“The message I give you waits for the time I have appointed. It speaks about what is going to happen. And all of it will come true. It might take a while. But wait for it. You can be sure it will come. It will happen when I want it to.”

Habakkuk 2:3 

I dream a lot. My mind often wanders about things I want to achieve in life, things that I feel a burning in my soul to accomplish. As a kid, I loved going outside to play. I would create vast worlds in my mind a live out a series of stories and adventures. Sometimes it was being a superhero or Jedi having to face great odds, a villain bent on destroying all of existence. Other times I would be a knight or samurai, a part of an army keeping the land safe. I dreamed awake, creating ideas and solving issue of the world. As I grew up, I continued to dream, talking about the future and the things that I was going to accomplish and save the world from. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received, was from a girl named Ellen in high school. She told me she wanted to join my group project in science because I was always dreaming and creating things. As I’ve grown in my walk with Christ, my dreams have shifted. I used to want to be a screenwriter making movies with beautiful stories, I wanted to create stories that spoke to the core of others and impacted them, but the Holy Spirit had more in store. The Holy Spirit shifted my mind, it was hard and my flesh didn’t know how to handle it, but my eyes were opened. God made me this way, not to be a screen writer, but a pastor. A mentor, someone who empowers others; a dreamer for a kingdom minded world. God made me a dreamer, and the truth is, he wants us all to dream bigger.

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Empowering Someone Else’s Dream

One of the most impactful things that has happened in my life, was when my middle school youth pastor, Marshall, brought me into his office and told me I was a unique kid that was going to do great things. After that he brought me with him to a low-income school on the south side of Greensboro. The school was filled with kids who came from broken homes, newly immigrated to America, and were in a rough side of town. We set up a mini carnival for them, playing games and handing out candy. The smiles from the kids gave me a hope for the future. I was an awkward middle schooler who loved comic books and had anger issues. I was given a chance to reach out to young kids who needed help, they needed the love of Christ. I was able to give that to them in the form of fun childish games. I felt like I wasn’t going to amount to anything, but Marshall empowered my dream to be a hero to others like I read in those comic books. Marshall spoke life into me.

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Fearing our Dreams

As I was driving to a local coffee shop that I like to work at, I was thinking about what today’s post would be about. This idea popped in, because it is something that I have dealt with and continue to struggle with. Fear, more specifically fear of running after my dreams. One of the scariest questions I’ve ever been asked is, “what do you want to do in life.” I was asked this multiple times in high school and even moving into college. “What are you going to major in, what do you want to do for the rest of your life.” These terrified me, and to some extent still do. Why does is scare me, why does this question affect so many people. From what I’ve found is that when we are asked this question, we immediately think about our hopes and dreams for the future. We get nervous because we think about how difficult it may be to actually reach that dream.

We immediately question ourselves which in turn, makes us believe a lie that we can achieve nothing.

Our dream for our lives is what drives us, this vision that we feel we have been called to. As we think about what it will take to pull off, it becomes this giant mountain that we feel unequipped for. In that statement above, notice how I said it is a lie that we believe, meaning that it isn’t true. God doesn’t give us a vision for something that is impossible, no matter what the odds look like. Nehemiah had a vision from God to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, his dream was to rebuild the city and it became his passion. The road for Nehemiah was not easily laid out, or free from danger. The people that Nehemiah were tired and feared for their lives, and Nehemiah was concerned that his dream was going to fail, that he would never complete what he had set out to do.

Nehemiah came to a point where he could either turn away from his dream, or look to God for his strength and complete what he was called to do.

He chose the right thing to do, trust God and never give up. I think this is true in our lives, we all have dreams, these visions of what we are striving for guide us, drive us, move us towards a higher purpose. There’s nothing more heart wrenching than seeing someone have a vision that God has placed in their life, and walk away from it. We were made to face the fear and attack the lies head on, and learn from the work that it took to persevere.

Perseverance leads to wisdom and strength.

Will it be easy? Nope, as much as I would like to tell you that if you stick with it nothing will drag you down, I would be lying to you. Is it worth it? Absolutely. In my life I have been scared of my dreams, a dream to be in ministry, to prepare the next generation to do even greater things. A dream to do this through me speaking and writing to others, to empower those who feel like giving up. I want to do this because I have wanted to give up, many times I have wanted to take the easy road and walk away from my potential. I still do, but I’m ready to face the hard times. Nehemiah didn’t stand back and take it, he took steps to protect himself and the people he led, and we should do the same.

Protect yourself by living in the word and striving towards a better relationship with Christ.

I’m not perfect at this, but I will fight for the dream that God has given me with all that I’ve got. I encourage you to do the same, even if you feel like your time has passed, I assure you, God will use you no matter what your past is or how old or young you are. I know I won’t stop. I will impact the next generation, I will write books to empower others, and I will speak and teach leaders to be the best they can be.

What will you do?

-Joshua Thomas