(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 8 of The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore we ask, if you feel like it please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift some one's spirit.)
In Chapter 8, You Were Born For This, Bruce Wilkinson takes us back to the beginning of Ordinary's journey, to where he identified what his Big Dream is. First, he asserts that everyone has a Big Dream. Bruce then shares about a Hollywood producer that believes that very few are "born dreamers" and a waitress named Sonja whose big dream is to become a nurse. In a short while, he is able to encourage Sonja that it is indeed possible to pursue and achieve her Big Dream. He also gives great examples of how Moses needed help from God as his Dream Coach to persevere in his Dream to be a deliverer and how the continuing ministry of Mother Teresa in Calcutta began as the Dream of a girl named Agnes Bojaxhiu of Albania.
Then comes the difficult part (at least for me)...identifying our own Big Dream. I think I am at the point in my life where I feel like my entire focus is on taking care of and meeting the needs of my family, and honestly had no idea of where my Big Dream for my life was. Truly this alone is an enormous undertaking and any success in this endeavor is an incredible victory to me. Since he has known me for over 15 years and is someone whose opinion I value, I decided to ask my husband Jeff one of the questions that Bruce suggested. When I asked him, "What is it that you think I was born to do?", I got a very interesting response. He said that he thinks that I was born to help people by encouraging and comforting them. He also said that I have a gift of understanding the point of view of those that are suffering. (His words, not mine)
Backtracking through my life there were always alot of instances where I was surrounded by/took care of young children and I did quite a bit of volunteer work through high school and college. I studied psychology and special education. Prior to having children I actually worked with autistic preschoolers. At that time I believed that my Big Dream was to help other people's children, I had no idea that I'd have a special needs child of my own. Now I feel like my Big Dream is twofold; First, to help my son, Matthew to reach his greatest potential health and development-wise and second, to be as helpful as possible to other mothers who are in the same boat. There is this great spirit of generosity among autism moms and I am truly honored to help someone with what I have learned, just as so many have helped and still help me.
On page 80, Bruce Wilkinson states, "Your Dream may not look quite the same as it did years ago. But the essence of the Dream-the tug of the longing you feel to do what God made you to do-is still there." This was very helpful for me. It looked like the desire/gifting that God placed in my heart was to bring hope, encouragement, love and help to others. Over time, it just changed shape as to what my specific role is in this. I've determined that the closer I draw to God and let Him lead me (Him first, me second), the more I will grow and can become better at what it is He wants me to do. To be honest, I am so very human and can be very intimidated by the thought that God has a big purpose for my life, and so taking it one step at a time is really the best approach for me. I can see that there are areas where God needs to help me grow as a person, not just in my abilities and I need His help to make this happen every day.
I hope that you were able to identify what your Big Dream is. On pages 81-82, Bruce offers these questions to help you identify your Big Dream:
What have you always been good at?
What needs do you care about most?
Who do you admire most?
What makes you feel most fulfilled?
What do you love to do most?
What have you felt called to do?
Remember, whatever your Big Dream is, you were born to do it. God created you for a very specific and special purpose. Even if you feel like a Nobody, you are already a Somebody very special to God. Please share your thoughts on this chapter, we'd love to hear about your Big Dream. We can all encourage and support eachother as we press on together!
Thank you for every mother that is a part of this study. Thank you for the Big Dream that you placed in each of our hearts. Help us as we seek and uncover what our Big Dream is. Keep us mindful that you created each of us with a special purpose in mind so that we may trust in the unique gifts and talents that you gave us. Give us the faith and hope to continue in difficulty and a spirit of community as we encourage eachother along the way. We ask this in Your name. Amen.