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When God Changes Your Dream



 

Posted by Erin Roberson, June 26, 2024


I really connected with Kathi Lipp, the guest on episode 129 of “A Burst of Hope” podcast. She has written several books, including her latest work, The Accidental Homesteader.  During the podcast, she said that God will give you dreams that are so much bigger than the dreams you could have on your own.


We all have dreams. I’ve even heard that you should create a “dream board” to help visualize your dreams.  That’s not a bad idea!


How do we respond when God takes us on a path that does not line up with the dreams we have for ourselves?  Do we resist?  Do we pout? Or do we trust that God has a better plan for us?


It’s important to keep in mind that God’s dreams for us are always better than the dreams we have for ourselves, even when we can’t see it in the moment.

I recently experienced this.  I am a planner! So, of course, I had my retirement plans all laid out. I would retire from being a public school educator at the age of 60, enjoy spending time with friends and former coworkers, volunteer at schools and local charities, and possibly find a part-time job I would enjoy. We were living smack in the middle of the downtown area of our little Georgia city, and I was looking forward to long walks and visits to downtown restaurants and activities. Most importantly, I wanted to be available to get more involved in Touching Hearts, our amazing women’s ministry organization.


God had a different plan! Several months ago, I started feeling God (through the Holy Spirit) telling me He wanted my husband and me to move back to Kentucky, the state where we both grew up and where our parents and siblings still live. I thought God was giving me a heads-up that He would ask us to move back to Kentucky when I retired in a couple of years. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that I might not get to do all the things I had planned to do in Georgia after my retirement, and I would be leaving my Georgia friends and coworkers.  But I thought, “Okay, God.  If you want me to move back to Kentucky, I will do that. It will be nice to live closer to our families.” (At least God wasn’t asking me to leave my country and go to the “land I will show you,” right?)


When God asks us to change our plans, it can be a little scary (or even a lot scary)!  His plans don’t always fit into the plans we’ve made for ourselves.


When we are confused by what God wants us to do, how should we respond?


Isn’t it comforting to know that we can trust God, even when we don’t yet understand His purposes?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT).


It can take courage to change our plans in obedience to God’s leading. We can be assured that when we allow God complete control over our lives, He will give us clarity at just the right time, strength, and even joy!


Now, back to my story!  A few months after the “move to Kentucky” message from God, He prompted us again.  This time, God told my husband and me to purchase a home in Kentucky.  Our youngest son and his wife had moved to Louisville, Kentucky not too long ago.  We thought maybe God wanted us to purchase a home and let them rent from us until my retirement.  We were wrong!  We found a house in Louisville that was a perfect fit for us, but God also provided a house for our son and daughter-in-law at the same time!   Now what?


We started praying that God would give clear direction about what we should do. We had to make a decision quickly, because several potential buyers wanted the Kentucky house we had found!  The very next day, a flyer arrived in our mailbox that read, “We want to buy your house.”  Guess what - The offer for our house was the exact amount we needed to pay off the Georgia house and purchase the Kentucky house!  (Why are we so surprised when God gives us the answers we are seeking?) We still didn’t understand what God was doing, but we decided to move forward one step at a time. We continued to pray that God would open and close doors to keep us on His path. We checked out the company that had sent the flyer to us and found that it was legit.  In addition, they would provide the cash from the sale of our Georgia house within the window needed to purchase the Kentucky house.


“Hey, God - What about my job? I am not retiring for two years (or so I thought).”  I didn’t think we had the financial resources to retire any earlier than age 60, but when I looked into it, I found that we had exactly what we needed for me to retire! I didn’t want to leave the school system in a bind to find my replacement, so I informed our superintendent of my retirement and said I would continue to work for 6 months. The superintendent said, “I can usually sense these things, but I did not see this coming.”  I replied, “I didn’t see it coming either!”


Next, we needed to find a place to live until my retirement date.  Thankfully, we have friends who own property that includes a small cabin. One of their sons had been living in the cabin, but he had recently married and moved out. They were willing to allow us to rent from them until our permanent move to Kentucky. It’s been fun living in the “bachelor pad!”


Since making the decision to follow God’s leading, our lives have been a whirlwind of sorting, packing, house closings, and moving. You know what? God knew what He was doing all along.  Our son and daughter-in-law had to leave their condo rental before their house was ready. They were able to live in our Kentucky house while they finished their new home. God is good!


I noticed that throughout this journey, God had been revealing things to me in bite-sized pieces.  I wonder if it’s because He gives me only what I can handle and lets me get used to the idea before revealing more!  


We still don’t know exactly how this chapter of our lives will unfold, but we are keeping our focus on Him. It’s not always easy!  Worries and doubts creep in at times. What will my husband do for work when we move to Kentucky?  Will God want me to find a job or focus my energies on volunteer ministry opportunities? How is God planning to use us in our new city? When anxious thoughts threaten to take over our minds, we quickly turn our focus back to God. We know He will reveal each step in His perfect timing. We don’t need to worry!


Sometimes God gives you a dream that doesn’t make sense in the moment. Remember, He is already in your future, and He knows everything that is coming. Perhaps He is giving you a dream that will be needed down the road, or maybe He is protecting you from a decision that seems right but is not for your best.  


If you think God might be sending you on a new path, take a pause and listen to the Holy Spirit.  Ask God to close and open doors to keep you on the path He has laid out for you.  You don’t need to see the entire path, you just need one step at a time. 


“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8.



Erin Roberson is a wife and mother of two wonderful grown boys. She is a lifelong educator who loves learning and teaching others. She believes our primary focus should be on our relationship with God, learning who God is, who God says we are, and how God wants us to live.

3 Comments


burrellannette10
Jun 26

I love your writings, but I love this testimony more. God's hand is all over this. You have so many beautiful gifts. I know God will reveal what your next ministry will be. Blessings to you and your family.

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Guest
Jun 26

Erin, you're such an amazing writer! I'm sure God has many more opportunities of ministry for you in Kentucky. I pray God's blessings over you and your family as you move and transition to the new adventure. I hope you continue to be a blog writer for Touching Hearts even if you're living in Kentucky.

Lynn

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Guest
Jun 26

I wish you and Roy the very best. I know you will be a blessing in KY as well. Praying as you continue to move ahead.

Lyda

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