If you feel life has stopped you from fulfilling your goals, Esther Williams reminds us they can still be achieved. God is just making sure the timing is right.
When you’ve been a Christian for as long as I have, there are certain phrases that you hear repeatedly. Things like: ‘Never give up’, ‘It’s not over ’til it’s over’; ‘Don’t quit’ and – my favourite of all – ‘If the dream’s big enough, the facts don’t count.’ I love that statement!
However, it’s so easy to become familiar with these catchphrases, and even start to dismiss them as clichés. But they are not clichés; they are truth. It is crucial for us to understand that the devil will use any tactic possible to distract or divert us from fulfilling destiny. Even our own perception of what success is, or should look like, and our personal timeline for when we think we should have accomplished all the desires in our heart, can be a distraction. Surely I am not the only one who has looked at someone else’s life and, as a result, wondered where mine was going? Particularly when, at times, it looks like all the dreams and plans we have for our lives are a million miles away from where we are now.
From a very young age, I wanted to be a journalist and travel the world. In my academic years, I failed all my exams. While my friends were excelling at university, I went to work, and did a variety of courses that would lead to me eventually going to university. I certainly wasn’t the best student, but I was very relational, and quietly established contacts with people in the media through my own efforts. I went on to spend five years working in national TV, before moving on to a successful career in PR that has seen me travel the globe.
I share that glimpse into the journey of my life because it wasn’t plain sailing, but it was all about God’s timing. Failing my exams took me back two years, but I got there. I thought that my travelling would be while I was working in TV, but this happened once I had left my job as a producer and had started a new career in international development – at the age of 34. It’s never too late to start again. Never let your age, location or current circumstances prevent you from realising your dreams.
I recently attended the Wise Woman Awards, an annual event that celebrates the achievements of ordinary, everyday, Christian women leading extraordinary lives. A beautiful 82-year-old lady, called Enid Jackson, whose mother had died of dementia, shared her story. After her mother’s funeral, Enid decided to start a charity about dementia, to inform the Black community about the illness, and to help remove the stigma attached it – at 67! She was amazing, full of passion, with a glorious glint in her eye. It’s never too late to run with a vision that God has placed inside your heart.
So, you planned to be a successful author, then you got married, had children and, right now, your reality is the chaos of the school run, football on a Saturday morning, nappies, homework, etc. You’re wondering, ‘What happened to the dreams I had?’ not realising that the single lady’s dream, sitting over on the other side of the congregation, is your reality – it’s all about timing! Here’s another one of those familiar phrases: ‘Delay is not denial.’ In fact, sometimes what looks like delay isn’t delay at all; it’s more about God’s place of preparation, and understanding seasons and timing, so that when your life collides with destiny, you can handle it. That collision may happen at 30, 40, 50 or 60 – it doesn’t matter. That said, let’s not be passive. We will not fulfil our dreams through a lifestyle of complaining or wallowing in self-pity. God never called us to sit back and wait for good things to happen to us. He called us to ‘love mercy, walk humbly, and to have a heart of justice and compassion’ (Micah 6:8) and lead proactive lives.
If your life looks like the busy example I illustrate above, find an hour in your day that belongs to you. You are worth it. It could be first thing in the morning; it could be last thing at night – and ask God to help you to guard that time – then quietly use it to work on that dream seed that God has placed within you. If you’re single and want marriage, babies, homework and nappies, look for opportunities to be a blessing to some of the busy mothers in church, establish new friendships, and get out and have fun.
Never resent where you are now, as you will be surprised by how many people would be willing to swap their reality in exchange for yours. Let’s immerse ourselves in the Word of God, acknowledge Him in all His ways, and allow Him to order the course of our lives. The result will be God-ordained success that has His stamp of peace and blessing on it. Don’t wait for tomorrow, start today.
Esther is an International Development Journalist. Read Esther’s blog at www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/esther-williams