The first time I was asked to speak at an event it totally blew me away. I was honored and humbled and mystified! I’d never spoke at any official events before, except for one I’d planned and executed myself…(I think I was only asked because I knew the organizer pretty well 😉 )
After that first night speaking, and the 100+ events that followed in the next two years, I was hooked. A fire was ignited somewhere deep inside of me and I knew that I knew that I knew I’d found my calling in life.
But in between then (7 years ago) and now, I’ve both lived my dream and had it taken away. I’ve had moments of opportunity and open doors, and moments where my dreams seemed on hold, stalled, stuck.
The difference has always been in my posture towards those dreams and more importantly, towards the ONE who gave me those dreams.
When God first places a dream or desire in our hearts, we often hold it with open hands. The immediate gratitude towards the gift keeps us looking up, grateful and with our fingers unfurled.
But As we begin to experience living out the dream and the adrenaline rush, confidence boost and purpose that flows in that place, our hands often begin to close around the gift. We begin to identify ourselves with the gift rather than the giver.
“I am a speaker/writer/blogger/mother/wife. It is who I am.”
This is a dangerous place to be because rather than hold the gift with gratitude and our eyes fixed on the giver, we worship the gift itself. We become selfish, controlling, always striving for more.
Suddenly what was meant as a blessing becomes a curse.
As our fist closes more and more tightly around this gift, we begin to choke the life out of it and ourselves. Instead of using this gift to bring glory to the one who gave it, we want the glory for ourselves.
This is when God begins His rescue.
For me it happened a few years after I first began speaking. Suddenly all the open doors seemed to be closing and the opportunities fading away. It looked, on the outside, as though God had abandoned me, or worse, was playing some kind of game with me.
I called out to Him.
“Why give me this dream in the first place if you were just going to take it away? Why open all these doors and allow me to experience such joy and excitement and then snatch it from my hands?”
What I couldn’t see was that He was gently, yet firmly peeling my finger back, not to take the gift away, but to teach me the right posture of holding it. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Every good and perfect gift belongs to Him.
Your husband or wife. Our children. Our hopes and dreams and passions. All of these are HIS first and we are just the stewards, given these gifts to BRING GLORY TO HIS name – not our own. To build His kingdom – not ours.
Hold your gifts with open hands, friends. Keep your eyes up and ever seeking HIS face, for this is the greatest gift of all – to “behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4)