There is power in claiming the dreams that were placed upon your heart.
When Jan and I started dating in the summer of 2014, it’s safe to say that I was pretty lost, or as she likes to put it very lost. After being on a seemingly endless path of restlessness, I was looking for some sort of direction in my life. It’s a wonder why someone like her, or anyone for that matter, would be interested in dating some one who’s life was in such chaos. And yet, she still said yes every time I invited her to the frozen yogurt place down the street, which was practically every night.
Maybe I did a good job of hiding my mess. Or maybe she just really liked the frozen yogurt. But regardless, what stood out to me about her since the first time we met, was her wisdom to understand situations so clearly and ability to listen to the heart of God on a given matter. And it was one encounter during those late evenings eating froyo that not only helped me see that she was the one I would marry. It also helped me step into a journey that took me out of my pit of darkness and self-pity into a new season of faith.
On this particular evening, we were the only two people left in the frozen yogurt shop. We sat on the bar table which faced out to the streets, allowing us to watch as people walked by. Per usual, we were sharing a cup of frozen yogurt, most likely the original tart flavor with mochi and strawberries sprinkled on top. We continued where we left off the night before, talking about all the places our lives took us, what experiences and even hurts we carry with us, what types of people we aspire to become. You know, typical date night convo.
We started talking about the direction we wanted our lives to go. For her this has always been clear. Her journey of following God since she was 19-years old has given her this confident assurance that God was leading her steps. For me, it was pretty murky. Any sense of direction was nonexistent. Despite a lifetime full of seeking meaning, I wasn’t sure what it had all amounted to. What was the purpose of my life? Like I said, just a typical date night conversation. For me at least.
Habakkuk, she interjected. Haba-what? I replied. The book in the Bible, Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 2, she explained. I had no idea people referred to that book in the Bible for anything. Part of me even forgot the book existed in the Bible. We turned to the passage, and read it together.
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2 ESV).
She challenged me to write down the vision I had for my life — what I wanted my life to stand for, and where I wanted to go. So I started to write what was on my heart down in the notebook she had given me:
My vision is to help build a movement that ushers in the Kingdom of God, by inspiring young people to draw near to God, to reignite their first love for Jesus and to claim their authority in Jesus so that through discipleship, they will be mobilized into the world as a Daniel generation.
The words came almost effortlessly — as if the conviction to accomplish this was always there, but the discipline and the boldness to take the steps to get there were lacking. And I began to realize that the restlessness inside me stemmed from this very tension. Deep down inside, we have a set of desires in our hearts to do something beyond our immediate capacity. Dreams that are God-given and inspired by the heroes that go before us. And yet, I often listened to external voices that point me in other directions, and internal voices that draw me to seek comfort in my self-pity instead.
It has been over six months since that date night, and many things have happened since, which will take many more blog posts to explain. We moved to San Francisco, we got engaged, and we have started working in a local ministry. And what has been consistent throughout is a sense of awe as we see God continually open doors and opportunities that allow Jan and I to live out the vision we wrote down that day. Moreover, the restlessness that once reigned inside has slowly dissipated. Through this experience, I have come to see that what I have been looking for all along was the vision He has put inside of our hearts and the faith to step out into the darkness to claim what is rightfully mine. I have come to see firsthand that when we “seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33 ESV).
When Jan recently suggested that I start blogging about what God is doing in our lives, I had my reservations. I didn’t understand what was the point of sharing my deeper thoughts on the internet. In some ways, I was too ashamed to let people in on the brokenness and insecurities that lay within. But I was reminded of our night in the frozen yogurt shop, as we started to fill the pages of that notebook. The notebook is practically full now with testimonies of His faithfulness, and I have witnessed how God honors our obedience through the many miracles that have happened along this quest to fulfill this vision.
So again I find myself writing down my visions, our experiences, and His revelations on this blog as we continue our Faith journey through our marriage. I’m believing that God will honor our dreams and desires when we do. I’m believing that He will use these words to encourage others who may chance upon them. And I’m believing that He will use this forum as a place where we can vision boldly for this world, and take steps to claim them for His kingdom, in Jesus name.