God Wants You to Finish
Hold onto your dreams...
For a long time, I felt as though God specialized in teaching me to wait.
I was told that delay wasn’t denial but sometimes it sure felt like it. I often wondered why I’d been given certain dreams and desires if they weren’t coming to pass. In my late teens, I got to the point where I realized no dream, no matter how strong, is going to attack you with instant success. You have to be the attacker. I guess you could say I became agitated enough to get moving.
I did it day in and day out because I loved it. There was a reason I could wake up at 3am and write until 7 without suffering for it. There was a reason I had sixteen thousand documents clogging my computer…character descriptions, outlines, fragmented novels pieced together like puzzles. It was in me and it felt like it always had been.
One day, I realized it always would be. Because God had put it there. Maybe I knew this all along. But it took a while for me to wake up.
“I’m not all about no, Jubilee,” the Holy Spirit whispered over me one night. “I want to teach you yes.”
God’s been helping me to own who I am, but not in the way that leaves a person unwilling to grow and change. A lot of the world is trying to encourage better self-feelings, trying to get rid of shame outside of God, but what good is telling yourself a better story if it’s not actually true? If you’re not actually equipped to walk it out? My brain is way too smart for that. And yours is too. The only way out of shame is in the Love of God.
Owning who you are isn’t passive permission to fold up within yourself and hope the world rises up to celebrate you. In the Kingdom of God, owning who you are is an active thing, and looks a lot like chasing dreams. Not waiting for them to chase you.
It’s an adventure. White-knuckled, bruised-knee, mountain-climbing boldness. Taking steps before it’s public or easy or even fun. Before you have a team.
Before you even know what you’re doing.
It’s stepping into God’s delight, living in the beauty of who He made you. His Holy Spirit is the best trainer. As you pursue Him, His dreams will find you and open up plenty of places to step out of your comfort zone but you’ll be equipped when you get there because you’ve bruised your muscles on smaller hills of obedience. I didn’t see this at first. Delay felt like denial. Not progress.
Even seasons of activation felt frustrating because I saw things falling into place, but not quickly enough. Every small thing I achieved in private only sharpened my desire for more. What about all the unanswered questions, the things I didn’t have? I forgot that God was way ahead of me.
We think we dream so big but God's dreams are always bigger. As He’s growing us up into them, we see that the finish line is more than the end goal we had in mind. We've been called into a lifetime of dreaming and our dreams are connected to the larger scope of His Kingdom. They're preparation for eternity. Recognizing this removes so much pressure because now your worth isn’t bound up in one end goal. You have a full life to live.
The lesson of delayed gratification is still important, still unfolding. But I’m learning God’s yes and it’s not as easy as I’d thought it would be. When you’ve been learning wait for a while, it’s easy to become discouraged and allow the delay to derail your dreams.
But remember, God wants to see the things He put within you fleshed out. It just may not be the time. There are many steps to fulfillment.
Therefore, we must learn to live in the delight of the Lord. Because that feeds the raw obedience that is our mandate day-in and day-out.
Without God’s delight, which we were made for, obedience can become exhausting and turn into resignation. We can start to exalt a fleshly idea of surrender, in which we think God wants to take our dreams and waste them.
God is not a taker. He only ever asks us to lay things down so He can build something better. He wants to grow you up into what He’s put within you and only His Delight can build the faith you will need.
Do the best you can with everything you’ve been given right where you are. That’s progress. That’s exercise. The whole of your life will be more satisfying and God-centered. And you’ll be ready when bigger opportunities come knocking. You’ll see them coming and know what God’s will is in them. He can be trusted to raise you up and His strength will keep you faithful and make you ready to embrace each new step.
Instead of building up walls around your heart to guard against discouragement, admit your struggles. Be open about the fears unraveling your hope. God will comfort you, but He won’t come into agreement with lies. He wants to teach you to expose and disarm them. The best thing you can do with discouragement is be honest but then listen to what the Spirit has to say and align yourself with that. This will get you through. Because God wants you to finish.
His Grace is your empowerment. In the delight of the Lord, the growing pains of maturity are not something you need to be afraid of. They represent actual progress, forward-movement.
It’s the Maker and Lover of your soul saying, “This is who you are. Empowered, equipped. In Me. Let’s go!”
Dare to dream today. Ask the Holy Spirit to isolate one dream in your heart that you’ve overlooked or are afraid to acknowledge. Remember, if it kind of scares you, that’s good! We were made for this!
Coming soon to Amazon
My first biblical fiction trilogy and accompanying Bible study
In partnership with Paper Raven Books.
Look for updates on social media October-December 2021!