on soul rest and how the dreams change


Seth and I have been considering Africa, which I imagine you’ve gathered if you read here much. What would it look like if God were to call us to live there, not to be missionaries, but just people living out gospel there as we do here? What would it look like to be prepared to go, as we all should be? When we asked this, it seems a flood of answers rolled in – answers to prayer, answers to how, answers to heart conditions.

While the list of things to do in one area grows – like spend a few years here living out Gospel, praying, and getting out of considerable debt – the list of things to do in other areas shrinks before our eyes – like make major home improvements, take fancy vacations, get nicer furniture, and save, save, save for the future.

This sounds like a terribly uncomfortable move, doesn’t it? Well, you’re right. It is.

I’m working harder now than I ever have, and though I battle fear and exhaustion and an over-active imagination daily, I have never experienced such SOUL REST and a letting go of tomorrow.

Imagine with me a soft bedroom edged in pink, the frills of finally girl, my Ethiopian daughter. Imagine her with me in a sling, bouncing as I sing at church. Imagine her beautiful face.

Ah, but we canceled our adoption – for now.

Definitions change. Dreams change.

God is faithful to change dreams, to make Himself the Vision – His nearness, His voice, His Face. And I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams, I become encapsulated by Him. Storms rage on, but I rest in smooth anchored boat, God-hands cupped in protection around my heart, and I learn to love His hands and even the winds that blow me into them.

holy experience

amberhaines
About me

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28 Comments

Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply July 14, 2010

oh Amber. wow. this is a good, GOOD journey.

We are THAT family
Reply July 14, 2010

It's an isolated journey, huh? But. God. He is with us in the midst of it. . . leading, guiding.
It is good.

Jacklyn
Reply July 14, 2010

Amber, I can't tell you how much your post spoke to me. I am in a place where all I can rest in is that God is in control even as dreams and goals change. Thank you so much

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply July 14, 2010

I love this:

"I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams, I become encapsulated by Him."

It's so true. And we so easily confuse the two.

Just recently, Beth Moore opened my eyes to the same subtle truth in the classic "wait upon the Lord" verses. She said, "It doesn't say 'Wait on the thing the Lord will provide.' It says 'Wait upon the LORD.' Just wait on Him. He's your goal. He's your IT. That's how your energy is renewed and you rise up with eagle's wings. Because waiting on the thing is flat-out exhausting. Waiting on Him is not."

Sarah@EmergingMummy
Reply July 14, 2010

I needed this. I need this. *thank you*

Melissa Multitasking Mama
Reply July 14, 2010

beautiful and exactly where I am at right now as well...praying for your journey, wherever it may lead.

Annie
Reply July 14, 2010

Thank you, thank you for sharing your heart everyday.. :)

Melissa Runcie | Madabella
Reply July 14, 2010

This is my first time visiting here...but what a beautiful thing to surrender....surrendering your vision for His vision...hearing the Lord direction without knowing where He will lead. Thanks for sharing this.

Chris
Reply July 14, 2010

Hi hon,
First time here, but the thing that catches my eye, is the phrase, "canceled our adoption."
I don't believe that is a God thing.
When He gives us a vision, we have to go with it.
No questions asked. No fears, no worries. He delights in giving us the answers to our prayers, but we have to TRUST and Obey!!!
We are adoptive parents x5-expensive as you will never believe-but God ALWAYS provided the funds, sometimes after we had already put it on credit cards, but it always got paid off.
If you have a call to adopt, it is a miracle, and a call directly from Him, do not put it on hold!!

Love
Chris

Jessica
Reply July 14, 2010

....give us this day our DAILY bread...Amen.

cate tuten
Reply July 14, 2010

Amber, I love this post and your blog! I love what you wrote in your last paragraph! Oh how I loved it.....thank you so much for sharing. And I would like to ask you if I could share it, along with your blog, on my blog?
Thank you and Blessings!
Cate

C
Reply July 14, 2010

Amber,
I know you prayed about your adoption and if God has directed you to cancel your adoption, listen to Him. Although you blog about your life, I don't think that gives anybody the right to say they KNOW what God has for you. Only God does and He will show you in His timing.
C

laura
Reply July 14, 2010

just, gulp. but, liberating, no? this dream listening? gives me chills.

Megan@SortaCrunchy
Reply July 14, 2010

Oh, how dreams change. Oh yes, they do. But He is constant, consistent, and faithful. You know what else?

"Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."

Isaiah 43:19

A new thing. Oh yes ma'am.

Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms
Reply July 14, 2010

Amber,

I love this: "And I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams, I become encapsulated by Him."

It encourages me to follow His lead in finding His dream for me. There I'll find my dream, too. What rest that provides! A million thank you's for this!

melissa
Reply July 15, 2010

sitting in a coffee shop in geneva... So tempted to hit career hard again though so assured of another call. So many things are good only one thing is best...him.

Mela Kamin
Reply July 15, 2010

I too was struck with the words "And I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams, I become encapsulated by Him." WOW - thank you for sharing your heart, and your Truth. Blessings as you seek Him more than anything else.

Elizabeth @claritychaos
Reply July 15, 2010

You challenge me in good ways, friend. I am scared of listening the way you listen. It's hard to switch over from means to end. I know you know this. Keep sharing. You do it beautifully.

nic
Reply July 15, 2010

I love you so much!!!

Tammy@If Meadows speak...
Reply July 15, 2010

I'm usually lurking, but I just had to say, "wow, loved this."

And if I could pick a fav, it'd be:
'And I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams.... and I learn to love His hands and even the winds that blow me into them.'

Jenny
Reply July 15, 2010

" I’m finding that when the End of my Dreams is God, rather than God being the means for my dreams, I become encapsulated by Him"

I so needed to read this today.... thank you

Ann Voskamp
Reply July 15, 2010

"Storms rage on, but I rest in smooth anchored boat, God-hands cupped in protection around my heart, and I learn to love His hands and even the winds that blow me into them."

In the storm and the winds, I only have eyes for His hands. May it be so. Your words make it more so.

How I love the heart of the Haines'.

In the midst of your exhaustion and journey, thank you for sending us words, the ones He's writing on your life.

They help us see.

All, all my love,
Ann

laura@life overseas
Reply July 17, 2010

Hi Amber. Laura here, again. Love your blog and your writing. Love your heart and your honesty.

I totally relate to dreams and the morphing of them into things unwanted or unplanned or misunderstood. We are here in Thailand and don't like to use the term "missionary", either! We just say that we are "directing a Christian NGO" and are currently trying to do just what you and your husband desire--live out the love of Jesus in a thirsty world.

And, whether the dream is go or stay, it can so often be so HARD. Gritty and brutal and just dang confusing. Love that you are running to Him to be the Dream itself. Can't wait to keep following you on your journey.

alece
Reply July 21, 2010

there is so much in this post! thank you for this beautiful glimpse into your heart, amber...

"the end of my dream is God" -- i feel as though i've somewhat lost my ability to dream, as though my heart is too weary for it. too hope-dashed to believe for something again. but that shows a shift in my gaze off of HIM... i need some corrective lenses for my heart.

i need that "soul rest" you spoke of. desperately. ironically, i find myself striving for it -- working harder, tiring myself out more, in an attempt to rest. the do-er in me struggles to just be....

i admire your faith. letting go of a dream is not easy. at all. i see a resoluteness in your faith and obedience that both challenges and inspires me.

i love the way you said this: "I learn to love His hands and even the winds that blow me into them." praying for my heart to be grateful for the stormy winds...

Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista
Reply August 15, 2010

Oh, Amber. I'm catching up here, and your faith has caught my breath.

God is near.
He is real.
You are listening.
With faith and surrender
*blip*
Encapsulated in Him
As is.
Protected.
Carried.

ooxxx, sweet faith friend, courageous sister!

Bacardi
Reply July 23, 2015

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