My God-Sized Dream: Pushing Past Doubt

When I went I away to college, I was barely 18. (Read: just weeks into adulthood.)

There were a lot of rules going on at my small, Baptist college (another day, maybe ;)) but the one that nearly destroyed my college career was the you-can-only-miss-three-weeks-of-classes-per-semester, any-more-and-you-fail rule. No exceptions.

At face value, this rule didn’t seem like much. Who plans on missing that much school?

What I didn’t factor into the equation was the possibility of sickness.

Two weeks into the semester, I came down with a bad case of bronchitis which turned into pneumonia. I missed my three weeks, but I was adamant that I would not fail my classes and headed back to school even though I probably shouldn’t have just yet.

It was a tall order to fill…if I missed any one class another time, I would automatically fail it. (Let me just point out here that at a college with 7 a.m. classes, oversleeping was an entirely realistic possibility. Especially for a girl who loves her sleep. :))

I went back determined…and I did ok for a couple weeks until I heard two girls talking about me. (They have no idea, to this day, that I heard their conversation.)

She’s never going to be able to do it. She’ll give up and go home.

At the time, the words sliced like a knife. I couldn’t believe that at a Bible college, people were being anything less than supportive. (A bit naive, perhaps? ;))

I found myself tucked into a corner in my dorm room that night, knees huddled to my chest, crying my eyes out…So. Ready. To. Just. Quit. I had started to believe what those girls had said was true…that I could never do it. That I should just give up.

I’m not sure at the time if it was more because I wanted to prove those girls wrong (which I totally did…YAY me!) or if I wanted to obey God. I knew He wanted me to be a teacher, something I had dreamed of for years, and a failed semester with all of that wasted money would only put that dream even further out of reach.

And so I stayed, wading through life a day at a time, praying I could somehow do it all. I didn’t come out of that semester with straight A’s, but I did make it. :)


And now here I am. Still Mel.

A little wiser and maybe-a-little older. πŸ˜‰

Wife, mommy, friend, blog-writer, hopefully, soon-to-be, published-author.

There are those days when the enemy whispers discouragement and frustration into my already-doubting heart. The sad thing is, sometimes he uses people to do it.

I had a situation recently where someone said something that literally about destroyed me…they had a hard time believing I’d follow through.

The logical part of me gets that…I do, I really do.

I’m extremely fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I get passionate about something and dive ALL-IN, sure that the entire world around me can’t wait to join in the fun. :)

But the emotional, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve side needed to get the tears out first.

And after I’d cried about it for probably-too-long, I talked to God. I even admitted to Him that sometimes I have a hard time following through. As if He needed me to tell Him that. πŸ˜‰

But He was so Good, bringing me back to this scene from college, one that I had almost let ruin me and my future, because I’d allowed a lie to creep into my heart and take root.

The lie that said I couldn’t do it. Just because someone else didn’t think I could.

We dreamers…that’s including any of YOU who have ever had a dream…are in a vulnerable place. It takes courage and confidence and strength to put those dreams out there for the world to see. It takes even more of the above to push forward and follow those dreams with a curious audience watching. It puts us in a place where it’s very possible there will be word-throwing and ability-bashing.

And sometimes failure.

We just have to keep going. Trusting. Following what He’s called us to do.

I’m not going to tell you all that I’ve completely forgotten those words that were said to me. I’m extremely thankful that there’s been resolution, and I’m holding nothing against that person. Hugs have been exchanged, all is good. :)

But I’d be willing to bet that it’s not the last time this kind of discouragement is going to creep in, but rising above it and pushing forward is what my Father wants me to do.

Remembering that it isn’t about proving someone wrong…it’s about following what I’m called to do.

My dear friends, dreamers…follow your calling. Don’t let people get you down. Do what you know you need to do, and never forget that

The One Who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.
1 Thess. 5:24 (NIV)

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God-Sized Dreams



  1. “The One Who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” AMEN! As another all-in-er with many, many things unfinished, I needed to be reminded of this Truth. Thank you!

  2. Great post Mel, and one that I can relate to too well. I’m full of ideas and dreams, I get my momentum going and half way through when things don’t materialize like I think they should I putter out. I am my own worst enemy in this way.
    Your story also reminds me of the Bible Study I’m going through. We read from 1Pet1:3-7. And in that verse it talks about every hard thing we go through is for our benefit to refine us and make our faith more genuine and sure.
    So grateful our paths have crossed in this journey of dreaming God sized dreams!

    • I love those verses, and they were so encouraging today…thank you for sharing them! Praying for you as we travel this journey together…blessings, friend! :)

  3. Thanks for this post! A very encouraging message!

  4. My favorite line of encouragement,”follow your calling. Don’t let people get you down. Do what you know you need to do, and never forget that.” I tend to allow people toe get me down more than I should and don’t let God lift me up as He wants to. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • I hear ya on that one…I often take what others think of me far too much to heart. Thanks for stopping by today, Amy! Blessings. :)

  5. What a great verse! You’re right, it’s so easy to get distracted, get discouraged… but it’s about following what He’s called you to do – staying focused on that! Great reminder. Thanks!

    (And aren’t you glad God gave us the gift of tears – so we can ‘get it out’ and then move on and refocus?! I’m glad for that little ‘release’ that tears offer me when I need it!)

    • Truly, I don’t know what I would do without the ability to cry. It’s like you said…it’s not just me being emotional; I really do need the release sometimes! :) Hope you are having a better week…you’re in my prayers, sweet friend! :)

  6. What great examples you used to make your point! And a great point it is. Thanks for this reminder to silence those naysayers. Blessings, Mel!

  7. Thanks for sharing the honest, heartfelt memory. I, too, have to cry some things out before moving on. Keep moving forward!

  8. I agree with Cathy and you Mel.
    Tears are God-given, a way of release, and then all ready to hear what God has to say or a direction He is leading us to :)
    Tears really do help us girls, thanks for sharing your personal experience.


  9. Hi Mel,
    I can relate to your post. I know that feeling of others thinking I won’t follow through, leading to another unfinished project. The difference really is in following where God is leading. If He’s leading us there, He will guide us through to completion.
    Thank you for this uplifting and encouraging post! Glad to be on Holley’s Dream Team with you.

    • Thank you for your thoughts and for stopping by, Laura! :) You are so right…I so often feel the need to “prove” myself when it really is all about just following where He’s leading. Blessings to you! :)

  10. Mel oh my everytime I read your post I am like that girl is my bff! :-) i loov it! I am so that girl to .. this was an amazing post.. and sister.. i would love for you to guest post on my blog.. maybe we could work up a week where we swapped crazy missionary stories on our blogs.. that would be soo fun.. haha.. but we have to make it fun for us ENFP types or we wont want to do it.. haha ! thank you so much for reading my blog. and i just am always soo blessed to read yours! i think we have to meet in real life!

    • Yes, yes, yes! πŸ˜€ I LOVE the crazy missionary story idea. Could we maybe connect next week and pick a date to swap? Love it. I’m already giddy! πŸ˜‰

      So you’re gonna laugh at me (or maybe totally relate!) but I’ve already been trying to figure out how to visit you. (You’re in TN, right? Or am I totally off?) I definitely can’t wait for that day we can sit down and have coffee together! Have a great day, my friend!

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