When we first got married, Rhett and I opened up two savings accounts. One was for emergencies, and one was for travel. We put most of our money away into our main savings account, but we made sure to set aside some money for travel whenever we got paid.
At the time, we didn’t have any specific plans for traveling. We just knew it was something important to us and something we wanted to start saving for. Honestly, it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made. It’s allowed us to spend a few weeks traipsing across national parks this summer. We’ve definitely been traveling cheap; tent camping and eating lots of sandwiches and bowls of cereal, but the memories we’ve made and sights we’ve seen are absolutely priceless.
Already, we’re beginning to dream about what our next trip might be. Sure, it’ll take a few years of saving, but what about Europe? We have friends we could stay with! Or maybe Alaska? Neither of us have been there yet.. there’s something so beautiful about taking time to dream and letting our hearts become captivated by thoughts of what might be.
I think God created us to be dreamers. We’re created in His image, and if He didn’t dream up Glacier National Park while forming it into being, I’m not sure how it got to be here. I see us as dreamers when we share our visions for what our churches and communities could become. I see us as dreamers when we pray, humbly asking God to make our dreams come to life, whether it’s for peace in relationships or renewed health or a renewed heart. Prayer is lots of things, and sometimes it’s bringing our dreams to Jesus and asking Him to speak into them.
Sometimes, though, when we do this, Jesus changes our dreams. Sometimes He dismantles them. Sometimes this hurts, a lot. Sometimes, like Abraham and Sarah in the Bible, He has us wait years and years before saying “yes” to our dreams. Sarah was an old woman before He finally granted her wish for a child! Even then, there were moments where that dream was threatened. Sometimes, dreaming can be scary, because it might be easier to imagine nothing at all then to get our hopes up without promise.
Over the past year and lots of my life (yours too, probably), dreams have been dreamed only to be torn down and rebuilt. When I first left home for Ozark Christian College, my dream was to graduate single and move across the world to rescue men, women and children from human trafficking. Obviously, that’s not exactly how my life is panning out, and that’s probably a really good thing! Over my time as a student, God changed my heart toward community development, urban ministry and marriage. My dreams began to build around Soren Rhett Johnson and ministry with low-income neighbors right in my community. Still, though, I never saw myself working directly in a church.
When I was offered a job working with a community development organization, I thought my dreams were coming true. But God, in His grace and love, is steering us in a different direction. Rather than returning to my family and hometown, a dream I had built, He’s leading us to a church plant in New Hampshire. Honestly, things with Movement started coming together before they became a hope in my own heart. This is and always has been His dream, as far as I can tell.
He has also been the one building it back up in my mind and heart. Over these past few weeks of travel, He’s been answering my prayers by affirming this decision and giving me an immense amount of peace and joy concerning it. I’m dreaming about putting together our little apartment and lighting the sweet cinnamon candle my mother-in-law bought us from the Bishops Castle gift store in the San Isabel forest a few weeks ago. I’m dreaming about decorating a guest room so friends, family, travelers and who ever else might need it will have a cozy and restful place to stay. I’m dreaming about sharing coffee with new friends, worshiping with a new church body, finding creative ways to get involved with our community and having conversations about our great, dream-giving God with people who may or may not know His love yet. I’m dreaming about working alongside an incredible staff of dreamers who are pursuing God’s vision with passion and courage.
God is in the business of giving and building dreams. Sometimes it seems as though He is forsaking our hopes and wishes, but more often than not, the cliche phrase “when God closes a door, He opens a window” holds true.
However, we can’t put Him in a box. I think I know where He’s leading; it seems He’s affirming it, but if something falls through, does that make Him unfaithful? No. When He doesn’t clear a path for our dreams to come true, we can still trust Him, knowing that there is something He is calling each and every one of us to be and to do. Our call to love Him and love others is unchanging and applicable in every context.
Friends, what are the dreams and wishes you’re holding on to? Have you laid them before our God? Is He building a new dream in you, or gently (or not so gently) taking apart an old one? Please feel free to leave a comment below or email us!
As always, we love you and we are praying for you.