When God Asks You to Set Aside a Dream

Imperfectly Brave

Note: This post was inspired by my friend and author, Lisa Whittle’s, recent post, When God Anoints You But Doesn’t Appoint You (yet). With her permission, I bring you these words because her words inspired my words and her resolve sharpened mine.


I cried big hot tears pulling out of San Diego.


I joke about living near the ocean. About how it makes me come alive. About how it keeps me closer to Jesus. Because something about the waves make me dance a little closer to the Throne Room.


But maybe it’s never been a joke.


Because maybe with every joke there is a hint of truth. And maybe my truth has been the dream I’ve kept hidden — to live near the beach and to let the waves keep my spirit dancing.


But I live in Kansas City. Land all around me. And I can’t even pretend to lie. Waves of grass don’t look like waves in the ocean. That’s a lie and my soul feels the weight of it.


On our last day of vacation, we drove around Coronado island, and it rattled around in my heart: The setting aside of a dream. What happens when you have to set aside a dream? Is God in this? The God who dreams up the most beautiful of beauties and lovely of lovelies. Could God ever ask us to set aside a dream?


Absolutely. But all along we know this:


The setting aside is always for the setting up.


Hadassah, named Esther, grew up a girl.


I know a thing or two about raising girls. I have two. They like pink bows and tutus. They dance in the kitchen. They pretend to put on make-up and earrings and necklaces. I call them princess and they believe that they are.


Because most girls dream of being a princess.


So, enter Esther’s Cinderella story. A normal Jewish girl is given the opportunity to be made queen. In moments, Esther was provided with makeup and lavish banquets. Six months with oil and myrrh, six months with spices and ointment. Months of being doted on. Days of dreaming about being chosen. Of being crown. Of being made queen.


Of dreams coming true.


And it did. The dream came true. Esther was chosen. Queen Esther, they hailed.


When dreams become reality, it feels like heaven is inside of us.


But dreams can be taken away, and we wonder where heaven is? Where God is? Why the dream in the first place? Worse. To taste heaven and have it taken away.


The setting aside is always for the setting up.


Esther had to set aside her crown to save her people. She had to wash off the jewels to find her fresh face. She had to lay down her dream to find her new one.


She set it aside. The dream of being queen. When all along, she was being set up. To save her people.


So, let’s rest in this, girl with dreams and hopes and aspirations:


  1. God is always setting us up.
  2. You might feel like all you are doing is dying to dreams, but God is really making you alive to new things.
  3. Pray for eyes to see how He is working rather than complaining about how He isn’t.
  4. You were made for such a time as this. Step boldly into the new places He is giving you.


So even if there are hot, big tears rolling down your cheeks and you are wondering why this dream must die, He is building a new dream. He is the best builder. Trust and know that your setting aside is His setting up.


And He is good at setting up.


PS Want to learn more about how to redefine your life, so you are ready for the new dream He has set in your heart? Imperfectly Brave is all about redefining bravery, so that when God asks you to new waters, you are already ready to walk on them. xo whitney

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