I have always been a dreamer. Sometimes my mom worried, because I was lost in my thoughts or busy being a Native American princess in a fantasy world – or being a Broadway star, or Miss America. Would the real world prepare this shy girl for disappointment and grief?
As I became a teenager, my dreams lurked deeper in my heart because I was afraid of appearing conceited or “too big for my panties”.
But God was always calling me forward … not necessarily to bigger or better, just different. Me – playing on bigger stages? Write for publication, or take an awkward place in a wacky fate?
The summer before my freshman year of high school, we moved to Laverne, and I decided to add a “y” to my plain-Jane name. After all, my name might one day be printed in big letters somewhere: Jayne Jayroe!
Would it appear on a book cover, or would it be displayed on a marquee – or displayed at the bottom of a TV screen as I walked down a track along a football field on national TV? Or maybe a TV news anchor? Could I have imagined these things when I was a child?
These days I see dreams from a different perspective. Just as some dreams come to us from God, so do empowering gifts. There is a match. Otherwise, dreams without gifts are probably personal wishes. For example, I wasn’t called out to be a WNBA player even though I loved the game. I didn’t dream of being an opera star either. God did not give me these gifts.
What made me remember my dreams was listening to this theme from two of my favorite Oklahomans, Kelli O’Hara and Mo Anderson.
Recently playing with the OKC Philharmonic, O’Hara spoke of growing up in western Oklahoma. Her memories included cow cakes and cut cotton. Speaking further from rural Oklahoma, she mentioned that she had always been “nurtured and led by her dreams.” It was O’Hara’s fate to sing to the world, but also his choice to accept the dream or deny it, to become focused or unruly. It’s a choice we all make … God’s way or ours? Confident or shy? Comfortable or engaged?
O’Hara blesses everyone who hears him sing, but his gifts go far beyond. She uses her voice to encourage other musicians, help people with cancer, raise a flag for children in difficulty and many other worthy causes. O’Hara blesses lives.
Dreams was the theme Anderson shared with attendees at a City Rescue Mission lunch. Anderson grew up in poverty on farms in Oklahoma that never belonged to his family. But her dreams were big. Whether it’s teaching in school, selling homes, or becoming Managing Director of Keller Williams Realty International, Anderson never stops making God’s dream come true for her.
She did not stop at success – each was the means of a deeper conception. She has inspired and encouraged thousands of people and generously shared the fruits of her labor.
None of these women would say their paths were easy or without sacrifice. But if you dare to believe in God’s vision for your life, know this:
God wants to make our wildest dreams come true. Sometimes they are planted in us early and with great conviction. They fill our minds and this positive image comes out in our lives. But they are not given, so we will wear a shining crown or drive a luxury car or receive a standing ovation, but for the purpose of serving God and others.
Additionally, what we believe about dreams reveals what we believe about God. Believe in dreams the size of God and this forces a healthy and humble dependence on God for the result.
The Bible is full of stories of God communicating through dreams. Joseph married Mary, the mother of Jesus, following the appearance of an angel of the Lord in a dream. Abram left his home and his people to travel to an unnamed country, based on a vision from God for a new nation of descendants. The apostle Paul was said in a dream: “Do not be afraid, but keep talking and do not be silent (Acts 18: 9).”
Don’t think that God used this method just to connect with people in Bible times. Dreams are still delivered daily.
Maybe we are not as receptive as our ancestors / mothers were. It takes practice to hear the voice of God. And I know dreams aren’t just for young people; they keep coming during our lifetime, because God is never done with us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to make you prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). “