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To the One Who Dreams Wildly

To the One Who Dreams Wildly

A Guest Story by Karlene Baker Arthur 
(from More Than A Church Girl: 100 Stories of Life, Faith, and Family)

My parents allowed me to dream from a young age. Early on, they must have realized their first-born had a vast imagination. As a young girl, I would create projects, games, and performances in my mind. Then, I would try to draw my younger brothers into helping my ideas become reality. They rarely cooperated.

Today, we have a generation of women who are dreaming and making things happen. They are figuring out how to work from home, manage the home while working away from home, hold down multiple jobs if necessary, or stay home without working and raise their children — which IS full-time work.

We see a generation of women willing to dream and express their individuality. They may call themselves creativepreneurs, entrepreneurs, fempreneurs, webpreneurs, socialpreneurs, blogpreneurs, infopreneurs, mompreneurs, solopreneurs, and the list goes on. You may not see yourself as any of those, but simply as a woman who comes up with solutions to a problem.

My life began with me dreaming wildly. In my childhood years, I spent untold hours traveling the roadways with my family. Dad was a traveling preacher and he rarely left us at home. How did I cope? During those seemingly unending hours on the road I was usually doing one of two things—reading or staring out the car window, dreaming.

In my dreams, I was often a teacher or a writer, and I was much more outgoing than in real life. My dreams often had me singing or playing the piano. At times, I was even behind the podium speaking—in church. Now, let me tell you, if anyone who knew me could have seen inside my dreams they would have said, “That is one wild dream!”

Then, I grew up. I fell into doing life — or life tried to swallow me up. I’m not sure how it happened, but I stopped dreaming. When I was on staff in a local church, an associate once asked me, “Karlene, what do you dream about?” I responded, “I dream about how to survive the week!” I was spinning so many plates in my life I had forgotten the joy of dreaming wildly.

Suddenly, in my forties, our kids were almost grown and out of the house. I began to wonder where time had gone. The years were passing me by without seeing my dreams come to reality. In that season, I experienced the following.

  • First, I recognized there was something more for me to do.

  • Then, I decided to obey God and resign a ministry job I loved.

  • Next, I started something that literally scared me to death {a four-year journey to complete not one, but two university degrees}.

  • Eventually, I completed that first college course I wanted to give up on in the first week of the semester {and just about every week that followed}.

  • And, I stayed the course — even when trusted friends told me I was wasting my time; when some said I would never get any further in life than where I was right at that moment.

It was then I began to dream again. Sure, there was that prophetic word a visiting preacher spoke over me in a Sunday service—the one when I thought, “Yeah, I think he missed it.” This was followed by months of disillusionment disguised as unhappiness. Satan does this, you know, but God said, “Karlene, I’m stirring your nest. You must dream, again.”

Understand this about dreams, friend. It is one of the ways God speaks to us. The Creator and Maker of all things has put into you His gifts, talents, and a unique personality—and dreams. Maybe you do your dreaming at night, while sleeping. Or, if you are like me, your imagination runs wild whenever or however it chooses {or God wills}. Could it be He wants to resurrect a long-forgotten dream inside of you? 

Pray about what you feel God may be saying. Let Him sanctify it by confirming your dream aligns with His Word. Test it against Scripture, our handbook for living {and dreaming}. Wait for God’s timing. This may include giving your spouse time to get onboard, especially if it is something that could alter the household, routine, or family income. Or, you may want to talk with a trusted friend, minister, or counselor.

I am grateful my parents let me dream when I was young, but they also kept me grounded. They knew when it was time to say, “Karlene, get your head out of the clouds and go clean your room!” Doesn’t God use this same approach? As adults, we must learn to do our dreaming while attempting to balance the rest of our life. So, while you attempt to keep things in balance, I want to encourage you to not give up. Whether yours is a brand-new dream or one God is resurrecting from the hidden places — keep dreaming and do not be afraid to do it wildly!

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