Recently I overheard a mom and her child interacting. The conversation entailed the adolescent expressing a desire, and her mom squashing it due to fear over the child’s past behaviors.
Angry words ensued, and the more the young person repeated the goal she wanted to pursue, the more the mom shot it down.
They invited me into the conversation, but the mom remained negative and wouldn’t listen to my attempts to suggest she allow her child to pursue her dream and give her room to fail.
When I left them, they were still speaking antagonistically toward one another.
After this, I thought of that mom and the role she was playing in that altercation: dream- stomper, naysayer, hope-slayer.
My heart hurt as I thought of times I took on that role with certain people in my life—especially those who repeatedly made unwise choices.
Then I recalled people in my life who have delivered discouraging words when I announced a dream or desire—often those the Lord laid on my heart.
“You’ll never succeed at that.”
“You’re not good enough to accomplish that.”
“That will never happen.”
“Why in the world would you want to attempt that goal?”
“Are you crazy? Kidding me? Have a screw loose?
Despite those who have tried to squash my dreams, with God’s help I’ve succeeded at most of them. The others are still in progress.
The key to realizing our dreams is to avoid listening to the dream-stompers and instead open our ears and hearts to the Lord and embrace His words and will for our lives.
One thing I know is that if He has called me to it, He will do it in me and through me. I think of God calling me to sing and those who have tried to squash that dream He laid on my heart. Several people in my life have said, “You can’t sing.”
My singing is not about being on “The Voice” or “American Idol” but it is about being able to minister to others with songs, some written by talented songwriters and others that God has laid on my heart. When I’ve obeyed God and sung songs to hurting souls, they have been moved and changed. They have said, “Wow! You can sing.” Many times there have been healing tears.
So who is right?
God empowers me to touch souls with songs, and the ones who say, “You can’t sing” are not souls who need a song from me. They listen with fleshly ears and compare me to the best singers in the world.
I think of the tsk-tsk I’ve heard from others as I’ve tried to pursue my dreams. When I turn to the Lord, He has something different to say. He communicates, “Good for you,” “I’m so proud of you,” and “You can do this.”
I’m praying for that mom who too often plays the dream-stomper in her daughter’s life—that she will allow the Holy Spirit to speak encouraging words through her.
And I’m praying for myself that I will completely let go of ever being the dream-stomper, naysayer, or hope-slayer in people’s lives—even my own–as I let go of negative words toward others and to myself.
Today I know for certain that God is dreaming big for me and for my loved ones—even if dreams and desires seem difficult or even impossible.
When others say, “That’s impossible,” I need to remember to embrace what God says, “…for all things are possible with Me” (See Mark 10:27) and echo what David said in Psalm 55:23: …But I will trust in, lean on, and confidently rely on You.”
The decision I need to make today and every day is: who will I listen to?
Lately the song “Through It All” written my Andrae Crouch has been coming to mind. And this past Tuesday someone in my Bible study mentioned it as well. Even with dream-stompers, nay-sayers, and hope-slayers working to try to get me to abandon my God-given dreams, my Lord reminds me that through it all He is teaching me to trust in Him alone.
“Through It All” by Andrae Crouch featuring CeCe Winans