On Dating Your Dreams

We all have desires swirling around in our hearts. We hope or pray or have a vision. Then we wonder, “But is this really it? Is this the one?”

For most of us, those questions sound familiar. They’re the same ones we asked when looking for true love in our lives. So what do we do?


Because that cute boy we have our eye on in biology class may turn out to be completely incompatible with us.

We can use the same approach with our dreams.

For example, if you dream of starting an orphanage then begin by working in the nursery of your church.

If you think you want to become a musician then give free concerts at a local coffee house.

Want to write a book? Start a blog.

Whatever your BIG DREAM is, think of a smaller version and try it out first.

We even see this a lot in Scripture. Before David became leader of Israel, he led a flock of sheep. Before Peter fished for the souls of men, he spent time literally casting nets into the ocean.

If you feel a lot of hesitation about doing so, that’s a red flag. Here’s why: it may be that you’re drawn to your dream because in your mind it’s this perfect, ideal reality. If you just make it come true, then you will live happily every after. But it never, ever works that way. Even God’s dreams for us are filled with challenges and obstacles too. Your dream needs to brush up against reality before you commit to it. And that’s exactly what dating your dream lets you do.

Dream dating let’s you explore what it’s really like.

How it lines up with your strengths and skills.

And it gives you time to ask God those important questions, “Is this really it? Is this the one?”

Because here’s the thing: we’re never meant to answer those questions ourselves. It’s God who gets to tell us the dreams we’re meant to be with for life. But we’ve got to give Him that chance by taking some steps forward.

So go ahead, date your dream.

You may walk away feeling relieved you never have to go out with it again. Or you just may discover a love of your life.

What dream would you like to date?


p.s. If you’re ready to take the next step toward what God has for you, {e}coaching is for you.


  1. says

    Oh Holley, I love this! I’m watching it lived out in my own life. I dated my dream for several years … when life with a little one precluded doing much else … and now the disciplines of the “nursery days” are beginning to produce results.

  2. karyn says

    It was good here when we were young. The boys did all the arranging and stuff. And paid for all of us girls.
    Now we are dating an awesome God. HE’S handsome too.

  3. says

    Holley –
    I just went through this. I always thought my dream was to be in music ministry. After over a year of struggling as music minister at our church, I have come to realize that while this is probably not the dream that GOD has for me.

    In the meantime, I was asked if I would lead a women’s study group. We are reading “You’re Already amazing…” So far, it has been a different experience. Time will tell of course, but I love this idea of dating my dream.

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

  4. says

    This helps me so much. I’ve been trying some new things in my life and with some of it I was doing exactly what you talked about. If I just get it to work, it will be amazing. But my tummy would clench up, and I felt painfully insecure. Other things I’m trying out, though, have me eager for a second date! Thank-you so much for this way of looking at finding what God wants for me, and what I was designed to do.

  5. Brenda says

    You have put to words what I have been doing for the last 25 years, trying one dream after another. Each dream was a new adventure and often led me to the next one. Some dreams fit, others didn’t. I like the dream I am “dating” now and am looking forward to where the Lord leads me with it in the future.

  6. Sal Williams says

    Hi Holley…i love the way you put it (as always!)…’dating your dreams! I’ve been ‘dating’ for the past 16 years teaching English to elementary school kids & LOVE what I do. However since a few years ago I’ve felt this desire to serve in a rural community school where the poor and disadvantaged are.

    It’s His timing I’m waiting for. My dear husband Chandran (of 34+ yrs of wedded life), who serves with a small national Christian organization serving the poor also feels he’d love to go reside in a village. We believe He will guide…..will you pray for us when you remember or see this Holley.

    I love your writing style and the depth of what you share.
    sal (Sri Lanka)

    • Spencer Daniel says

      Sal and Chandran,

      I believe it is obviously God guiding you for doing exactly what you describe.

      I find sometimes I am in a hurry.

      I believe that God will bring it about in His and your

      best time to do this.

      You might meditate on Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

  7. says

    We really do have to be flexible with our dreams…Let them unfold and not force them. I was really shocked when I found out I had recorded dreams of what I wanted to do (write about Life, real life, real people) back 30 years ago. I knew this was a dream of mine in recent years, recalling stories, gathering stories, sharing stories. But I had forgotten this was in my heart for so long. There it was in a journal my daughter found recently…Amazing! God is our dream keeper and fulfiller.
    Your timing is perfect…blogged about this yesterday at http://www.ourstoriesgodsglory.blogspot.com. How does God do that??

  8. Jodi says

    Seriously?! I just finished praying about this very thing. What an amazing and enlightening post. This idea really takes the pressure off. One of the main obstacles I have been coming against is that I don’t feel like God will give me the good gifts like dreams of a family and such, but today is the day that I have decided that I am no longer going to worry about these things and I will pray boldly without holding anything back, protecting myself from possible (and in my mind, probable) disappointment and leave the desires of my heart to God. He will guide me as I seek Him and I am free to “try out” all kinds of things. Oh, so freeing!

  9. says

    Holley, I just love this idea of dating your dreams. So many times we get caught up in the go big or go home. But starting small makes so much sense.

  10. says

    Yup, blogging to become a writer, while using it to minister God’s Word…

    Ahhhh the Peace He brings…the dating’s over…I’m going to marry this dream!!

    Great post! Thanks, Holley!!

  11. Angela says

    Holley, you are a genius! I have been stuck trying to figure out where I am going with my life and where God is leading me but felt I had to go “all or nothing”. Thank you so much for this, and I am going to plan a “date” very soon.


  12. says

    I love this concept, Holley! I’ve been wrestling with wanting to make grand goals all the while missing the small opportunities to serve that God is giving me …and that will eventually lead to those big dreams.

    • Spencer Daniel says

      I agree with you.

      The small opportunities taken are steps of faith

      taken in the direction God wants us to go in.

  13. Tracey says

    Pure genius! A familiar concept but never explained so perfectly.
    Wonderful!! Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

  14. Min, says

    Thank you for today’s on Dating your Dream . I especially like the equation on the book cover and your thoughts and suggestions in how to see if this is where God really wants me to serve Him.
    I have a “dream” but is it what He wants? This will really help, so thank you so much.

  15. elizabeth says

    thanks sister , this really is a blessing.

    ladies, i really don’t have any dreams left, not anymore – what can one dream of at age 50?! sorry, i don’t mean to sound cynical but that’s the truth about myself presently. Can’t help it esp. when you live in India, within Indian culture where you are considered old by your 40s…….well…. not easy to think differently no matter how hard one tries..

    only one thing i have been asking of the Lord is to help me to move closer home to work – which would mean changing from a job at a Co. where I have been employed over 14+ yrs. not an easy transition to make at such an age esp. when one is single.

    would like to move to work closer home – to spend more time for prayer or anything else i would like to do, which has been hindered by my long commuting hours to & back from work.

    i don’t see how one can date such a thought really…! And btw, dating is foreign to us esp my generation. so there u go again!

    Still, any encouraging words from any of you will be most helpful & welcome
    lovingly in Christ,

    Mumbai India

    • Spencer Daniel says

      Dear Elizabeth,

      .Matthew 19:26

      But Jesus looked at them and said to them,

      “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

      New King James Version (NKJV)
      The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

      I also like Ephesians 3:20-21

      20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,

      according to the power that works in us,

      21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

      New King James Version (NKJV)
      The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

      The God who made the whole world out of nothing can work in India

      and in your situation now and I pray for a miracle breakthrough for you.

  16. sistertosister53 says

    Hello Holley…I never thought of it that way Dating Your Dreams. I have been dating my dreams for a very long time. You can say more then one. I have always enjoyed writing, but it was five years or more when I started writing my in journals for healing. Bringing what was within me out on paper. And it has taken me to blogging now, and I now share what I endure or encounter up’s and down’s everyday life as I live here on planet earth. My other dream always wanted to work for myself. Having my own small business and I have started it by doing to what I enjoy doing and that is cooking, and baking. And yes its something that I am taking my time to do, following God’s direction. Well I enjoyed this and reading everyone elses dating dreams. God bless you…thanks for sharing this with us. Agape! :)

  17. says

    oh ilove the way youput todays challenge re dreams ido believe in dreams they god inspired asa warning ahelp a guidence and mor in the old testement the dreams were GOD SHOWING HIS GUIDENCE AND MORE

  18. cathleen says

    Holley, I really love the analogy! FatherGod wants me to write a book. I got into practice by writing letters to my friends and family and then moved onto blogs on myspace. The dating one’s dream so works!

  19. Caryl says

    Thanks Holley,

    I am asking God for a huband. I have not found the right one yet (51 never married and no children.) but I need to remember that the Lord has something to teach me through every new man that I meet. He will bring me to the right one if I just don’t get so intense about it, leave my desires in His hands and enjoy meeting new people with honesty and integrity.

    Thanks for reminding me to not give up but allow God to work out His will in His timing.

  20. says

    Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on
    other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would
    love to have you share some stories/information.

    I know my subscribers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.


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