This is the second part of my “Year’s Theme” for this year, but it also can stand alone to encourage anyone who is dreaming something new, or pursuing a calling God has given them. The first part of my Theme verse is “Walk Worthy…” Click on that link to read the post. These themes can be used together, as I am personally doing this year, or individually on their own merit, which is why I have made 2 separate posts out of them.
I use these yearly theme’s to motivate me in a spiritual direction I believe God is directing me toward. Most of the time, they are a Bible verse, or phrase, but this one for me is a conglomeration of a reoccurring theme in the Bible. God gives us dreams, callings, vocations; for His purposes ultimately, but for us to be fulfilled also! When we pursue the God-given dream, we walk in the abundant life He wants so desperately for us to have! This doesn’t mean life will be problem free, obviously, but it will be full of purpose, joy, and peace that passes understanding, even amidst hardships and troubles.
It is also extremely important to note that God’s Dreams for us are always way better than anything we could dream for ourselves. Just read your Bible and you will see this is true.
So, my personal theme for this year is “Walk Worthy and Follow the Dream” God has given me. In this post, I am dwelling on the “Follow the Dream” side of it. I also feel it important to mention, that although I have been in the habit of doing this as each New Year begins, new themes and inspirations can come in January, June, September, November, or any time of year! Don’t let the idea of “New Years Theme Verse” stop you from hearing the idea that God can do a new thing in your life, or emphasize a special verse at ANY time of the year. In my experience, He usually does at multiple times of any given year!
Let me begin with a bit of background on my specific dream, which is a work in progress. I am no spring chicken! I am a wife, mother, grandmother, and fast approaching my sixties. Does that mean I can’t have new dreams? Of course not! Different phases of life lend themselves to new adventures, opportunities, dreams and vocations. My biggest dream in life was to be a wife and a mother. God allowed that dream to come true, and it was (and is still) an intense, all-consuming dream that I cherish with all my heart. But I still have so much I would love to do in this life, mostly along the lines of being a witness and a testimony for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A couple of years ago, I started feeling God lay this endeavor of blogging on my heart. I thought, “this is crazy!” but it wouldn’t stop. I started praying about it, and researching it, because I had no idea what the process was for starting to blog. (probably a good thing in some respects because I am so “un-techy” and that would have totally thrown me. But, that simply proves that if I can do it, anybody can do it, and probably better, haha! You can read some posts about my blogging journey here.)
At that same time, my mother-in-law was in and out of the hospital with COPD and heart failure. She was sent home under palliative Hospice Care in December of 2016. Not even the nurse who first examined her thought she would make it to the new year. I took on the roll of chief care-giver, which was one of the hardest and yet most rewarding experiences of my life. She lived an increasingly difficult, but quality filled 6+ months, surprising all of us by the “fight” she still had in her.
We had fun, my mother-in-law and I, even as her health was steadily declining. Our personal relationship took on a depth greater than it ever had before. We laughed a lot in spite of the outward circumstances. We talked much about Heaven and Jesus. We scrap-booked many of her favorite pictures while she would tell me stories and secrets I have kept to this day, and no, I’m not telling you what they were! We prepared her obituary and planned aspects of her funeral service, which she wanted to do, and it gave her great pleasure to be able to do that. She relished the sweet visits of family & friends. She truly just enjoyed a quality of life that was a beautiful way to end this life on. She suffered much on the physical side in the decline of her health. It was heartbreaking to watch, but she was a fighter. She wasn’t going to let go of life easily. I am very thankful I got to be with her, up to the very end. I am extremely thankful that I know where she is right now, and all her pain is gone, and she is enjoying all the splendor of Heaven with her Beloved Savior, Jesus.
During all this time of giving care to my MIL, I still felt the prodding of God about blogging. I wanted “proof” so to speak that this was really God talking, so I would ask Him to please confirm it to me.
One of the most vivid ways God confirmed it was through my mother-in-law. She had no idea what I was prayerfully considering. No one did. It was such a “crazy” idea, that I hadn’t shared it with anyone, not even my husband. But I specifically remember one of those mornings as I was telling God, “I need to know if this is really what you are saying to me!” Later that day, as I was taking care of my MIL in a totally unconnected way, she looked me square in the eyes and said “You need to write, Laura, You need to write a book!” I smiled at her and laughed a bit, knowing in my spirit that this was really a “God-thing;” His specific answer directly to me; but she proceeded to say it again, “You need to write.” with her piercing blue eyes staring straight into my soul. At least that’s how it felt to me! And I heard the message loud and clear; God was giving me my confirmation.
After that, I trusted completely that it was what God was saying to me. Although the next few months were becoming more intense with care-giving, I pondered many blogging things in my spare time, and researched the how-to’s and nuances. I was working on what my website name and specific niche would be, and had some ideas that I researched to see if they were already taken or not. But all this was still on the back burner, as my MIL’s health took a downward spiral for the worse, and her care became around the clock more and more. My dear mother-in-law passed in early June, 2017. Her funeral was sad of course, but poignantly beautiful. She had planned so much of it. It glorified her Savior, and showed her love of family, which was so important to her. We were all thankful she was no longer suffering, but oh the tears for how much we would miss her here. We saw some family ‘miracles’… the kind that happen at funerals. I know she looked down from Heaven and smiled.
July, 2017 was when I officially started my blog. Although I had been planning a very different name, the final name choice came to me in an instant and immediately I knew it was the ‘right’ name for my blog. Shadowing Enoch. It encompassed the entire dream God was laying on my heart. I want to encourage and inspire believers and seekers to walk with Jesus in such close relationship, as Enoch did in Genesis chapter 5; all the way home to Heaven. I also want to provide lessons and resources for Children’s Ministry or parents in home devotions. This is where my heart has always been, teaching children about Jesus.
My dream is to shout it from the roof-tops about who Jesus is, and what a true personal relationship with God is all about. I want all people to know, but there has always been a special place in my heart for children, so I want that to be a chief aspect of the Shadowing Enoch blog.
This is the part that I have not developed as much as I had hoped up to this point, and so, this is a part I want to work on more diligently in the year ahead. Follow the Dream! I plan on being more diligent in working on the ‘Bible lessons and resources for teaching children’ side of my blog, while not neglecting the other side, of encouraging believers & seekers of all ages to follow Jesus. One dream, with 2 aspects. Both equally important.
While I am pleased with the overall progress of my blog and website, there are some things I feel like I have let drift a bit. I had many distractions in the past year, directly and indirectly. Some distractions were valid, and needed my attention, but some were just punctures to my “dream balloon” by the enemy who knows my weaknesses. And I neglected to use my “puncture repair kit” to deal with them. Over and over satan schemes to take the air out of our God-given dreams; sometimes through an instant puncture, and sometimes though a hardly noticeable slow-leak. Only if we are really watchful and aware of the arrows do we have the tools to battle this deflation to our dreams and their high-flying potential.
I have never lost sight of my God-given dream, but I have let it drift a bit. This year, my emphasis is to Follow the Dream God has given me, pursuing it, chasing it, repairing any punctures the enemy tries to destroy it with. “Walking Worthy and Following the Dream” is my God-enabled “repair kit.” My current dream is my blog, and there are some future dreams beyond that in my long range vision. I am chasing them as long as I see God still dangling them in front of me!
He has given you dreams too, I am sure. Pursue those dreams. Verify them, but once verified, chase them down! Follow them to full fruition! They are the vision God has given you; the vocation He has called you too! Walk in obedience and worthiness of the calling, whatever it is for you! That is my encouragement to you in this post. That is my encouragement to me!
Think of all the people in the Bible God gave a dream to. They were ordinary people, but when filled with an Extraordinary God, they became bigger than life! They became part of God’s Story! Your dream will be part of that story too! And mine! Heaven is going to be filled with story-telling, and we are going to see God’s story revealed in all of our stories. I find that very exciting to think about. I can’t wait to hear them all!
If you need one more tidbit of inspiration to Follow your God-given Dream, there is a song by Casting Crowns that always makes me “happy-cry”. It is called “Dream For You” and it is awesome! Have a listen and see if it doesn’t inspire you to let God Dream for You too. You can find it on Youtube.
Well, as happens quite a bit with me, this post took on a slightly different direction than I first intended. But as I re-read it, I think it went the way God intended for it to go. I will save some of those other thoughts for future posts. Until then, be encouraged to Follow the Dream God has given you. He promises to give dreams and visions to His children. (Joel 2:28) He also says without a vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18) He is my ultimate vision, and without Him I would surely perish. That is what I am pursuing most of all. Jesus.
I pray you are pursuing Him too.
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