Dream beyond your means

I once read that if your dreams are things you can feasibly achieve, then you’re not dreaming big enough. The person who wrote this said that the dreams worth having are the ones you can only achieve with God’s help–even only through a miracle. I’m not sure I completely agree with that–I don’t think big dreams are meant for everyone–but I appreciate the sentiment behind it.

When you dream beyond your means, you’re forced to rely on God to achieve it. Total dependence is the only way to get through each day. And that’s how you cultivate a beautiful relationship with him. Relying on him to achieve your dreams is, among other things, faith-strengthening–and it could end up being the prep work you needed to do in order to walk with him through something tougher down the road.

Of course, your dreams don’t have to be the world-approved kind that belong to big movers and shakers to be beyond your means. Some days, my impossible dream is just to not snap at Little Rabbit for toppling the pile of clean laundry I just folded or for refusing to eat her lunch. I’m human and short-tempered–there are times when even this is beyond my means. I have to lean into God, let him hold me up, in order to make it through.

Big or small, dreaming beyond your means is laying your dream at the feet of a mighty God and asking for his help. It is allowing him to shape the dream itself. It is putting the outcomes in his hands. It is praying hard and then praying harder. It is shutting down your inner censor who tries to tell you that you want too much, are going too far, or are just being unrealistic. Dreaming beyond your means is defying logic because you know your partner can pull of the impossible. And it’s letting that partner–God–run the show.

What are your impossible dreams? How do you dream beyond your means?

I have a dream that, as of this moment, I am a million miles away from ever achieving. For a long time, it was just a thought that sat in the back corner of my mind, timidly poking its head out now and then to remind me it was still there. Nothing more. But lately, I’ve begun to pray over that dream, asking God to shape it, grow it, change it if need be. In prayer, I’m putting it in his hands and asking him to bless it and make it real–however he sees fit to do that.

The dream is this: I want to own a retail store in my city. I want this store to be a haven for creative souls, a place where they can share and fuel their passions. I want to stock journals, art supplies, books, camera gear, notebooks, planners, guided journals, and photo albums. I want to let artists hang their work on the walls. I want there to be a lounge room where people can sit and write, read, paint, and sketch. I want to sell the work of independent artists and makers, and I want to share their stories with customers. And I want to teach workshops that help people learn, develop, and utilize their creative talents.

Places like this exist, I know, but not here. I want to create a space in my city that invites creatives in, gives them the knowledge and supplies they need to do their work, and celebrates what they achieve. 

How is this dream beyond my means? Well, for starters, I have no background in business or retail. I’m a marketer, which is only a small part of business. I’ve never even worked in a retail store. In addition, it’s a huge financial hurdle. Right now, I don’t have the resources to do it–nor do I have a feasible plan for finding the resources that wouldn’t take a God-given miracle. It’s also a logistical struggle: Where would this store be? Who would take care of LR while I worked? How would I learn what I needed to know to git’er done? There are a thousand and one reasons not to dream it, to pick something smaller and easier. But there’s another, better, reason to dream wild: because bringing this dream to God and asking him to take it in his own hands–and then watching what he does with that–grows my faith in the process.

Maybe one day I’ll own that shop. Or maybe someone else will, and I’ll be able to visit it and support the makers who stock the shelves. Whatever does–or doesn’t–happen, the journey there is guided by God. The dream is in his hands. Maybe he’ll fulfill it. Maybe he’ll change it into something else. Maybe he’ll take the desire from me and it will fade. Or maybe he’ll push me to dream even bigger. I don’t know. All I know is to dream beyond my means and to bring that dream to him in prayer. That act alone–the act of dreaming and praying and trusting–stretches me, challenges me, and grows me. And that, friend, is the whole point. 

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