Daring to Dream Again: Trusting God with Our Disappointments

By Julie Holmquist

God's Brave Women - Julie's Story


“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8, NIV)


Sometimes God fills us in on the details of the dream He’s given us. Other times, we simply must trust that He is in control and has the big picture. At times it’s a straight line. Other times it’s filled with lots of unexpected twists and turns.


 

"Sometimes God fills us in on the details of the dream He’s given us. Other times, we simply must trust that He is in control and has the big picture."

 

My husband and I were newlyweds living in Texas when we felt like God had given us a dream of moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado. I loved my magazine job in Dallas. My dream job, however, was to write for a magazine published by NavPress, which was based in Colorado Springs. We were both excited to be moving to a beautiful city with lots of outdoor activities.


Shortly after our first anniversary, we discovered we were pregnant with twins. So instead of moving to the mountains, we put those dreams on hold and decided to move back home to Omaha, NE to be near family.


All four of our boys were born in Omaha. Any dreams we had took a backseat as we navigated a busy, and sometimes chaotic, season of raising four boys (including one with special needs).


Meanwhile, as a hobby and a way to bring in extra income, my husband started selling tactical equipment to law enforcement, first responders, and military personnel. We were building relationships and getting connected with people inside of that tight-knit community. We were familiar with their needs and eagerly wanted to serve when our church asked us to spearhead city-wide ministry events at local police precincts.


Even though we were content with where we were and what God had us doing in Omaha, we still couldn’t shake the Colorado dream.


But it was difficult for me to imagine uprooting our family from the only home they’d ever known surrounded by their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. So, to satisfy our itch to get there, we spent every family vacation introducing our boys to the wonders of the great outdoors in the Rocky Mountains.


It just wasn’t God’s time for us to move and make our permanent residence there yet. My husband was ready, but I was not. However, after seeking God in prayer and receiving numerous confirmations, God changed my heart, seemingly overnight. I went from being afraid of leaving the familiar to eagerly wanting a new adventure.


 

"... God changed my heart, seemingly overnight. I went from being afraid of leaving the familiar to eagerly wanting a new adventure."

 

As it turned out, it wasn’t my dream of writing for NavPress that took us there after all. That dream died, but God birthed a new dream within us. Because of our hearts for the law enforcement, first responders and military communities, we wanted to open a brick-and-mortar shop selling tactical equipment while building relationships and ministering to them, their spouses, and their families.


One of the confirmations we felt we received from God was that my husband found a good IT job in a Colorado Springs-based Christian company that would pay the bills while we grew our side business into a full-time, self-sustaining venture so we could focus on ministry.


We sold the only home our boys knew, said tearful goodbyes to family and friends, and headed west to the mountains where we didn’t know a soul.


But it didn’t take long before I realized another dream – the dream of building a business and ministry with my husband – wasn’t going to happen either.


I decided dreaming was no longer an option for me. God had hurt my feelings! I was gun shy and didn’t want to risk being disappointed again. The amazing things God DID do while we were in Colorado were obscured because I was too busy looking at the things He didn’t do.


 

"The amazing things God DID do while we were in Colorado were obscured because I was too busy looking at the things He didn’t do."

 

We were there for six years when my husband unexpectedly lost his IT job.


Deeply heartbroken, I came to God with non-stop questions, but I wasn’t seeking understanding. Foolishly, I wanted to bait Him into an argument so maybe He would see my side of it all and change His mind. Instead, He remained silent, and I started down a dark path of second-guessing my ability to hear Him. I didn’t trust Him anymore.


 

"Deeply heartbroken, I came to God with non-stop questions, but I wasn’t seeking understanding... He remained silent, and I started down a dark path of second-guessing my ability to hear Him. I didn’t trust Him anymore."

 

I rejected my husband’s offers to pray. In my heart, God was sovereign, and He was going to do what He wanted whether we prayed or not. I was just along for the ride. I felt like a kite at the mercy of the strong gusts of wind in life.


After nine months of unemployment and no prospective jobs on the horizon in the Springs, he found a job for which he was a perfect fit in Charlotte, NC. I never wanted to move to Charlotte. That was NOT my dream! How could I trust God again after He disappointed me with so many of our other dreams?


Subconsciously, with every little mishap, I built a case as to why moving to Charlotte wasn’t such a good idea, and my heart grew colder. My prayer life was almost non-existent. When I did pray, I prayed SAFE prayers. (You know the ones where if God didn’t come through, it wasn’t THAT big of a deal?!)


Repeated disappointments were the bricks the enemy used to build strongholds of doubt and unbelief in my heart – keeping out any possibility of vulnerably trusting God to give us another dream.


 

"Repeated disappointments were the bricks the enemy used to build strongholds of doubt and unbelief in my heart – keeping out any possibility of vulnerably trusting God to give us another dream."

 

It took an acquaintance in Charlotte to speak some hard truth for me to see what my heart posture was and how it would affect everyone around me, especially my husband. My flesh wanted to react to what she was saying, but I knew what she was saying was true.


Going to God with my disappointments and surrendering to His plans made me brave enough to trust Him again with my fragile heart.


 

"Going to God with my disappointments and surrendering to His plans made me brave enough to trust Him again with my fragile heart."

 

I now know that I am that kite, and God does have a tight grasp on the end of the string. But I can trust Him. The wind is the Holy Spirit. I’m no longer a victim of my circumstances because He is in complete control. With a heart of surrender, I can give God a wholehearted “yes” to wherever He wants to lead us – even if I don’t know exactly where that is or if it looks different than I thought.


 

"With a heart of surrender, I can give God a wholehearted “yes” to wherever He wants to lead us – even if I don’t know exactly where that is or if it looks different than I thought."

 

Somewhere along the line, I started chasing the dream instead of chasing Him. I was doing things FOR Him, but I wasn’t doing things WITH Him. With a heart fully surrendered to the Lord, I can be like Abraham who obeyed and went where God was leading him without really knowing where He was going.


 

"Somewhere along the line, I started chasing the dream instead of chasing Him. I was doing things FOR Him, but I wasn’t doing things WITH Him."

 

Now, in ways only God could orchestrate, I empower Christian women with God-given dreams to take bold steps forward in their passions. I get to help them enjoy the journey of becoming who God’s created them to be, no matter where their paths may lead them. That is truly redemption at its best.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.

And by the way...


You are Brave!


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About Julie


Julie Holmquist is a speaker, podcast host to “Kairos Moments,” author, and Bible teacher. God has given her deep insight into His Word with real-life, practical application. Julie loves to empower Christian women with a God-given dream take confident and bold steps forward with that dream and to enjoy the journey of becoming who God’s created them to be.


She’s written the first in a series of workbooks that will encourage women to get deeply rooted in who they are in Christ. The other two workbooks will teach women what an intimate relationship with God looks like and to how to make a lasting, kingdom impact on the world around them.


· “Defined” (IDENTITY in Christ)

· “Known” (INTIMACY with God) – COMING SOON

· “Called” (Making an IMPACT through the Holy Spirit) – COMING SOON


She and her husband have four sons and live in Charlotte, NC. You can connect with Julie on her website Stuff of Heaven or Instagram and Facebook.