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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: | lanuio

God, Please Don't Mess Up My Dreams

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11 Responses to God, Please Don’t Mess Up My Dreams

  1. Mama Baird says:

    Such a great post! “Idols of the Heart” is a must read! Such a great biblical perspective on the dangers of making anything more important than God!

  2. yelloswag says:

    Hey, it’s seductive selfie girl!

  3. Lisa Hallahan says:

    This was great Bethany. I am constantly making my own plans and wishing for a different life than what I have now. I love reminders like this that draws my attention off of myself and back to my King. Thanks girl! =) <3

  4. Lyn Mendoza says:

    “God, Please Don’t Mess Up My Dreams” is a great choice for a title because I know there are lots of Christians who have said those words to God. And I’m guilty of that. I had a similar experience and I was blown away when God revealed it to me. It was really hard to accept that my very dream is the one thing that’s hindering me to be fruitful because I was not obedient enough to allow God to change my plans when He has something better for me. I’m hoping that more women will be able to read this.

  5. Ivyan Oliveira says:

    Motherhood, in the Bible, is a calling for all women, “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” (1Timothy 2.15). First, marrying is a natural stage os life, at least for Christians, not only because is a way of “resolving” sexual drives but also for displaying the relationship between Christ and the Church! And as the Bible says, children are a blessing and childbearing is one of the goals of marriage!

    For me and from what I see in the Bible, motherhood is a calling for all women. It is a way of demonstrating in a very very small proportion, the love God, the Father has for us and the care He demonstrates! It is a beautiful calling <3

  6. hannah Mwilambwe says:

    Bethany..thanks a lot.I can’t explain how much this has helped me.God bless you greatly..and you know am glad that God has still opened up a way for you to minister to young ladies. its amazing to know that what you surrendered to him, he gave back to you. I am surrendering all Idols, career and school scholarship hit me hard, and whether or not God gives it back to me, I will choose to be happy with what he will give me. thanks again Bethany. ohh and its funny am seeing this post a year after..:-) all the same, Its now that I needed it, I guess God knew.

  7. thehappygirl says:

    I’ve finally surrendered myself, my life, and my dreams to God. It’s a little scary sometimes. “God, please don’t mess up my dreams of being a wife and mother.” I used to think “If only I had a husband and family, I’d be happy.” But I’ve come to realize that He is all I will ever need. Even if I never get married or never have children. He loves us too much to do us wrong, and I’m excited to see where He leads me in 2016.

  8. Louis Noles says:

    So basically we were created to be breeding machines?

    • Afua says:

      To answer the question, there is an article entitled “Is Being a Woman More that Getting Married and Having Babies?”, which I suggest you read.

  9. Sofia says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear. How are we supposed to get rid of the idols in our lives? For me, my idol is a career. The only thing that I can think of to do when my career starts to take preeminence over God is to guard my devotional time more carefully. I feel like when something becomes an idol, my devotional time becomes less vibrant and I am distracted and thinking about other things during my time with God.

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