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“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.” – Tom Bradley

Do you agree with that? Do you have a dream or several?

If we would sit down and intentionally search ourselves, I believe each of us will find, sometimes way down inside in a secret, guarded place, a dream.

The organization To Write Love on Her Arms, which exists to come alongside young people who are fighting depression, self-hate, addiction, and self-mutilation, posted a campaign asking people to post something they fear and something they dream about: Fears vs. Dreams. It’s interesting and inspiring to read as people open up and put their hearts out there honestly. Some that I read:

Fear: being surrounded by love and still feel alone Dream: be a part of something bigger than myself

Fear: to live without purpose Dream: to achieve the extraordinary

Fear: letting my family down Dream: be the best daddy ever

Fear: to be judged and not loved Dream: to share love with the world

Fear: losing my son Dream: Owning my own cafe

You can view more here on their web site. There were many I could relate to.

What would your fear vs. dreams sign say?

I have a very large, sometimes crushing fear of being a failure, of letting God down and not being all He created me to be. I have thought and thought about why that presses so hard against me and why it lingers, even though I know that I don’t have to earn God’s favor or love. Somehow my heart keeps yearning for His approval, for Him to be pleased with what I do, how I live my life. My perfectionist nature probably doesn’t help.

God has told me in my heart that I already have his approval because Jesus died for me, but if I’m honest, I still fear sometimes not pleasing Him.

My personal dream is to live a life that matters, to be a person who helps other people learn about Jesus and want to follow him. I don’t want to just go through the motions of every day.

My dream, as a pastor’s wife, is very similar. I dream that John and I will be the kind of leaders that help a church thrive and reach out to lost people. I definitely don’t want to just go through the motions or be in a church Jesus would call “lukewarm” or that had forgotten its first love.

Experiences in the past bruised those dreams and pushed them way back inside. Sometimes when we mess up or fall short, the enemy makes us embarrassed that we ever had that dream in the first place. I can hear him sneer, “That won’t ever happen. Give up.”

I have been almost afraid to talk with God, or other people, about them because deep in my heart I sometimes feel they won’t happen. It’s easier to not have a dream than to have one and not have it become reality, right? Or is it?

I believe the quote above is true. The only thing stopping me from realizing my dream is me. Instead of choosing fear, if I choose to trust God even when I don’t see how He could make it all happen, I can still dream my dream. If I choose to believe that He can do the impossible, with any person, in any circumstance, I know I will be amazed and joyfully surprised to see what happens. I actually want to be blown away. I know it will all be because of Him, but I want to be a part of it!

He bids us to come to Him with boldness and tell him our dream. He may help it become reality, or He may direct us to a different dream, one He has in mind for us that is often bigger and brighter than what we came up with.

My prayer lately is that God will remove those irritating walls I put up around my limited vision of Him. I pray He will knock down self-imposed limitations and negative things I tell myself. I pray He will replace it all with hope and true, undeniable, rock-solid faith in all He is and all He can do. I want Him to fill my ears and eyes and heart to bursting – so full of His awesome presence and purpose that there is no room for lies and doubt.

Papa, I have a dream…