Stewarding Dreams

It was 17 years ago that God first told me about this thing that I’m doing right now. 17 years of carrying a vision and a burden, 17 years of holding a picture for my future that no one else saw. 17 years of what I knew to be true not matching up with my circumstances. I knew that I would be studying and teaching the Word of God. I knew I would be operating in the prophetic and in gifts that I had barely seen outside of the book of Acts. I knew there was more than what I was experiencing.

I think there’s a bit of a universal cycle we all go through when we have a dream.

Deposit - Excitement - Disappointment - Waiting - Breakthrough

And the tricky thing? The timing of each part of the cycle is never the same. At least not in my experience! In this case, the deposit was when I first heard about this program called the School of Biblical Studies, and had multiple prophetic words confirm what God had laid on my heart. He’d given me a desire to learn and teach the Bible, and had clearly confirmed it. That ushered in the Excitement. I was pumped. Ready to go. To be honest, I thought it would happen within a year or two. As the years passed by, Disappointment showed up, and it drained that excitement. I was in a parking lot, not on a freeway. I knew my destination but couldn’t find the onramp! My dream was unfulfilled, and I had to wrestle with that. I didn't see it as delayed timing, I saw it as abandoned. I saw it as lost.

The next season was the longest - Waiting. I wasn’t so confident anymore that my dream would happen - I doubted if I had ever heard from God in the first place. I doubted what I heard, and what I knew about God and about myself. So I waited. Tried to make due with what I had. Tried to find hope in other places. Found ways in the natural to try to compensate for my spiritual disappointment. Breakthrough? That didn’t come until… well until right now. Look again at that cycle of dreaming:

Deposit - Excitement - Disappointment - Waiting - Breakthrough

It looks like the whole goal is to get to the Breakthrough. It looks like everything is pointing to that moment. But the secret of the Kingdom of God, is that the point is actually in the spaces in between. Those dashes, that’s the whole point. It’s what happens in your heart while you wait. It’s what you do when the disappointment sinks in. It’s how you steward the excitement. It’s all pointing to the One who gave the dream. The point of the dream is to glorify the One who gave it.

See, I didn’t do so well at this. I was impatient and not a great steward. I wanted to know the timing, and I wanted to have some control. I wanted to speed things up so that I could skip to the good parts. But I am now standing at the Breakthrough, and to be honest? I could wait longer. I would be ok if my dream was delayed another year. Or even 5. I’ve learned the secret to carrying a dream, to stewarding hope deferred. The secret is, that God is in it all. God was with me in each stage, in every delay, in every calendar year that passed without seeing anything come to fruition.

Don’t believe the lie that says something more is going on here. A dream delayed is not a dream abandoned, it’s just a dream delayed. Hope deferred is not hope destroyed, it’s just deferred. You don’t get to say when the dream is dead, only the One who deposited it in you gets to make that call. Your job is just to stay close to Him in it all. And you don’t get to say why the dream is delayed. You can guess, but the harder and better choice is to not fill in the blanks. Can you hold the mystery of waiting without trying to define it and set a timer? That’s the real beauty of stewardship. Are you ok with not knowing why your dream is delayed? So much bad theology grows when we try to define things we’re not meant to. Don’t assume that God is purposefully hurting you and holding back His goodness. Assume He’s right there with you in it. Assume the full love of God, the fruit of the Spirit is available to you in the spaces in between. Give God the benefit of the doubt. You will join the ranks of the Apostle Paul, who learned how to be content in every situation. He experienced hunger and abundance, and it was the Presence of God that he relied on in both.

Amy Hayward4 Comments