What to do When the Path to Your Dreams Takes a Turn…


When the song
 “Oceans” first came out several months ago, I listened to it nonstop. It was as if I was compelled to play it, again and again.

I remember one morning, driving with my windows down and the volume up, singing…

You call me out upon the waters,
The great unknown,
Where feet may fail.
And there I find You in the mystery, 
In oceans deep, 
My faith will stand…

I remember pausing, feeling a stirring inside I can’t really explain, wondering for a second what my great unknown might be. But it wasn’t until I finished singing the chorus–tears in my eyes–that I stopped short:

…Lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters,
Wherever You would call me…

And even then–even before I knew of the changes that were about to take place in my life—I had an awareness of what I was saying. I was filled with an exhilarating sense of freedom and fear all at the same time, knowing that the words I just sang were words I really meant.

wanted to have trust without borders.

wanted to have walk-on-water faith. (<=== Tweet This)

wanted to follow God wherever He would call me.

I had seen Him work so powerfully in my life, so many times, there was no questioning His involvement or how His love changes everything. I had long since surrendered my hopes and dreams, and I’d seen Him do way more with them than I could ever do on my own. I was excited about all that was happening—from my book being released, to the speaking opportunities that seemed to be showing up at my door—and I looked forward to what was around the corner.

I looked forward to the unknown.

And then, just a couple of weeks later, my husband found out his job was being transferred to a different state. We had to decide if we would transfer too.

I can honestly tell you, when I found that out, I thought back to the morning I boldly sang that I would go wherever I was called… and I wasn’t so sure anymore.

There I was, faced with the reality of leaving everything I loved, uprooting our two teens from their lifelong friendships, and saying goodbye to friends and family…

and I was scared.

It’s one thing to sing about being called into unknown waters, but it’s another thing to actually go. (<=== Tweet This)

And—being honest again–aside from all the implications of a move like that, I wondered about my God-sized dream. What about all the plans I had made and the path I was on? What about the doors that were opening so I was able to reach out and encourage others?

But there was a sense of excitement and adventure too.

And out onto the waters we went.

Now, here I am, a couple months later, settling into a new life in Idaho, realizing that so much of pursuing your God-sized dream is about embracing the pauses in between.

And being open to turns in your path.

And being willing to trust that God is at work, even when you can’t see the road map.

Dreams don’t have to get derailed or die when the stuff of life happens.

I don’t have to worry about how my dreams fit into a new life in a different state. (And if you’re in the middle of a change or a waiting period as you pursue your dreams, you don’t have to worry either.) I love what Andy Stanley says in his book Visioneering, “Once God puts something in our hearts for us to do, we are to lock in on what it is…Our responsibility is to do what we know to do, and wait for him to fill in the blanks.”

God’s got the how. And he’s got the where and when. He’s behind the scenes and upstream—whether we’re aware of it or not. We just have to be receptive and consider that what we encounter today, tomorrow, and each moment after that might be a nudge or shift from Him to move us closer to the plan and purpose for our lives.

It’s a funny thing, but God seems to be getting my attention through license plates lately. When we were still in California, toiling over the decision about whether or not to move, three separate times as we were out driving–as I was either thinking about what we should do, or talking to the kids about our decision–cars with Idaho license plates changed lanes right in front of us. And just this week–with my God-sized dream tugging at my heart as I was wondering what writing and speaking activities to focus on here in Idaho–a bright red car pulled in front of me with a license plate that simply said, “LOOK UP.”

So that’s what I’m doing (instead of my normal planning and striving and trying to figure it all out ahead of time):

Looking up.

Because we don’t need to put so much pressure on ourselves to make our dreams happen. In fact, it’s when we give up our agendas, timelines, and plans that we experience life at its fullest. It’s when we see God work the most powerfully. And it’s when we find true peace, because we are trusting the One who knows exactly what we were created to do and be.

And that’s the makings of dreams come true.

What about you? Are you feeling a nudge or shift in your life? Are you open to the changes He might want to make in and around you, whether those changes are big (like a move to a different state) or small (like a change in your schedule or priorities)?

“But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name and you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”
– Isaiah 43: 1-3

p.s. If you haven’t heard Hillsong United’s song “Oceans,” take a minute and listen to it here. Such a powerful song!

Shared by: Genny Heikka

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