My husband and I have been taking a couple through premarital counseling. Wow. So good for them, so good for us. So much of our talks early on were about the counting the cost of marriage. Two singles, dreaming great dreams for their lives, picturing themselves in far away places, on great adventures, pursuing careers, education. . . limitless possibilities. But now they find themselves coming together, and seeing the future is beginning to take a turn – and what of all these dreams?

I remember these feelings. I remember them when I got married. I remember them when I started having kids. What do I do with all of my dreams? What do I do with all of my hopes to scamper off to Africa and work in an orphanage? What do I do with my plans to go and travel in Europe and visit all the places that my favorite novels were set in? What about the career path that I had long ago – where I worked so hard and earned such and such promotion?

Tweet this: I remember when I got married. I remember when I started having kids. I asked ‘What do I do with all of my dreams?’ @suhangela #vergewomen

And I see that God has made me a certain way – a specific personality, a certain type of drive, a mind that is good at this but not so much that. Some of these dreams were custom-made for me. They were a perfect fit for the way that God created me. So, what would become of them now?  Didn’t He give me these dreams that I might live them?

I find that ten years into marriage, four years into kids, that I am learning some things about having dreams.

Some dreams God puts in your heart because He will see them to their fulfillment. He gives you some dreams so that you will risk much, and all your skills and talents will find their uses, and  you will attain these great goals.  But… some dreams He puts within you because you are going to have to put them to death.

Tweet this: He may have given us dreams so that He might also give us the grace to put them to death @suhangela #vergewomen

The dreams that He fulfills – they are amazing and wonderful and you learn so much about God and His goodness as you see Him sovereignly paint those stories across your life.

But, the ones that He calls you to put to death – there is something beautiful about those as well.

When God has called you to something (a job, singleness, marriage, children, no children, moving overseas, staying here) and it does not align with a dream and you have to put that dream to death, you learn some things:

1. You understand what it is like to give up something precious, something costly for the Lord.

You glimpse, just a little, about what it was like for Him to give up something precious, something costly to purchase you for Himself. You see, with dim eyes, what it was like for His Son to give up something precious, something costly to come and get us.

Tweet this: When you give up dreams, you see with dim eyes what it was like for Jesus to give up something costly to save us. @suhangela #vergewomen

2. You get an opportunity to evaluate your heart.

Do I really love God? How do I know? One way is finding out – am I willing to surrender everything to submit to His callings on my life? If He says, “Yes, I put this dream in your heart, but now I am asking you to lay it down” – will you say, “Yes, Lord, it is difficult, but I am Yours…” and in doing so, join a host of others who have said the same: Abraham taking his son, Isaac, up the mountain. Moses leading Israel up to the border of the Promised Land, but not entering it. Mary, giving up her reputation and possibly her fiance to be an unwed pregnant teen. Paul giving up his status among the Jews. Most of the apostles – their lives.

Just because we feel it in our hearts, it doesn’t mean a dream has been put there because we will see it to its end.  He may have given us dreams so that He might also give us the grace to put them to death…