Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Pressing on Towards Your Dreams

30 Comments

Perseverance

Have you ever been tempted to chicken out on a goal that proved harder to achieve than you expected? I can’t count the number of times I’ve taken on a new project, only to drop it because it takes longer than I thought. Luckily, I don’t have to go far to find a hero who inspires me in the perseverance department. He sleeps next to me every night!

When we moved to Turkey 14 years ago, my husband dreamed of being able to preach in Turkish. He loved studying and sharing God’s word. However, after a year of full-time language study and several years working with a private tutor, Jose still struggled to participate in simple conversations.

One day his dream hit rock bottom.

A neighbor jokingly asked, “What’s wrong with you? You’ve been here five years. How come you still don’t speak Turkish?

The man didn’t mean to be unkind, but we were crushed.

Amazingly, Jose didn’t give up. He continued to devote an hour each day to language study. He labored to read the Turkish newspaper. He studied grammar and watched television programs. Day in and day out, he made small improvements.

Most importantly, he continued to enjoy people. Even when he could hardly talk, people loved my husband for his warm smile and gentle manner. Years passed.

Today Jose is a proficient Turkish speaker. He can preach. He doesn’t speak perfectly, but he communicates God’s Word with passion.

It’s a miracle of grace and a lesson in perseverance.

Perseverance isn’t a popular word in our “get it now” culture, but we need to cultivate it.

Maybe you’re seeking to persevere through a difficult spot in your marriage or a stormy relationship with a child. Perhaps you’re trying to lose weight. You may be trying to complete a degree, learn to play the guitar, write a book, or grow your blog. You might be on an uphill quest to de-clutter your house.

All these pursuits require faithfulness in little things over the long haul, but I get discouraged when I don’t see fruit right away. When I encounter obstacles, I’m tempted to bail out and abandon my goal. How do we keep going?

3 Ways to Press on Towards Our Goals (And 8 questions to ask before giving up.)

Enjoy the Process

Sometimes we focus so much on accomplishing our dreams, that they drive us. We lose our joy. We take ourselves too seriously. We forget about enjoying the journey.

Ask yourself: 

  • What can I enjoy today?
  • What can I thank God for?
  • What areas of life can I take joy in while I work to achieve my dream?

Keep Perspective

When we’re pursuing a goal, it’s easy to lose the global picture. Our happiness becomes all about achieving it, and we forget that God is taking us through a process. It’s helpful to step back and seek His perspective.

Ask yourself: 

  • What is God doing in me as I work towards my goal?
  • What is my goal anyway? (Realizing that your end-goal is God might be a game-changer.)

Press On

Persistence is a series of small steps in the same direction. God looks for faithfulness in the little things.

Ask yourself: 

  • What step can I take today toward my goal?
  • What can I do in 15 minutes?
  • What can I do tomorrow?

If God has given you a goal, don’t give up. Seek Him for grace to enjoy your journey. He’ll renew your perspective and give you the power to press on.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any goals or dreams? Ever feel like giving up? How do you keep going?

I link up with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory,  Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart, and Grace & Truth.

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Photo Credit: Melika

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

30 thoughts on “Pressing on Towards Your Dreams

  1. Great encouragement to keep pressing forward! It is almost counter-cultural to keep pushing toward a goal when there’s resistance and difficulty – but love hearing how the perseverance paid off for your husband. What an accomplishment!

  2. Oh- I’ve thought about this many times- we are losing the art of perseverance. I love your list: enjoy the process, keep perspective, and press on! Thanks for persevering with your husband in Turkey, despite the naysayers! 🙂 And thanks for this encouraging message- it’s timely for me right now! Peace, friend.

  3. Praying for you and your ministry in Turkey today. We lived in Latvia and Estonia for 18 months starting new works there. This month I am in Malta working and training leadership here with the hubby. I admire your longevity and endurance. We had a choice of an overnight layover in Istanbul but I was intimidated by a culture I wasn’t familiar with…I chose Vienna instead this time, lol. Blessings on you and your family…God will pour out revival in Turkey! ♥

  4. Betsy thank you for this encouraging post. You have no idea how much I need this message.

  5. I was at that temptation place of giving up today. “But God, I just don’t have the words to say.” There is something to be said for just doing it anyway. Thank you for your words and the deep place they spoke to my heart today. I look forward to getting to know you more!

  6. Betsy,
    Such a great message. Thank you for this encouragement! Stopping by from the #RaRaLinkup.
    Blessings,
    Stacey

  7. I am always so inspired by your posts and by your commitment to live cross-culturally in your service to Christ. Blessings today — your Tuesday Testimony has stirred my heart to persevere.

  8. I love the idea of pressing on in small steps — which is exactly what your husband did, and succeeded. It’s so easy to see our goal as huge and impossible, yet as the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Thanks for the encouragement to persevere!

  9. I love this – I am naturally task focused and goal oreintated so enjoying the process is something I really need to work on thank you 🙂

  10. Betsy,
    Thank you for the encouraging story about your husband persevering and pressing on toward the goal…that is truly an analogy of life. We press on toward the goal – the crown of life. Would love to learn more about your ministry in Turkey! You are witnessing in the land of Revelations…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  11. I love the word perseverance for all it means and for the impact it can have on our lives. I know that our culture certainly does not promote perseverance but God does He wants us to stay the course-the one He planned for us. I love your three ways to move toward our goals especially to keep perspective. This is an area that can sidetrack us if we let it. Hope the rest of your week is blessed.

  12. Betsy,
    What an inspiring story of your husband Jose’s perseverance…To remember to enjoy the process is one I often need to remember because God is in it with me and there are always lessons to be learned…thanks for the thoughtful questions 🙂

  13. Gosh how I needed your words today! God’s timing is awesome, I must say 🙂 Pinned this one so that I can reread it every time I need to remember that God will equip us and that we should never quit on the things He might have waiting for us!
    Beautiful words! Much love to you, Betsy, have a wonderful week!

  14. Thanks for the tips on pressing on. I am struggling to learn Hebrew. I have had fits and starts with it but I am going to try your tips and not try to learn it over night.

  15. Yes, giving up crosses my mind at least 14 times a day, for various reasons…but mostly #1. I get so intent on doing that I let the thing steal the joy. God has been reminding me to focus on His purpose for me-the process-and leave the results to Him. Thank you for these practical and poignant heart points for us dreamers!

  16. I love the pep talk, Betsy! Something I needed today. It’s so easy to give up, but so satisfying to persevere!

  17. I so needed this right now. I have felt like I am falling behind, like I am failing in so many things. Thank you!

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