Dreaming Big God Dreams

Happy New Year friends!

It’s the first day of the a new year. A time to reflect, a time to plan, and a time to dream about what God might do this year. If I’m honest, big God dreams are hard for me. They terrify me. I would rather stick to plans that feel safe and doable. A reading plan, a new meal planner, or maybe this will be the year I get my house organized (or not!) The big dreams like a promotion, a job change, a miraculous healing, a child? Those are scary dreams. Those are the kind of dreams that won’t happen unless God shows up.


Have you ever been scared to dream big? Have you ever had a quiet whisper in your heart of something you want God to do but you are too afraid to even voice it out loud? I know that feeling well.  When I began to dream about seminary, I broke into cold sweats at the thought of it. Not just the changes it would require to make it happen, but the feelings of doubt that washed over me when I began to dream. I felt paralyzed by the thoughts in my head and whispers in my soul. Seminary? Who do you think you are, Luann?

“You are not smart enough.” 
“You are not prepared enough.”
“You don’t belong there.”

I was drowning in what seemed like self-doubt, ready to hang up the dream and file it in the “not possible box” and close the lid. And then a close friend and truth teller in my life who heard me voice these concerns out loud asked me hard questions. “Do you see the lies are you believing? What does the truth of God say about those statements?”

And I realized that my so-called ”self-doubt” was in reality an overwhelming lack of trust and faith in God. I wasn't doubting Luann, I was doubting God.

It's so easy to give into fear. I think that's why in Luke 1 when Gabriel appears to Mary; he starts his unbelievable message with ”do not be afraid.” He’s come to tell Mary that she is the chosen one to carry the Messiah. He’s about to drop a huge God dream in Mary’s lap. And when she hears the news, she doubts. I mean, come on. Who can blame her? A virgin girl carrying a child? “How can this be?” she asks. And Gabriel responds, 

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 ESV

Nothing. Not a single one of those dreams hidden in your heart is impossible. We have a big God. He can handle our big prayers.

Maybe that’s the word you need for a new year.  Maybe you’ve been dreaming, asking, doubting, wondering, and waiting on God to show up. Maybe you desperately need him to do the seemingly impossible. Don’t give up. Immerse yourself in the truth of God’s Word. Pray those big prayers. Dream those big dreams. Speak them out loud to the people you trust. People you can share the craziest parts and wildest dreams of your life. No dream of mine would have become a reality without the people close to me who encourage me, who pray for me, who hold me accountable, who speak truth and life into me, and who often believe God FOR me, even when I don’t. 

When I opened up the final grading to see that I received an A in my seminary class, I felt God saying to me, “See. You can do this. We can do this. Just trust me. You do belong here.”

This year, I’m dreaming big about the podcast I’m co-hosting following my seminary journey, Seminary Stowaways. I’m dreaming big about my life without daily headaches. I’m dreaming big about investing in the lives of women. I’m dreaming big about seeing God move in my spheres of influence, my church, my community, my country, and my world.

Let’s make 2019 a year where we believe God for the impossible together. And be organized and follow a good meal plan. Why not?

Live brave and bold friends!
Love, Luann

Luann Riley