Why You Need to Be Free to Dream a Little
- Stasi Eldredge Author, "Becoming Myself"
- 2015 26 Feb
How do you feel about desire? Does it feel like a bad thing? No, desire is really that core place in our hearts where God speaks. Years ago, in a small group I was in, we were invited to dream. We were given paper and told to write down what we wanted. To write a long list. Not to edit it. Nothing was too small or large to write down. My list turned out to be two pages long and had things on it as varied as the garden I wanted to nurture, the size I wanted to wear, the hope to ride horses with my husband, the healing I longed for a few dear ones to experience, and the wedding of a single friend I wanted to dance at.
I found that list a few years ago, and to my astonishment every single item had come true. It had happened! I needed to make a new list! I have!
God dreams big. And he invites us to dream big with him. God has planted dreams and desires in each one of our hearts, and they are unique to us. Opening up our spirits, our minds, our hearts, our imaginations to what we would really like—to even the possibility of wanting—allows the Holy Spirit to awaken parts of ourselves that are in such a deep sleep no dreams are happening.
God is a Dreamer. He has dreams of you and for you.
When we dream with God, we don’t want to run to thinking, How can I make this happen? Dreaming with God isn’t about how. It’s about what. If anything could happen, then what would I love to see happen in my life? What would I love to see happen in the lives of those I love?
This book is about your heart. This moment is about your dreams and your desires that contribute to the unique, marvelous young woman you are. The point is not so much being able to name the desire as it is to allow God to access the places in your heart where dreams and desires are planted. God speaks to you there. About himself. About you.
It’s okay to want, and it’s okay to want more. Wanting more has nothing to do with being unsatisfied or lacking in your present reality. It’s being open to the more that God wants to bring to you in your own life. The possibilities for you are limitless! They are. Yes, they are. Maybe not for tomorrow but for your life.
What is pushing it with God? What can’t he do? What is too hard for him to accomplish in your relationships, your achieve- ments, your creativity, in the fullness of the expression of who you are? We want to continue to grow all our lives. We never want to stop. Yes, we rest. But a heart alive is a heart that is awake and curious and pressing in for more.
What do you really want?
Four out of five Americans say they don’t have any dreams, and we can imagine why. Life can suck the dreaming right out of you. The living God wants to pour those dreams back in. Sixteen percent of Americans say they do have dreams, but they don’t write them down. Four percent have dreams and desires and write them down, but less than 1 percent review and update them on a regular basis.
It is the people who allow themselves to dream, who own their dreams, and who write them down and look at them periodically whose life dreams are coming true. (They also earn nine times more money over their lifetime than people who don’t. Think of what you could do with that! What good could you bring? What ministry could you support?)
I encourage you to risk dreaming and writing your dreams down. Once you get started, you’ll find there are things you want. And if you can’t get started, another approach is simply to begin listing the things you like. What do you like? From the fragrance of lilacs to a comforter before a fire to laughing with friends, it’s nourishing simply to become aware of what you enjoy and to write it down.
It’s good to sit with God in the quiet and ask him, What do I want? And ask him, What do you want for me?
Awakening and owning the dreams that God has placed in our hearts isn’t about getting stuff or attaining something. It’s about embracing who we are and who he has created us to be. In him. He is our dream come true and the one true love of our life. But we can’t love him with our whole hearts when our hearts are asleep. To love Jesus means to risk coming awake, to risk wanting and desiring.
Jesus, come. Guide me. Holy Spirit, fill me. Dream with me and in me. Help me to unlock the desires you have planted in my heart and to write them down. Help me to dream big.
Ask yourself: What would I love to do? What would I love to experience or create or offer? What do I want to be really good at? What do I want with God? What does God want with me? What do I want to be known for?
Dream. You have permission to dream. And besides, if you don’t have a dream, how can you have a dream come true?
© 2014 Stasi Eldredge. Free to Be Me is published by David C Cook. All rights reserved.
Stasi Eldredge leads the women’s ministry of Ransomed Heart and is the co-author (with her husband, John) of Captivating and Love & War. Her books have sold nearly 3 million copies. Stasi and John have three sons and live in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Publication date: February 26, 2015