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God, Please Don’t Mess Up My Dreams

By: Bethany Beal

Three years ago I sat in a doughnut shop with some friends and had a conversation that  I will never forget. I ended up in a heated debate over the topic of marriage and motherhood. My responses during that debate would mostly likely have been a shock to you considering what this GirlDefined: Getting Back to God’s Design blog is all about.

As surprising as this may sound, I (in so many words) told this person that marriage and motherhood wasn’t enough for my future. I said that I could not be happy unless I was heavily involved in this ministry or something similar. Although I didn’t say these words exactly, this is what I expressed:

I want to serve God in the future but I want to serve Him according to my terms.

The conversation continued on for several more minutes and I continued to defend my NEED to be involved in something bigger than marriage and motherhood. I was passionate about my feelings and felt the need to express them heartily.

After I left the doughnut shop my brains were on fire.

I was mad at the person for not understanding my point of view. I was mad at them for making me rethink my perspective. I was challenged and a bit convicted over my responses and I was scared to honestly evaluate my heart and actions.

Over the next couple of days I realized some extremely hard truths. I prayed over the conversation and asked God to show me His truth and open my eyes to any wrong thinking. I read through different Bible passages and went through a book titled: Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick (Btw – I highly, highly, highly recommend that book. It’s pretty much the bomb). Okay, back to the story.

I didn’t have an overnight revelation or get a vision from God. It was a slow process but God was faithful to reveal His truth to me as I searched it out.

I had an idol.

Serving God through an organized ministry had become a massive idol in my life. I was holding onto my ministry and my future plans of ministry with a death grip. If there is something stronger than a death grip that would probably be a better description. I literally thought this exact wording, “I can’t be happy unless I serve God in ministry for girls.”

This quote in particular helped me understand what an Idol is and how I was guilty of having one.

“Idols aren’t just stone statues. No, idols are the thoughts, desires, longings, and expectations that we worship in the place of the true God. Idols cause us to ignore the true God in search of what we think we need.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick

That quote hits the nail on the head.

Idols are anything that you or I put on the throne in place of God. Good things can become idols. It’s anything, besides God, that we feel we must have in order to be happy.

“You shall have no other gods before me.You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…” (Exodus 20:3-5a).

Looking back over the past three years I am so glad that God opened my eyes to the fact that I had an idol my life. I no longer feel like I “must have” this ministry in order to be satisfied and happy.

I realize that God is the only person who can bring me true joy and contentment.

Although I love interacting with girls and teaching God’s truths, I am now totally willing to serve God however He want’s me to serve Him. Not how I want.

Due to that conversation as well I went on to explore God’s view of marriage and motherhood. I realized that marriage and motherhood is an incredibly high and holy calling and a role that I would be honored to fulfill one day. I no longer view being a wife and mother as “second best”. I view it as a privilege and a blessing. It’s amazing how my thoughts have changed so drastically in just three short years.

Your life is about God.

In the end, your life isn’t about your dreams but about serving God. Not how you want to serve Him but how He wants you to serve Him.

Thankfully God has already given some great insight into why He created the female gender and how you can live out your ultimate purpose. Kristen wrote an incredible blog on the topic. You can read that here.

As a Christian you should search out God’s Word for His purposes and plans for your life. There is no need to turn to books and the internet for answers until you have a clear understanding of His design for your womanhood. Without a clear understanding you will end up exactly like me, holding onto your future plans with a death grip.

I can’t read your mind but I’m guessing that you have your own “must have’s” in order to be happy. It could be a corporate career, school scholarship, boyfriend, husband, children, ministry opportunity or multiple other things.

You fill in the blank. If I only had ____________, then I’d be happy.

I want to challenge you to evaluate your dreams and see if they line up with God’s Word. If they do, ask yourself if you can be content without that dream. That is a good indicator as to where your heart truly is.

Make it personal…

  1. Are you willing to hold your dreams with an open hand?

  2. Do your dreams for the future line up with God’s specific design for you as a woman?

  3. Just in case you missed it. If I only had ____________ then I’d be happy.

 Photo credit: www.flickr.com | lanuio

God, Please Don't Mess Up My Dreams

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