When I Let God Enlarge My Dream

By Lauren Wittel

Photo by Emily Fletke  @fletkefoto

Photo by Emily Fletke @fletkefoto

I got my dream job right out of college. After a whirlwind year at a governor’s office and political action committee, I found myself living the exact future I had planned: working on a presidential campaign.

Politics is a very purpose-filled field. So once you’ve reached what you’ve set out to achieve, you begin to slow down, look around, and become detached from the work. After that position ended, I stuck around the industry developing specialized expertise, rising to the highest level positions I could, and searching for a different satisfaction.

What do you do when you fulfill the biggest dream you’ve had and still aren’t satisfied? I asked myself that question, too.

WHEN DREAMS DON’T SATISFY

I pondered if my dream lined up with God’s dream for me. I questioned the motivations driving me. Did they come from internal or external forces? And if I drove myself to where I’m going...would I be satisfied? Or would I just get “thirsty” again?

When Jesus talked to a woman who was thirsty, his dreams for her life captured her attention and radically changed her trajectory.

My career took a sharp left turn after I moved to New York. The job that brought me there quickly became a toxic work environment, and five months later I quit with only temporary project work to get by.

Feeling ashamed, beat-down, and unsure of where I was going, many days during that season were fruitless and frustrating. But, with all that free time, I found myself committing to attend church meetings more regularly, and seeking out coffee dates that strengthened existing relationships and built new ones.

And on the subway one night just before Christmas, through a chance encounter with a speech-impaired homeless veteran with the sincerest soul of anyone I’ve ever met, God made my purpose for being in New York abundantly clear. In the midst of a season of upheaval, and on the platform at 42nd Street/Port Authority, I learned exactly how my Jesus sustains.

GOD GIVES GOD-SIZED DREAMS

What God teaches me and what he leads me through carry into every season of my life. His promises outlast my worst day and outlive my best day. And when I choose to look to him, he gives me new dreams, and he expands my vision for myself — beyond myself. He recalibrates my heart and reorients my direction.

I’m now the Communications Director at a non-profit ministry that compassionately serves New Yorkers struggling with homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. It’s now my job to tell stories of reclaimed hope, extravagant love, and life transformation.

A dream job, indeed.

Are you satisfied where you are?