When a Dream Dies
One of the coolest things I (Lindsay) have gotten to do recently is editing and formatting devotionals for Cookie as she enters the final stages of an amazing writing project (more on this at the end of the post :)). With her keeping her writing focus on that project this week, I am back at the blog today to share more on how my story with Jesus ties into what He is up to on the crazy ride of Tenacious Grace.
Sometimes Jesus says yes. Sometimes He says no. And sometimes He says not yet.
In April of 2012, as I was praying, Jesus whispered three things in my spirit and gave me clear instructions to “have faith.” Excited over the revelation and clarity I quickly wrote them down on a post-it.
I felt like all three of these things fell into the “not yet” category, but I stuck the post-it on my desk to serve as a reminder of where Jesus was taking me.
Then over a year passed. And instead of God drawing me closer to these opportunities, my circumstances seemed to be pulling me farther and farther away.
Holding onto hope became hard. And eventually I just couldn’t bear to look at the note without feeling discouraged. I felt pressed to let go. So…with a heavy heart, I pulled the post-it off and placed it into a folder.
Some would say I was giving up on God. I felt like that myself. I thought maybe I had misunderstood Him; or He was just letting me down. But I was wrong.
I didn’t realize it then, but sometime in the year after I had written my post-it note, I had gotten wrapped up in following Jesus for the purpose of seeing those promises fulfilled. My joy became tied to whether or not I thought I was getting closer to where God was taking me next. And God wanted my joy to be solely anchored in the fact that He was with me now—no matter what season I happened to be traversing.
As I bitterly let go of my dreams, Jesus stripped me of unhealthy ambition, idols, and pride. But over time I eventually and amazingly found myself in a place of peace — free of striving and straining.
I learned that when we get overly infatuated with the idea of what’s next, we will unavoidably lose sight of the purpose He has for us right where we are. And even worse, our God-given dreams can unintentionally become our gods.
Through that season He replaced my iron-fisted grip on my dreams with an open-handed hope. Where I could still have faith for the future, without obsessively looking for ways to bypass the present.
It’s been over three years since I wrote that post-it note. I had forgotten about it until I recently sat at the computer and saw a link to a devotional I wrote for my church’s blog. Then suddenly a wave of excitement hit me–reminding me of that post-it and all that Jesus has done since I put it away.
I searched my folders and found the note. Reading it I was overwhelmed with gratitude to Jesus. When I wasn’t paying attention He brought me full circle — providing every single opportunity that He had whispered over my life three years ago:
* ministry with C
* a women’s group
* the writing team
Alone I may have chalked them up to coincidence. But together they stand as a testament to His faithfulness in my life.
And as for the star on my post-it labelled “Ministry with C” — let me tell ya, Jesus is up to something of the Ephesians 3:20 variety in the form of Tenacious Grace.
Recently I got to spend a few days sitting in a studio, watching Cookie do what God has so beautifully gifted her to do. Teaching in a way to help people find Truth, strength, and hope in Jesus.
I’ve been able to attend and work alongside her through each of her previous Bible Studies. Listened to her do her thing on the NewSpring stage. Seen her speak at women’s conferences, in small groups, and in churches around the community. Jesus never fails to speak to me when Cookie teaches. Getting to partner together with her in what Jesus is doing is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
As Cookie, Kay, and I continue moving forward and assembling the nuts and bolts of Tenacious Grace we’d love your prayers. And here are a few things we’d love to share with you:
- Cookie is fully immersed in the final stages of writing a devotional book that will accompany her upcoming video Bible Study. Expect lots more info on this amazing resource soon!
- Cookie will also be speaking at several churches and ministries in the coming months, and if you’d like more information about having her speak at your church or event check out the SPEAKING page. We’d absolutely love to come and serve you!
- If you would like to stay up-to-date on all that Jesus is up to in Tenacious Grace, head on over and like our ministry Facebook page. We’d love to connect with you there!