A week and a half ago, I went to my church’s monthly prayer meeting. When the meeting ended, and as I walking out to leave, one of the pastors caught me and said, “I’ll walk you out.” As we neared the door, he said, “I was looking out across the room, and when I saw you, God told me to ask you this question: ‘What do you want?”’

I froze.

Internally I was thinking, “Come again?”

Seeing my catatonic state, he repeated the question, “What do you want? God wants to know.”

Me: “Can you be more specific?”
Him: “God wants to know what you want.”
Me: “Like in my personal life, professionally, my family, or what I want for the church?”
Him: “What do you want?”

This caused an immediate breakdown spiritual awakening,* as I knew what he was asking.

Through my sobs, I relayed the vision I’d had two days prior.

He tracked with everything I said. He commented that it was on par with what he’d heard from God.

By this time, another pastor joined us, and one of the six most intense prayer sessions of my life ensued.

After the prayer session, the pastor commented, “God is inviting you into a season of dreaming. He’s inviting you to hope again. He wants to know what you want because he’s going to put it on the canvas. He’s going to paint it, he just needs to know what you want up there.”

Me: “Come again?” and breakdown spiritual awakening.**

As I was driving home that night, I was reminded of a conversation I’d had with one of my old professors almost exactly a year ago. The topic of the conversation: dreaming. The result of the conversation: figure out why I don’t dream. The action step: start dreaming.

In the last year, I’ve conquered the “figure out why I don’t dream” conundrum. The reasons are as follows:

1) I’m an extremely practical person. For me, dreaming is about practical achievement.  It’s about setting goals I can actually accomplish.
2) I’m a realist. Thus, dreaming is not only a waste of time (because it’s highly impractical), but, as a realist, I don’t indulge in fantasy land.
3) Dreaming is for kids and hopeless romantics. I’m neither.
4) Life’s let me down, and so, I’ve lowered my expectations.
5) I don’t like failure, and failure is inherent when pursuing dreams or passions.
6) I don’t trust that my dreams and desires are God’s dreams and desires. Actually, I just don’t trust.
7) I don’t receive God’s blessings very well.
8) I’m afraid.

Considering the above, I never quite conquered the “start dreaming” action step. It appears that God hasn’t let me off the hook. He’s not satisfied with my 1-8 responses, and has brought this topic full circle.

So, I’m entering a new season. One characterized by dreaming, one fueled by hope.

I’m humbled that the Creator of the universe cares enough about me to have asked such a simple, yet loaded question.

And, I’m earnestly trying to answer it.

I have several dreams, but when I express them in prayer, they’re barely audible. It’s uncomfortable, vulnerable, and scaring to verbalize them to God. I’m still bogged down by practicality and unbelief. I’m still hesitant and fearful. Rather than a bold declaration, my dreams are a modest whisper.

For now.

Every day, they get louder. Every hour, they begin to take shape. Every minute, I sense that God is getting ready to unleash the greatest phase of my life yet.

So, I’m ready Lord.

Let’s start painting.

*Brown, Brene. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (p. 23). Gotham Books: 2012.