a journal entry, a closed door, and a bigger door opened

july 24th, 2012

tonight i am reminded of Your goodness in my life. i am reminded that You have a plan and a purpose greater than i could ever imagine and that You are for me. i am reminded that You have my best interest at heart when You close doors that seem to lead to great opportunities. Your ways are higher and i choose to put my trust and my hope in You because i know that You do not disappoint. thank You

as a business owner striving to wholly pursue my dreams is hard. it comes with great excitements coupled with great disappointments. and when the disappointments come they seem to hit hard. and on july 24th, 2012, a certain disappointment hit especially hard. i questioned my ability and value to those around me. i questioned my direction and decision to build this business. i questioned everything. but i held onto the promise that God gave me, that God gave all of us, that He has a plan and a purpose for every single detail of our lives and that His plans are greater than we could ever hope or dream. i held onto  those promises and was determined to not give up, not give in, to whatever disappointment may come.

the very next morning, while at the gym, i received a text that almost sent me into a pile of tears. my heart screamed and i couldn’t believe what i was reading. for months chris and i had been praying, brainstorming, and praying some more. God had placed a burning desire within me to attend the Pursuit 31 Conference but we had no idea how we were going to make it work. but God did. that morning, God rocked our world. in ways only He can orchestrate, the text brought about the news that i was going to the conference! i couldn’t believe what i was reading and actually had to read it again. it was true. it was really happening.

when God closes doors He is always faithful to open others, constantly pushing us in the direction He is wanting us to go. sometimes the hardest part for us is accepting that the door has closed, that He has something different, something bigger, something better.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  Ephesians 3:20 MSG

daring to dream

as i read her words aloud to my husband it was as though she was speaking directly to my heart. every word, every sentence, every paragraph seemed to put in to words what my heart has been feeling for some time now. i felt so vulnerable and transparent.

“Sometimes we forget, we underestimate and get comfortable with day to day living“, she wrote, “that those urges in us that burn like fire get pushed to the side.”

i find myself constantly struggling with my hearts desires, questioning their logic and whether they will ever come to pass or, as she said it so well, whether they are simply “fantasy or fleeting moments of granduer.” but she went on to remind us that

“the vision and dreams that God has put in you HE has not forgotten about and He doesn’t want you to either. “

we finished reading her blog post and began to allow ourselves to dream, and not simply in our thoughts, where dreams can so easily be overtaken by reason and logic. we typed our dreams out, listing 1 year, 5 year, and life long dreams. some may seem completely unrealistic and all together silly but we dreamed any way, because, as she put it so elequantly,

“God doesn’t place desires in us in vain.  I think He gives us the visions, the eye to see the things that we want because they are within reach and He wants them for us.”

sweaty guy at the gym… and following my hearts desire

he was red in the face, with sweat dripping down his nose and he was grunting and moaning and immediately i wished that chris was there. ” what if he has a heart attack? what would i do? chris could help him but i wouldn’t even know where to start.” as my peaceful workout was annoyingly interrupted by the man next to me struggling to keep up with his stair climber machine i looked at my time; i was only half way there before i could hop off my elliptical machine and head down stairs to meet up with chris. i tried to turn my attention elsewhere: my stats, the news, my iPhone… anything to distract me… but it didnt work and i was left with the complete awareness of his every grunt. and then he spoke. between gasping breaths he said “come on.” huh? did he just say something? i was confused. is he talking to himself? and then another; “you can do it.” and then i realized he was talking to himself, he was coaching himself, encouraging himself, pushing himself past the point that his body told him he could go. and immediately my disgust turned to amazement. he had a desire, a goal, and he was determined to get there, no matter how hard he had to push himself.

then my thoughts turned towards myself. what are my goals? what are my desires? and what am i doing to achieve these goals? and what i found was a bit disappointing. while my heart was pushing me in one direction and i knew where i WANTED to go my mind was telling me where i SHOULD go and was filled with questions. “what if it doesn’t work? think of all the time and energy you will have wasted. will you have time to dedicate to it? are you really creative enough? talented enough? is this really where God is calling you to be? this isn’t safe.”

and as long as i can remember i have let my mind win out, thinking the more responsible path would be the one that’s safest, smartest. i gave in to settling and i have been left with this huge desire, restrained and restricted by fear.

the great thing about that man at the gym was that he knew his hearts desire, he knew he had a goal that, while reachable, was going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. and he wasn’t going to let himself or any one else keep him from that. he pushed himself, not caring what others might think of his seemlingly crazy grunts, moans, and self coaching statements. he didn’t let fear in any way keep him from going all out and pushing himself beyond his comfort level. and i am so thankful. he taught me a valuable lesson that day and i left determined to step out of my comfort zone to pursue what it his God has placed on my heart to do, no matter how scared my mind might be.

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

I Thessalonians 5:24