adventure, lifestyle

For the Discouraged Dreamer.

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These words are for the people whose dreams feel out of reach. To the ones who long for the day they will hit the pillow at night and be excited to get up the next morning and do it all again, this is for you. To the ones who feel like that day is so far away it can’t even be possible, this is for you. To the ones who feel like every time they get on social media, someone has posted about their job that gives them life, changes lives, allows them to see the world, or work from home, and they feel envious; these words are for you. If you feel like that will never be you because you don’t think you’re creative, outgoing, smart, or talented enough; this is for you. I know, because I was (and some days still am) you.

The world today is both overwhelming and exciting because there are countless opportunities at our fingertips. Every time I get on Instagram, it feels like my feed is flooded with far-off places, crazy adventures, and businesses created by people I feel like I could never live up to. How the heck do they get these jobs? How can I do that? How come they get to live out my dreams? I am embarrassed to admit I normally log out of Instagram fuming with jealousy. I started to throw pity parties for myself since it was not my work being published, my words being shared, or my talents being used. Rather than rejoicing and celebrating, I was bitter towards others because unlike me, they were living out their dreams. I wanted to be thankful they were using their talents to produce beautiful work that I could learn from, but it was difficult when there were no glimpses of hope like that for my life.

I finally accepted this bitterness was not a result of anything they had done – I didn’t even know most of them – but it was a reflection of my own heart. I compared everyone else’s job to my own, leaving an open door for discouragement and resentment to take root in my heart. I needed a heart check. I needed to re-analyze my intentions behind my dreams. I was in a selfish pursuit for my own glory and choosing impatience rather then trust in God’s timing.

I hate typing these words because I am revealing how selfish I was and still can be. I spent so much time desiring my own success over someone else’s, and I hate it. But I’d like to think many of us have been or maybe are still in that boat.

If you can relate to any of this, then I hope these next words bring you hope. It might take some time, but this reminder has helped me through my darkest pits of discouragement.

God knows.

God knows your dreams. God knows your desires. God knows your hopes. God knows your prayers. He knows what you long for in the deepest parts of your heart. He knows because he planted them all there in you. He created you. I know that sounds cheesy, but when you get past the “duh I know God created me,” let it sink in and realize just how incredible that is.

In every moment, every season, every position, and every place He knows what is best for us. If we believe He really is the good father we say He is, then wouldn’t he give His best to His children? If we take God being in control of all things, knowing all things, and being a good father to us, then we have no choice but to believe He is giving us the best we need right now because He knows. What we need right now may not be what we need tomorrow, next week or next year, so the amazing thing is, wherever your life is now is not only temporary, but it is exactly what you need right now in order to get where you’re going. He is not keeping our dreams from us, but rather He’s preparing us, shaping us, and helping us get ready for the day we get that phone call, meet the connection, or receive the email we have been waiting for.

I am choosing to believe the passions and dreams on my heart are not there to stay and die off, but one day they will become reality. I have to trust the Lord has, is, and will continue to give me the best for me right now, in this moment. Once I grasp this, I gain a deep appreciation for what I have in this season of life because it is exactly what I need even if I don’t realize it. My dream job must not be the best thing I need right now, but it’s okay. What I do have is an amazing community of friends and a job that provides for my husband and me. I don’t ever want my bitterness for what I don’t have to keep me from seeing what I do have.

I know the mundane feels lifeless, and I know it is easy to choose discouragement and comparison when we look at other people’s lives. But as long as we continually go back to the life-changing truth that He knows, we can embrace the days our dreams feel far away and we want to kick down the walls of our cubicles because our desires will be met soon, and it is closer than we think. It may not look like what we think it should, but He knows. He knows the best for us.

words by Lauren Grindstaff and photo by Petra Lee

Writer, reader, pizza-consumer, traveller, wife, creative, and aspiring cook. I thrive on Jesus’ Word, His grace, exploring the outdoors, meaningful relationships, beautiful views, and real, life-giving conversations- all with a warm mug in hand.

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