A dream is just a wish your heart makes...
Yeah, Right. Maybe in a Disney movie. My dreams come from my overactive mind, then my heart takes ahold of one.
Childhood dreams were animal related. I once wanted to be a Vet until my Mom pointed out I would have to put a dog down. Okay, I will be a nuse. She pointed out I would have to change bedpans. I stopped sharing my dreams shortly after that. By the time college rolled around, I thought I wanted to be a Fashion Merchandiser (Buyer) for a large clothing store. I had it mapped out...I'll live in New York and it will be awesome. I majored in clothing and minored in merchandising. After my first class in my major, my advisor suggested (strongly) that I find another major, one that did not require me to sew a straight seam. Dream Dashed. After changing my major, I decided that I was not ready for college and quit (well, the college helped that decision).
After I married, I went back to school. Culinary school this time. I loved it. I worked in the Food Industry full-time and went to school full-time. I had a connection with my brother, who had worked in the Food Industry for years. I became confident. Life was good and I had a dream.
Then life changed. I was over-worked, two full-time jobs (school & work) with long hours for both. I decided I didn't need to finish school. Actually my chef helped me decide that. I went to him and told him I was tired because of the commitments I had. He suggested quit school because he could teach me more than the school could. So I dropped school. I stayed in the same job for a year, no increase in salary or in knowledge. Actually I gained more knowledge, I learned that if I wasn't male in the industry I would make considerably less. I made at least $1/hour less than a younger less experienced guy. So I changed jobs, smaller kitchen and a smaller staff. Seemed like family. My world stopped and turned upside down with one phone call from my Dad. My brother was scheduled for a minor procedure and I was expecting a phone call. This was not that call. My Dad struggled to talk, "Crystal...your brother died. They are working on him. He's in ICU." Apparently I started sobbing. Staff, kitchen and wait, all came in to see why. My manager took me to UAB, I couldn't drive. We had a small army camped out in the waiting room, mixture of family & his friends.
My third wedding anniversary was the timeframe. We had a two week trip planned coming up in a week or so. The doctors managed to bring him back and stabilize him. But he was not the same. He basically suffered the affects of a stroke due to lack of oxygen to the brain. He survived one month, six days after we returned from our trip. The small kitchen staff never called to check on me. I went early one monrning before anyone was there and collected my things and left a resignation letter. Months later, my old chef called. He had somehow heard of my brother's passing and offered me a job. He saved my life with that phone call. I started back to work for him on my brother's birthday.
I left the Food Industry, but it is still in my blood. I dreamed of opening a cafe. I have a business plan worked up, but no support to do it. Dreams can provide false hopes. We dream and when those dreams are crushed, we lose ourselves. New dreams, new hopes. It is a cycle that continues until we give up dreaming.
That's when God steps in. If our dreams are based on us, then chances are they will fail. No, not every time. I have seen successful dreams that are void of God. Hard work, long hours and no personal life make those dreams the success they are. But what if God gives us the dreams He wants us to pursue? If we include God in our business plan, He will provide a way. He will open doors or slam them shut. We all know the verse Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Welfare not necessarily riches. But did you see at the end of the verse, "For a hope"? Why include that phrase? Because He knows His plans and the future. He knows what we will do and He knows we will lose hope.
God's plans are perfect. We are not. We screwed up the Garden of Eden afterall. We can dream big or dream small, but our dreams are not where our hope should be. Our hope is in the Lord (Psalm 33:20-22). So if you need a God shout to drown out those Satan whispers (those little internal whispers that make you believe you can't do something), then here are a few:
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.
Psalm 31:34 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Power of prayer grounds us with God. Dream your dreams, but submit them to God. Pray that He shows you a way for those dreams. And wait. Psalms 37:7 "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way. Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes." God's timing is not ours; He is a patient God, we are not.