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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are You Frustrated With Dreaming?

     For a very long time there were so many crazy dreams in my head.  I wanted to be a doctor, an astronaut, a missionary, a singer, an actress, even a princess.  A firefighter might be nice but I also dreamed of being in a circus.  There were so many things that were  wrapped up in me for ages. But I found, as I hit my early teens that many of those early dreams began to be “peeled away” as only childish thinking and at my core what I’ve really dreamed of was singing and ministering to others.  As I grew up, got married and started a family I added writing to that list of core dreams. These were the things I really truly wanted to do and accomplish.  You see, I’d be one of those people going around giving concerts, and signing books…. but don’t leave off the ministry.  God would use me as the scripture says in Mark 16:17-18

“Believers will be given the power to perform miracles: they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues;  if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on sick people, and these will get well."

 
     My assumptions were that by now I would have made a CD with many original songs by ME, be in full time ministry and have already written and published a book … or two.

     Of course, over the years I’ve done many things that might help those dreams along.  As a teenager I entered a contest for a recording contract to make a CD but we were all beat out by my church’s praise and worship leader who could sing and play the guitar.  As to the writing, I finally sat down and started on two separate manuscripts for two separate books over 6 or 7 years ago but I could only get so far.  

For the first time ever I experienced writers block.  

     I was totally stuck and unable to complete either one.  The passion for what I was writing and the desire to finish was there and yet my mind was a total blank when I sat down to write.  So I sat them figuratively on the shelf and left them to collect dust.  Ministry?  I'm not someone that anyone would come to for ministry.  I’d hoped to attend Bible College at some time but life got in my way…. in a MAJOR way.  I’m a layman, a volunteer… I have no credentials and can you really call what I do ministry?

Talk about frustration.  God, why do I feel like a failure?  Will I never fulfill any of my dreams?
Am I just doomed to live a life dreaming with no accomplishments to speak of?
   

Now, don’t think I’ve gone crazy….. but ….. at this point…. God spoke to me.  He brought back to my remembrance
my whole life.  Though I’ve not sung in front of many thousands at one time as I dreamed of when I was younger I have very likely sung (cumulatively speaking) to many thousands over the years.  You see, I've been singing since I was 6. I've sung in several ensembles.  In one of these ensembles we sang at a youth convention with a thousand teens in attendance.  I’ve sung on the radio twice.  I've sung numerous times through out the years in many churches as a soloist, in choirs, cantata's and church productions. 

Though I’m not an ordained full time minister God has used me many times on a one on one basis bringing healing and encouragement to others.  I’ve ministered in small Bible study settings as well as thru church service in the nursery, children's church, Sunday School, VBS, choir and on the praise team. Though God hasn’t seen fit to place me before multitudes he has brought me into the lives of the very people he wanted me to minister to. 

Who must I think I am to tell my “Lord and Master” who created me how and when to use me and who to place me before?

And though I’ve never published a book and those manuscripts were never completed the way I thought they should be  …. I am writing.  In Nov of 2010 I finally started blogging.  It’s not the same as writing the books I intended, and yet it's been more fulfilling that I ever thought it would be.  I’ve had the opportunity to pour my heart out and hear back from readers who have been touched, encouraged, changed or challenged by what I’ve written. 

     I guess what I’m trying to say is stop and take the time to look not at what you haven’t accomplished but at what you have.  We need to follow "our" dreams but more than that we need to follow God and not get ahead of him.  Who knows, one day you may turn on your radio and hear me.  You may turn on your TV and see me being interviewed about my latest book.  You may read one day about me becoming an ordained full time minister.   

     I don't know what God has for me and maybe my assumptions of how my dreams should be fulfilled isn't Gods right path for me but I’m willing to accept the way that God IS working thru me and using me.  I’ll leave the rest up to him and today I’ll sing, write and minister as he leads me. (**)  Will You?

** When you say yes to doing as he leads there is always the chance that he’ll ask you to do something outside your comfort zone as he stretches you to new heights.  As an example, clicking on this link  http://crossingmacon.com/media/  will bring you to a website with a video of me singing/performing the song Alabaster Box to live music.  My comfort zone is “canned” music, i.e.… tape or cd and standing on the stage with a microphone but that’s not how God lead …. this time.

***Update: new link below - 

  


7 awesome comments:

  1. Great Blog! I too have a dream of writing, and I pray that above all my writing will somehow reach others for Christ. Keep Him in view and your reward in Heaven will by far surpass anything you can imagine here on earth! I bet you already knew that though!

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  2. Thank you Kelli! Yes, you're right, we really need to keep an eye on the fact that an eternal impact should be our highest priority.

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  3. Patricia, THANK YOU. You are right, I did need this! And you and I have A LOT in common. Singing has always been my greatest passion. Along with writing and photography. I too have started books I've never finished... and it is funny how last night Todd was praying about finishing a dream I started 15 years ago... I thought, I was 11, what could I possibly have to finish? And it is my singing. All my life I dreamed of being a singer and nothing else. (Though that dream died out several years back due to the circumstances at the time) And I actually fear singing in front of people a little now because I never had the opportunities to get on one when I was younger. But now I have the opportunity to use this talent to glorify God and hopefully bless others. If I can get past my nervousness, I know this is my chance to finally follow my dreams.

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  4. Sarah, you will get past the nervousness and at some point you'll even feel at home there... just so long as you continue to step out and let God use you. You have glorified God and you have already blessed others as you've begun to step out.

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  5. I liked your comment about not getting ahead of God.Sometimes we have our own thoughts on how things should go but sometimes I think he is more into HOW we get there and the process it takes to refine us than he is the finished result.We as humans always think about the end.The in between can kill us!Good luck with the singing.I am also a singer and keyboard player for my church.

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  6. It might sound cliche (actually it's a song), but it's true: "He makes all things beautiful in His time."

    I've drifted for the longest time, not knowing what to do professionally, not having the "credentials" for anything. It was only after I hit 30 when I found my niche in life. :)

    Dream on, Patricia!

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  7. Charity, you're right, we do make the mistake too often of looking only at the destination as the thing of true importance. We don't realize the journey and the person we're becoming is important too.

    AJ, Thank you !

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