When Dreams Become Our Identity

July 24, 2014

There can be a danger to dreaming. If we’re not careful, what we hope for becomes what we rightfully await. And when a dream shifts to a right, then we’re in trouble. Because there, in that place, expectations get built around what was always meant by grace. To be gifted.

Dreaming with God is about soaring high above the confines of the world, feeling the air of freedom as we hope and believe for that which the world tells us cannot and will not. But overhead the chaotic chatter of doubt and defeat, we find wind for our wings as we tap into His dreams over our lives.

To dream with God is to fly. And oh, how we are meant to soar high.

Dreams come because of who He is and who He sees us to be. They are prophetic gifts of grace. They arrive by way of Heaven’s voice leaning down and whispering deep into our soul’s ears, “You see that way up there where it’s impossibly high? That’s exactly where I want to take you.

But if we’re not careful, we can hear those words, dream those dreams, and meld them into our identity as if part of us, a place they were never meant to occupy. Dreams affirm who we are, speaking to our identity in God, but never are they to validate us. They aren’t created to complete or satisfy, no matter our subconscious efforts to prove otherwise.

When our dreams become our identity, the once found freedom in hoping for what’s ahead becomes a weighted demand for our performance, image, and success. What was freeing now becomes suffocating. We feel the dream’s impossibility not as exhilarating and an opportunity for God to do what man never could, but as terrifying – our hearts racing from fear it will never happen unless we push harder.


So we grip tighter and cling with every bit of ourselves to those dreams. They no longer feel as gifts, but rights and demands upon our lives. We don’t wait in anticipation; we advance in panic.

The longer those dreams keep from manifesting, the more despair, discontent, and anxiety we have over all that isn’t in our lives. We look at our today and cry out in frustration over what is missing. Our dreams become the measuring stick for the present, our eyes so focused on getting to that place that today is never enough.

This isn’t what life is supposed to look like, we cry. And today becomes all but lost by our unmoving picture of how it’s all supposed to look. We are no longer attached to the Giver, but to the gifted dream itself. And here, we are wholly unaligned and out of sorts.

Our own efforts to seek to earn what has been gifted is one of the most exhausting, unending, never satisfying pursuits to life. Because we will never obtain what cannot be won.

The truth is that the more we push, the less anything moves. God waits for us to rest back into who we are in Him, while we press on out of need to validate, leaving ourselves tirelessly undone by the demands. But the rhythm of our lives doesn’t have to be centered on our efforts to press harder to perform better to become more.

The freedom of our dreams is always found in His rest and breath. When we sit deep again into our identity seat as His – as known, whispered to, fought for, and believed in – we find His spirit of life which exhales upon what was slain by our own sword.

The impossibilities of our dreams are meant to be our inheritance, but the road forward is marked by intimacy. When we find our identity tangled in our dreams, it’s time to hear His whisper, inhale deep His breath, and settle back into God’s restful presence.

I will put breath in you, and you will come to life…and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it.’” [Ezekiel 37]

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Paula Gerthe July 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Truly wonderful Caroline! What beautiful insight He gives you. I love you so!!

  • Reply Kristin Seidensticker July 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Wow! This was exactly what I needed to hear tonight. I am amazed at how you so beautifully articulate things.

    • Reply Caroline July 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Thanks so much Kristin! 🙂

  • Reply Ashley July 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Good stuff buddy, very poetic and insightful! Miss and love you so much!!!!!!

  • Reply Dee July 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    This is soooo great! Man, did I ever live in that space for a little while! Feeling miserable because I was angry that my promises hadn’t come. Love you – this was so good to read!

  • Leave a Reply

    Live Here. Love Now.

    Get your free copy of
    Live Here. Love Now.

    6 Practices for Cultivating a Life of Presence, Purpose, and Power

    You have Successfully Subscribed!