Growing up we were always told we could be anything we wanted to be by mentors that continually proclaimed “Dream Big”, “Reach for the Stars”, “Change the World”, and so on. The options for our futures were seemingly endless. We dreamed of one day being teachers, lawyers, doctors, police officers, firefighters, moms and dads. Therefore, playtimes would consist of playing “school”, “house”, or “firefighter”. Back then, we knew just what to say when adults would ask us “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and we looked forward to the day when all our dreams would come true.
As middle school approached, so did career days and the 8th grade career project that guided students in mapping out their futures before they entered into high school. With high school came resume building, big tests, and even bigger decisions in an effort to one-day gain admittance into our dream universities and pursue these lifelong dreams. Finally, the day we had been waiting for our whole lives came and we began our journeys towards forming our wildest dreams into a reality as we entered into college.
If you’re anything like me, this is how you thrive. I’m a notorious planner but an even bigger dreamer. My senior year of high school I dreamed of attending a school where I could pursue my dreams but also pursue Christ in the community of other believers. Therefore, I spent the better half of my senior year applying to 25 colleges and universities across the northeastern region of the country. I am aware this most likely sounds crazy to most people but I was determined to pursue a future that could make everything I’d ever dreamed of for myself to come true. Three months after my high school graduation I moved into my dream college in pursuit of a marketing degree.
Going into college I had it all mapped out, my Pinterest boards for my dorm room were perfect, and I thought I was going to start a startup company upon graduation that would bring me all the success in the world. Until I learned that the reality of college and social media’s portrayal of it are two very different things. I was in a major I hated just for the wealth I had a chance of accumulating. And that going to a Christian college doesn’t make you a Christian. The transition into college can be rough at first, it happens, but it is where you go from that point on that grows you into the person God has created you to be.
God has an incredible plan for our lives that is so much bigger than we are. He has given us a calling and a greater purpose here on this earth then a materialistic job and six-figure salary. God wants us to dream big but rather than pursuing selfish motives to keep our eyes fixed on him. Jesus is the biggest dream giver and caster there ever will be. He sets dreams on his peoples’ hearts everyday but we need to know when to tune out what society says we should do and tune into Jesus. Jesus never desired for his children to dream small, especially when he has called us to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. God-sized dreams are always achievable if they are God inspired.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:14
When I started to pursue my calling with God’s plan as the most important thing in my life, everything changed. If you say yes to God’s dreams and plans to further his kingdom rather than pursuing a continued life of an earthly wealth surplus with a popular status, your life might get shaken up a little bit. It might look like this… where eventually you’ll be stopped in your tracks in the middle of your campus library at 1am wondering how you went from playing “school” in your childhood friends’ basement to being three years away from entering a classroom with your own students, on your 7th major in two years, and dreading your current chosen career path. Arguably, this was the point in my story when after planning for my future career since I was five years old, playing teacher on every playdate thinking I knew exactly what God’s best would be for me on my own, that with major number 8 later that year I finally surrendered my plans over to God.
Through the past few years, I’ve learned it is possible to achieve all our wildest dreams and more if we pursue God first over our own selfish motives. God wants to give us success in our future and he wants to be the hero of our success stories so that through each victory we can point the glory back to him for all others to see. High school, college, grad school, etc are all temporary. Four years of each and then we move onto a new phase of life, allow God to teach you where you are now so he doesn’t have to teach you the harder way later. Jesus is so faithful to his promises and deserves all the fame and glory for our lives. We were placed on this earth for his purposes and called according to his plan. Pursue your calling and God will run with it, he will bring you to new opportunities and places you’ve never even dreamed of before. Dream Big.
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” –Romans 8:27-28