I have lots of ideas and plans and my mind never rests. I am also what is called an "Activator" or as my friend Jenna calls it, a Fire Starter. My question isn't "how?" or "why?" it's "when do we start?". I like to jump. This is super great in so many areas, and for the areas where it's not so great I'm thankful for my non-fire starter husband who balances me well.
When God began shaking up my heart a few years ago and opening my eyes to things I really hadn't seen before, I began researching things like "South Sudan Missionaries with Kids Under 3" and was emailing and making phone calls before I knew it.
I was ready. The roof was taken off and I was ready to fly. I wanted to get my hands dirty, be used in a more powerful way and not waste anymore time doing the things that were driving me crazy. In all honesty it was church that was driving me nuts. I was tired of people complaining about silly things that don't matter, serving the served and the falseness that seemed to come with Sunday morning "fellowship time". I was burnt out over the lack of authenticity and I declared it a lost cause.
Well, we didn't pack up and leave right away. We did a lot of praying (mostly Trevor did because I was just done. My prayers were more like "please open a door so we can leave) Even though physically we hadn't moved, my heart had moved on. I was jaded and annoyed and done.
I am ever so thankful that my wise husband didn't say "No" but kept praying. He held everything loosely in his hands, but continued to seek God's will for our life. We talked through a lot, weighed a lot of options and continued to just take next steps.
God gave me a little time to pout about things, and my friends listened to my heart and my complaining without telling me to get over myself. I'm really thankful for that too.
After God had had enough of my self-righteous pity party (I have no problem admitting that) He pretty much said
"Instead of whining about not getting to go do the big awesome things you want to do RIGHT NOW....you get off your butt and go do something for crying out loud!" (my translation)
Wait. So, just because I can't live in Africa in a grass hut and raise my boys naked in the dirt right now, it doesn't mean I can't take what I have and do something meaningful here???
I will be honest with you and say that it didn't just click for me right away. I begrudgingly began in that direction, all the while hoping that soon we'd get to head off and do something even more awesome. It didn't have to be Africa, but I wanted it to be big. We both have some big ideas, and I am just the one that says let's do it before thinking things through all the way. It has to be now or I'm over it.
I had a foot in what God was doing here and now, and a foot in what I hoped would come.
It took awhile before I saw things with new eyes.
Yes, there are people who get to jump up, pack their things and go...with littles in tow. As much as I wanted that to be us, to be the people who said a crazy yes and went and did something big....God was asking us to be faithful in the little things for now.
I can't tell you how many times I sat around a table with our tribe and shared my heart, wanting more, big ideas, dreams etc. I felt like the little stuff was insignificant and someone else could surely do the little things.
I stepped into a role that I knew God had called me to, and in many ways is stretching me. Our church went through a huge transition, and that's big....but when your spouse is on staff there it's magnified. We are still transitioning.
We are being faithful in the small things. The things God has for us right now, we are doing it. We are mentoring, training, investing in people, growing leaders, encouraging and all the while we are still dreaming about what God has down the road.
One of my friends, he says a lot of good stuff, has pointed out so many times that sure we could go and do these other great big things elsewhere but that what we are learning right now, in this time is going to be huge and benefit whatever is next. This isn't a wasted time. It may feel like treading water at sometimes, but if we are willing to learn while we wait we will be so much better off.
I say all of this to say, dream.
Ask God to show you what is really deep down inside. If money, fear, location or education weren't an obstacle, what would you want to do with your life?
And then pray. Can you do it? If not why? Then work on how to eliminate those whys.
If it takes awhile to do that...
Don't just sit on your butt and wait. Do something. I don't care what it is, but do something.
Jump into a role, use your gifts, fill a spot, seek something out. Don't twiddle your thumbs. Don't waste the opportunity to learn now.
You can be awesome now, even if what you really want is a little ways away. Maybe you come to find out that the little things really are big things and you are living the awesome without even realizing it.
Don't believe that what you are doing now doesn't have a huge impact somewhere down the road.
Dream. Do. Don't wait.