support our aspirations.

Here’s one thing we know for sure: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are for good and not evil, for a future and a hope.” ~Jeremiah 29:11. 

Let’s unpack that a little, quite simply in fact. God has plans for us.  Good plans. Even though sometimes we may wonder, “Oh yeah? Really? Where are these good plans?”, they do exist. Sometimes we just need to be patient and wait for God to reveal what great thing is coming next. We know God promises us a future and a hope. This is my favorite verse. It’s gotten me through some tough times. It’s often like a light at the end of the proverbial dark tunnel. We claim this verse and know that God has something better coming down the pike.

Jer2911

In all things, we need to pray and seek God’s will. If we’re operating in the center of His will, we are making the right moves. When you want to take a big leap of faith that carries potential risk, it’s always good to seek wise counsel. I encourage you to talk to your pastor and when you’ve gotten his thoughts on the situation, seek one or two more established, solid Christians whose judgement you trust.  When you’ve learned the feelings and opinions of this panel of advisors, pray some more.  It’s so important to be quiet as well.  Listen for direction and what He’s telling you. He will speak eventually. His silence doesn’t mean He’s not listening, He may just be holding off until the perfect time to tell you how to move.

“Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” ~Proverbs 16:3

Keep doing your best work while you wait to hear what God wants to tell you. Maintain good relationships and be of good character. God sees us. He knows. He won’t leave you hanging.

This is something I didn’t learn until a few months ago and it smacked me upside the head:  God has big dreams for us. The dreams we have for ourselves pale in comparison to what He’s prepared to bless us with. I know! Isn’t that a mind-boggling thought? But it’s true. I didn’t believe it either, not at all until a huge, extravagant opportunity presented itself. It was something I’d automatically said ‘no’ to previously. It was amazing and a bucket list item for me, but it was something that only “other people” got to experience, so I immediately dismissed the opportunity the first time. Months later, when it came up again, it was in my face and I couldn’t deny it. There was a word from a friend that reduced me to tears. I felt like God had breathed those words into her so she could breathe them into me. And they hit me like a ton of hugs (because bricks would be horrible!)

Could God really want this for me? What had I done to deserve this wonderful thing? Well, nothing. We don’t have to earn every good thing that comes to us. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be gifts. I took the leap He prompted me to and I’m so glad I did. God wants to bless us. He wants us to be wonderstruck by the loving, beautiful things He has for us and sometimes we simply need to ask and expect. Stop looking for the bad stuff and expect the good things! Seek His wisdom and His plan for you. Lay those dreams at His feet, talk to Him about them, and see what He has to say. You just might be delightfully surprised.

Be encouraged,

Melanie

IMG_5227Melanie Pickett is a writer and blogger and is currently completing her first nonfiction book. She has battled Crohn’s disease and complications, has a now-healthy son who was born prematurely under challenging circumstances, and survived a 15-year abusive marriage and her first husband’s mental illness and eventual suicide. A wife and mother of two, she loves Red Wings hockey, reading, playing piano, and traveling adventures.

You can follow Melanie on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and her personal Blog.

 

 

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