It’s the New Year. Time to make plans to lose weight, learn a new language, become a new you.

Just look on Instagram and you’ll find people who can teach you how to accomplish your dreams (and make smoothie bowls and other life-transforming stuff). I’m not one of those people, but I do have one tip on how to approach your new year goals:

Hold them all lightly.

God likes it when we dream big for Him, when we make goals and plans. Psalm 37 affirms that He wants to grant the desires of our hearts. But on the flip-side, Isaiah tells us God’s ways are higher than our ways.

So how does it work? Does the Bible want us to chase our dreams or not?

Last January, I entered the new year with a dream in my heart. I didn’t see how it could happen, but I couldn’t let go either. I tried politely asking the dream to leave. The dream was like, “Yeaaaaahhhhh, um, I don’t think so.”

Hold them lightly enough that, if necessary, you’ll let them disintegrate so God can place something better in your hands.

Eventually I decided to give the dream a chance. I felt God leading me to it. Soon my dream and I were exploring how to make it a reality. It was scary, fun, confusing, empowering, and beautiful.

Now 2018 has come to a close, and you know what happened? The dream didn’t pan out. But in the process, my dream showed me things about myself I never knew. Along the way of pursuing it, I grew into more the person I want to be.

And I wonder if sometimes that’s the point. Maybe sometimes God lets us pursue a dream, not for the dream’s sake, but because the process is the real point. Or through the process we’ll discover the real dream.

Proverbs 16:9 says we plan our ways, but God directs our steps. As 2019 begins, walk in with this paradoxical resolution: to treat your dreams as though they’re the most important thing in the world, but also like they don’t matter at all. Hold them lightly enough that, if necessary, you’ll let them disintegrate so God can place something better in your hands.

You might already know God’s hopes for you this year. Or God might have a different idea. I don’t know.

Just hold it all lightly, friend, and I do know you won’t miss out.

Anneliese Wahlman
Creative Writer at Light Bearers

Allie is our on-staff writer, poet, and narrator. Allie graduated from ARISE in 2012.