We are often asked when we are little what we want to be when we grow up. We are told to dream, to have the confidence to be whoever we want to be. We are told that we can do anything. We spend our days dressing up as Doctors, Ballerinas, Firemen, Artists, Rockstars, Detectives…we are engulfed in the innocence of believing these make-believe moments and have no doubt that we will be what we want to be when we grow up.
We are taught in elementary school about the historical figures who did great things, took great risks, and made huge impacts (whether good or bad) on our world, country, and states. We learn about the great things presidents did, wars that were won, etc. However, we begin to lose the stories of the failures, the numerous rejections people face until that one acceptance that pushes them forward. As we grow older we hear less about the businesses that started in garages (Amazon, Google, Mattel just to name a few) and more about how we need to plan smartly, take the safe steps to make sure we are covered and secure. All through college I was told/taught how to present myself in an interview, what steps to take after graduation to get the perfect job, and how to work my way into success, even if it means giving up myself in the process. While striving to work hard and always do your best is a necessary lesson that can lead you to success…risk is often left out. When risk was talked about it was fit into a controlled box that was still very thought out and had a fail proof back-up-plan. The definition of “risk” means that there is possibility of loss and failure. The words “vision” and “dreamer” are often used but then, when implemented, they often are looked on as immature, naive, and childish.
Girls, as a lot of you are heading into a new season of leaving for college or maybe about to head into the real world…wipe the slate clean and get ready to take risks. If God has given you dreams, created you to be a visionary…chase that. Work until you are too exhausted to think straight, take a nap, and get up and work some more…but do not give up on those dreams and do not let someone tell you that you are too much of a visionary. The world needs you. God created you with that gift. Don’t let the world squelch the four-year-old you who believed that you could do great things. Do everything with excellence and don’t expect a single thing to be handed to you (and be grateful for the blessing when something does). Work hard and when someone laughs at you or looks you in the eye and says “what have you got to offer, you’re just ________(young, a kid, a nobody). Keep your head up and move on. You get the choice to walk humbly, but not lacking in confidence.Always keep the humility…know that without God your work is limited, but with Him it gives Him not you the glory. You get to be a living, breathing example of the great things God can do through you, you the dreamer, you the visionary, you the one willing to try and fail and try and fail and try and fail until you make it…learning from each failure as you move forward.
Walt Disney’s first animation company went bankrupt and he was fired from a job after being told he did not have enough “imagination”. He was rejected around 302 times before he finally got the financing to start Disney.
And hopefully we all remember the story of the great man who invented the light bulb. Edison is famous for saying
“I have not failed. I have just found 9,999 ways that do not work.”
What if he had given up after trying 100 times? 5,000 times? 9,000 times? The only time you should stop is if God directs you to do so.
Now all this “don’t give up, keep dreaming, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t” is great, but as Christians there is a deeper reason for this. It takes away the you. It takes the self glory and the “I did it” and instead points to the glory of the big God we serve. It puts you in the position to be a tool and a testament to His faithfulness. When God calls you to do the impossible, to be a crazy visionary and you work hard, make sacrifices, and sit in from of person after person being told that there is too much risk, you must be too young, you don’t have what it takes….you keep trusting God not men. You keep walking faithfully because if He calls you to be obedient, you be obedient. If you’ve checked yourself, you have peace and you know that you have a calling, you keep going even if it seems like the end isn’t happening how you thought it would. When God promises, He keeps those promises, what may look like failure to the world could just be the next step freeing you from something that in the end, better prepares you for the job. Your faithfulness and perseverance is seen and gets to give God the glory when it all begins to fall into place.
Girls, lets be the modern day Noahs, acting in obedience even when the world says it’s crazy, let’s be the Abrahams and Sarahs, trusting that God’s promise would be fulfilled even if it means waiting patiently for years, let’s be the Josephs, persevering through the the desert times and trust the process even when we can’t see the whole picture…even when you seem crazy. And let’s not be those alone. Let’s be the women who stand next to the other Noahs, the other Sarahs…lets support and push each other forward in those visionary dreams and God spoken promises. Let’s walk together in unwavering faith…together.
I know you probably weren’t coming here for a pep talk on chasing dreams, working hard and facing failures. I’m sure I am repeating myself from past posts, but it seems to be a season, a relevant subject and something that so often is getting shut down. We are slowly become too safe, full of back-up plans, and heads full of other people’s opinions and voices telling us what we are and aren’t capable of. It’s time we start fresh, clear those voices and get back down to the one voice that matters…the one that created you, the one that has called you to be a tool for His glory, the one who has planned great things for you. As so many of you are in the season of new transitions remind yourself that there is one voice that matters. Advice, mentors, older and wiser people are needed and hold value…but always go to prayer first…seek His direction, check where you feel most at peace, question whether a goal is a self-set, self-driven dream or if it is a God given calling.
Go be dream chasers, visionaries, and God’s promise believers.