(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 9 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 someone's spirit.)
It's amazing what fear can do to us. Fear can keep us from doing many things, including pursuing our dreams.
In Chapter 9 of The Dream Giver, Bruce Wilkinson a.k.a. our Dream Coach, shows us how to find the courage to push past that fear. Chapter 9, Living Past the Edge, starts off with our dear friend Ordinary. Bruce reminds us of the time Ordinary pushed through his Wall of Fear and broke through his Comfort Zone. We all face these times in our lives. The time when we have to push past our Wall of Fear to break through our Comfort Zone. Bruce even shows us how Moses had to do this as well. Moses felt "Unworthy and Unable." On page 91, Bruce writes about how the Bible says "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." Bruce goes on to say "God purposely picks Unworthy and Unable Dreamers like you and me." We just need to find a way to push past the two most common Comfort Zone misconceptions. They are "Since I feel fear, my dream must not be from God" and "I can't go forward unless God takes my fear away." Instead of taking away our fear, God wants us to have courage. On page 94, Bruce writes "When you do act in courage, you discover that fear doesn't have to stop you." To me, the most important thing coming out of this chapter is how Bruce tells us that we should be constantly breaking through Comfort Zones. It should be an on going thing for us to be going through. I really like how Bruce ends this chapter by telling us that if we, as Dreamers, are not facing a Comfort Zone issue regularly, something is wrong. "Maybe we're once again stuck in Familiar."
I think this Wall of Fear and idea of breaking through our Comfort Zone would not be so much of a struggle for us if we knew what would happen next. What is on the other side? We all have our dreams. Your dream may have always been to teach people, to entertain people or even to have your own family. Maybe it's to reach out to others who are hurting, maybe it's to introduce more and more people to Jesus and show them how great life can really be, or maybe it's a miracle you've been waiting and waiting for. Whatever our dream, when we get to that Wall of Fear it can be paralyzing. It can make us stop in our tracks and not continue on or it can make us run the other way. It's hard to break through that Wall of Fear. But what if....what if our dream is right there. Right within arms reach. Maybe our miracle is two days away, two hours or even two seconds away. What if by you pushing through your fear of talking to that mom whose child was recently diagnosed and sharing with her how God has helped you, makes all the difference in the world to her? What if you push past your fear of rejection and share the gospel to another and it ends up saving a life? And what if, what if your miracle is just two steps away? Are you willing to give up any of these things because of fear? Because you don't want to leave your Comfort Zone?
I believe that God has all of us exactly where He wants us. He knows how difficult our lives can get. He knows how heartbreaking and confusing autism can be. However, He is here with us every step of the way. I don't know what each of your dreams are, but I believe that God wants to use all of us while we are pursuing our Big Dream to not only help each other but to reach out to moms who don't know God and don't know how much He does for us and how much more He can do, if we let Him.
My prayer this week is that we can not only get through our Wall of Fear, but that we can also be courageous enough to break through our Comfort Zones as well. Let's keep facing our fear head on. Let's keep breaking through our Comfort Zones. Let's imagine what we've been waiting for is right around the corner. Let's push through that invisible wall and do what Joyce Meyer always tells us to do...."Do it afraid!"-(Joyce Meyer)
Joshua 1:9 "For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you."
1 Chronicles 28:20 "Then David continued, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly."
Isaiah 41:14 "Despised though you are, O Israel, don't be afraid, for I will help you. I am the Lord, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel."