Sacrificing Dreams

Why Sacrificing Your Dreams Might Bring Peace

For entirely too long I wasted time, energy and words asking for the wrong things from God. Sometimes sacrificing dreams is what God is requiring from us.

My kids do this same thing. My daughter begged for gymnastics equipment for her bedroom. She wanted the whole set up. The bars. The beams. And even the large mats needed to do floor routines. 

No honey, your room isn’t big enough. I’m sorry honey that equipment is not built for your bedroom. 

She would never get angry about the rejection, but she was persistent. It made no sense to have the gymnastics equipment in her room. It was clearly a safety hazard as well. But all she knew was she wanted what she thought would help her be a better gymnast. 

I think we do the same thing with God. 

We waste our time and energy focusing on our room, with the right intention of becoming better Christians. 

God if you just give me this, then I will be a much better Christian. But God sees the whole picture.

sacrificing dreams

My requests weren’t “bad” things or even in this case materialistic things. 

My desire since childhood was to be a missionary. The kind that fought diseases in Africa and traveled to the remotest parts of the world holding hands with the weary and lonely. This, in my mind, was the ultimate calling that anyone could have. And I was determined that this is what God wanted for my life. 

If I do this, then I will be the best Christian.

I don’t think during I was fully conscious this was the root of what was going on, but looking back I think I just wanted to be the daughter of the king who was doing big things for God. Pride. Definitely pride. I didn’t see sacrificing dreams as anything God would ask of me.

I begged God for years, before marriage, after marriage, after kids, between kids… please let us be a missionary family. I want that, and it’s good. And you give good gifts to your children. 

I sounded like my daughter begging for a gymnasium in her bedroom. 

“Please God let us do these big things for you.” 

And one day I “stumbled” across a video of Phil Vischer and his story of creating Veggie Tales. 

(Watch the full episode here.)

Phil grew this creative cartoon into a huge corporation. He taught kids about the love of Jesus, confidence in Christ and all through talking vegetables. He grew one of the largest animation studios in the country.

It’s all good work, right?

Then suddenly as he grew, his team began bickering. His sales stopped. He had to lay off dozens of employees. 

But wasn’t this good work?

Then he decided he’d try one last attempt at selling some DVD’s and God can totally sell those right?

It’s good work, right?

And as the world he built began to fade he received an unexpected letter that said, “keep an eye on your pride.” 

There were prayer meetings for God to hold “Big Idea” together. “Give Phil the wisdom to hold it all together God,” the team would pray fervently.

Sometimes God asks us to be willing to sacrifice our dreams.

But Phil began to tell the story of God taking Big Idea away from him. He said, “If God has given you a dream, it has come to life, but then it dies… God may be wanting to see what is more important to you. The dream or Him.”

sacrificing dreams

I remember feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me. The dream? 

I hadn’t built any form of empire as Phil had done, but in my mind I had the full gymnasium built in my room packed with unsteady equipment and faulty balance beams. 

God was not interested in me going to Africa, the Bahamas or even my neighbor until I was settled with the idea of being content with where I was and using the opportunities already in front of me. 

Would I be content with sharing muffins with neighbors, the joy of Jesus with my children and honest work within my business? Is this enough? 

So I let the dream die. I cried, mourning its loss. I spent a week an internal mess wrestling with God if He was sure this is what He wanted. 

Sacrificing dreams on an altar of obedience doesn’t come without pain. It’s why it’s called a sacrifice.

And finally after surrender, peace flooded my soul. 

It’s quite funny when His peace comes, the eyes open and the clarity appears. 

God will be God. 

I challenge you to hold up your dreams to God. Ask Him if the dream itself has become God or if God is God in your life.

He holds it all together. Your unfulfilled dreams, your longing desires and your discontentment. He’s got it. 

And maybe, He wants to know if that dream holds more importance to you than He does. 

I’d love to hear about a time that sacrificing dreams to follow Jesus led to more joy and life than before:

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