The Dream in Reality
The ragamuffin singer-songwriter Rich Mullins once said, “Go out and live real good, and I promise if you do, you’ll get beat up real bad.”
I would always chuckle hearing that, but nowadays, I feel like I understand that statement more than ever.
The one thing no one tells you about chasing a dream is how uncomfortable it is, not just because of the work and effort involved, but because of the discomfort of seeing your cherished dream pulled out of the realm of fantasy into the flawed, distorted land of reality.
Blood, sweat, and tears isn’t the half of it.
Your dream contains aspects of unfairness, areas where you’ll be unrecognized or your hard work won’t seem to deliver. Sharing your dream with the world will delight your heart while also tugging you into depths of vulnerability you might not have been ready for yet. You’ll have to learn how to pursue things that weren’t even on your radar in order to sustain your dream and steward it.
That’s what I’ve been going through a week after the launch of my first book!
Even though I’ve been fighting back with the truth, reminding myself what God has done and making a point to celebrate every victory, I’m still fighting anxiety over the things I have yet to do, the things I will have to figure out in order to keep momentum going in the future. I’m in the throes of transition from starry-eyed personal writer to career-focused published author, and it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been given so much, and yet there’s still so much I need. I don’t want to be the reason these books don’t do well.
In my morning devotions today, I was drawn to the prophetic book of Zechariah, and even though the inspiring verses warmed my heart, I felt a disconnect. Were they really for me? How much could I really relate to the promises in them?
I jotted a few down and moved on with my day, turning on a YouTube sermon I’d been meaning to listen to while I did some chores. Guess what the text was? None other than Zechariah 1! The sermon proceeded to reach deep and uncover all my anxieties, turning them over and warming them with the light of God’s expansive perspective.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts! (Zech. 4:6)
This is the part I want to share with you. This is the reason I’m sharing my struggles—to give glory to the God who supersedes them all!
God has put something inside you for such a time as this. Even if you don’t know what it is or how to draw it out, He does. So, pursue Him. Learn excellence and intentionality in everything for His honor and glory. This is the adventure we’ve been called to. Knowing Him and having the fragrance of Him permeate everything we do (2 Corinthians 2:14). This is how we fight our battles. This is the truth we can steady ourselves with as the waves we’re walking on get choppy.
Every step of the journey you’re on is being ordered by the Lord, and the impact will be far beyond things that are visible. In the midst of whatever battle you’re fighting, whatever impact you’re trying to make, let this understanding encourage your heart and guide your progress. He has a purpose for you and that purpose is found in Him!
Draw near to Him today, and if you’re walking with Him closely, draw nearer still. Allow His voice to drown out the confusing pressures of other identities trying to entice you. Receive wisdom from the Spirit to run the race you were called to with endurance. And trust that there will be reward at the end for those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
I’m glad there’s more adventure to come, for all of us. There’s more work, more blessing, more impact—even beyond what we can see.
But that’s faith (Hebrews 11:1).