Greetings to you, my dear readers. It is a glorious Monday in the month of May and I find myself writing a post on the topic of dreams. No, not the dreams you dream when you are asleep and your mind goes to crazy places. (what's with the dream when all your teeth fall out? I've read things online that link it to uncertainty of the future - anyone have that dream? anyone?) I'm talking about the dreams you dream when you are wide awake and fully coherent. The dreams that scare you. The dreams that make you laugh because they are so ridiculous. The dreams that make your heart soar because you cannot imagine what the reality of those dreams coming true might look like.
Or maybe, like me, I'm talking about the dreams that you don't even know you have because you have stopped allowing yourself to dream and stifled every single thought that wasn't practical or realistic. Perhaps you have resigned yourself to the fact that nothing in life is guaranteed, none of your plans have worked out, and so you might as well not plan (translate: dream) because it will just end in disappointment. How's that for brutally honest on a Monday?
To give credit where credit is due, this is really a spin-off from my dear friend Brooke's latest post on her blog. (as an aside: we go way back and have been friends since high school. She is an amazing human being, an incredible mother to three babies, a faithful wife, and an inspiration to me.)
You see, she felt the Lord speak to her at a conference last year on this very topic. She has shared at length on her blog: brookeandfreeland.blogspot.com -- in the fall of last year, she wrote down some very specific dreams and has seen God's hand move to bring several of these dreams into fruition.
So...here is where the favor comes in: she is asking for help in the form of a simple click. One woman will be selected to travel with an organization over to Rwanda this summer to minister to the needy, the widows, the orphans...all the poor and powerless. The person with the most votes will be chosen for the trip. All you have to do is click this link:
You will see her picture and read her "why." Right above her picture, all you have to do is click "vote." You can vote everyday through May 28th.
It is interesting in her latest post, she used the term "Realistic Rachel." Now, I know it was just one of those random names you choose to create an alliteration ("Bargain Betty," "Frugal Frannie," and so on), but it really struck a chord with me. That is a term that I have been defined by. I AM "realistic Rachel" and have been for so many years.
As a child, I was a dreamer with a wild imagination. I read a TON and my favorite books were the Chronicles of Narnia. I read to my animals as though they were alive, wrote stories about my dolls coming to life, and would regularly draw out sketches of what my house would look like when I grew up (minimum of 12 floors, a Wet 'n Wild waterpark in the backyard, and of course, an elevator to access all of the floors with the utmost of ease). I mean, if you're gonna dream, you might as well dream big...and I was good at that!
Fast forward to adulthood, with it's responsibilities, heartaches, disappointments, unmet expectations, demands, busyness, obligations, bills...and dreams just seem frivolous, indulgent, or for those who are not rooted in reality.
But even more than that, if I'm 100% honest, dreaming makes you vulnerable...because if your dreams do not come true, if those thoughts you thought, or those prayers you prayed never pan out, you are exposed to the disappointment and heartache that will ensue. And this fear to dream can even manifest itself in watered-down prayers...which is exactly what the enemy would want. How clever he is to lead us down a path of self-preservation that would even affect the power of our prayers. What a lie from the pit of hell as the word of God is clear:
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.
I was actually sharing (revealing) some dreams with a friend of mine last night and as it turns out, she was shocked as I revealed the desires of my heart. What?! Had I really stuffed these so deep within the depths of my heart that those closest to me didn't even know these desires (dreams) existed? Had the fear that those things might never come to pass kept me from sharing, praying, and believing? Had "Realistic Rachel" completely taken over?
It was a sobering moment, but at the same time, I felt an awakening in my heart...much like I think Brooke talks about on her blog. I truly believe the Lord used her and her words to reveal the state of my heart. I cannot thank her enough for her obedience to the Lord and sharing some deeply personal things on her blog that I would imagine was fairly uncomfortable.
ALL that being said, this is just the tip of the iceberg, so I may share more as I feel led. Bottom line: pray for BIG things. Do not allow satan to squelch your desires with things like doubt, fear, insecurity, etc., etc., etc. We serve a God who became human, took on flesh, died for our sins, defeated death, and rose again victorious. Our God IS able. He can "do FAR more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think."
Now go vote for Brooke!!! (: