I am a dreamer. I love to come up with big, over the top ideas. I’m also a practical detail planner to a fault. I’m not really sure how those two traits came together, but here I stand. Depending on the situation, I can take a dream or vision and run with it, planning out all the little things to make it successful, or I can take a dream and kill it with rationality. The personal challenge starts when it’s a God given vision and my heart knows not to let my practicality shut it down no matter how much I want to.
Last fall, I took a leap into one of those visions. It required significant financial, mental and emotional investment; hours upon hours of active work and even more hours of brain labor when I was “not working.” Six months later, I am still pouring more investments in and still waiting for the return. There have been moments when I have wanted to just throw in the towel. This vision feels like too much - too big, too heavy, too all encompassing. I see all the practical reasons to quit before I’m in too deep. Yet there it sits, waiting. I know that it has the potential to impact so many people, as long as I keep pressing in.
So how do we push on when we want to just sit? How do we walk out that vision when all we see is every single way it could fail? The simplest answer is “One step at a time.” When I get burned out, I find a new resource; a new blog post or podcast, someone else on a similar journey, and I reach out. I remind myself that there are people who have made this journey before, and it refreshes my soul. When I see all the reasons to quit while I’m ahead, I see the lives that can be changed if I just keep swimming.
The beauty about God given dreams is that they are so much bigger than ourselves. It’s easier to quit when our dream is only about us, but the practicalities and details don’t seem quite as overwhelming when we have the opportunity to change lives. The very thing that makes them daunting - their size - is what that makes them beautiful and attainable. They rely on God working, moving and getting rid of barriers, so we can release the pressure on ourselves to accomplish it all. It’s His purpose we are walking out - His calling, His plan. When I go to sleep at night wanting to stress over all that I haven’t accomplished yet or how I’m not enough, I can remind myself that He’s got it, because it was His idea in the first place.
Where are you walking out His plans? Are you in the dreaming stage - the time when He plants that thought that won’t go away, or that idea that you keep mulling over? Or the dream killing stage - when you list out all of the practical reasons why it won’t work, why you don’t have the time or the energy or the drive to accomplish it? Or are you at the point where you have embraced the vision and the journey and are taking one step at a time to see it through?
Wherever you are, it’s normal. It’s ok to be terrified of the vision and looking for every reason it won’t work. It’s ok to be excited about the possibilities and looking for all the ways it can be great. It’s also ok to be burned out, exhausted and confused as you pour your energy into it. He’s got you covered. His heart is not to burden you with an endless to do list. His heart is to love you. That’s all. It’s His love that gives you the dreams in your heart - the nudge to move on them. You get to choose what you do with it, where you take it and how far you run with it. Remember that He knows your heart, too. He knows your passions and your temperament - He’s the one who gave them to you. Maybe that idea you’ve been pushing down and reasoning your way out of is the very dream that will give you the greatest fulfillment. Whatever season you’re in, you are enough right where you are.
About Amanda Merritt
Entrepreneur, advocate, wife, dance and soccer mom; Amanda is a Kansas girl who claims Texas as her own. She married Curtis at 19 and never looked back. Three children, six moves and three states later, they settled back down northwest of Fort Worth and love their life in the country. When she’s not running her ethical fashion boutique at ka-amara.com, you’ll find her baking a ridiculous amount of delicious goodies, reading one of at least three books that she has started at any given time, or working on any craft project she can get her hands on. She has three life goals - love the Lord, love people, and teach her children to do the same.