I’ve been blogging (what I would call “seriously”) here at Just Bee for almost 2 years now! And in these past 2 years, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what it means to follow my dreams…what it means for any of us to follow our dreams! It’s funny. I never really felt like a truly motivated BIG “dreamer” or a “dream-follower” (gasp!) before Bjorn and I were married and he began to encourage me to follow some of my crazy dreams (growing my little blog, being one of them!). I’ve since really adopted my ambitious husband’s dreaming momentum and I’ve begun to wish and hope for things I never would have considered before! It’s exciting, in the most scarily exhilarating way! Kind of like a roller coaster. Do you feel that way sometimes when it comes to your dreams?
Dreaming comes in wide varieties and styles! I remember countless evenings in college spent discussing the future – mapping it out, hypothesizing, whispering our deepest wishes aloud, talking about our hopes, and just plain wondering where life would take each of us! My freshman floor at Bethel University was quite close for a while, which adds to that fun college almost-like-camp feel – almost 20 of us would even walk to the dining center together for supper. We’d also enter into a lot of deeper conversations together – often talking about our futures with certainty and confidence.
It’s been really interesting to reflect on where life has led each of us. Some girls dreamt of traveling the world, and they have done just that. Some dreamt of settling down as soon as possible, even having children young, and they have done that, too! Some of the girls transitioned away from Bethel after freshman year. For those of us who had boyfriends from high school, life happened and sometimes we hung on, sometimes we grew apart and those relationships ended. Over that first year of college, decisions about friendships and future roommates had to be made, altering that close-knit feel of 20 friends in some ways.
Now, 6 years later, life has brought with it a share of heartache and storms and tragedies that we innocent freshman probably never could’ve concocted or predicted. (And for that reason, I am grateful we can’t tell the future.) But through all the ups and downs, it seems like most of us have hung on pretty tightly to those whispered dreams from 2009.
I’ve gone through all sorts of phases when it comes to my dreams. Although I don’t actually want to fill this post with all of the specifics, I want to say that some of my freshman dreams are still very, very real to me. They’re in the back of my mind every day, and though they’re not realized yet, this now-25-year-old Hannah still clings to them tightly. Other dreams have been planted by my husband’s tender heart and eye for my strengths. Some dreams had to be gently set down and I had to loose my grasp on what I thought I always wanted from life. But, overarching it all, whispers my Creator: Hannah, I created you with joy and for a purpose – a purpose greater than you now know, a purpose larger than your current circumstances. I will continue to sanctify you and sustain you, if only you will continue to seek Me.
I’ve come to realize, the best, deepest, most purposeful and future-minded dreaming comes straight from the heart of the One who made us!!
Sometimes, though, we feel like we’re not enough, and we hesitate. I’ve been reflecting lately on why we actually SHOULD follow our prayerfully-considered dreams! This post is meant to be a reminder and a cheerleading excerpt for myself as much as it is for you!
Why you SHOULD chase your dreams:
1 // Because only YOU can fill that role with your unique talents and thoughts and background and approach! We hear it all the time; we’re all uniquely talented and gifted in ways that others aren’t. Your skills are honed in such a way that can fill others’ skill gaps! So, why not step out bravely and bring your talents to the table?
2 // The time will pass anyway. This is one of my favorite new quotes of all time: NEVER GIVE UP ON A DREAM JUST BECAUSE OF THE TIME IT WILL TAKE TO ACCOMPLISH IT. THE TIME WLL PASS ANYWAY. So, if you’re aching to start an Etsy shop, dreaming about going back to school little-by-little, or wanting to start writing that book – even if it takes years, your years are bound to pass anyway! Jump into it now, even if it’s just the beginning stages or baby steps of that dream.
3 // They’ll bring about growth experiences. I’ve strived to accomplish dreams in all sizes and shapes these past few years. Some have totally flopped or have been a bit cringe-worthy. But others have opened doors and sparked new dreams and new ideas! All of it, I’ve been eagerly learning from! Now is the time to try and fail and tweak and try again!
4 // They put a pep in your step. Not much excites me more than sitting and discussing a future dream or fun new idea with my husband. Bjorn, like I’ve mentioned, is very ambitious – he’s always looking to learn new things and then apply that knowledge effectively and efficiently. He’s practical but he sure dreams big! And our discussions around our future dreams (or various current endeavors) are SO MUCH FUN. We just can’t help but grin (and, sometimes, dance in the living room). 😉
5 // You’re inspiring others. Now, this doesn’t mean you do something just to impress or please other people (this is coming from someone who struggles with people pleasing..). But, know that as you take a risk or reach for a new dream of yours, your peers (and, in this day and age, even friends-of-friends on Facebook or people from “afar”) are watching you! So don’t be ashamed of where you are today, or what baby-stage your dream may be in. Every step along the way towards your dream could very well be giving someone else the courage to start dreaming themselves. That’s a very powerful spark.
6 // You’re probably serving others. Some of us hesitate to chase down our dreams because we feel we have so much else to focus on and people to serve – many people struggle with feeling guilty or like following their dreams is a self-centered endeavor. While I think following our dreams could potentially be a selfish issue, I also know that so many dreams are actually centered around helping others and using our skills to make the world a better place. That’s worth focusing on. For me, specifically, I can feel confidently excited about my dreams because I trust that God can use my skills and heart to glorify Himself.
7 // It can increase your trust! You’re vulnerable when you step out to attempt something new, or to try to make something work. That’s the nature of dream chasing. Chasing doesn’t imply we’re merely sitting and allowing dreams and aspirations to come to us. I imagine more of a butterfly net situation, with dreams floating around the yard as we each have our eyes on our own precious dream. (Luckily, each of us has a net crafted specifically to catch our particular dream!). But, I digress.
When we step out, vulnerably, to chase down a new dream, it often reiterates to us just how in control God is, despite all our efforts. Because sometimes, things flop, or we end up seeking Plan B (and loving it!). So, in that sense, chasing our dreams actually gives us the opportunity to let them rest ultimately in God’s hands. And that’s the safest place for them to be.
What’s your attitude toward chasing your dreams? Do you have advice when it comes to dreaming and dreaming big??