How does your dreaming heart and your walk with God fit together? In her debut book, Dreaming with God, former professional ballerina, wife, and mama – Sarah Beth Marr – invites us to step into the beautiful dance of letting God lead our dreams, desires, and our very lives. What if you discovered anew the beauty of letting God lead your dreaming heart? You’ll find a deeper intimacy with God as you dance hand and hand with Him. Let God take your hand, and He will lead you into the dreams He had in mind for you when He created you. It’s a grace to welcome Sarah Beth Marr to the farm’s front porch today…
I think we all struggle at times to know whether listening to the desires of our hearts is a good or a bad thing.
My sweet mom has been the person in my life who has taught me to dream with God by tuning in to Him through the desires of my heart.
Here is one of my favorite Bible verses she introduced to me back when I was a young lady on the edge of adulthood: “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
I love this verse because it gives us permission to listen to the desires of our hearts, but there is a little twist to the verse:
“Take delight in the Lord.”
Delighting in God and Him giving us the desires of our hearts can sometimes feel like two different things.
Mom taught me that when we delight in God first and foremost—in a sense, make our dreaming about knowing Him—He shapes our desires. And that’s when we can listen to the desires of our hearts because they are in tune with God’s heart.
When we are tuned in to God’s heart regarding the dreams He has for us — tuned in through His Word, tuned in through long meditation on Scripture, tuned in through daily prayers in His presence — He delights to give the desires of our hearts to us.
God gives us the desires of our heart — when His desires have become our heart.
Desires will ebb and flow throughout our dreaming journeys.
We can put every desire in God’s arms, and He will guide us to the dreams He alone has perfectly preplanned for us.
God is the Dream-Planter. He loves to plant seeds of dreams in our hearts that He will use to lead us through life, give us great joy, guide us in living out the gifts He has put in us, and help us make an impact on the world around us.
As I look back over my own dreaming dance, sometimes I laugh at how a little desire would seem to pop up out of nowhere and shift something in my dreaming path.
Once, I showed up late to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting, and it was the first one of the year, and I really didn’t know anybody.
As I rushed through the door, this lady, who I later found out was the speaker coordinator, came running up to me and with excitement and enthusiasm hugged me and nearly shouted, “Are you our speaker for today?”
The speaker for that day was also late and also had long, brown hair. Eyes wide, I assured her I was not the speaker for the day, and somewhere deep inside this little conversation with myself took place: I could never, ever do that. Please don’t make me! How scary. What would I even have to say? But that does sound kind of fun. But who am I? I could never, ever do that.
The speaker finally did show up, and I went home that day and scribbled those little thoughts to God in one of my journals.
I gave Him that teeny, tiny desire even though I didn’t know whether it was from Him.
A couple years later, I began speaking to MOPS groups. Now speaking to groups of women has become a little dream that makes my heart dance.
God took a small desire and used it to steer me in the direction of His plans for me. I think it’s incredibly beautiful how He does that.
This dreaming dance requires us to constantly check in with God to see if our little desires or big passions are something He wants us to pay attention to.Sometimes our desires and God’s desires don’t match up, and we must be willing to allow God to shift our desires if He sees fit.
That is part of dreaming with Him. He will keep our hearts on course. We just need to take to God the desires, dreams, and ideas that sprout up in our hearts.
Typically, they will feel like crazy ideas. Some may never even come to fruition.
The desire that comes over me to be a country music singer is a great desire, but y’all, singing is not one of my strengths. Deciding if that desire in particular is one God wants me to pursue or not is very clear to me because I do not have the vocals to match the desire.
But other desires can be trickier to decipher. Sometimes I bring a desire of my heart to God, and I cannot tell how He feels about it. That’s when I wish He would send me an email!
I have brought other desires to God as well, and it’s almost as if the moment I bring them to Him and say them out loud or scribble them into a journal, I’m suddenly very aware that they’re not something I should pursue.
But when we give ourselves permission to express a desire out loud to God, to bring it to Him, He takes it and clarifies His purposes for us.
God’s heart for all of us is that we would see that dreams come in all shapes and sizes and His heart for us is to dream in all kinds of ways.
He wants us to dream big . . . and small and in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
God wants us to dream with Him so that our hearts dance with joy and purpose, so that we get to know Him in deeper ways and point others to Him.
Remember this: He divinely designed your heart, mind, and soul to fit specific callings.
And He uses the twists and turns of your heart shape to draw you into all He created you to be.
Oh, how He wants you to be all He designed you to be.
He does not want you to miss out on the dreams He has planned for you.
Sarah Beth Marr danced professionally for over fifteen years as a ballerina and now encourages women in the dance of life and faith through her writing. Sarah also speaks at women’s events and MOPS events in Texas. She is a contributing writer for Crosswalk.com, Christianparenting.org, and Lifeway’s Journey Magazine.
The world tells us that the way to make all our dreams come true is to set our own course and strive every day. But when it’s all on us, we end up feeling exhausted, frustrated, and, disappointed when things don’t turn out as we’d hoped. Have you ever wondered if there was a better way? Weaving together her unique perspective as a professional ballerina with profound truths drawn from Scripture and a life of faith, in, Sarah Beth Marr reminds us in Dreaming with God that we are not dreaming alone. We can surrender our plans to God, stay in tempo with His Spirit, and step into a deeper relationship with Christ.
[ Our humble thanks to Baker for their partnership in today’s devotion ]