by Heather Bock
Do you have dreams?
I have big dreams and small dreams. I have dreams God’s helped me attain, dreams that have come undone, and dreams for which I still wait. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never reach those waiting dreams.
Right now, I dream about being able to run injury-free again, publishing the Bible study I wrote, and adopting a child. I’m not sure if I’ll get to do any of these things, but I’ll keep dreaming about them until they either come true, or I realize they’re never going to happen. After all, I’m pretty stubborn about my dreams.
Sarah Beth Marr is the author of a book about dreams, Dreaming with God: a Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God’s Lead. It’s a book about taking your dreams, the dreams of all sizes, and dreaming about them not on your own, but with God. Instead of thinking of those dreams as belonging to you alone, thinking about them as belonging to both you and God.
Sarah is a woman with many dreams, starting from when she was very young dreaming about being a gymnast in the Olympics. That dream was never to be for her, but dreams of getting married, being a professional ballet dancer, having children, and publishing the very book about which I write were all ones God allowed her to obtain.
On the way to the fulfillment of these dreams, she discovered that contrary to the standard world’s message about dreams, God doesn’t want us to approach them alone, thinking that all we have to do is work hard with determination, never letting them out of our sight for a moment. Instead, He wants us to focus our eyes on Him, trusting Him with our dreams and waiting for Him to make the next move. She writes that she hopes you also will find “a new level of grace, joy, peace, and rest in His plans for you by dreaming with Him. These plan may be different from your own…But I believe God has called us to dream with Him, and when we do, our hearts will begin to dance in a new way” (p. 16).
She starts by requesting we contemplate who God made us to be–this is the start to understanding what obtainable dreams might be for us. “The things that give us joy, make our hearts go pitter-patter, and provide us a boost in our day are the very things given to us by God to bless us and steer our hearts toward His dreams for us” (p. 28). She also emphasizes that we begin to understand God’s heart for us. Once we get an idea of what we could dream with God, we need to hold it with a surrendered heart, trusting Him with it. As we work towards our dream, we don’t have to strive with anxiety. We can wait, knowing God has it in His hands, ready to take us there in His perfect timing.
She continues, writing about much more, including hanging onto hope and joy while we wait, simplifying our lives so we’re not focused on too many areas at one time, and learning how to handle when our dreams don’t come true.
All of this is written from the perspective of a ballerina with illuminating metaphors drawn from that vocation. Now, I know very little about the world of ballet. I’ve been to see a few ballets, mostly the Nutcracker, and although I enjoy it, I only have a vague notion what even a plié is. Thankfully, Sarah includes a glossary of ballet terms in the back, but I found that I didn’t even need it–she makes it all clear enough in the book. Although the book would especially be good for ballet dancers to read, it easily applies to anyone with a dream.
I will say that I’d love to sit down and talk to Sarah over hot chocolate about her thoughts on those people, maybe struggling in war-torn countries, living in deep poverty, or perhaps facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer at a young age, who struggle to ever see any of their dreams come true. I did, however, appreciate the chapter in which she talks about how to handle when our deeply-held dreams are never realized. Also, as I am not in the position of having had dreams broken time and again, I could relate with what she had to say. Her words reminded me of the trust God calls me to as He calls me to dream with Him. She clearly shows God to be the loving Father that He is.
What are your dreams? Are you submitting them before God or working feverishly to accomplish them in your own strength? Or have you simply given up on them? I hope you take the time to read this book and find a healthy way to live out the dreams God has given you, letting Him take the lead in your dance together.
To pre-order the book, click here.