about a 5 minute read
IF you saw the real hard work of the thing you dream about having or doing, would you still dream about it? I ask this question because that is where we are at in many pockets of the globe as individuals; we want our own [insert dream idea] but there is a long list of back-end activities and habits we have to align ourselves to in order to see such thing come true.
At the time of this blog post, we are right at the beginning of a new year which is where the hopes, dreams, and expectations are high flying but naturally, life gets in the way and those ideas deflate throughout the year without your full awareness. My question to you is how do you keep such aspirations alive, realistic, and tangible? How do keep from burning out? By no means is this a self-help post into how to do this; this post’s desire is to give some of my experiences for you to take note not just dream idly but dream with Jesus.
Long ago, when I wasn’t bulked down with adulting, I was an IT nerd, who liked anime, K-pop and ‘3 for a £1’ sweets from Tesco. You would see me enjoying coding, designing websites and graphic designing for hours, happily. Other days, you would find my face in a photo or ordering people about to ‘get it right’ for the photo, and you would discover me writing stories in one of the gazillions of notebooks I owned. I learned fast that I wanted to have a digital presence in the webosphere and was successful with every space I created. I didn’t I understand it was hard work since I wasn’t bickering with time to ‘slow down a little’ – but – as I grew older, and the dream didn’t change, I saw the commitment level from a mature perspective which gave me pause. I recognised the amount of work that needed to be injected into what I frequently envisioned and I couldn’t produce the consistent, engaging quality posts that I had once created. I didn’t want to keep dreaming about something that, no matter how original I tried to be, painfully reminded me of how much I “lacked” in the areas I enjoyed so much.
In 2012, I acknowledged that the course of my Christian walk needed to change from ‘being on the fence’ to ‘being active’ because, being in uni, I needed a clear structure of what my life was based upon and where I was to go next. You see, I choose to wholeheartedly journey with Jesus not really understanding the implications that choice would have on my being and so the twenty-one-year-old Lee-Anne thought to take her blog to another level and create the now former blog ‘Colour Love Blog.’ It initiated well, steady readership, I enjoyed creating and curating content but slowly, each post got harder and harder because I tried so hard to please the readers and do everything at once to make sure they’d come back. I had no strategy to pace myself. I couldn’t see the dream I once appreciated because I had made the standards of producing such content in the timeframes I gave myself, unrealistic which tumbled into me simply burning all the way out. Reflecting, I can honestly say, I saw an opportunity to blog and I jumped on it even if that meant going ahead of Jesus. I didn’t even think about ‘failing’ until it got hard and I realised I was neck deep and loosing my footing.
Recently, I finally could identify with a question as to why I quickly felt so emotionally and physically drained from doing my dream; the pastor merely asked ‘which well do you draw from?’
In John 4:13-14
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (The Message paraphrase)
The initial ‘water’ Jesus points out is the water at the physical well where He sat.
7-8 A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)
Like this woman, I kept returning to ‘the well’ to get my inspiration, approval, and content to name a few from. That ‘well’ was me. That isolated place was my source. It was only when I heard the question ‘which well do you draw from?’ did I have to actually work out where my foundation really rested.
The second mention of water flows of Jesus Himself which provides an ‘endless’ or an ‘eternal life.’ I knew I wanted to draw from Him but I was too independent. I had to learn to be a co-partner with Jesus in the journey He had set out for me when I jumped off the fence a while back. The life voyage started there and was being renewed with each stage our relationship deepened when I drank from His well.
Dreaming then became something that didn’t past the time but it developed into a conversation with Jesus. Oh, but as I got clarity on my identity in Jesus, I also realised I had to put down all of the things I enjoyed and let them be renewed from His perspective so that when I picked up I knew to stay connected to Jesus at all times.
For you, even if you have taken a guess in (stepped out in) something that you enjoy and it doesn’t come out the way you want it, have you ever thought to get Jesus on board? That usually means He’ll navigate and things you’ve brought on board may have to get thrown out so that there isn’t any clutter between you and Him.
Some suggested actions:
Ask yourself, how do you process information? Do you process with friends? think aloud aka talk to yourself? write your thoughts in a diary? Knowing what works (or beginning to know) can definitely remove all the ideas and thoughts in your mind that seems huge to something bitesize and able to manage.
Write out all the things you have desired to see come into your life – be it big or small – and offer it up in prayer. Keep it somewhere you can refer back to it.
Listen to what God is saying and keep a record of what you hear.
Get some trusted friends who walk with Christ involved to hear some of the things in your heart and let them pray for you as well as keep you accountable
Find relevant scriptures for your season/dream/idea and pray those over yourself.