For many of us, the events of 2020 have shifted our dreams. Whether it be the effects from natural disasters or the health pandemic, we certainly did not anticipate the drastic impact of physical damage, financial struggles, abundance of illness, and home quarantines. It can be difficult to shift our focus from defeat and worry to hope for the future, but it isn’t impossible. Remembering that God is still at work amid all of our sorrows and disappointments gives us new insight. Our weak eyes are straining to catch a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, but we will see beyond the natural as we shift our focus from our present troubles to the One who holds the future in His hands. So, here are 2 enlightening ways to help you keep your dreams alive.
1. Align your dreams with God’s will.
It is important for us to recognize our unique talents, gifts, skills, and life experiences. And, we can employ them in a way that draws us deeper into our personal relationship with God, allows us to love and serve our neighbors, and gives us opportunities to make disciples. As we journey through the sanctification process, we should find that our own desires reflect His desires. Proverbs 16:2-4 reminds us that “all a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives. Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be achieved. The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose–even the wicked for the day of disaster.”
God knows why we are working towards certain goals, and we must make sure that we are using our unique abilities for the right purpose. It is easy to overcomplicate God’s will and forget that we can carry out His will no matter where we are along our life’s journey. We may find ourselves thinking that we are not living out God’s will for our life if we have not graduated with a certain degree or obtained a certain level in our career. But, if we are truly aligning our dreams with God’s will and persistently working towards them, then we can take some of the pressure off of ourselves. We can rest in the fact that the realization of a dream is not entirely dependent on us. We can do everything humanly possible to reach our dreams, and ultimately, trust Him with the outcome.
2. Allow your dreams to have flexibility.
The pathway to reaching a dream may not be a linear one, and it doesn’t always look like what we imagined. Accepting the changing possibilities can help us get through any disappointments we meet, and we can use them as learning opportunities instead of roadblocks. Maybe we thought we would have a new job, a spouse, a home, or grandchildren by a certain age. Maybe your dreams have changed as you have matured in your faith, learned a new skill, traveled to a new place, grieved the death of a loved one, or experienced any life event that has changed your perspective. None of these aspects of our lives are wrong, and they certainly do not mean that we are off course. We must remember that God’s will and the direction of our dreams do not always look the way we planned.
Having flexibility in your dreaming allows you to not miss out on a new dream or opportunity that God could be revealing to you by holding on so tightly to a dream that simply does not fit as hoped. God has never promised us easy tasks and personal happiness as we pursue our dreams. He has told us over and over that following Him is difficult, but that does not mean that we cannot find joy as we work diligently to achieve the goals set before us.
It is an understatement to say that this year has been difficult for numerous people all over the world; however, we do have a choice in how we respond to these difficulties. We can decide that life is too difficult and give up on our dreams, or we can persevere with our eyes on Christ and adjust our dreams accordingly.