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Following the Trailmarkers

“Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” -Habakkuk 2:2

I have been a proponent of writing down the revelation (i.e. dreams) for many years. Yet, sometimes I forget to look back on those dreams so that I may run with that revelation. Writing down your dreams is a good way to practice obedience. It also shows a willingness to listen to these secrets in the night, and is a valuable resource for running our race with endurance. We are called to be good stewards of our finances and to use them wisely. We are also called to be good stewards of the revelations, words of wisdom, and dreams that God speaks to us. But why? What is the purpose of writing these things down?

Wait for It

Often dreams are not literal, and at least in my experience dreams need time to incubate. The exception to this is warning dreams, which typically speak to something more immediate. It is prudent to seek out the meaning and pay attention to these dreams. For the purpose here I am not referring to warning dreams, that is a post all on its own!

When God gives this revelation to Habakkuk it is more long-term in nature. God is speaking of what is to come, meaning, this won’t happen right away. As you wait for it, you will face discouragement. Writing down the revelation so you can look back on it will prove to be a valuable source of encouragement in the wait. Right after God tells Habakkuk to write down the vision in verse 2, verse 3 says;

“For the revelation awaits for an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it tarry (or take longer than you want), wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” -Habakkuk 2:3

Delay is a Gift

Our idea of delay and God’s idea of delay are two very different things! His timing is different than ours and He knows we tend to be impatient and have memory problems. Waiting for His timing brings joy and excitement that is indescribable. Our family is embarking on a dream journey with God that I am still waiting to see the fulfillment of. I’m starting to see glimpses of the fulfillment and it’s exhilarating! In his book, Dream, Mark Rutland has this to say about the waiting time in dreaming:

“The delay, common to dreamers, from dream to fulfillment can be absolutely excruciating. No spiritual discipline is as taxing or, for that matter, so close to the heart of holiness as waiting, but that does not mean it is a pleasant experience. That very season of delay which we find so distasteful, may, however, be crucial to the plan and purpose of God. Such delays give God time to prepare us for the opportunity and the opportunity for us. While we wait, God is working to remove obstacles before us, which if allowed to remain, would hinder or limit the dream.”

Mark Rutland, Dream

God’s timing is absolutely vital in these dreams becoming reality. Have you ever stopped to consider the concept that while you are waiting, God is not only preparing YOU, but He is preparing the opportunity that you will step into. His timing is impeccable!

Trail Markers

Being a good steward of dreams can look a lot like hurry up and wait. Dreams can fade from our memory quickly, and we have to develop a habit of writing them down in those few moments after we awake. Often, details like colors, numbers, and people’s names can have a very specific meaning. Yet in my experience, those are the first things to fade from my memory after I wake up. Being diligent to write down the dream is one way to be a good steward. I’ve found the dreams I write down have been like guideposts in this journey with Jesus that I am on.

If you’ve ever been hiking you know just how important a well-marked trail is. When you’re on a trail sometimes suddenly you have no idea where the trail began or where it’s going. My walk with God feels like this at times. I’m so thankful for the trail markers He gives me along the way. His word is the best trail marker, but there are also other markers such as dreams, visions, words of wisdom from other believers, even signs in the heavens, and confirmations that are given through people and experiences. These “trail markers” bring encouragement when the trail is long. In following Jesus on this trail of life, looking back on dreams gives me strength and endurance to keep moving forward.

Looking Back Brings Strength

What we see is like looking at only one piece of the puzzle. God has a higher vantage point and can see the whole picture. This week I was looking back on some dreams I have had in the past two years. When I discovered that I lived out portions of a dream I had back in October it gave me such encouragement. I had completely forgotten about this particular dream, but Oh how glad I am that I wrote it down!

When I went back to re-read it, God used that dream and my experience this week to breathe fresh air into my dreaming heart. It was the encouragement I needed to continue following Him on this trail. The hardest climbs often result in the greatest view. So keep climbing! Keep chasing those dreams, and write it down so that you can run with endurance because the trail is often longer with more twists and turns than we think it will have, but the view from the top is worth it.

Wokeness has Invaded Adoption

This is what holding a harvest of joy looks like. You can’t see in my face all the emotions that come into play here. I was exhausted after waiting years for our Hadassah to join our family. I had carried this dream in my heart for roughly 10 years before she was born. Have you ever been pregnant with a dream for a decade? It’s exhausting to keep hoping, praying, and never give up even when it looks hopeless. In this moment the Lord spoke to me, “it’s all worth it.” This is the face of joy, peace, and love. This daughter I had seen in my dreams for years and had wondered if she would look like that, I was now holding. Her heart beating next to mine. This is what fulfilled promise looks like.

I found out today that one of the largest adoption agencies in our nation, Bethany Christian Services, the agency that completed our home study, now wants to make this kind of adoption a thing of the past. Essentially they have bowed to the “woke” culture and decided it would be better for black children to languish in foster care waiting for a black family to adopt them than to be placed in the loving home of a white mom and dad. I’m not even mad about this development. I should be furious, instead, I’m incredibly sad. A sense of deep, gut-wrenching sadness washed over me at this news. Our home study agency, the one that wrote such amazing things about our family and our ability to care for our children has now decided that black children should not be raised by white parents.

God Places the Lonely in Families

When I read this story in Newsweek today (which I will link in the comments). My heart sank. Immediately I thought of the many biracial families I know personally. Many of them are white Momma’s and Daddy’s who have welcomed black children into their home. I’ve seen with my own eyes these children grow and thrive in the love and care of their white mom and dad. Psalm 68:6 says, “God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.” How we’ve seen this lived out in our own family! In God’s eyes, we are all His precious children. God has built our family and I am thankful for the kaleidoscope of colors in each of my children. How boring it would be if we were all exact copies of each other!

My verse while waiting for Hadassah was Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears WILL reap a Harvest of Joy. (paraphrase mine). God showed me her face in dreams multiple times, and years before she was born. Don’t tell me for a second that it’s a mistake she is part of our family! Her birth mom chose us to raise her, but long before she was even conceived God choose us to be her parents. He prepared our hearts and even gave me glimpses of what she would look like to confirm His promises. Now, this agency which holds the keys for many families in their adoption journey is closing those doors. It’s a shame to base adoption on race in any way! The needs of the child and if possible the wishes of the birth mother should be the #1 factor in adoption decisions.

Get Oil and Take Flight

Be like a duck. This is something I’ve taught my children from a very young age. I realized this week it’s something I wasn’t doing myself. Ducks live in the water, and in the sky. They are a bird that swims but also flies. They have a special oil on their feathers that prevents water from absorbing and weighing them down. This oil is a protection for the bird, as there are many more dangers to them on the ground and in the pond than there are in the sky. They need the ability to take flight at a moment’s notice!

When I tell my children to be like a duck I mean, be sure to daily coat yourself in the oil of joy that comes from God. The oil comes from spending time daily in His Word and building your own personal relationship with Him through prayer and worship. Keep your lamps full, and your feathers coated so when it’s time to take off, you are not weighed down by the things of this world and you can fly wherever God is calling you. I’ve been telling my children this for years, but this week I realized I haven’t been doing this consistently. I’ve let the murk and yuck from the world seep in and weigh down my own feathers. This question began to echo in my mind, “How can I teach them to fly, if I’m so weighed down, that I can’t get off the ground?”

Be Set Apart

I’m talking metaphorically of course. I”m not actually flying in the sky, but when it comes to following Jesus and going where He has called, we have to keep our mind, will, and emotions light. Following Jesus requires us to stay somewhat unattached to the world so we can say Yes to Him when he calls. Like the disciples who dropped their fishing nets and followed when He called to them. We too must be willing to leave some things behind in order to step into our destiny and become fishers of men. How do we do this? How do we live in the world, but not be of the world as scripture warns us in Romans 12:2.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We live in this world, but we don’t have to look like this world. We are called to be, set apart from the world. It is easy to let the hurts, disappointments, and temptations of this world soak in and weigh us down. We need the protective oil coating us so we have take flight. This is our home (for now) and it is hard to live here and keep a Heavenly perspective. We live with broken people in a broken world in need of Jesus, but if we don’t keep our feathers coated with oil the yuck and sin will weigh us down and prevent us from flying.

Let it Roll

Ducks live in ponds, that are not always the cleanest of water. It can be murky, dirty, have trash floating in it, and ducks will swim there. But they don’t let that murky water soak in. It rolls off their backs allowing them to fly at a moment’s notice. When I talk to my kids and tell them to be like ducks and let the water roll off, most of the time it’s in reference to an offense. Often, our first response when unkind words are spoken is to take offense. We can’t take flight if we’re heavy from holding offense in our hearts. It will lead to anger and bitterness over time. What we need, and even more exciting, what God desires for us, is that we will be light and free. Not held back by the bondage of sin, hurt, bitterness, and offense.

It’s not as hard as you may think to dry off your feathers, apply oil, and prepare to take flight, but it does take acknowledging that there is a problem. SO shake off that murky water, dry your feathers, and get ready to take flight! Soar into what God created you to do. Get that good protective oil. Apply it to the feathers of your heart, and soar!