Last January I joined a team of dreamers, and set off to pursue my God-sized dream—a dream that was bigger than me. I set sail into uncharted waters–toward unknown destinations, excited for the adventure ahead.
I watched many of the other God-sized dreamers name their dreams, but I had a hard time naming mine. My dream felt elusive and vague–this desire to build, and grow a community, in this Mercy Found Me space.
How does one even do that, I wondered?
My God-sized dream is of a community where we are filled with the wonder of His love, moved by the radical power of His grace, and changed by His generous and unending mercy toward each and every one of us.
Oh imagine the wonder of us all … united … standing arm in arm, with our scars of this life exposed, transparent, and free. Not to wallow, or complain, or highlight shame or guilt or despair.
But instead, for those scars to declare to each other and to shout to all the world…
How God is with us,
And He is good,
And we are loved,
No matter what!
~Jacque Watkins, January 9, 2013
With the dream of building a community in mind, I loaded my boat and gathered supplies. I pulled my anchor in, and raised the sail, ready for the trip. And throughout the year I wrote about my God-sized dreaming.
As I reflect on this past year, there has been progress in my journey, but there were storms and setbacks too.
God provided new opportunities to speak and write this year. I participated in our women’s ministry speaking team at church, had the privilege of speaking at the Woman Inspired Online conference, and wrote several guest posts, sharing my mercy story.
I connected with other God-sized dreamers on Twitter and Facebook. And what began as online relationships has now turned into in-real-life friendships, as many of us were able to meet in person at the Allume Conference, this past October.
In joining as a writer for Allume, I wrote a post about the importance of sharing our stories with the world. And to my complete surprise, several took my words to heart and began a series on their own blog, writing out their own mercy stories of God’s grace and redemption.
And just before Christmas, I posted the video of Our Mercy Story, my husband and me personally sharing our story with the world.
Last January, I set out on a journey to build a community here–to become the leader who champions God’s mercy and highlights the grace of God in our lives.
I made progress. But I must admit, I struggled too.
The storms of fear and comparison set in, and I found myself writing posts to boss around my own heart that was struggling to journey on–posts about facing fear, and how comparison kills our joy. Posts about giving thanks anyway, and accepting the season I’m in now.
And the journey on this ship has been more stormy than I thought. Probably because in my type-A, plan-everything-out tendencies, I thought I knew the exact course. I thought I could do it by following a to-do list, listening to the latest strategy, and implementing the newest idea.
The to-do list stayed unchecked in the busyness of my days, and the ideas and strategies eluded me.
And so I am learning, oh how I’m learning.
The process of building a community of mercy and grace begins with giving mercy and grace to my own heart.
It begins with accepting my own limitations,
Embracing the responsibilities God has given to me in this season,
Staying true to the priorities before me,
And stretching ahead as time allows.
To sail into my God-sized dream, I’m learning it’s essential to cease the striving, stop the comparing, and end the coveting. [Tweet that]
But to be honest, it is so much easier to say than to do.
I see others flying light speed ahead, growing their audiences, delivering moving words, becoming productivity gurus, and creating new content at a rate that sends my head spinning. How do they do possibly do all that?
And this is when the feelings of failure and inadequacy set in.
I struggle so much to slow down, let go, and kill the comparison … without feeling the anxiety of being constantly behind, and continuously failing at my God-sized dream.
But isn’t that what happens when we try on our own?
When we hold the steering wheel so tight, and fight the strong and fierce winds–the very winds, that in actuality, are from God?
Gail-force winds longing to take us exactly where we are supposed to go, even though we have to go through so much turbulence to get there.
It’s hard to imagine it’s the right path when we can’t see the sunshine and warmth just beyond the tall swelling waves and plummeting rain.
Could it be God wants to carry me to a destination I may not even know existed?
One that requires big huge waves and rain-soaked internal storms?
To a destination I could have never dreamed existed?
And isn’t it the unknown that is the scariest of all–to let go and let Him lead?
To forsake the comfort of a checklist, and embrace the task of His list?
To realize this God-sized dream needs to be bigger than what I’m even capable of dreaming?
That fact gets me uncomfortable, uneasy, and scared.
And so, I’ll write and preach to my own self even here, as the words I’ve memorized scream from my heart:
My hope for my God-sized dream is most realized, when I hope for what I do not see. [Tweet that]
Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:24 -28 (ESV)
Him interceding for me.
All things working together for my good.
These truths are what I’m holding onto as I continue to sail into my God-sized dream this year. Longing to be used and filled by Him. And I am full of hope for where I’m going . Hope because I haven’t seen it yet.
Hope for all God is going to do, and how He is working it all together for my good.
What is your God-sized dream?
How has your sailing been?
Joining the party over at God-sized Dreams, as all the dreamers are linking up to share updates of their dreams this past year…join us?