There’s been this huge pregnant pause in my dreams recently.
Yes, I’m highly enjoying interacting with members of my Free Beginner Photography Class. Yes, my children are finally healthy and it’s spring and we’re all romping in the backyard. Yes, when the Spirit prods, I am writing from my vulnerable everyday mess. I am even feeling called to attend Allume and my last session had provided all the rest of the money needed to purchase the ticket.
But email inquiries were resulting in people who disappeared right before they booked a session. I hadn’t even had a session in over 6 weeks. My initial God sized dream to book 12 sessions this yea, well, it was seeming next to impossible. Feeling pretty low, I messaged a photographer friend for marketing advice.
But she didn’t give me marketing advice, she showed me the very heart of God.
While I was feeling discouraged, she was feeling a call to give me a very large and unexpected sum of money toward the purchase of a professional grade camera that at my current business income, I wouldn’t be able to afford for at least 5 years.
I think I was speechless for days. Here was my heavenly Father (through my generous friend) wrapping his arms around me and just whispering, “Be faithful with what I give, sweet daughter of mine. I will walk you through dreams. And this walk will be wilder than you ever imagined.”
But then I still had a huge decision. What do I do about Allume? With her gift and the money I currently had I could easily buy a used camera body one step under my ultimate dream camera. If I bought the ticket with not one session on the books, how long would it be before I could purchase that same camera body? By the end of the summer? 2 years from now? Longer?
There God was, holding out an extravagant gift after giving a calling to attend a conference and what was my response?
I was doubting His sovereignty.
If I bought the ticket to a place He was calling me then I doubted that He’d make it possible for my much-needed camera upgrade to occur. Did I mention He had contributed over 1/2 of my step down from dream camera body and a little over 1/4 of my I don’t dare to even ask for it camera body? And my response was to doubt.
Yet, my part of dreaming this crazy dream to be a photographer (and sometimes a writer who speaks right where He asks) isn’t to create results. I don’t have to shoot 12 sessions this year (my well written SMART goal- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) even if that is a huge part of the dream. My real dreaming assignment is relational obedience to His callings.
In her book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You, Holley Gerth says it this way:
Saying yes to God at every step is the only true success when it comes to your dream… If you are obedient, then you are successful regardless of the results.
So I bought the ticket. I obeyed and sat back and trusted His gracious sovereignty. And I’m still fighting the Chihuahua of Fear, but that’s okay because the Lord Jesus Christ walks beside me.
So, fellow dreamer, here’s the truth of my story now: relationship motivated obedience is always what God asks.
Even if He takes you off the course of what you thought your dream might be, obedience is key, because the Giver only gives the best gifts even when we don’t understand.