I felt a twinge of jealousy crawling up my spine as I stared at the words on my computer screen.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. A friend of mine had just received her very first book contract.
My heart immediately sank inside my chest.
I wanted to be happy for her. I wanted to be excited. However, I was anything but excited. I was jealous, frustrated, and angry.
Her accomplishment was incredible, but I just felt envious. Why hadn’t I received a book contract?
I was trying to be faithful in the “little things.” I blogged consistently, wrote articles for various websites, and asked for help with editing. I prayed for wisdom about my writing and for success in getting published. I was slowly expanding my platform as a writer.
I just couldn’t figure out what I was missing. Was I not doing enough? Was it simply not the right time for me to be a published author? Would it ever be the right time? How many articles and blog posts did I have to write until it was the right time?
And then I began to realize the truth of the matter. No matter how jealous I was or how frustrated the situation made me feel, I wasn’t missing anything. I was doing enough.
The real issue was that I was struggling to trust God’s plan.I was doing enough. The real issue was that I was struggling to trust God’s plan. Click To Tweet
I wanted to receive a book contract now, but that wasn’t part of his plan. I hadn’t even taken some of the big steps to getting a book contract, like finding an agent or crafting a book proposal, so I wasn’t actually ready for that goal to be reached.
It was hard to watch my friends have success in reaching their writing goals, but I did learn a few things in my moments of discouragement:
1.Maybe it’s not time for your goals to be reached.
I don’t know what dreams you have. Your dream may be to start a worship band, travel around the world, create your own business, or become a movie actor. Those dreams may not come true—or it simply may not be time for them to come true.
Waiting for God to work is a common theme in the Bible and in our lives, but he does work. His timing is always perfect, and we can cling to that promise. We have to believe that he will work when the time is right.
2.Maybe God’s plans for your friends and family members are different than his plans for you.
No plan is better or worse than another. They’re equally incredible and equally detailed to fit us individually. After all, no one knows us better than our Creator. He crafted a plan that is perfect for you, no matter how similar or different it is than his plan for someone else.He crafted a plan that is perfect for you, no matter how similar or different it is than his plan for someone else. Click To Tweet
3. Maybe God has a plan for you that’s better than the plan you have for yourself.
I’ve seen this happen in my own life many times. For example, last summer, I applied for several jobs but felt heartbroken when I didn’t get any of them. However, God used my discouragement for good because he led me to a job opportunity that allowed me to spend time with my family, set my own schedule, and make money while doing it!
It’s great to have goals, but if we become more determined to reach our goals than follow God’s will, those goals have become an idol in our lives and we need to knock them down! Being willing to let go of our dreams means we can rely on God’s sovereignty more fully.
Paul summarized the sovereignty of God in his letter to the Ephesians: “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
You see, life is more fulfilling when we focus on the Dream-Giver, rather than our dreams.You see, life is more fulfilling when we focus on the Dream-Giver, rather than our dreams. Click To Tweet
Sure, we can have goals in life and work toward success. After all, I still want to be a published author one day, so I’m writing, blogging, and trying to expand my platform now. But the key to dreaming is remembering that God’s timing is perfect, he has a specific plan just for you, and His will is greater than our plans.