How many times have you asked a child “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. I wonder how many times I was asked that question growing up. Are you doing now what you dreamed of doing as a child or as a teenager? I began thinking about this recently and wondered just how many young people have God-sized dreams of being something when they grow up and how many of them ever have the chance to see that dream fulfilled. And I wondered just how many people like me, believe God placed a dream in their heart as a young person that is still yet to come to pass. I believed that dream would never be fulfilled but then through a series of life events I found myself walking in, albeit delayed, the destiny that God placed in my heart 32 years ago.
I was in 7th grade and I distinctly remember our new English teacher handing me back an assignment. She looked me in the eye and said “you’re going to be a writer some day”. I remember exactly how I felt in that moment as an insecure and self-concious 13 year old. I believed her. I wanted so badly to be a writer and in that moment I believed I could be. In the spring of that same year the 7th and 8th grade classes spent a week at a nearby natural, lakeside retreat where we held our classes outdoors and enjoyed the many activities that were available all while spending the week in rustic cabins. The girls were in one cabin and the boys in another. That very same teacher who had told me in the fall that I would be a writer some day boldly shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with some of the girls one night in our cabin. I was one of those girls and that night I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. But the teacher who had such an impact on my life that year did not return the following year to teach at my school. After just one year she left and I quickly forgot about her. I began to make wrong choices and I headed down a path that would lead me away from the commitment I had made to follow Jesus. In my 8th grade year while at the same retreat, I made a decision that was in total opposition to the one I had made when I had asked Jesus into my heart just one year earlier. And it was a wrong choice that would mark a turning point in my faith. Following my 8th grade year, I spent the next 15 years running and hiding from the God I had professed to believe in.
Over the years there were glimpses of the dream of writing. I majored in English in college with the idea in the back of my mind that it would some day lead me into that dream. But my lack of commitment once again brought about missed opportunity and I dropped out of college to join the US Navy. Several years later I once again approached the dream and submitted a writing to a magazine on a whim. I thought that would be my chance to keep the dream alive but the rejection of my story made me once again give up and lose any bit of hope I had left. But God, who is ever faithful had never given up hope that I would some day turn away from my sins and turn back to Him. And when I reached that point when I knew I couldn’t take it any more and I had no where else to turn, I cried out to God for help. And He answered. I recommited my life to Jesus and made the choice that I would offer my heart completely to God and follow Him for the rest of my life.
Since that time 15 more years have passed. I gave birth to another son, worked in corporate America for many years, was a homemaker for a time period and have worked at my church. But 8 months ago God awakened that dream again to be a writer. The dream I thought was long over was starting to stir in me again and over the next few months things began to happen and doors began to open for me to be able to see that the dream was not dead, it was simply delayed. I began to write. And shortly after I did I began to think of that teacher who had told me she believed in my abilities as a writer and more importantly had shared the gospel with me. I felt like God was nudging me to look her up, contact her and tell her thank you. I went to my basement and started going through my yearbooks to see if I could find her because I couldn’t remember her name. When I opened up my 7th grade yearbook to the faculty page I found something I’d never seen before. The teacher I was looking for had signed my yearbook and she wrote “I really believe in you and think you have a genuine ability as a writer. Don’t cheat yourself of that talent.” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Almost 32 years after God had placed the dream to be a writer in my heart, I was finally walking in the destiny. I sat in my basement and cried at the goodness of God. I thanked Him that He never quit pursuing me and that He was showing me in that moment that no matter how many bad decisions I made, that it’s never too late to walk in your destiny. I created a website and continued writing but I was still reluctant to make it public. I made excuses and reasoned why it wasn’t time yet to do so. The truth was I was afraid of what people would think and I still dealt with the same old insecurities. But on New Years Day I heard God say “no more excuses” so that day I posted it on social media sites. The response was immediate. I received so much positive encouragement from my friends. I wondered why I had not done it sooner. But I knew the reason. We have a very real enemy who will do whatever it takes to keep us from walking in the destiny God has called us to. And if he can’t stop us, he’ll stall us for as long as he can in order to delay our destiny.
You may look back and see exactly where you made a wrong turn or where the enemy tried to derail you. But it’s not too late. And you don’t know who may have been praying for you for years to know God and to walk in your destiny. I found out when my son was 16 that the lady who babysat him when he was just a newborn baby used to pray for him regularly. Her daughter was going through some of her things after she passed away and found a picture of him when he was only 3 months old with a bible and her hand on his chest as she prayed over him. It’s God’s plan for you to walk fully into the destiny He has for you. He places people in your life to pray over you and to encourage you. Don’t ever believe that the promise of a dream that God placed in your heart, whether it was last week, last month or 32 years ago, is dead. It may only be delayed. So, get back on track and back to believing in the destiny on your life. Cry out to God to awaken the dream and to reveal the obstacles within you that are preventing you from reaching that dream. Don’t let the enemy lie to you and tell you the dream is dead. If God placed it there, it’s very much alive. And in His perfect timing you will see how God’s hand was upon your destiny all along and what seemed dead was only delayed.