Someone once asked me "what are your three deepest desires"? And I drew a blank! It was not because I didn't have any deep desires. I drew a blank because I couldn't express them. Words to communicate what was planted deep within me proved illusive.
I walked away from the conversation feeling like I had just belly flopped, face first into a pool of deep, cold water. It stung and took my breath away. Days later something inside me still ached and it still hurt to draw breath. I was reading John Eldridge's book, The Journey of Desire at the time and it was here that I read a quote from Howard Thurman for the first time…
Why is it we find it so hard to express the dreams on the inside of us? The deep desires that would see us come fully alive? We know we have been created to live a full and abundant life but we settle for new shoes, a Pump Class or a blueberry muffin with a friend. Not that these things are bad, but secretly we know we are settling. We know that we have been created uniquely on purpose by an infinite God and yet we allow our life to be defined by arbitrary labels and then labour under the weight of expectations expressed on Facebook, Pintrest and Instagram, shared around dinner tables and cafe lattes.
God knew we would be tempted to settle. He knew that we would defer the eternal and settle for the apple in front of our face saying 'pick me'! This is why He implanted eternity in our hearts, a divine sense of purpose that God alone can satisfy.
He told us to write down our dreams and our vision for our future. So that when we are under pump or numb from the mundane, we would read it and remember to run with it.
So how can you give yourself permission to express the God dreams and desires within you?
Give yourself permission to dream again.
Acknowledge that many of the deep desires within you are God inspired and exist because of His plans for your life. Let go of the lie that they are selfish. God's desire is that you would become fully alive to His plans and purposes, so connect with those dreams and run them through that filter. Do they honour a loving God? Do they cause you to become fully alive? Look to your future and smile as you imagine your desires realised.
Wrap words around what you see.
This is where I got stuck. Like so many women I had denied that things like living overseas and riding a motorbike, connecting meaningfully with my husband and having my family under one roof really mattered to me. I started asking myself what it was that caused me to come alive. Imagine your ideal future. What will you be doing and experiencing? What is most important to you? What words would your use to describe the woman you have become? If you can write it down, you can think it. If you can think it, you can imagine it. If you can imagine it, you now have a vision!
Write it down.
Yes you must! Write down your dreams and desires. Craft language to express the eternal theme for your life. Create a vision board, or get some liquid chalk and write words that express the woman you desire to become on your bathroom mirror or bedroom window. Gather scriptures and make declarations in your journal or on your fridge. Buy a blank canvas, language your dream life and now check out Pintrest to grab some creative ideas to fill that canvas with words that will inspire you!
Share your dreams with someone you trust.
Accountability is more than a word it is an action. The act of communicating your hopes and dreams to another like spirited soul. Someone who is a safe space for you. Someone who inspires you and the vision you have for your life. Someone who will remind you of your dreams when you most need it. Maybe you are struggling to think of someone? Connect with an amazing community of women at tracylilley.com, we would love to champion you as you lean into a greater measure of what the fully alive life is for you!
I keep my LiveFullyAlive Manifesto before me to help me stay focused on what is really important to me. It reminds me why I say yes and why there are times I must say no! It has helped me not only give expression to the dreams and desires within me, but to also live a life that is fully alive to the life God created for me to live. This is my gift to you. To find out more about my free LiveFullyAlive Ebook click the link below.