Chasing a dream rarely looks the way we expect it to. Real life, in the form of boys home for the summer and writing disappointments, has swooped in and sapped my enthusiasm.
I thought I would be much further along in my journey by now. Yet, here I am, in the same place I stood a year ago. Only, not entirely.
These are a few things I’m learning about pursuing dreams:
Discontentment is the enemy of dreams fulfilled.
When I am discontent with where God has me right now, I’m telling Him I don’t think He’s doing things right. Instead, I need to change my mindset. I say I trust the Lord with this journey, but if I am not happy—if I am discontent—am I really trusting? No.
I need to choose to accept where He has me, and trust His plan. He is working things for my good behind the scenes. His good and my good often look different. But, when I trust God with this desire in my heart, I will be content.
Contentment is the fuel that refreshes us as we seek to fulfill our dreams.
Comparison destroys the beauty of the dream God has for us. This has been a biggie for me lately. When I focus on what achievements others are receiving/earning/making and then layer that filter over my journey? My journey looks meager and empty.
Comparison also fuels discontent. It causes me to ask, “What’s wrong with me?” My thoughts race off in unhealthy directions. When I compare my worst with someone else’s achievements, I come up lacking. Every. Single. Time.
I need to look for forward progress. After having surgery on my ACL in February, I had times where I struggled with my lack of mobility. For a “git ‘er done” gal, being so limited was HARD. God reminded me to look back at where I had been a week before. A month before. Two months before.
Now, I am mostly recovered. My mobility is close to where it was before surgery. The progress has been slow, but steady.
When I remember where I was when I began writing (“You mean stories need to have a specific structure?”) and see where I am now . . .
when I look back to where I was two years ago when I won an award and see the things I’ve learned since then . . .
I see progress.
Pursuing our dreams will change us. We need to make sure we don’t cling too tightly to the original vision of the dream. When we do, we miss out on all God has in store for us in the process. And in the final realization of the dream.
Striving toward dreams requires courage. When we move toward that dream—when we get back up after discouragement tries to knock us down—that shows courage.
When we work toward dreams, we need an accurate perspective, a huge dose of trust in God, and the willingness to choose contentment with where we are. Note I did not say become complacent. But, when we choose contentment, we’ll make that forward progress while trusting God.
What about you? What have you learned as you have pursued dreams? If you’re brave, share a dream you are pursuing now.