I Have This Audacious Dream

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J_ClaireD

My husband and I pray together at night before we go to sleep. It’s wonderful, and something we’d never done until recently. Sure we prayed around the dinner table and in church, but the heartfelt prayers? They were for God’s ears alone, until our relationship caved and we were hanging on by a thread. Prayer became the branch we clung to.

Now every night I lay there with my head in the nook of his shoulder, legs curled around bed sheets, happy to know that together we can place all of it, including our hurting relationship, in God’s hands.

This is how we pray: we give thanks for everything we have—health, home, children, finances, safety. We pray for our kids, friends, family, and anyone else who has asked for prayer. In my mind I go through “the checklist,” making sure to cover all the basics and to highlight any unanswered prayers, just in case God hasn’t been listening too closely.

But lately I have been feeling limited by my prayers. There is something missing for me in the way we pray.

Our prayers are small.

Our prayers are timid.

Our prayers remind me of the kid who sits at the back of the class with her hand half raised because she isn’t sure she wants the attention.

What is it about prayer that has so many “shoulds” attached to it? Why do I feel like I shouldn’t pray for that thing because I don’t deserve it? My husband and I discussed this and realized we are too afraid to ask. When there are so many needs in the world, so many hurting people, how dare we ask for more? Yet I have these crazy audacious dreams. So, how can I dream big but pray small? There’s something disturbingly ironic about that.

Now, as we pray, I sense a stirring deep inside me, telling me to be audacious, to step out in faith and believe for more. I feel the excitement and fear of praying for the seemingly impossible.

Some of my dreams seem crazy to me, like the one where I take off around the world for a year, husband and kids in tow—I mean, who would finance that? Or the one where we build our own home and we are standing hand-in-hand on our plot of land, talking about the winding staircase that leads to a studio loft. But we don’t talk about that dream much—don’t we have enough already? Would God not think us terribly ungrateful? So we don’t dare ask. We just assume it will never happen, make do with the tremendous amount we already have, and don’t bother making ourselves feel bad by mentioning “those dreams.”

And then there are the really audacious dreams. The ones where relying on God is the only way forward and every step is a leap of faith. I dream of changing hundreds of thousands of lives—of convincing people of their innate worth, by giving them a voice through writing their stories.

For the longest time I didn’t have a voice, and now that I’ve found it, I know what a precious gift it is.

But when I look at myself in the mirror and think of how small I sometimes feel, it seems like an impossibility. How can I, the girl who has always been in hiding, step onto the world’s stage and use my voice to influence? Me, who has always blushed when speaking in even the smallest groups? To the outside world I would seem like the most unlikely candidate.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, that God would pick the voiceless girl and plant a dream in her heart to be a voice to thousands. God is pretty sneaky that way.

It’s time my prayers matched the size of my dreams. I may not ever build my own house, or travel to every land on this globe, but if I don’t have the audacity to ask, and believe that God will grant those desires of my heart that are weaved into His purpose, I can’t hope to live a bigger life.

I don’t want to keep my dreams under lock and key anymore. I don’t want to be afraid to ask because I already have enough or because I’m not up for the job.

I have a dream, and I’m giving myself permission to have the audacity to believe it will come true.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

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