Its been a weekend of dreams becoming reality!
Five years ago my husband and I had a dream. After over a decade of ministering at a local Christian high school we found ourselves at a crossroads. No longer able to stay where we were working, and keep our integrity intact, we both found ourselves unemployed. We applied & were offered several jobs at large successful schools around the country and though we were tempted to take any one of these well established positions, we had a dream in our hearts….. our dream school! A place where young people could come and prosper. A school that was dedicated to teaching & training young people to go make a difference in the world. A school that was excellent academically, with a strong athletic and activity program but whose primary goal was discipleship. A school where the teachers not only were highly trained, skilled and certified but who also loved the Lord and wanted to mentor and be a godly example to young people. A positive, motivating & uplifting environment filled with teens that were going to become the leaders of tomorrow! We had such a vision for this school that it was…in our minds….already a reality….even though in the physical it did not exist.
Not everyone bought into our dream. Some people laughed. Other discouraged us saying….it will never work. Others were very practical reminding us of the financial resources it would take that we simply did not have. Yet we would not be moved. We simply got up each morning & took the next step towards making that dream a reality.
As many of you know….a little over a year later we opened the doors for the first day of Jim Elliot Christian High School! The dream had become a reality. We were blessed beyond measure with our 42 students who took a step of faith & joined in our dream that first day of school in September 1998. It was a stellar day!
As the school grew my dreams grew…..thanks to my business and the unlimited income potential that is available to everyone who wants it. I began to dream of making enough of an income with my business that we could begin giving student scholarships. In fact our ultimate dream is to donate my husbands entire salary back to the school to help students who need financial assistance.
This past Saturday…..with misty eyes….I stood in front of 850 friends, family & faculty members of the graduating class of 2002 (our first class to complete the entire 4 years of high school with us) and presented the first Lambdin family scholarship to a well deserving shining star of this incredible group of students. It was another stellar day!
Even though I have lived through this miraculous beginning of ECHS, I still find myself staring in awe as to how this “bigger than life” dream really became a reality. As I sat in the worship center after the graduation (waiting for my dear darling husband Dan….the ever popular Bible teacher, who never ceases to amaze me!), I began to think of some reasons why this dream came to fruition. As you read this list, please think of your dream or your vision for your life and apply these principles to making them become a reality.
1. We had a clear vision…..we knew what we wanted & could see it “by faith” even before it came into being. Can you see your dream clearly? Can you picture it in your minds eye? Is it so real to you that you can almost taste it, smell it & feel it?
2. We were passionate & believed strongly in the importance & value of young people and Christian education. Are you passionate about achieving your dream? Do you believe strongly in your goal?
3. We told everyone about our dream. And I mean everyone. When people say…”How does one start a school?” I tell them about us sitting in our living room with our Christmas card list and mailing out a letter to everyone we have ever known telling them about our dream school & asking for their prayers & support. There is power in your words….tell someone your dream today!
4. We took risks! Big ones….we risked our home, we risked our finances, we risked our future, we risked our time we risked our reputation (after all what if we failed after telling all our friends & family what we were going to do?). Are you willing to take risks? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone? If you want to achieve your life’s dream….you must often take risks with your time, your money & your talent.
5. We worked hard. We got up every day and worked from early in the morning until late at night. We worked weekends too. I worked my business to feed the family as well. ”Blood, sweat & tears” as my parents would have said! Nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished without plain good old fashioned hard work! Are you really working hard doing the things that count or are you just doing “busy work”?
6. We did not listen to the negative naysayers. We tuned them out even though some of them were well meaning friends and family members. Have you put ear plugs in when others start to tear down your dreams or discourage you in your business. May I suggest you simply put up your hand, smile & say in a very quiet voice…..STOP! They will.
7. We surrounded ourselves with talented, hard working & positive people who would become the firm foundation for a long lasting ministry. You can’t accomplish great things without great people. Look for them Share your heart & dreams. Ask them to get involved.
8. We didn’t take no for an answer. We were persistent We kept asking….not once, not twice, not three times…..but month after month after month we asked. We asked for people to give up large chunks of time to serve on our board, we asked for parents to enroll their children in a school that did not yet exist, we asked for support and most of all we asked for money. We were rejected, turned down, told no more times than I care to remember yet in the end we raised will over $200,000 to start this high school. Are you willing to be rejected, turned down & told no in order to reach your dreams? Will you persist and carry on….and keep on asking, asking & asking?
9. We prayed. We regularly brought our needs before the Lord & asked for His blessing on our lives & ministry. He came through on time….every time (although not always in our time but we learned to trust!) All I can say is…..God is good and He answers prayer. Give Him your dreams, your goals, your desires and you may just be amazed at the results.
10. When the dream became a reality….we dreamed bigger! Establishing a scholarship fund was one of them. And upon hearing of how many students had to be turned away for next year simply because we are out growing the church we lease (we max out at 200)…I have a dream of owning our own property & having a school large enough that we will not have to turn away anyone who wants to be there. (ok now that’s is a HUGE dream!) Have you met many of your life dreams? Perhaps its time to dream bigger!
Begin making your dreams become a reality today!