On a recent summer night a friend and I decided to beat the sweltering heat with a late-night swim.

It was kind of impulsive and I was excited to grab my swimming suit and head to the lake. I didn’t want to get my nice bathing suit dirty in the murky lake water, so I thought I’d pull out one of my old bikinis. Since having a baby, I was so distraught over the stretch marks that now covered my belly that I had sworn off bikinis forever. But in the dark and only my close friend with me, I felt brave enough to put one on.

However, when I reached in my drawer, none of my old bikinis were there! Then I remembered how I had dramatically given them all away after having a baby, convinced I could never show my stomach in public again. I had to laugh at myself because I remembered the self-pity I’d felt when I realized my body would never be quite the same. I had acted rashly based on my emotions instead of thinking what the future could hold.

I think it’s easy to do the same thing with our faith when life doesn’t unfold the way we want it to. Maybe God has given you a dream or a passion that you expected to be living by now, but it seems like it isn’t going to happen anymore. Have you thrown away any of your dreams in a flurry of emotion and self-pity? It could be time to dust off some dreams you’ve shelved and trust that God still has a plan for your future that just may lead you exactly where you had hoped, or better! Don’t assume that God is finished with you just because the timing didn’t turn out the way you expected.

by Lauren Bratten

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Lord, keep working on me and give me the courage to dream again of what you have ahead!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6