I’ve seen tons of notebooks that say things like, “Don’t Quit Your Daydream,” and I even quoted Tupac in a speech once because he said, “Reality is wrong; dreams are for real.”
I have always been a professional dreamer – I feel like it keeps me going. If I always have something to look forward to, something that I think and dream will happen, then my reality feels a little better, a little more worth it.
Have you been there? Dreaming and waiting and wishing for something that might not ever happen while you are just trudging through your now? Yeah, well you are not even close to being alone.
Lately, I’ve really been struggling with focusing on where I am right now instead of focusing on my dreams. I have so many dreams for what I want to do with my life one day and what I want my “job” to look like, but that’s not where God has me right now, not yet.
I have found myself being so jealous of girls I am seeing who are quitting their day jobs to do full-time ministry or open a store or start their own business or who run successful blogs or write books or have a platform to reach more people with their words. It’s a serious struggle I’ve had to take to The Lord. I keep saying, “Why not me though, Lord?” And He says, “I have you right where I want you.” And my platform might look different than 50,000 Instagram followers. It might just be five girls in a church small group that God is calling me to serve with all my heart.
It can be hard to work a day job, even one you really like, when your mind is daydreaming in a thousand different places – about the book you want to write, or improving your website, or starting a company, or doing ministry… or maybe you want to own an art studio or open a coffee shop or start a non-profit.
God gave us all those dreams for a reason, but He gives us day jobs for a reason, too.
When I started to complain about my job and about not having time to write and work on my other dreams, my husband said, “Remember how much we prayed for this job? Be careful about not appreciating what God gave you because He can also take it away.”
He’s so right. I prayed so hard to be exactly where I am. We are at a place right now where I have to have a steady income and so does he. And I have gone through several jobs, listening to where God was leading me and trying to figure out where I wanted to be. He took me to a job that I enjoy with people who encourage me and work that challenges me – that’s exactly what I wanted. So, how am I going to forget His faithfulness just because it doesn’t look the same for me as it does for someone else?
He answered that other girl’s prayers to quit her day job for full-time ministry or the other’s girls prayers to be a full-time blogger or the other girl’s prayers to be a stay-at-home mom and open an Etsy store. And none of that has anything to do with you or anyone else. I have to remember that daily and remember to stay in my lane and run my race fiercely and gracefully.
We’ve started seeing these “Christian celebrities” and coveting their lives. That’s not what God ever intended, and that’s probably not what they intended either. They don’t want us looking up to them; they want us looking up to Him.
Just because some people who are Christians have been given different platforms than you doesn’t mean you can’t use yours with as much passion as they do.
Weirdly enough, I’m listening to a podcast right now talking all about quitting your day job for your dream job. (Very funny, God. You always do this.) And the podcaster, Sarah Werner, said, “Sometimes, your dream job is really your fantasy.” She goes on to say, “If you write, you’re a writer.” You don’t have to do your dream full-time for it to be who you are and what you do.
We get so caught up chasing dreams that we sometimes forget to soak in where we are and serve Jesus in the now.
That’s not to say to stop chasing your dreams. You should ALWAYS chase your dreams and pursue your passions, even if that means making some sacrifices and waking up early and staying up late to work on those passions after you work on your day job. But don’t ever let your dreams get in the way of your calling from God.
I recently heard several phenomenal speakers at a conference and the common theme with all of them was the emphasis on avoiding writing and speaking just to get followers and recognition – it’s not about us; it’s about Jesus. And it’s about people.
Another common theme? Serving small.
I tend to get so wrapped up in how I can serve and how much more I can do at church. And these ladies were passionate about serving in the local church for sure, but they were also passionate about serving in your home and with your friends and at your workplace because that’s where God has you and that’s where people are for you to love. The smaller we become, the bigger God becomes.
One of my favorite professors, mentors, and people coined the phrase “Less Larry, more Jesus.” That’s what he is remembered by. I want to be remembered by “Less Kaitlin, more Jesus,” not the other way around.
It doesn’t matter if you have a title at your church or if people notice how much you do. It’s not bad to be in leadership, but you can’t let it define you if you are or if you aren’t. On days I feel unnoticed and unrecognized when it comes to serving small, or even serving big, God quickly reminds me that HE notices me, and then He reminds me that I am not serving for those things anyway – I’m serving for Him and for the people He loves.
Your day job might be that place Jesus is calling you to serve in. If that is in ministry, at a church, at a non-profit, or in your home, then that’s perfect because that’s where He put you, but if He put you in a corporate office or in a school or a newsroom or a restaurant or a retail store or a hospital, you have been given just as much responsibility to spread His love to every person you come in contact with as a pastor serving thousands.
Don’t quit your daydream, but don’t quit your day job either because maybe, just maybe, that’s where you will make the most impact.
If your daydream or being noticed for your service are becoming your kingdoms, remember that there is only one Kingdom and only one King who has the ultimate daydream for you and gives you a day job every day – to serve and to love.
Go chase that daydream and keep serving right where you are – that kind of faithfulness moves mountains, sister.
All for Him,