Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, a committed church community that he and his wife, Brandi, planted in 2003. Empty Promises is Pete’s much anticipated second book. Pete earned his Bachelors degree in Communications from Western Kentucky University and attended seminary at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He enjoys spending time with Brandi and their 3 boys, hunting, gardening and football.
I’ve often thought it was quite ironic that I have actually trusted God for my salvation and my eternity, yet I struggle so much to trust him with the small details of my life. So when I read about someone like Abraham, who trusted God radically with what mattered most to him, I have to ask how. How did he do it? Why did he do it?
I believe Abraham’s faith was built on some words God gave him in the original promise. In the midst of a life filled with uncertainty and with a call on his life that was going to bring more uncertainty, God gave Abraham two words to live by:
I will. I…will.
In fact, six times in God’s original conversation with Abraham (Gen. 12), God said, in some way or another, “I will.”
I realize you may be facing heavy discouragement or deep heartache because you hold tightly in your hands a very detailed picture of the way you hoped your life would turn out. When you compare that picture with reality, the differences are obvious.
But I firmly believe that if you are willing to trust the God who says, “I will,” nothing that is of eternal value in this life is at risk. You ultimately have nothing to fear. Fear enters our minds and begins to take over when we cling too tightly to those pictures of what we think our futures should look like, elevating them to idolatry status and diminishing the Artist of those very pictures.
It’s those unexpected shattered-dream moments that provide us with twists and turns in life where we meet God. Rarely do we surrender when we feel strong and in control. But when a dream is shattered, when life takes an unexpected turn and veers out of control, that’s when we fall to our knees. That’s when a new dream can grow.
There’s a lot about what happens to us in life that we cannot control. What we can control, however, is our willingness to seek God in the midst of all the craziness. Surrendering doesn’t mean we spend less energy on pursuing our dreams, but it does mean we spend less nervous energy. It means we see our dreams for what they are—possibilities and promises and goals, not sources of our peace and security. It means our confidence is no longer in our ability to achieve each one of our dreams, but in the strength and power of the God we claim to follow.
How do you get there? All it takes is a moment where, like Abraham, you relinquish your grip on your picture of your future and say, “Jesus, I want to trust you with that. Even if it means risking all the stuff I think is valuable, all the good things I’m waiting for, I’m still going to trust you.”
And maybe even in this moment, God is showing you something in your life that you know you need to let go of—or at least hold with open hands. It may be something good. It may even be something from him. But it’s something you’ve been trusting to give you what only God can provide.
Often, we’re unaware that we even have an idol until our dreams get threatened. This is a fundamental truth about idolatry: prosperity tends to mask our idols; crisis tends to reveal them.
As long as things are going well in my life, as long as my picture of the way I want life to turn out matches up with the picture of my reality, I don’t think I have an idol problem. But when there is a crisis, then all of a sudden I realize, “Man, I’ve been banking on this dream in a way that no dream should be banked on.”
Our dreams, no matter how great or noble they may be, always make lousy gods.
Giveaway: Answer this question to enter to win one of two copies of Empty Promises.
Are there any dreams you need to let go of or at least hold with an open hand?
You can find Pete on his Blog here, along with other Empty Promises Resources.
Purchase your copy here.
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The dream of having the life we use to have before loss of our business, chapter 7, Remodification & being put in survival mode. God has taught us so very much through all the trials that have been brought our way. Some days we live from second to second. We hold tight to the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us ♥
I like to say that “God is most powerfully present even when it seems he’s most apparently absent”.
Leigh F says
The dream of being a stay at home mom to my 4 children. It is a thought that has consumed me for 9 years and I have been praying for 9 years that the Lord will allow me to be at home with my kids. I am often depressed because God has not answered my prayers.
Praying for you right now Leigh. I bet that’s incredibly frustrating.
Lorie Winslow says
My life has taken a huge detour in the last six months. I lost my dream job after 11 years and our small business dream also went up in smoke. I did not see either of these things coming and am still in shock. I know God has a plan for me and I know I was allowing “my dream” job to take over my life. I still have my wonderful family and we are all healthy and will make it through. It is just tough understanding why this had to happen but I must trust that something better is ahead.
Everything is changing this year and that is questioning a lot how I pictured how my life, how I expected things to be. So it is a challenge to trust and let God do his thing.
The dream of marriage and of ministry (the way I picture ministry). I’m learning that His plans are just as real today as they will be when He opens other doors.
I know I learned that one the hard way. I had a whole lot of preconceived ideas of what ministry was going to be like.
The dream I’m living as a stay-at-home mom of a 5-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy is one I continually have to give to God. I want God to have each moment of our day and focus on what has eternal importance. Being a stay at home is the hardest “job” I’ve ever had and requires me to rely on God more than jobs I was naturally good at doing. I want to give God control.
Kathy in IN says
You know, I think mine is my dream of a “perfect” family. God can and does work trough our messes, why do I mourn when we go through them?
Yes, let it go just this morning in fact, the dream of moving back to our old house. It was a nice little house in a great neighborhood and we loved it! We have the opportunity to go back but financially is just isn’t a wise choice for us right now. We’ve struggled over the last week but this morning I finally made the decision we just have to let it go; let it always be a memory that we can reflecton and smile about; but do the smart thing for us right now!
Isn’t it funny how attached we become to our houses? Each one of ours has amazing memories. My guess is that I “over” romanticize it to some degree.
Vanessa Tachenko says
God is teaching me to hold every dream or ambition or next step open with an open hand. Not the easiest lesson to learn, but I’m thankful for it non the less. Good thoughts, thank you!
I dream of just living like God intended.. I use to be so caught up in the ways of the world, fast paced, all about material things, dreamed of being a stay at home mom for over 20 years, still working, and dreaming… I am learning and doing and seeing God work in all of these areas, I have chosen to slow down, savor each day with what God has put before me, the simple , amazing life that I have and now more than ever I am home hours that really matter for my family… I still work outside the home but hours that work for us… I can go to church regularly, have family time and still bring home a paycheck… I dont focus on the material things anymore, just on learning what I am suppose to do and be… and to let my light shine… so I let God control my dreams, my dreams aren’t always in his plan for me but that’s ok… I use to get frustrated when things didn’t happen like I wanted, but now I realize just maybe God didn’t want that for me… so easy to let it go when you look at God’s way… So my dreams come and go and I am so happy with it all… God is so good and I have seen it personally…
That’s awesome Connie!!
Yes, for my future; futher education, job, husband, children, and a house just to name a few things. I’m in my mid- twenties now and it seems like all these things are still up in the air. I trust Him to figure all of the details out for me…but in my humanness I tend to get in the way too often. I believe in His timing as well and know that all these things will come. Maybe (probably) not in the way or shape I’ve imagined. The hard part is trying to be patient and wait… using “this time” in a wise and productive way. Hopefully being a help to others that are in need…whatever that may be.
If I’ve learned one thing it’s that HE is always faithful, time and again.
Yes He is!
The dream of a happy marriage with children.
I have been very slowly trying to build a blog design-graphic design business, but am starting to have my doubts that this is what God really wants for me. I have been dabbling in writing again, although it is difficult putting my heart out there for the world to see. Being an author (and Broadway dancer), though, was the first dream I remember. I guess I’m just really confused right now and need some clarity.
I need to hold the only dream I have right now with an open hand: passing the bar and being an attorney.
After having an emergency surgery for a 6 lb tumor two weeks ago, I’ve had to let go of a mission trip to Panama and most of my volunteer activities. I need to hold open hands to whatever God has ahead because the past is gone.
Praying for a speedy recovery.
Letting go of the idea I should be able to locate and understand God in all the messy areas of my life. I want to just to let of the wondering I have about Romans 8:28: In all things God works together for my good…despite fear that those “all things” may involve me giving up on some hopes and dreams. It’s okay, though, I know it in my heart, just still struggling in my head. Thanks for this.
The dream that I have is to be a published author. God’s perfect timing and will is what I need to wait on and realizing that life is in seasons and enjoying every minute of this season homeschooling my 2 children.
oh yes. the dream of having more children. The dream of my husband finding a job he loves…
Tracey H. says
I need to let go of the dream of a perfect life, in order to be able to enjoy and be thankful for the life that I have been given!! I struggle with control and perfection (mainly because my childhood was so out of control and I dreamed of a perfect life), but as my children get older as do I, I am missing out on all the joys God has bestowed upon me being busy with perfection!! Thanks for this reminder and I would love to read your book!! Thanks for the chance of winning a copy:0)
Beth Williams says
The dream of having a job I truly love & want to go to instead of dread! Like so many here I tend to rush into this field and that one–now stuck working in a nursing clinic as a (CMA medical assistant) & not doing anything I was trained for–in fact doing stuff I didn’t need schooling for.
Perhaps one day after many prayers God will open the doors to a better/different job that I can do with joy in my heart & not be filled with anxt.
I need to let go of the daily little things. You are absolutely right. It is so easy with the big stuff. For me it is the every day common things.
Oh my, so, so many. My dream of being a size 8. Because it becomes an idol in my life. All my energy and thought goes into pursuit. All my extra money goes into products and clothes to fix myself.
Dream of protecting my daughter from mistakes and problems. A protecting her from church people that may legalize Jesus and make her feel their approval is needed to be close to Jesus.
The dream of a functional extended family who turn to Jesus so they can remain in my life. Ministry dreams that want to keep God in a box due to lack of trust.
The dream of a functional extended family that turns to Jesus so they can remain in my life. Expectations that currently limit God!
Carrie K says
I think he is telling me I need to let go of my dream of marriage…its hard to be single but im making the search for a husband into my idol.
So easy to do Carrie.
I am holding on to the dream of getting married and being a stay at home mom and homemaker. This dream has driven me to take life decisions into my own hands and make poor choices that have resulted in great pain and heartache. Despite my lack of trust and obedience, God has gifted me with an amazing daughter from my first marriage. I recognize that she is a blessing and I would not change anything … except my focus on marriage and being able to be married to a God-fearing man who loves Jesus and us, and I stay home and care for our family. I constantly remind myself to open my hands and give it back to Him.
Kimberly White says
Your point that we can’t hold too tightly the things that God gives us really hits home for me. I know I’m holding too tightly to the house, neighborhood and school that God moved us to two years ago. I’ve been saying to myself that surely God wouldn’t move us from where he’d just put us. And it was definately Him that put us here. But my husbands job isn’t paying the bills and money is running out. He provides a way when there isn’t one… Time and time again. But still I have trouble with holding on too tightly. I do know in my heart that I’ve started making progress. I know this because I’ve caught myself looking around the house thinking, ” this needs to be fixed up if we need to sell…”. So I know my grip is becoming looser, but I’m constantly reminding myself. And I mean constantly!!!
You know this is really key Kimberly. I like the idea of “constantly”. It’s not a one time thing. Paul says we’re “living sacrifices”. The problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar.
We are not where we imagined we’d be…but I “think” it’s because God’s idea was even better than ours. Imagine that! (Ephesians 3:14-21)
i think the dream that my marriage will ever be “normal”…I know it’s a journey..but after 14 years sometimes it feels like it will never get to that point of normalcy…there is always some sort of issue going on…i feel like my whole identity has been stolen and wrapped up in anhealthy dysfunctional marriage…
Christine, I have no answers or advice, but I can say that I understand. I hope that helps you. If you’re like me, nobody knows the whole picture, yet you need a “knowing hug”. Here’s one from me. <3cindy
Thanks for the hug cindy:) It’s always nice when someone understands:)
Kaitlin @ Perceptions & Passions says
I need to turn over my definition (or rather my parents definition that i have internalized) of “success.” I need to allow God to define what will make MY life successful.
Susan Miller says
I have to let go of my belief that I am responsible for the mess my son has made of his life. I have to allow myself to grieve for the man I prayed he would be and accept who he is ‘right at this moment’. I can continue to pray and believe that he will someday find his own way back to God but I can no longer carry the responsibility of the choices he has made.
Shattered dreams have brought me to my knees more than once, at times because I caused the shatter and my tears of shame and pain cried out for forgiveness. Other times I spent before the Lord in tears of pain and shock because of the shattered dreams I saw slip away. As I look back, I think of the song, “The Anchor Holds” and I breathe in deeply of your encouraging words today. May I focus on the Creator of dreams today and each day, spending time in His presence seeking only Him.
I just so much needed to hear this right now!
I think something that I’ve carried with me for a long time and have had my eyes opened to this year by God, is conforming to others so I will be liked and they will be happy. It is a weight that Jesus put on my heart that I need to let go of. It’s not about me or them, he is asking me to give my heart to Him. It’s about having a real true relationship with Him and I think making that a priority will lead to authentic relationships with others, where I can serve God and not people. Still figuring this one out but thankful for where He is leading me.
So timely for me to read this today. I have loosened the grip I have on fighting breast cancer. It isn’t that I am not fighting it, its just that I truly don’t know what God’s plan is as far as curing me of it ? So instead of feeling let down and disappointed when the cancer spreads and pops up all over the place, I need to just let God be in control of it. I have truly learned to surrender over and over again. HIS will, not mine. Thanks Pete!
The dream of going back to work after my children are older…
Kimberley Clark says
I have let go of the dreams of perfect friendships. Understanding of course, any human relationships won’t be perfect, but if they are damaging to my soul and don’t bring positive and encouraging experiences, I must let go.
Emery Smith says
Very important lesson GOD has been teaching me. Solid words shared here.
I have loosened the grip, can I say open hand? Well, it is getting more and more open.
The whole concept of destiny and purpose and value is what I need to release – His measure and schedule, not mine. Thirty years in the process. Getting closer.
It is my dream that my family find a place of ease in our lives. We work hard, are faithful, but haven’t quite found that balance we seek. We are prayerful that what we desire is in God’s Will for us. We just have to stand in faith.
Yours was a beautiful posting..I often struggle with the unending challenges of consistent faith, but I never give up.
Peace and good to you.
I need to let go of the dream that two dear people would find healing and life. Sam was my son’s best friend, and Kathy was my best friend. Both had outrageously weird forms of cancer, and both truly believed with everything within them that God would heal them. I did, too. I need to let go of how I think God should answer prayer. I need to let go of missing them. I need to let go of what seems right and best to me may not be the right and the best in the big picture. I need to let go of what I think faith and trust and belief are and let God permeate me.
May I have another ‘let go’?
I need to let go of my daughter Rachel. I need to trust God to draw her to Him. I need to trust that He loves her most and will heal her heart and her hurts.
Mary M says
Are there any dreams you need to let go of or at least hold with an open hand?
I need to hold with an open hand the definition of my ministry in the Body of Christ. The Lord is teaching me and I’m doing my best to put the lessons to work. I get antsy when I try to envision what my future will look like. I’m a recovering control freak. I have to remind myself frequently that the Bible only sheds light a very short distance from where my feet currently walk. — I’d like it outlined in neon lights with flood lights pointing the way. — God is teaching me to trust that His plan for my future is good and that He’s got it under control.
Mary – I love the way you said this! About wanting neon lights and flood lights – I too am learning to trust His plan for my future, that is it good, and that He does have it under control. Thank you for sharing that!
I just need to give up control, I think. I’m only 24 but I’m not where I thought I’d be at all! When I start thinking about the life “I’m supposed to have” I get angry and depressed, but when instead I trust things to God, and let Him have control, I find that even if I couldn’t have imagined this life, it makes me so very happy!! It’s a struggle to not be so self-centered, but it’s possible through faith and makes life incredibly joyful.
Not only do I have to hold my dreams more loosely, but I also have to stop listening to others who try to tell me what I should do to see my dreams realized when I know that their advice is not spiritually motivated. I have some abilities God has gifted me with which causes others to see dollar signs but I believe they are to be used to help others not to get rich
I need to hold the dream of buying a house with open hands.
I need to hold the dream of settling into one house, one town, one church for the rest of our life – in open hands.
The dream of having that picture perfect family.
Our oldest child has stepped out and broken my heart.
I need to stand with open hands- it is hard…
Hold loosely the dream to do something big, and instead be thankful for the “little” opportunities He gives each day.
my dream of getting married……i will surrender it to the Lord.
I know that I need to let go of my dream to have everything under control and planned out! The best laid plans don’t usually turn out the way we think they should! Just in trying my best each day to walk the path the Lord has before me is really the best plan to be on!
My dream of having control. Schedules and to-do lists only make me “seem” like I have it all together. But I don’t. And I need to surrender to Him daily!!!
What do I need to let go of?
My fears. My self-talk that says I am not good enough, won’t be good enough, can’t be good enough.
Too often, I find myself kneeling at the shrine of fear and repeating the mantra written above. It is a habit all pervasive, a god I carry everywhere I go.
I am ashamed, convicted, released. Then I turn like Lot’s wife to take a last look and find myself once more bowed down in the shrine of fear.
Lord, God, please deliver me from myself. This cycle of mine makes me want to vomit.
Becky M says
The dream of “doing something big for God” . . . just this week I was reminded that I am serving by serving and sometimes I just wanted to be “the speaker”, ” the singer”, ” the … “
Pastors, leaders in the church. I seem to think of them more highly then I aught and it leads to my own sin fueled by disappointment and fear. God is opening my eyes but it feels like I am squeezing them shut at times. God forgive me. Praying for a balance. Praying for clarity. Praying for His mercy.
I’m not sure. A few years ago I would have said “my dream to become a mother”. But God decided to fulfill that dream. Maybe it’s my dream to have a perfect life – that I just need X or Y to make it wonderful. But truthfully, God has blessed me beyond belief.
I’ve got to let go of my dream to make enough money to be able to spend money on my parents. I thought I’d be a lawyer who made the big bucks and that I’d be able to by my parents a nice, big house, etc. Little did I know that I’d end up still asking them for financial help occasionally at the age of 34.
Didn’t mean to submit my comment anonymously. My comment is the one above — July 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM (#66).
Malory H says
Yes, I am to hold it all with an opened hand. Some I’ve completely surrendered and others I’m learning to trust and daily surrender to Him. After all, He does know what’s best. So much better than I.
Erin Thompson says
Yes… I am definitely holding onto a dream too tightly!… After being into drugs and alcohol for 13 years, I turned my life around last January. By God’s precious grace, I almost 18 months clean. :)… I began school (again) in January of this year… I am finally pursuing my goal of becoming a nurse. Though I do feel that God has put this desire in my heart, I am always consumed with schoolwork – and can honestly say that I have been putting school first! I have become a perfectionist with school and it is aggravating!…. So….. I this is something that I need to continue to surrender to God on a daily basis! — BALANCE!
Yes, Boy do I have a tight hold on a couple of dreams… one to find the career that would make up for the loss of time and money I find myself, since the housing crisis saga… The other is the dream to find my soul mate… both dreams… but reality far from my original plan… still GOD has been merciful to me and in His grace He has kept me… But letting go is something I fight with myself everyday… I need to read this book…
I need to let go of the dream of having the family I envisioned in my mind and heart years ago. I am so thankful for the husband and child I do have, but often I realize that I am still holding too tightly to the dream of more children. I do have three other children with Jesus and I can’t wait to meet them someday. I do know in my heart that this is what God has for me, but I want to finally surrender my dream and hurts to Him so I can heal.
Erin Ostergren says
11 months ago my husband, 3 yr old,and i left all our family, friends, and wonderful church family and moved across the country to scottsdale arizona. After battling a chronic illness and several other health issues, for what is now going on 5 yrs, we truly saw the Lord leading us to move for many reasons. Although at the time I never would’ve admitted to the idol of AZ being the savior of all the trials we had walked through it is most definitely apparent now. As I sit here typing this we are in the process of considering a move back to our “home”. There has been a lot of good in our moving here but it was not in the Lord’s plan to heal my body of it’s ailments, drive a car or return to art that i love so much. I have learned however, that the ways of the Lord are not my ways and that he promises to work EVERYTHING out for the good of my life and to bring himself glory through that. I’ve also been reminded that nothing on this earth is forever and nothing on this earth brings the ultimate satisfaction we were created for in the one who made us. This life is hard with its ups and downs but its not forever. In fact, it’s a vapor, according to Solomon! I will be healed someday and I cling to that promise ever so tightly! The snippets ive read from your book have been just what I needed at just the right times! Thank you! Needless to say, i suppose, id love my own copy! 🙂
I need to hold open the dream of reunion with estranged family members. I have to stop holding this so tight and let God take over!
Marsha Riggs says
I could write a book about things I’ve been disappointed in through the last ten years and I always say “I can’t complain …..But I’d like too!”. The fact that both my children have gone through very rebellious times and we have started a new business after the business we loved for 30 years couldn’t support us any more means we are well acquainted with unexpected outcomes. We prayed about this new business for a year and a half and are still certain that this is exactly where God put us but it is so hard and not going as we expected. I am coming to the realization that my expectations are keeping me from being contented with all that God has given me. Yes, things are hard but God is in it with us and I want to honor Him and protect His reputation before our employee who is not a believer. God put us here, it is not what we hoped for and it is ok. God is still good and he still loves us. We need to love Him more than our expectations. I am praying that the treasure of the trial will be formed in me and I can honor Him with my work. My challenge is to transfer this heart knowledge into a more peaceful spirit each day as I work and not stress over the fear and doubt that constantly plagues me.
I too could write a book of the shattered dreams of my life . . . always wanting love from parents to be disowned; to not having my dream wedding because of too many family problems so we eloped; to then being SO blessed with a dozen children, yet, having to bury two of them. Marriage has been a struggle; finances too. I always thought by the time I was “almost 50” our lives would be settled and we’d be living comfortably instead of barely making it.
Yet, through it too, I know I am seeing more and more how God is filling the gaps. I wonder . . . would I have trusted people even more if my life had been ideal and God not been a part of it?
Please read the message I left for you, after Maria…
I need to let go of the dream of always having finances in order. I have longed for the day when I can trust that I have enough…but I know that I have the promise that I will always have what I need when I seek His kingdom. It is something I have to decide to do every single day.
I have been through much of what you have shared in one way or another, since my childhood, early adulthood and I’m now in my late 30’s. There are times, when I’ve had a much harder time Trusting God, because of being let down so many times. On the otherhand I’ve had no choice but to surrender to God, because there was no one else to depend on. Knowing that God is present in your life is everything! I love you and will pray for you…
As silly as it is, I find myself again and again needing to let go of wanting a guy to come into my life. I’m watching my college friends end up in relationships and I’ve now spent a year 12 hours from home, on my own, and haven’t made even any guy friends. So strange going away from guy friends to not having any. It’s not exactly a ‘dream’ but it is something I need to keep letting go of.
I was laid off my job of 13 years – one I enjoyed tremendously, but was able to find a new job within a few months – at about half the pay. I need to let go of feeling discouraged at what was……and embrace the opportunities that God is showing me at my new job – the way I can reflect his grace and patience.
Bonnie Jean says
I have had to give up so many dreams in the past couple of years. Now I don’t even know which ones I should just let go and forget about … or give them to God and see where that leads. We had to go bankrupt and are in the midst of a foreclosure. Our bank has repeatedly misled us. It is making me literally sick. We had to move out of our house into an apartment in our mid-50’s. We cannot even afford it because I am disabled and my unsaved husband refuses to get work that is steady. It is available where we live, but he thinks he can do it all “his way.” I was writing a book about a lifetime of being abused and almost being killed… but dredging up the past … although sometimes cathartic was also killing me. I just feel tired, scared, empty and hopeless. My teenaged sons are angry with me as though I chose this life. I know that some of my poor past decisions led to this… but I certainly did not choose the way the last two years have gone. I have learned exactly why God says not to be “unequally yoked.” I feel totally alone in this. I cannot pray with anyone about it. And since we moved, I cannot even find a Bible study to go to. I cannot go to regular church, because it is too early in the day and I am too sick from the medicine I have to take. I just wish I could go back in time to about age 5 or 6… that is where things seemed to just go downhill and never stopped. It was better for awhile, when I first met the man I am married to now… but this is not my first marriage. I had to go through hell on earth to get to where I am now. Forgive the wording but I didn’t know what else to say. I sure could use that book !!!!!!!
For me its not so much a dream.. but a longing, a desire, a Hope.
I look around and I see so many people filled with Joy and that allow the Love of God to bounce off them and onto others. I see people who look so Happy and What seem to have such wonderful lives. I look back and put my smile on and try to do the same but find it so hard to picture me as that person. I tend to feel not worthy and like there is no way I could rewarded with with such greatness.
Then I step back and I look at my 6 children and think… I’m only 30 and and have had 5 since I was 21.. yes they are all loved and blessed by their parents. And we definitely try to lead them to be wonderful children of God. But how is that possible for us to achieve when I can’t seem to feel like I see many others. I want to be the person that let’s the Joy flow out of me and onto my children. I want to show them and the world how big my heart is but fear steps in and I don’t feel like I cani
Well, at the risk of sounding too morbid or sad, I have 2 dreams that do not seem to be coming true. The last 2 summers we have planned to move to Tx to help with a new church plant, and 2 summers in a row, I have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And a diagnosis like that puts your world on hold. It also seems to hold the potential of killing my 2nd dream which is to raise and love my children ( ages 5 and 8). Holding tight to the truth that God has good planned for us because He loves us as no other can.
My husband actually owns this book, and it is on my list to read over the summer.
Second half… Published on accident.
I need to hold an open hand to believing that What my heart looks like on the inside or feel like it looks like -really is What my children see and What everyone else see’s and that I will be the one being looked at one day… And when I catch that person looking I will be able to give them my Joy and slow them to see themselves through the Eyes of the Lord!
I really loved this article! It has given me Hope that if I just open my hands He will fulfill my Biggest Dreams even when I’m not looking… Because that’s how Great he is!!
Sooooo many dreams that have died in my head but I can’t seem to let go of…. If only it was simple.
Would love to read your newest book Pete! Thanks for the (as always!) honest and encouraging words!
Amazing words. I’m working on letting go of a past dream, of what I wanted my life to look like 10 years ago. I realize holding onto that is robbing me of the joy for the life I have now.
I have no illusions about a perfect life…and the outward things that appear to others as struggles are areas in which I feel God has chosen me for HIS purpose.
However, two big dreams die hard…my dream for a faithful husband who only has eyes for me and my dream for a true friend. I once thought God had given me those, and realizing the losses has been devastating.
Amy Hunt says
For years I’ve insisted that we conceive a second child. I whined and cried and thought about this every single day. Until I finally surrendered to the idea that it might not happen. I surrendered this dream and it was huge. And in the process, I acknowledged the tug I’ve felt on my heart all the years before (ever since I was a young girl)–to adopt. It seems so crazy and wild, this dream to adopt, but it seems more right. And most especially, surrendering the dream of conceiving another child of our own is my worship and trusting in His plans the most important part.
I have several longings and dreams that I think about quite often that I need to open up my cluched hands and surrender to God. I am young and have lived with chronic pain for the past 11 years and this has resulted in a number of losses, disappointments, and shattered dreams. I have many physical limitations and am mostly home bound and dependent on others to meet some of my basic needs. Therefore, I have few opportunities to make friends, serve others, or participate in fun activities. I had always pictured myself going away to college, getting a degree or maybe going to Bible school and traveling some. Additionally, I dream of getting married and having a family someday and be used by the Lord in a fulfilling career or in some type of ministry. Yet, a this point in my life, for reasons far beyond my comprehension, God has chosen not fulfill these dreams I have. I really want to fully trust God with anything and everything He allows or does not allow to happen, though often I struggle deeply with this. It’s hard when see many others I know having their dreams fulfilled and enjoying life. I want to be happy for them, but I grieve the fact that I am still waiting. Some of the yearnings I’m most confused about are my desire to be involved in missions work, or other areas of ministry such as social justice, like fighting against human trafficking, the AIDS crisis, or alleviating poverty. I wrestle that I’m not able to minister to others in these ways right now, especially since they seem like they are in accordance with God’s will for every Christian. I know my life is not my own. My life belongs to God and He has a right to do with my life as He pleases, but so often I find it difficult to trust and rest in Him and be at peace with all of this. I want to have a deep relationship with God and glorify Him. I know that God can be glorified even in my circumstances, I just need to know more of how I can do this and figure out His purpose for my life. Ultimately, I pray that my deepest yearning would be for Christ and His dreams, and this book sounds like it could help me come to this point! Thank you for this giveaway!
I see faith, wisdom, and compassion in your words. They are the fruit of what you have experienced. You inspire me to want to know God in a deeper way and to trust Him more for the unknowns in my future. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into your world. I’m praying for you as I type. Never for one moment doubt that God cannot use you to reach out to others. You will make a positive difference in many lives and bring Him honor and glory. 1 Cor. 1:18-21
Mary and Jen,
Thank you both so much for taking the time to read this long message of a stranger pouring out her heart! Mary, I can’t believe you thanked me for giving you a glimpse into my world! I’m incredibly touched by your encouragement, kind words, and for saying that I inspired you to want to know God in a deeper way and trust Him more.
I feel as though my faith is pretty weak right now and hope is hard to come by, but both of your sweet notes blessed me greatly and gave me some hope! Thank you both so so much for reaching out to me and showing me the love of Jesus at a time when I really need it! I’m also deeply grateful for your prayers! The verse featured at the very top of this page is Proverbs 16:24, which says, ” kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” That is exactly what the two of you gave me and I am very grateful! Please tell me some about yourselves and how I can be praying for you.
I am truly inspired by you story and your faith. I will pray for you and surely be thinking of you often.
Please read the note I wrote above (post # 94) under Mary’s comment in reply to my post. I wanted to let you know how much it meant to me that you were so caring and complimentary to me and the note I wrote there applies to both of you.
Needing to hold loosely an evolving dream of branching out on my own professionally, keeping my direction God-centered and ultimately trusting His plans and relinquishing mine to His will.
My children, my husband, our home – holding loosely to the “where” and relishing in the “who” as our house sits for sale.
Only recently realizing the idolatry I held in my previous job, the house we live in – just the overall status quo I bought into as being able to satiate the longing in my heart. As always, God knows my portion and is continuing to fill my cup if I can get out of my own way & let him…
Our “dream” bit us in the butt yesterday…we were following Gods leading to pursue a new ministry position at a church & that dreaded answer of you don’t fit the profile came & knocked us over. In a matter of hours I experienced the gammet of emotions, instead of falling on my knees & thanking God for His leading. Is our dream over? No…it’s just being redirected to Gods waiting room until He shows us where we’ll serve next. In the meantime, i need to continue serving Him right where I am/we are & not let “the dream” consume us or keep us from finishing strong.
Grace YK says
I’ve dreaming of myself being a perfect wife and mother with a wrong motivation behind- to be recognized, praised, and accepted. So embarrassing! It’s time to shift my focus from myself to God.
I Will | (in)courage « Pilgrim Wanderings says
[…] from I Will | (in)courage – by Pete Wilson. I realize you may be facing heavy discouragement or deep heartache because you […]
Kandace Brown says
The dream of having children because my husband is paraplegic so it may not even work, and our current financial situation is such that it wouldn’t be wise to have children. But I know that if God wants us to have a child, then He will work it out in His perfect timing.
The dream I have for a grandson to grow to be a Godly man in spite of the diagnosis of a disease that can certainly shorten his life. Placing him in open hands for God’s will to be done is hard.
I have many dreams and wishes, but I dont’ think I have made gods of them. God knows what my dreams and wish area as I tell him often, but I always add if it be his will.
Kathy Dorner says
I have been holding on to the dream of as a single mom being able to afford my own home in the community my family lives in. Doors for jobs have been opening for me but not in this area. My fear has been moving would mean not being here to help my family members when they need me and also finding affordable child care for my daughter. I will graduate with my Bachelors in Social Work in December and now I am not sure where God wants me to go. I am very confused about what direction I am to go. Please pray for direction and answers!
Hanging Down… | Fruit of Gratitude says
[…] Pete Wilson said, It’s those unexpected shattered dreams that provide us with twists and turns in life where we meet God. Rarely do we surrender when we feel strong and in control. But when a dream is shattered, when life takes an unexpected turn and veers out of control, that’s when we fall to our knees. That’s when a new dream can grow. https://aws.incourage.me/2012/07/i-will.html […]