We love stories of dreams coming true. It’s built into all of us, especially celebrated by our culture. Dreams fulfilled. We have Fields of them. Yet, often times, we seem to take an absolute approach to the process of dreams coming true. There seems to be a belief that once we step into our God-ordained, Kingdom-focused dreams, that everything in our previous life or previous experiences will pale in comparison. The reality though, and I think this is something we miss, there is a grieving process of stepping into your dreams that we often overlook. I know this to be true because we are right in the middle of this reality and would like to vulnerably share the wave of emotions we have currently as we take steps into our God-ordained dreams in the days ahead.
And it’s because of that anticipation, we have no choice but to boldly give our all, even when it hurts and you don’t know if you will succeed.Brandi and I have a rough date of moving to Poland. August 14. It’s been a challenge, calling, dream, if you will, in my heart for over thirteen years and my wife for a decade to see moves of God happen in Central and Eastern Europe. And we have heard the Lord saying the time is now and we can’t be more excited to be joining an incredible team that is focused on reaching the city, nation, and surrounding nations. It is exciting, but in the middle of it all, there’s almost equal heartache, almost equal grief, and if we are truly honest, a little bit of fear. You see, for the past 4+ years, we have had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing things. 1250 people going on short term trips. Over 30+ units of individuals and families going on long-term missions all around the world. Millions of dollars invested in Kingdom partners. I’ve had the privilege of being apart of the intricacies of God’s calling on Beltway Park to impact the nations. And last Thursday was my last day as the full-time missions pastor. And now God is saying to launch from here. How can there not be a level of grief? I have looked and yet to discover a scenario where a dream fulfilled does not come without a greater sacrifice. At least a dream worth dreaming. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, Peter, Paul. At some point, they all had to step back and say, “Man, this is tough.” It seems built into the nature of pursuing God is this constant tension of celebrating what He has done, and labor in anticipation of what He is capable of doing in the future. And it’s because of that anticipation, we have no choice but to boldly give our all, even when it hurts and you don’t know if you will succeed. But He never asked us to be successful, He asked us to be His. As many of our missionaries go out, I always have encouraged them with Matthew 19:29, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” What’s really powerful is the “and” at the end. That little conjunction indicates that we will receive a hundred times over in this life what we have left behind. This Scripture is a powerful indicator of what I believe is a Kingdom promise. Jesus is acknowledging that there is a grieving, a letting go, at times, of good things in your life, so that you can fulfill the God ordain dreams so His Kingdom can come in a greater capacity on this earth. Yet, He is also promising the reward, the fulfillment, the promise of increase for our sacrifice. We are not all called to relocate our lives halfway around the world, but we are all called to pursue Him to our utmost. This will inevitably lead to a life of risks and potentially leaving good. As great as the ministry involvement has been over the past number of years, Brandi and I are leaving our home, our relationships, and fulfilling occupations for what God has next. And as excited as we are for the next, we can’t help but grieve what we have to give up. It’s the hallway conversations at work. It’s the lunches and coffees with amazing people that lead short-term trips that I can call my friends. It’s coming home to our wonderful house to relax from a long day. The security of knowing what to expect. Life has been good. As I’m writing, I’m sitting in the Frankfurt airport, about to board a plane to Krakow to spend a couple of days with a number of European leaders with a heart for planting churches. Many of these guys I’ve known for over a decade. And I remember the promise of Matthew 19. In this life… These guys are already changing their worlds. And I get to be a part now. God is continually faithful. He has yet to indicate that there is any reason to not believe that He will exceed our expectations. But it still hurts as we remember His previous faithfulness in our life and that we have to leave that now. But perhaps that’s the beauty of following God. There’s a closeness to Him as we place a for sale sign in our yard. There’s a closeness in knowing that our life is about to never be the same. After all, He is the Comforter (John 14:16).