The day I saw the three houses, my questions were answered. For the longest time, my desires seemed conflicting. I knew I was called to missions in Asia, but longed to make a home for my family one day. I wanted to make room for people to encounter God, yet craved to just be making music all day long. I was desperate to go and reach the lost, though when sitting with family, my only desire was to simply stay forever. The three houses, the picture of Beth-Biri, brought clarity to them all. I could be a missionary close to home, being sent out for seasons at a time, with a place I could always come back to. I get to create heavenly environments for the lost to be welcomed into, and discover family in our community. Jesus gave me a dream that satisfied every desire He had given me – longings specific to my gifts and to my heart – and He has plans for each person, to prosper them and not to harm them, plans to give them a hope and a future.
This week marks for us one month until we open 1 O’Connell for the world to see. Over the last five years, the Lord led me through a few stages of learning to care for this vision, and bring it to where it is today, hand in hand with this beautiful team. I pray that as Jesus gifts you with dreams and desires, that these steps could help bring clarity to your process of carrying them to completion and fruition.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a compulsive dreamer and big-thinker. I’ve spent the entirety of my life imagining possible paths and adventures – everything from being a travelling photographer in unheard of countries, to running a physiotherapy clinic with my brother (who had no desire to do this, nor did he know I was also planning out his life). My grand schemes shifted year by year, but the very moment I saw the vision of Beth-Biri, I understood the weightiness of it – this was the one. In truly receiving this call in faith, I recognised the need to surrender my flippant changing of dreams for a heart truly invested in seeing the vision come to pass. The first level of this process: “Receive it and own it.”
As I began to carry this dream in my heart, I saw that without attention and care, the passion and desire around it would soon dwindle, fade and, potentially one day, be forgotten. As a baby needs to be nurtured and held, the next season held for me this lesson: “Feed it.” I began to ask God questions. Though I didn’t have much clarity on how to get there and knew it was not yet time, I found the Lord loved to share His desire with me for what it could become in the future – who we would impact, what culture we would carry, where we would go! The desire that had been breathed in my heart grew into clear vision and expectant faith that in time, Beth-Biri would become a reality.
Fast forward two years: God had miraculously pulled together a team of surrendered creatives willing to give their lives to this. There’d been months of excitement and tired-eyed, awe-filled conversations between us about the years to come, which was beautiful and thrilling! But faith without deed is dead. What good is a great vision if you’re never willing to pick it up and run with it? Many people thrive with the internal, but refrain in fear of ever actually carrying out an idea through to reality. The third challenge for us was this: “Prepare it.” For us, this one, though exciting to see progress, also held many days of logistics and legalities, fundraising, and leaving behind family and comfortability. Preparing a dream isn’t always pretty.
There is a light, somewhat, at the end of the tunnel of legalities… reality. There is a day where dreams come true – and is our next stage: “Launch it.” Simply put, after all of the preparation, you will see the fruit of the many hours of prayer and of hard work, and of the many sacrifices made. Now, a parent’s role does not cease with adulthood – it only is opportunity to share in the joy of closer relationship and greater understanding. Seeing a vision take flight is miraculous and beautiful, and though it seems like the end goal, it is a step still requiring much care. After maturing the dream from the little whisper that it once was, attention is directed toward maintaining and interacting with what has been nurtured for long. Recognise the beauty of the process, thank God for the present, and allow your heart to dream bigger and look further than ever before.
As I walked through these four stages, I encountered one more thing – a constant step to be made and path to be navigated throughout every season… In meeting people God had called me to begin Beth-Biri with, to financial threat, to wild favour or loss of hope, Jesus called us to trust. “Release it.” Would we, like Abraham, be prepared to surrender to the Lord even the very fulfilment of His promise to us? There are days in which I knew I needed to hold tight and fight for this, and others in which I felt the gentle touch of the Father loosening my white-knuckled fist.
Whatever dream or desire you have, and whichever stage you are in, believe God, remain hopeful, and keep saying ’Yes’. When Jesus speaks, care for His words with all that you have. You will not be disappointed.
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