This year on New Years day I sat down and asked the Lord for a word that I could hold onto this year. A vision. A truth. You could say kind of a resolution for the year. I’ve never done this before and felt silly but what I felt the Lord tell me was to dream. I laughed. It was ironic because I’ve never felt like I’ve been worthy enough to dream. I’m not talking about fairytales when I sleep type of dreams but desires of my heart types of dreams. Growing up I played it safe. I didn't try out for certain sport teams because I was afraid I wouldn't make it. I never went to summer camp as a kid because I was afraid that I would cry and want to go home.
The key in both of these examples is that I was afraid. I was afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I let fear win every single time anything came close to being uncomfortable.
I looked up the definition of dream and one of the translation defines it as “an unrealistic hope or achievement that is longed for.” I’ve never let myself dream because I never thought that that hope or achievement could be attained. Everything to me was always unrealistic. For 22 years I refused to put my trust in the Lord—for Him to push me through the challenging things or for him to love me and protect me from hurt if I did fail. I sit here and sing “I’m no longer a slave to fear” and I see these paintings of “perfect love casts out fear” and I know what is true but I’ve always been so hesitant to step fully into these truths.
Through this word I feel like the Lord has been showing me 3 things:
- He knows me. The Lord knows me better than I know myself—truly. I’ve never let myself dream before. Over and over again I cut myself off from really finding things I like to do or places I want to go or the person I want to be because it didn't fit the “comfortable” box I stuck myself in. Yes, the one I choose to stay in every single day up until now. The truth is He knows me. He knows us. He knows our wants, desires and thoughts and wants them for us also. Not only does he want most of them for us but He wants to be apart of all them.
- I’m worthy of dreaming. Romans 8:15 says “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” He doesn't call us to live in fear. We are no longer slaves to fear. The spirit we’ve received brought about our adoption to His sonship. We are children of God. He doesn't give us wants and desires to tease me—to dangle them in from of my face and say “you can't have this.” He's not cruel, but kind.
- Its okay to be afraid. Its okay to be nervous. Its okay to be scared. But it’s not okay to live out of those feelings. They are feelings—not always truth. The truth is to not fear because He is with us. (Isaiah 41:10) The truth is perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) The truth is that even when we walk through the darkest valley we don't have to fear because He is with us. That He will be the one to comfort us. (Psalm 23:4)
I’ve been hesitant to let these truth truly shape my thoughts, my words, my actions and my habits because of the can’t’s and won’t’s I’ve heard my whole life. And every can’t and won’t that I have believed is another wall that stands in between my relationship with God. Maybe I can’t be a lawyer-yet or maybe I won’t conquer my biggest fear this week but that doesn't mean I’m not worth dreaming. With God all things are possible. And that is the truth I am going to stand on.
Lord, I thank you that you know us. I thank you that you know our wants and desires. I thank you that you tell us we are worthy of dreaming. I just ask that this year you would begin to tear down the boxes and walls that are in between us and you. That you would begin to open our eyes to see ourselves exactly how you see us. That no longer would we live out of our comfort zone that we would begin to dream with you. That we would no longer live by can’t and won't but but can and will with you. God I thank you that nothing is too big or too small for you. You see it all and you love us.
- Ashley Gibson