Are we Chasing Dreams or Chasing God?

Chasing Dreams or Chasing God

This is going to be a different kind of post. I don’t have any tips or words of wisdom to impart. It’s just me, pouring out my heart.

Friends, God has been moving in my heart lately. And I’m in that place of pruning. It’s not all fun, and sometimes it’s painful, but at the same time, it is beautiful, encouraging, and invigorating because I know that He chastens those He loves. And I know that He is leading me. There is comfort and peace in His leading.

Dreams seem to be the buzz word in my online Christian circles lately. More specifically, chasing your dreams. I’ve even written about it myself.

It seems like every time I turn around, someone who is more “arrived” is telling us that we need to dream bigger, work hard and achieve greatness.

It’s always about greatness. 

For a while now on this blog, I have been chasing dreams. I’ve been doing what the experts say I need to do in order to be a successful work at home mom. A successful blogger. My traffic has grown. My small income from this blog has finally overtaken the expense of this blog.

But the whole time, I feel like I am spinning my wheels. And even though I love you, my readers, and I love what God can do through blogs like this…it just feels empty.

I’ve been chasing this dream. And it’s not even about the money or success. It’s about what they mean–validation. If I have an audience of thousands, or if I can contribute to my family financially…then I matter.

I’ve written about this before, but the truth is it’s a constant battle for me. This desperate need to be useful to God, to do something big enough to matter. I’ve written about how I want to be where I’m called, even if that means I’ll never do the “big” things. And in my head I believe that and know it to be true. But sometimes it doesn’t sink in as fully as I need it to.

And sometimes, I have even been resentful. I’ve found myself wondering…why does she get to be a missionary? Why does she get to be a big blogger, teacher, author, etc. while I’m called to be just a mother and housewife? And the Lord has gently reminded me of Jesus’ words to Peter in John 21…”what is that to you? You follow me.”

Follow Him.

We live in a society that doesn’t value motherhood. And even though I have written posts about how we are never “just” stay at home moms, it’s another thing that is hard to really get past…this need to matter somehow. To be valued and validated. 

But when I get that from worldly pursuits, it’s empty. 

I believe with 100% of my being that the only thing that will ever leave me satisfied, fulfilled, and at peace with my life is to live it in the way that my savior desires for me. It’s exhausting to be spinning my wheels and feeling emptier and emptier. 

Maybe I will never be a “big blogger” or a published author. But for right now, I am tired of fighting it. I’m tired of holding on to something that for me is a worldly pursuit and a dream that the Lord is clearly telling me to let go of.

A while ago, God asked me in my spirit…”Will you lay down your nets and follow me?” This happened when I was reading Mark 1, specifically Mark 1:18. Jesus was calling his disciples Simon and Andrew. He called them to follow Him and we are told that “they immediately left their nets and followed him.”

They immediately left their nets. They gave up their livelihood, and their lives as they knew them.

And God has been asking me, gently calling me, to lay down my nets and live the life that He has chosen for me instead. And isn’t that always the best way?  I have argued with myself–the Lord gave me this love for words, right? And I know that words have the power to bless, encourage, and share His message with others. I don’t think writing or blogging are bad. I don’t even think that blogging as a business is bad.

But I can say with certainty that it is not what the Lord wants for me right now.

So, I’m letting it go. I’m recommitting myself to God’s will for my life, and to my family. I am recommitting myself to the mission that led me to start this blog–serving God and my family with a joyful spirit. My desire is to live out Colossians 3:23 in my home. Even if no one else ever sees, He sees and He deserves my best, whether I am discipling and teaching my children or cleaning the toilets.

Simply put, I’m tired of chasing worldly pursuits, tired of chasing dreams. I just want to chase God. And I think when we do that, the other things have a funny way of falling into place.

Just to clarify–I will probably still blog and share as the Lord leads. I’m excited to share the new direction He is leading our family! But it won’t be on the “right” schedule, and it won’t be as a business or for “success.”

Comments

  1. says

    “You follow me” love that! Not worrying about what everyone else thinks or does, just placing the focus on what we’re supposed to do…what God is asking from each of us personally. Well said, and thanks for sharing your heart to us! It’s so encouraging to see other bloggers proclaim, “I’m not letting this run my life, I’m letting God run my life!”

  2. Beth Cranford says

    Crying.
    You spoke the words I should be mature enough to speak. I’m proud of you, praying for you, and ever-so-thankful for you. You matter. Even if you never write again. You matter to your family, to God, to me, and many others. You may be the only person who totally gets where I am because you’re right there too, in so many ways. Let’s keep praying for each other! (and a visit would be nice since we’re not that far apart).

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thank you so much for your words! DEFINITELY a visit sometime! We’ve been trying to work out when to go visit my BIL who lives there as well, so hopefully that will be soon.

  3. Brooke Beggs Rix says

    You are such a godly example of living a life searching for Gods wisdom! What a blessing you are to us privileged to know you personally an those of us who 'follow' your blog. You post from your heart! I believ God is blessing you every day! I'm excite to hear about the new path!

  4. Jeffrey Lee Brothers says

    As someone who has chased both his dreams and his God, may I say that our God is a Redeemer. He puts dreams in our hearts and many times those dreams get skewed by the world. Yet we follow them. Then, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly, the dream changes because our hearts change. In this way, we take a step closer to His dream for us. He is redeeming our dreams as He redeems our actions. If we keep our eyes on Him, He will show us how to become more like His Son, no matter where we started or what dreams we follow along the way.

  5. says

    I always chuckle when I read that passage, “What is that to you?” Every time. It’s like it took God being a little sarcastic to get my attention. Every time! :) I sought validation, too, and it took getting to a place of broken-ness to make me realize that there are times and seasons for all of it. Praying for you, sweet girl!

  6. Sandy Olson says

    Crystal, you do have a good use of the written language and God is using you! I’ve been struggling with what God expects of me and he used today’s post to speak to me. Thank you for following and listening to God. Between what I read today and our pastor’s sermon yesterday I now know without a doubt what I need to be doing. I pray that you continue to seek God’s will.

  7. says

    What timing! I have been so struggling myself with similar things and praying as to what I need to do. It is amazing how the Lord answers prayers. In the last three days I have had three different women talk of their struggles. Coming to the breaking point, and finally giving themselves up to the Lord, and how much strength they get when they quit trying to do it on their own. Yesterdays talk in Church was about the yoke of Christ and how by giving ourselves up to him, we gain so much more strength to do what it is he has called us to do. It was amazing to hear that talk amidst three women testify of these things in their life. I understood some of the struggles of these other women, but I understand the struggles of this post all to well and it speaks directly to my heart.

    In January God put it into my heart to start a new blog. I have spent the last two years struggling and writing at my main blog http://www.lifelesshurried.com But there was so much in my heart that God wanted me to write that did not fit into the readership of that blog. In February I began writing at disciplewalk.blogspot.com. It has been wonderful, but I am at a breaking point. With two blogs, three young kids, and e-books that I am writing I can’t do it all. I have felt the answer so strongly this weekend, but this blog confirms it for sure. I am to quit, or at least really slow the first blog and focus most of my attention on writing Gods word and encouraging others to come and feel the love of Jesus Christ, to take upon themselves the yoke of Christ and be led by him and not by the things of the world. Thank you for helping to confirm those things I know to be true and set them deep into my heart.

  8. Leslie Beauchamp Apel says

    The timing of this post is truly God-led. I have been struggling with similar issues (although I am not a blogger). God has been whispering to me that I'm not finding my identity in Him and that is why I feel these emotions of discontentment and frustration, not to mention feeling like a failure and inadequate at everything. And our sermon yesterday was on the same passage in John. Very convicting. Now to listen and obey.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Praying for you right now, Leslie…that the Lord will lead you and help you follow His path, and find that contentment and fulfillment in Him.

  9. says

    I’m cheering you on, my friend. May God continue to bless you in all seasons and in all things He’s called you to. I know all too well what you’re feeling, as I’ve felt it numerous times myself. I’ve learned to be flexible and let God lead me. The pressure to write regularly or frequently is no longer there. My daughter made me a rubber band bracelet the other day using different colors as a symbol for her (purple), my husband (white), and my other daughter (blue). I have not taken that bracelet off except to shower, because it’s a constant reminder to me that my family comes first. They are my first and most important calling. :-)

  10. says

    I can SO relate to all you said. It is so easy to get caught up in the numbers and to feel that whatever we are doing is not enough. If only we could see as God sees! To be a wife and mother and to have the blessed privilege of staying home full time and dedicating ourselves to being the keepers of our homes is truly the highest, most noble calling. Yet, we tend to look at it as doing so little. There are those who would give anything they own to be in our shoes. How blessed we truly are! Thank you for reminding me of what matters most. God bless you as you step back and re-direct your energies. :) i think it would do us all good to do the same.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Cheryl! I have a friend who is a single mom who reminded me of this recently–the fact that there are women who would love to be in my shoes with the ability to be “just” a wife, mom, and homemaker.

  11. says

    I love your blog, whether you’re a top blogger or not! I do think sometimes we’re so desperate for that validation that we’ll forget or neglect what matters most. We should always find our greatest validation in doing what God wants us to do and being there for the people He has placed in our lives and under our care.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Tanya, thank you so much for your encouraging words! It means a lot! And, that is so true :( It is a constant temptation for me to neglect what matters most and I am praying that He will continue to lead me into serving out His purpose more fully.

  12. says

    Great message, and so timely. I recently turned 60, and I’ve been experiencing this sense of panic that somehow I’ve *missed* God’s purpose in my life. But, I am realizing (and your post confirms it) that this is just another tactic of the father of lies. The truth is that most of the time I think I’ve *missed* something, it’s because I’m comparing myself to others and what they are accomplishing in their lives. God only calls me to MY life. And the truth of the matter is nothing else matters.

    I can hear Him speak, “Forget about all of the others, Sharon. YOU follow Me.”

    Thank you, Crystal. I needed this perspective.

    GOD BLESS!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, Sharon! You’re so right. I pray He will bless you with truth in your heart to counter the lies of Satan.

  13. says

    Crystal, what you’ve said is exactly what we as women need to be doing–following God’s will for our lives and not our own. As you said, chasing Him, not our “dreams.” If my dreams do not correlate to His, then I will never be satisfied. I will always be chasing. But if I trust in Him and let Him direct my paths, then I will find fulfillment and complete satisfaction in Him.

    God bless you. I am excited to see how the Lord leads you as you submit to His will for you. You will be blessed, friend!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Yes, absolutely Keri! You just beautifully summed up the whole post in just a few sentences there :)

  14. says

    Thank you for being a inspiration for many women. I cant say it enough how much your blogs have been a blessing to me and to know I'm not the only one. Although i'm no blogger this has been something i've battled with for about a year now. And although i'm a year late this is still a blessing for me right now. Thank you so much! May our God continue to exalt you!!!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Jordan, thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I’m so glad to hear that my blog has been a blessing to you. I’m certainly a work in progress, but the Lord is so faithful to lead and minister to me. Blessings to you!
      Crystal

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