I’m a dreamer. Not in a little way, but in a do the impossible that no one would expect kind of way. I’m a big dreamer with bigger faith. I seek to accomplish things that people tell me are impossible. In fact telling me I can’t do something, or that it is impossible, makes me want it that much more. I’ve accomplished many dreams throughout my lifetime. I wanted to be a gymnast, I worked hard and competed in the sport of gymnastics from age 5 to 18 when I graduated high school. I wanted to play softball, volleyball, basketball, I wanted to be a pole vaulter; accomplished them all at various levels. I wanted to be a teacher, I went to college to be a teacher. My greatest dream as a young girl was to be a college cheerleader, I did that too. I sought after God and worked hard and he made my dreams a reality. I experienced joy, but I also experienced heartache when things didn’t fall into place as I had dreamed.
This is where it gets good…
I prayed, my parents, grandparents, and friends have always prayed God’s will over my life. Psalm 37 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Many know this verse and probably have it underlined. As a kid I clung to this, I found delight in Jesus and He DID give me the desires of MY heart. But as I matured in my faith around my junior year of high school my eyes were opened to the verse that follows. It reads, “Commit your ways to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like dawn; your vindication like the noonday sun.” That is when I began to change my prayers.
I still prayed for God to provide a way to accomplish my dreams, but I prayed that my dreams would be the dreams He had planned for me. And things got interesting.
I was applying for colleges at that point in time. My dream school, UGA, was the last school I was waiting to hear from. on March 30 I finally got the letter I had been waiting for, but the news was not my dream. Suddenly I was at loss. I didn’t want to go to any of the other schools I applied to and I didn’t understand why God did not answer my prayer. -Now I look back and see His hand the entire time- In a round-about way God led me to stumble upon Kennesaw State on the web. I saw they were hosting cheerleading tryouts in a few weeks…i.e. my greatest dream collegiate cheerleading. On a whim I put in an application to the school my parents and I drove to Georgia to check it out. Fast-forward a month and I had tried out and made the cheerleading team (I hadn’t even been accepted into the University yet). I was accepted a month later in June after I graduated high school. Cheerleading did not turn out the way I expected. There were some amazing parts, but some were really rough. The end fall semester my sophomore year I had a dream that I was pole vaulting again. Within two days I put in my transfer, contacted the coach at Charlotte and was ready to make the change. I never looked at pole vaulting or Charlotte in high school…because it wasn’t God’s time. I met amazing people at KSU. My best friend Michelle is probably the greatest thing I gained there and wouldn’t trade my time for anything. After transferring God opened more doors, and still is, than I could write in a blog post through Charlotte. I have had more opportunities than my mind could possibly imagine through my NCAA athletic experience. God granted me the desires of my heart, but after I relinquished my FULL trust in HIM, He gave me a righteous reward beyond my wildest dreams.
I always dreamed of being a teacher for early education. God granted me that desire, but through student teaching He has changed my heart. And I am currently seeing doors open and dreams unfold that I NEVER imagined were possible. And the cool part…some of those doors are tied to connections from my short time at KSU.
Faith is the absence of fear. When we surrender our fears and captivate our full faith, Jesus opens the floodgates beyond our wildest dreams. I have been reading Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson lately. Talk about motivation to chase dreams the size of lions! I encourage everyone to read his encouraging words and relentless testimonies of dream chasers who surrendered to the Lord and stayed giants. People tell me all the time how much they love hearing stories about my life, how exciting and thrilling it is. And they’re right, I love my life, I love the excitement, the adventures, and the unexpected that always seems to be right around the corner. But my life is not extraordinary because of Erin, it’s solely because of Jesus. He’s waiting to make your life extraordinary when you give Him your full faith and trust. Now I’ll be the first to tell you, chasing lion-sized dreams doesn’t come without failure, disappointment, closed doors, and lots and lots of tears. The Will of God is the most dangerous place to be, because you are a target for the enemy. But that is what makes it so thrilling, because why fear the enemy when you belong to the King of all Kings, the defender Himself. Batterson states, “Success isn’t winning or losing, it’s obeying.” You are going to fail chasing dreams, it’s about continuing to fight until you succeed. It’s about pounding on doors until God opens them. It’s about not backing down from the fight of your life.
You can have a perfectly fine life living out your dreams, but I’m here to tell you that you can have an extraordinary life with eternal rewards when you seek out God’s dreams for you, because God’s dreams aren’t for your glory they are for His.
I challenge you to fight for your dreams, the dreams you’ve buried deep in your heart with the stamp of “impossible” across them. Pray, pray, and fight until they are accomplished. You will not be disappointed, and your faith will be stronger than you’ve ever experienced before.
This is the link to Batterson’s book Chase the Lion