I like my to-do lists, spreadsheets, and email folders. I’m that girl that puts color all over charts so that she knows what is what and when things are due. My planner is color-coded with boxes around dates and notes written all over.
I like to be prepared and I like to be organized, but it goes deeper than that.
If I know what’s coming then I can maintain a (false) sense of control.
It’s something God and I are constantly talking about and working on. There’s nothing wrong with being organized and prepared to the best of your ability, but it’s easy for me to slip into thinking “I’ve got this” or “I can handle this.”
And maybe I do. Maybe I can.
But even when I do and I can, there’s something inside me that’s restless for more.
I’ve never been able to put my finger on it, to identify what this feeling is inside me.
There are days when everything is going great and I feel like I’m caught up on all the things and I don’t stop long enough to feel it. And there are days when the same is true, but these thoughts go through my head and I pause long enough to wonder…
What is the point of all this?
Why am I here, at a great school getting a fantastic education and spending so much money when there are starving, hurting people that I could be helping?
What about my dreams, these things I feel called to but am certain others could achieve better, say better, love better?
What am I doing that’s building the Kingdom?
Sometimes I really hate this culture, this american way of telling college students to dream dreams and chase after them, but please just wait until you’re a grown-up, a real adult. Spend your college years dreaming, yes, but at the end of the day we know you’ll be spending your days missing classes and nights attending parties.
So dream big, college students, but wait until the real world hits with bills and mortgages and responsibilities. And then, feel free to chase your dream.
ENOUGH. With tears in my eyes I am writing that I’ve had enough of this dream building only to dream squash.
My generation, we can do something more. Something big if we wanted to – and I want to, I do. But I also want us to do something big by doing something small. By loving our friends and reaching the community around our schools, by following our passions, being faithful with the responsibilities we have now, and by sharing our stories.
My generation has stories, too.
My generation was made for more, too.
My generation is restless, antsy, and maybe feeling a little cooped up and shut down and I’m just sick of it.
We weren’t made to make a name for ourselves, and I don’t ever want to. But I believe we’ve all been given gifts that will make much of God’s name.
I can fill my life with a thousand good things but at the end of the never-ending, exhausting day I can come back to my room and still feel like there’s more. Why?
At the heart of it, I want to make much of Him more than I want my planner to be color-coded.
At the end of the day, I want to convince the world that every story is important and we’re each playing a part in the most beautiful story ever told.
When it’s all said and done, I want the story of my life to only tell of His glory.
And so I’m restless. In class I take notes and draw charts and bullet point facts, but I know there’s more out there. Classes are good and helpful and something I never ever want to take for granted; this education is a pure gift.
But what will I do with it? What am I doing with my time now?
I’ve started this post 10 times in my head and never has it been this. But I think this is what needed to be said. I read Restless by Jennie Allen as I began 2014, and I’m so grateful to have received a free copy for review, though I can promise I would have picked it up anyway. The story of this book resonates so much with me.
And it’s funny because I was supposed to write a review last Tuesday, but I just couldn’t. I needed to sit with the book for a little while, to soak in the words and process everything I read.
Jennie spoke about dreams and stories, helps us identify the threads of our stories, and then talks about how our dreams are straight from God. And there’s so much more and I could write 1,000 words about all this book is and how much you need to read it, but instead I’m just going to say this and hope that you’ll pick it up for yourself:
I have a dream. A crazy, far-fetched dream. Part of why I’ve been writing about believing truth over lies is because I’m chasing this dream. Even when there are a thousand reasons to think someone else could do it better or someone else is more capable. Even though it doesn’t make sense for it to be my dream instead of someone else’s, even though I’m just 21-years-old and in the busiest year of school I’ve ever had.
It doesn’t take away the fact that I have a dream. Until I acknowledged it, I was restless. And now that I’m going after it, I feel restless in my soul until I finish – but this time it’s different. Because this restless, perhaps it’s a holy, God-given restlessness to complete the work, to run my own race, to fix my eyes on Jesus and continue solely for Him and His glory.
“If we only had an inkling of all we miss because we do not pray, because we do not believe the Spirit in us is able to do impossible things, we would shudder. You have God in you and waiting to go crazy though you, if you would just let him.” Jennie Allen, Restless
Are you feeling restless? Your story is your own and maybe it’s time you share it. Maybe it’s time you live it.
Maybe it’s time we stop being cooped up and start opening up.
“We are all unique and needed in this plan. To hide our gifts, or to deny them, or to compare and wish them away is not only taking from yourself; it is taking from God, his church, and a world that needs to see the expression of God you bring. It’s the expression he designed you to bring to it.” Jennie Allen, Restless
A big thank you to Jennie, for reminding me that it’s okay to dream and dream big because God is the Author of these dreams. I refuse to sit and wait until later – God is on the move now.
Click here to purchase Restless: Because You Were Made for More – and I highly, highly recommend that you do.
Affiliate links have been used in this post. And p.s. I’ll be talking a little bit more about Restless next Monday on my book list.