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Running miles to train for a marathon is boring. Getting up early to practice a skill every day may be monotonous. Eating the same giant salad for lunch can be a smack of torture.

Unless…your vision of crossing the finish line is vivid.
Unless…using that practiced skill will bless people you love.
Unless…your health allows you to show up fully.

We’ve been exploring our capacity to hold, nurture, and grow our unique, God-given role in this world through this Carrying Hope series. We genuinely hope you’ve been digging in with God and listening hard for the way He has fashioned you to carry hope.

Hearing God is where dreams are born.

When a child is born, we don’t put a graduation cap on her soft downy head and send her to college. We care for her, feed and change her, cuddle her, and marvel as her personality makes itself known. She grows until she’s ready to thrive, first near to us, then a bit farther away, and then for many when she moves out for her new next steps.

Our dreams from God are the same way. Ask anyone who has dared to dream and taken that first scary obedient step. I’m betting they will tell you it was months, years, or decades before they saw the fruit.

We don’t want a microwave miracle of a life. There’s no nourishment in that. We want slow-grown, heart-to-hand-to-table dreams that God smiles over as we nurture them.

Romans 5:4 tells us,

“And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”

Stay on the journey, fellow Hope-Carrier.

Do you know one of the best ways to stay the course? With other Hope-Carriers. First of all, we’re braver together. Second, it’s so fun watching someone else light up the world. Third, we’re made for this—to be together, reflecting God.

Pray: God, help me keep a crystal-clear vision of what You have made me to be and to do. Help me reach out to maybe two others who will pray with me and help me keep courage. And show me how to champion their dreams too!

Sow: Be purposeful this week about encouraging those who might feel stuck or trudging. Seek prayer if—right now—that’s you. (Remember, our Stonecroft staff loves to pray for you, so submit a prayer request!) Ask God to give you people to cheer on as you build character and hope for life.