How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality

photo credit: Dale Hanson Burke

Does everyone have a God-given dream? Or are only “special” people given the task to steward one?

I have a growing sense that many people live with creative, Spirit-inspired ideas stirring inside their hearts but have little clue what to make of them or how to develop them. These aren’t only gifted entrepreneurs or Type-A leaders, but regular, sincere Christ followers who want God to use their lives to bless others.

If you find yourself wondering whether the inkling you’ve had to do something different or start something new is from God, here are few questions to ask yourself to gain clarity and discover your next step.

What conditions prepared me to conceive this dream?

When we find ourselves at the crossroads of whether to pursue a dream or not, we can often look back and see particular conditions that have prepared us. For some, it’s the awakening of desire. They hear about an opportunity or need and think, “That’s for me!” For others, it’s an experience that disturbs them; an encounter they can’t quit thinking about or not respond to. Discontent is another common conundrum that creates the ripe conditions for conceiving a dream. “Something’s missing; there’s got to be something more God wants for my life.” All of these situations prepare the soil of our hearts to receive the seed of a God-given dream.

Which of my values are being expressed through this dream?

Our values provide the raw material for the dreams we realize. That’s why people’s dreams are so individual and unique. Values are what take root in us through defining experiences we have, significant people we meet, and life lessons we take away. A value is “a deeply held belief that possesses the worth to influence decisions made and actions taken,” according to Randy Reese, in The Journey.  Your dream is influenced by your conscious or even unconscious values and is a tangible expression of them. What do you value?

How would I describe the energy I feel when I dream about this dream?

One of the questions many people of faith ask relative to their dream is whether it originates from God or from their own misguided desires. The answer to this question requires discernment. One way to discern is to pay attention to the nature of the energy you have for your dream. How would you describe it? Desires that are fueled by energy from our ego are typically impatient, willful and driven. Desires that are fueled by energy from God and our authentic self usually feel free, unforced and life-giving. What most discover is that they experience both energies influencing them at times. The key is to operate out of the flow of God-given energy and see where it takes you.

So, after reflecting on these questions, if you sense that the idea forming inside you is legitimate, it’s time to take your next step. Write a concise description based on what you currently know of your dream and share it with a trusted friend or two. You will discover that one step leads to the next step as you welcome the dream taking shape inside you.

 

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photo credit: Dale Hanson Bourke
Beth Booram is a spiritual director and author of Start Something New, which can be ordered in resources.