Finding a dream to make real

Saturday, November 1, 2003

Have you ever felt God planted a special dream inside you before you were born? But you surmised you could probably never bring it to fruition. Or perhaps you're presently living someone else's dream for your life. After reading an article stating "Everyone is born with a dream," I pondered the truth of that belief.

Most people have occasionally felt they could never be good enough to reach that seemingly impossible goal. I wondered why some people overcame insurmountable obstacles and attained their ultimate desires, while others became discouraged and retreated before arriving at their aspirations. I remembered the Scripture verse that advised "Find your delight in the Lord who will give you your heart's desire" Psalms 37:4. And I believed God wanted people to be fulfilled and satisfied in life as long as they followed God.

After talking with others I found when they eventually found their true calling and lived their dream, they experienced great joy and peace. I recently conversed with a friend, Jane, who had performed office work for years. Negative circumstances at work caused her to reevaluate her position. Even though she needed the salary to support herself, she decided to risk seeing if God would lead her to a more fulfilling career or vocation. Consequently, Jane decided to leave the job believing God would give her the desires of her heart if she had the courage to trust that promise.

After making the decision, she found a position working in a church environment where she is now happy using her gifts to help others. Jane commented recently, after visiting a hospitalized person, that she knew she was where God wanted her to be. She feels exhilarated and energized as she performs her present duties. Jane feels she has found her dream, although many years passed before her wish was granted. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a wish fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12.

I contemplated what it took for Jane to realize her dream. Did she sit and wait for it to fall into her lap, and say, "God will provide"? After hearing her complete story, I realized, no, rather than sit on her front porch and wait for her dream to drop from the sky she, first, took a risk. She used her God-given knowledge and preferences to meditate on what dream God had planted inside her. Jane had to leave her comfort zone of familiarity --a good job, salary, friends, and location. She also listened to others telling her she was crazy to leave a good paying job with financial benefits at her age of 45. She heard guilt-provoking comments such as, how could you leave your family? So after Jane summoned the courage to leave the job she was forced to be her own cheerleader. Even though she knew God was present, she encountered bouts of depression.

After finding her dream position, Jane was faced with the unsettling experience of leaving a town where she had resided many years. She was frightened. Could she do it? Possessing strong faith, Jane staunchly firmed her jaw, sold the house where her children had been reared and moved to her present location. While attaining her dream, she also endured stress and exhaustion incurred from furthering her education to meet requirements of her new employment. Fortunately Jane feels she has finally realized her dream. God has genuinely given her the desires of her heart.

Have you searched for your inborn dream and realized you can accomplish that desire?

Ellen Shuck is director of religious education at St. Mary's Cathedral parish in Cape Girardeau.

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