Monday I started this series off with the story of our adoption. Today I want to talk about what dreaming with God looks like, and the process He takes us through as we dream with Him.
In my experience the things God calls me to rarely end up looking the way I think they should.
Our pastor has said many times that “God doesn’t care about the destination, what He cares about is the journey.” I feel like God cares about our dreams, and the destination, but what I’ve learned is that God really does care SO much about the journey.
I’m beginning to realize that even though our adoption is about our daughter, it’s more about me, my relationship with the Lord, how I choose to react in situations, about my character and who God is creating me to be.
Today I want to break down the dreaming process, and what it looks like to dream with God.
This first thing that happens is God gives you a dream. For me it was the vision for a blog, it was an adoption, it was the vision for a house, etc.
What is your dream?
What is it God put in your heart? Or if you don’t think you have one then what is it that moves you? A friend of mine once said, “Follow your tears and then you’ll know what God is calling you to.”
What is it that makes you cry, that stirs you?
The next thing God does, after giving us a dream is He breaks our heart for that thing. I’m not an emotional person, by any means, but after God put the dream of adopting in my heart, I remember standing in the back of the church during worship, praying for our future daughter, asking God to free her and send her to us, and I cried. There was a long period of time that I joked with my friends that I shouldn’t even bother wearing makeup to church anymore because I just cried it all off during worship.
My heart has never ached for something so badly. During this season, God was speaking to me about her. He was giving me dreams and visions about who she was, and who she would become.
If this is the stage you are at with your dream, don’t worry, it’s okay to cry all the time. It’s perfectly normal that your heart hurts so badly it feels like it’s going to explode.
This is the Lord and He is in it.
He is calling your dream out, preparing you, breaking your heart and wanting you to ask Him to give it to you. The more your heart hurts, the more you pray.
The next thing that happens is you begin to see your dream unfold. I call this the “honeymoon stage”.
You will see things start to fall into place, your dream will begin to take shape and you will feel God’s favor. Our journey to meeting our daughter was nothing but extraordinary, the only way to explain it was that it was God.
When we met her I knew right away she was the one. God immediately gave me a heart for her and when we welcomed her into our home, I finally felt like everything in the world was as it should be. I felt like the dream God gave me 2 years prior had finally come true.
If this is the stage you are in, it’s amazing and you need to celebrate it because it won’t last forever. I believe the honeymoon stage is where God fills us up so that when things get hard, we can look back and draw from those times.
Once the honeymoon stage is over things will get harder but this is the Lord growing YOU.
This part is “the journey” – you’ll get to the destination, but remember, it’s always going to look differently then you thought it would.
Remember Job from the Bible? This is the part of the journey where I’d never related to Job more. Most likely you won’t lose your whole family, your house, and all the things that Job lost – I didn’t either – but I’ve never felt more stripped down, personally attacked and raw before the Lord. This part of the journey is where it will get hard, really hard, because God allows things to happen so that in the end we grow.
Remember the other day when I told you things had gotten so bad that my neighbor finally told me that I looked terrible? This is the stage I was in.
Everyone’s story is going to look different, but what I know is that everyone will go through this stage of the process because this is where God wants us to lean into Him, to depend on Him for our every move and to go deeper with Him.
However in this stage I felt very lonely, and it felt like no one cared about how I was doing, or how I was dealing with her lies and rejection. I’ve never had someone be so hurtful and say such hurtful things to me, when all we were trying to do was love her.
During this stage I struggled spending time with the Lord because I was wrestling with the thoughts “why? why me?”, and “Lord, how did it go from you breaking my heart for this girl to this girl acting like she hates us and lying to us about everything?” I was hurting deep down in places I didn’t know I could hurt.
But when I would make time to spend with the Lord, He would always speak. It wasn’t always a lot, but He would always give me a nugget, exactly what I needed to hear.
It was the Lord filling my tank up, getting me through another day.
I know this place of discouragement and pain is where some of you are at in your journey but please don’t ignore the Lord.
This season is God growing you.
Think about this season like a baker working with dough. They pick the dough up, stretch it out in all different directions and work with it until it’s just right. That is what God is doing to you, He’s stretching you, He’s pulling on you, He’s reshaping you and He’s making you into something beautiful.
Next time we are going to start talking about the choices we have when we get to this place of pain. But before I end today, I want to leave you with this beautiful passage from Psalm 84, and encourage you to seek the Lord and know that He is for you.
4-7 What pleasure fills those who live every day in your temple, enjoying you as they worship in your presence! How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their path winds through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward until they find all their strength in you, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion.
9 God, your wrap-around presence is our defense.”