Have you ever had that sudden surge of motivation to get your act together – the picture-perfect idea of what your life should look like… at 3 in the morning? You tell yourself you’re going to wake up one day, fully energized and ready to change the world.
Everyone is going to notice you and you’re gonna prove everyone who doubted you wrong. You’re going to knock off every single thing on your bucket list and make enough money to be happy. You’re going to move to that apartment in New York and start your dream business or career.
But then you wake up and realize that you’re still in the same town you’ve been in for years. Still stuck in your childhood bedroom. Still waiting, longing, and hoping for your life to “begin”. Sometimes we might feel guilty for wanting to leave. Is it wrong to “dream big?”
Romans 8:25-28 (NIV) says, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
In these verses, we see that God sees your heart’s desires and wildest dreams, and He hears your every prayer. And you know what else He sees? Your motives.
But what are your true motives? Are you dreaming big because you want everyone to notice you? To respect you? Just to prove them wrong? Or do you want everyone to see Jesus in you? Do you want to point the world to God with your actions and words?
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
This verse is telling us that we should be hoping in the Lord, even as youth. Don’t just put your hope in the fleeting passions of the world– rather, put your hope in the Lord. The world can give us all the attention we want, but God is the only one who can give us the strength to not grow weary.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a sin to want to move to a skyline apartment in New York City, and it’s even better if it’s in God’s plan for our life.
But how do we know if it’s God’s plan? Glad you asked.
Where God guides, He provides. If you’re going in a certain direction, and that’s the direction God wants for you, He will provide for you, even when it seems impossible.
Proverbs 16:9 (NASB) tells us, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” This means we could have the most immaculate life plan, but God could take us elsewhere.
If God is leading you in a certain direction, opening doors for you (such as resources, finances, and favor), and putting desires in your heart, that’s probably where He’s leading you. That’s where prayer comes in.
Prayerfully pursue your dreams and seek God’s will, searching His love letter to you, and you will be able to discern where God is guiding you.
As youth, we are often told the same things over and over again.
You’ll get there one day.
Keep on, keeping on.
Actually working for it can be exhausting. But as Christians, we know where our strength lies. Our waiting, longing, and hoping should be in the Lord, not in the world. We don’t know what lies ahead for us, but we can take heart in knowing that He has had our lives mapped out since he wove us in our mother’s womb. He sees us as we wait.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
Ashlynn Morris is a 17-year-old writer who can’t wait to be a published author one day. With a wild imagination, she creates the stories she wants to see on her shelf. She lives with her family in Houston, Texas, and is the oldest of five. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, studying the Bible, acting, filmmaking, walking to her local bookstore, playing with her bunny, watching old movies, journaling, and hanging out with her friends. She graduated in 2023 and can’t wait to see where the Lord takes her next.