By Rae Lynn DeAngelis

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” (Psalm 145:19)

Our dreams and aspirations can be so tightly woven into the fabric of our existence, we mistake them for our core identity. It’s one of the reasons anorexics continue to restrict, bulimics purge, and over-exercisers workout despite failing health and strained relationships.

What drives these unhealthy behaviors includes a yearning for approval and acceptance, the ideal body, or ultimate self-control. One misguidedly thinks: My dreams are me.

The song “Surrender” by Barlow Girl sheds light into this human condition.  Like poetry, the lyrics of this song reach deep into the soul and illuminate the unspoken truth of our heart’s desire.

My hands hold safely to my dreams

Clutching tightly not one has fallen

So many years I’ve shaped each one

Reflecting my heart, showing who I am

Now you’re asking me to show

What I’m holding Oh so tightly

Can’t open my hands; can’t let go

Does it matter?

Should I show you?

Can’t you let me go?

Surrender, surrender

You whisper gently

You say I will be free

I know but can’t you see

My dreams are me. My dreams are me 

Say you have a plan for me

And that you want the best for my life

Told me the world has yet to see

What you can do with one

That’s committed to your calling

I know of course what I should do

That I can’t hold these dreams forever

But if I give them now to you

Will you take them

Away forever?

Or can I dream again?

Our dreams propel us through life with careful precision. They direct our experiences and influence our decisions.

It’s okay to chase dreams, but let’s be wise. Let’s make sure what we are holding “oh so tightly” lines-up with God’s ultimate plan and purpose. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

The Holy Spirit will reveal if our longings are part of God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. If our dreams are from God, we have His permission to pursue them. If they are born from the flesh (brought on through this broken world’s deception) we need to unclench our fists, let go, and trade our dreams for His.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5)

“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.” (Romans 12:2)

Holy Spirit, have your way in me. Lead me towards Your dreams, goals, and aspirations. I want to fulfill your perfect plan and purpose. Me in You and You in me; only then will my dreams be me.