“Hey Mom, guess what? I’m in a band now!”
My then 9 year old son was sitting at the kitchen island having his after-school snack and after I got over the initial shock of hearing him voluntarily share something about his day, I quickly replied, “Really? How cool buddy! Are they going to have a band at school now?”
“No”, he said, ” It’s not for the school. It’s just me and my friends! I’m going to play the piano.”
“Wow!”, I said, “What’s the name of your band?”
“We’re calling it Go Go for Jesus!“, he answered.
With every fiber of my being I fought the urge to burst into laughter. And I continued to fight that urge as he explained to me how they were making plans to take ‘Go Go for Jesus’ on the road and how they just knew that before long Hollywood was going to come knocking on their doors.
“So, who is in your band?” I asked. “Oh, everyone is mom. The whole class!”, he replied.
He must have read my mind because he quickly explained that even though not everyone would be playing an instrument, every kid would have a role in the success of Go Go for Jesus.
Kyle was going to be the tour manager. Andrew was in charge of snacks. There were 5 ‘lead’ singers. You get the idea.
And when I asked if I could have a job with the band too, I was informed that they might consider letting me drive the tour bus. 😉
Despite the fact that this group of 3rd graders had never actually practiced together and most of them had never even picked up an instrument, they were all 100% convinced that there were going to make it BIG. Like ‘American Idol’ big!
I asked when they were going to be practicing and he said, “We don’t need to actually practice mom, we just know what to do!” And then, thankfully, he headed off to his room and I was finally able to let out the laughter I had been suppressing throughout the entire conversation.
As I was telling my husband about ‘Go Go for Jesus’ later that night (and after we laughed our heads off), we both marveled at the fact that in their little 3rd grade hearts, this wasn’t just an imaginary band. It was REAL. And they had full confidence that it would be successful. I mean, you can’t go wrong in Hollywood with a name like that, right? 😉
The other day I found myself thinking (and laughing) again about Go Go for Jesus. And I realized that I envied those 3rd graders who so firmly believed, with complete faith, that they were going to make it.
Because somewhere along the line, I stopped believing with all my heart that my dreams could come true. Oh, I’m not talking about my “I want to get married” dream and my “I want to be a mommy’ dream, although that one was definitely put to the test!
I’m talking about those dreams that just seem so unrealistic. The ones that seem so unrealistic that you start wondering if it’s selfish to ever try and nurture them. You know, the Go Go for Jesus kind of dreams.
Recently I was talking with our Women’s Ministry Pastor and answering her questions about our blog as well as how God is using me during this season in my life. I shared with her about some of my dreams. Dreams that, amazingly, astonishingly, recently have started to seem within reach. And yet, I felt the need to downplay them. To make the caveat that every good Christian girl does when she worries that people will think her dreams are just a bit too big for their britches.
I told her, “But I know that God can accomplish His purposes with or without me so, you know, it’s no big deal.”
She smiled at me and said, “Yeah, He can. But what if He just really wants to use YOU?”
Ummm….excuse me? Come again? It’s not often that I am rendered speechless (just ask anyone who’s ever spent more than 5 seconds with me!) but I didn’t quite know how to reply.
What if God really just wanted to use ME? But, why? Why would he just want to use ME?
And I’ve spent the last few months trying to answer that question.
What if this dream, this Go Go for Jesus kind of dream, was what I was created for?
And what if, instead of taking those dreams and burying them underneath the fear and the doubt and the insecurites, I believed that they were put in my heart by a God who knows me better than I know myself?
What if I nurtured those dreams? What if, like those 3rd graders on the playground at recess plotting and planning their Go Go for Jesus succcess, I firmly believed that my dream was going to become a reality?
But what if, unlike those third graders, I was able to not only nurture those dreams but (gasp!) actively pursue them too?
And what if, you did too?
“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!” 1 Corinthians 12 (The Message)
There was room for everyone in the Go Go Jesus band. A place for each of them to put their talents to use.
And there’s room for everyone in my band too. I was going to call us the ‘Dreamers’ but that wouldn’t be a true reflection of who we are.
Instead, I’ll call us the ‘Dream Pursuers‘.
The ones who not only dream the dreams, but the ones who wade through the doubt and the fear and the insecurity and go after those dreams until they become a reality or until God reveals a new dream.
So, now I have to ask you a question…
Do you wanna be in my band?
There’s room for everyone!
Even tour bus drivers. 😉
P.S. This post is dedicated to all of my friends who are inspiring me to persue my own dreams by persuing theirs. You know who you are!
Vanessa, As adults we are bombarded with doubt from every direction. Kids have the purest kind of dreams straight from God. We feel that our dreams can’t be achieved because that is what the world tells us. With that being said, what are the gifts that God has given you to use for His glory? How can He use them to achieve your dreams? Don’t know? Ask Him!!
This is so bizarre, you know, how themes or ideas keep appearing in your life? So, I just read a quote from Dolly Parton in Southern Living Magazine that I have taken to heart, and hand and foot. I’m paraphrasing here, but it went like this…”the difference between wishing and dreaming is that wishing is something you do on your front porch in your rocking chair. For dreams to come true they require hands and feet and wings to make something happen. I have been caught wishing for far too long, so I chllenged myself to empty my head of all my dreams this month and put hands and feet to them. It’s very liberating! There’s been a whole lot of painting so far. Your article is both timely and reinforcing! Thanks! Alice
Shirley@Housepitality Designs says
Whatever that dream or opportunity is that is swirling in your mind or knocking at your door…yes, “hitch your wagon to a star” . . . and you can definitely be the driver of that wagon.
Nancy Sharp says
I’ll be the prayer warrior and encourager because I truly believe that God has a special plan for you. I have told you before your blog has already been a ministry to me.
Just had to let you know that God spoke to me through your blog today. Last night during our women’s book club meeting I felt impressed to follow God and do something outside my comfort zone. After reading your encouraging blog, following that lead will be the desire of my heart because I know it is from God. Thank you for your ministry to me!
Renee @ The Refined Relic says
This moved me to tears and spoke to my heart. Doubt and fear overshadow me pursuing my dream and my passions. Although, I am a Christian and I know with God all things are possible, the what ifs are sometimes all that I see. What if I fail? what if this is not my purpose? What if I am wasting my time? Maybe instead of asking myself what if I should be asking why not? After all, I am the daughter of a king. Thank you for sharing your heart. This was very much needed for me today.
Lisa Howard says
Perfectly timed post. I was having a conversation with God about my dreams just this morning. I was basically putting them on the back burner and letting God do the work. Not exactly what He has planned. Thank you for the offer to be part of your band. Sign me up!!!!
Bonnie @ Uncommon Designs says
Oh girl, isn’t life just a “Go Go for Jesus” band? What a wonderful idea! Everyone has a gift or talent and when you figure out where and how you are intended to use it, it is life changing and eye opening. God is Good, and God has a Plan. I want to join your band! 😉
What an encouraging post! I tend to do the same thing…suppress my deepest desires and dreams for fear if I actually say them out loud or act like I really think they will happen, they will suddenly not come true. I totally think God puts things in our heart for a reason and I need to be more confident that these dreams of mind could actually come true. Count me in the band. 🙂
Julia G. says
Yes, I want to be in the band! God is using you and Heather to minister to a whole lot of us that read your blogs. Thank you for being in His band!
You are amazing friend! I just love you, your heart for the Lord and how He is using you right now and is going to keep using you! What an awesome post, I just love this and also your son’s sweet heart and I know where he gets that from, his mom and dad! <3
I love you. Thank you for this beautiful post. I LOVE how God uses you and how in your humble heart you don’t even realize the impact you are making. God bless you my sweet friend…and yes, I would love to be in your band…xo
Shannon Acheson | AKA Design, Bloggers & Brands says
Love this Vanessa! Lucy shared it with me and I love the part where your pastor says “Yeah, He can. But what if He just really wants to use YOU?” Made me tear up. Go after what he’s called you to.
Marty Walden says
Love this post and the inspiration YOU provide because you’re following in obedience after God. Yes, I want to be in your band, but I get to sing lead!
Yes, yes, YES to everything in this amazing post! DREAM BIG!
Joanne Boulter says
My dear lovely Lady! You have touched my life through your blogging and allowing me to get to know you. You have showed me that I can chase my dreams even if I’m a lot more mature in age than you. LOL Don’t you stop dreaming or chasing your dreams, and look at your sister with who you have created such a beautiful blog. Oh yeah! You will see those dreams come true and on the road you will touch many lives because of who you are dear friend.
Yes, I do. 🙂 I love this story and I love that our children constantly remind us of how the Lord views us, and that He’s our biggest cheerleader. I look at my 5 year old everyday and try to be more like her, her joy , her belief, her love, her unconditional understanding, they are all things I think God is using her to remind me of.
taryn @ Design, Dining and Diapers says
This is such a wonderful post Vanessa! Really inspiring and something I can totally relate to. Discovering what my true ‘dreams’ are has been on my mind lately. Thank you for this.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
Ciao Vanessa! I’m kind of a new friend but a friend nonetheless. I’d love to be in your band and I am pursuing something I’ve always wanted to do and never had the guts to do it. You know- be out there to be judged. Do you have what it takes to make it – like who do you think you are when there’s so many more talented people. It does take courage but I’ll be in your band. I’ll be in the back row — kinda getting the courage to come to the front. But you’ll hear me singing my heart out. This is such a wonderful place to be able to say “God” and “Jesus” without having someone gasp in shock!! Go Go Jesus!!
Randi - Dukes and Duchesses says
I just love that! My little guy and his friends had a band when they were that age and your post brought back such sweet memories. I’ll be thinking about pursuing dreams today. 🙂
Regina Franki says
I’m in! Thanks for sharing your heart and your mind with us. Peace – Reg
Laura Putnam says
Oh Vanessa, this post is just awesome – and yes, I so want to be in your band! Sorry, I was so late in reading this, but it was totally worth it! Play that instrument girl – or drive the bus!
Mary Ann says
What a wonderful blogpost! Thank you so much!