Did God Want Me to Even Dream?

Anxiety, confessions, Jesus, singleness, Writing

Hey everyone! I just wanted to thank Brittany for sharing her space here at Where My Soul Belongs. This is such a great blog and I’m honored that she’s letting me bend your ear for a bit.

http://www.melissadouthart.com

C’est moi!

Since we don’t really know each other, I wanted to start off with a little information about me. You can find my complete bio over at my website but I’ll break it down for you right here. My name is Mel, but frankly you can just call me Mel. I write over at The Hart of the Matter and tweet (way too much) @paisleypuddles. I’m in my early 30s (oh that pained me to type) and I’m unmarried (ouch ouch ouch). I tend to blog about faith (because I’m very in love with my Jesus) and about infertility (because I was born without the ability to have biological children) and fear (because I really am a big ole wuss).

When I’m not blogging or writing, I tend to be reading, playing tennis, whipping up some allergy friendly grub (I am allergy!girl), watching movies, taking photographs, or catching a Real Housewives marathon (please don’t judge me). I live on a small farm in rural Iowa and currently herd cats in between growing pumpkins. It’s a small life, but it’s my life and I kind of love it.

The Farm.  Is this Heaven?  No, it's Iowa.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa. Welcome to The Farm.

When I was a kid, I always had a dream. Well, let’s be honest, I still have dreams. I think most of us do, right? We all have goals and things strive for. My entire life, I’ve always thought that I was going to be a teacher. I had these plans to teach and then to get married and have five children. It was a small dream, but a dream none the less. I went to college, got my education degree, and ran off into the sunset to find me a man, hit him over the head with a club, and educate some youngins.

Boy, did God have other plans.

I did teach for awhile. I was miserable. I hated every moment of it. I struggled with finding my groove and took my work home with me way too much. I wept for those children. I struggled with finding my place in their lives and making an impact.

It broke me.

I realized, very quickly, that I was burning out after just a couple of years and I left.

I had never wanted to put quitter in my dreams but there it was. Suddenly I had my whole life ahead of me and no plan. I panicked.

I tried out various things and unfortunately wound up struggling with depression for a long time.

It broke me.

I remember in the darkest parts of my sadness, crying out to God and just feeling completely abandoned.

That was not my dream.

It was my nightmare.

I became convinced that if God wasn’t going to allow me to experience my dream, that God was wrong and that clearly I needed to find a new faith. Like Jacob in the Bible, I wrestled for a long time, trying to come to grips on where my faith meets my reality. On whether or not this journey to Jesus was worth it. Shouldn’t I be getting everything I always wanted? Shouldn’t all my goals just come like clockwork and be easy to manage?

Did God want me to even dream?

During my depression I rediscovered my love for writing. It began very simply, almost with a whisper. I started journaling my feelings. In my darkness, I had pushed most people away, so I needed an outlet. A journal it was. That slowly turned into writing fiction and short stories. A year later I discovered NanoWrimo (which is coincidentally how I met Brittany). Suddenly I had a new dream: writing.

God used my depression and my dreams crashing around me to grow in my heart a new dream – His dream for me. It suddenly became bigger and more attainable than anything I could have ever imagined.

He put a new dream in my heart.

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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

God has a dream for us too. Sometimes it’s not what we had imagined. If I had told my younger self that I’d be pursuing a career in writing, unmarried, and okay with it at thirty-one, I would have laughed. But the truth was, when I came up with my grand plan, I never consulted God. And while what I came up for myself wasn’t bad, it wasn’t His best for me, so it had to go.

Honestly, I don’t know what God holds for me in the future. I don’t know if writing will pan out or just continue to be an amazing hobby. I’m not sure when I’ll get married or if I’ll ever be a mom, but I do know that God is good. I do know that in Jeremiah He tells me that he has a plan for me and that when I seek Him, He will be found.

And He has the same thing in mind for you.

I don’t know what your dreams are or what you’re doing to meet them, but know this: God has an amazing plan for your life. He has a journey He wants to put you on if you’ll let Him. And I promise, I promise, even if it’s hard and frustrating, it will be worth it.

Trust Him.

melissadouthart

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Law_Fal
    July 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

    This post was amazing! Exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      mdouthart
      July 30, 2013 at 7:38 am

      Thank you, Law_Fal. I’m glad it spoke to you.

  • Reply
    mdouthart
    July 30, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I think I messed up a couple of the hyper links, but if you’re curious to read some of my other writing, my website is http://www.melissadouthart.com Thanks to all who read this and thank you SO much Brittany for letting me share my voice here at your great space.

  • Reply
    Juliette
    July 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for sharing! Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out that our dreams for ourselves isn’t God’s plan for us, but once you realize it life changes dramatically for the better. I never thought I would be happy in the situation I’m in now, but I am. God sure knows what’s good for us!

    • Reply
      mdouthart
      July 31, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Juliette! It’s hard when our plans don’t match with his, but His are always better than we could dream. Funny how that works out. :)

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Wife, Then Mama
    July 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Infertility sucks… I know that wasn’t the point of your entry, but since I am infertile, that was the part that stood out to me! My only dream as a child was to get married and have babies. So far the getting married part worked out great, but the babies, not so much. A week and a half ago we got our first foster baby and I couldn’t be happier. I hope your reality turns out even better than your dreams!

    • Reply
      mdouthart
      July 31, 2013 at 10:42 am

      Your words just spoke truth over me and I’m tearing up here. Infertility is horrible and so unfair at times, but I’m SO glad that you’re getting to foster and you’re happy. Thank you so much for sharing this. Truly.

  • Reply
    Karrie Smith
    July 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Wow. We share a similar story, although not the same main points. But I definitely know what it feels like to have that depression when your Life Plans aren’t the same as God’s. I love Brittany’s blog, because she always inspires me to get me on the right track of thinking about what God wants instead of me!me!me! I’m so glad she shared your on her blog today! I have been feeling better than I have in about a year, but I just found out that I have to do some major changes in my life that I’m SO fearful of, before I can start to get my Life Plans back on track. I totally understand what you say about teaching. I’m a nurse, but did substitute teaching in the past few years-yeah, NOT *my* plans! It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. I love kids, but I don’t love annoying kids. I can’t help it, I don’t want to be that way, but I have no patience for it, even when I pray about it-which was EVERY time I went to work at school. I’m excited for what’s in store for me in the future for the first time in a long time, instead of feeling like my life has no purpose. I’m excited to follow your blog as well!

    Thanks Brittany!

    • Reply
      mdouthart
      July 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been struggling again lately with hints of depression because so many things in my life are changing at once. I’m keeping my eyes focused on God though and praying He will continue to help me. God is good!

  • Reply
    Felecia Ward
    December 25, 2013 at 6:00 am

    I ran across your blog on Christmas morning and was delighted to read this article. I have struggled with this issue for 25 years after being laid off for the 5th time this year, months before my 49th birthday. I am unmarried and without children or a job. I not only had grand plans for my life and career, but actually started to achieve professional success. Then every five years or so, I would be laid off, romantic relationships would end, and my finances would be destroyed. I would fight off depression, develop a new career path, and find a new job with less salary. The cycle would repeat itself. I have had my faith tested and became war weary to even go on. Then I decided to not make anymore plans and trust in God’s plan for my life. Your article reinforced my faith that God does know and want more from me. Thank you!

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