52 SPOKEN WORDS

24. DREAM | with Carole

WOMEN+WORDS SERIES

The spoken words of 13 different women I have connected with and the story of their spoken word from God.

These stories are to showcase the power of faith and how God whispered to them and they listened wholeheartedly in His plan.

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Carole was drawn to me by her lettering, I was skimming through her instagram page and noticed she posted verses from the Bible. We decided to meet as a group with Naseem and upon talking to her about her journey, she was going to ministry school. When our align of faith was established she prayed for all of us as a group. Her spirit and trust for God gave me a bigger picture how her spoken word, dream tells her story.

Two years ago, in 2015, I felt a pull on my heart to apply to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. I had never heard of the school before and honestly knew very little about Bethel Church and BSSM. Long story short, I applied, interviewed with them, and got accepted to do 1st Year in 2015-2016.

It took a big leap of faith for me to leave a stable job here in the Bay Area, leave my friends and family, and relocate to the little town of Redding for a year. I had some savings, but not nearly as much as I could’ve hoped for, and had no idea how or if I was going to make money to live off of while I was there. I was adamant that I was only going to do one year of school (mainly because I calculated that I would run out of money after a year) and then I’d come right back and continue on with my life. I’ve since learned that God has a funny sense of humor and one year quickly turned into two. I’m now preparing to return to Redding for my final year at BSSM. 

I’ve learned a lot during my two years in Redding and it’d take me much more than a single blog post to share all that I’ve seen and experienced. While I’ve grown in my faith like I never thought I would, and have seen God work in ways I never could’ve imagined, I’ve also seen a lot of growth in my own emotional health and emotional well-being. (On a side note: I never saw emotions as being connected to spirit, but it is totally intertwined and I personally believe that both are essential to living a wholehearted life.) As someone who has always been called “sensitive” and has always identified with “feeling strongly” or “having too many emotions,” I grew to resent the way that I processed things emotionally. This led to a build-up of resentment towards myself and my own heart, which led to unhealthy coping mechanisms like numbing, which led to things like depression, low self-esteem, self-criticism, and not loving myself enough. During my 1st Year at BSSM, I threw myself into learning how to value my emotions while also learning how to manage them so they didn’t control my life. I learned the importance of believing in myself first, of loving myself first, so that I could then go and love others as I love myself. I learned to make myself a priority, but to not do it selfishly. I learned how to open up my heart and to be vulnerable, but also protect myself when needed. I learned to be okay with taking risks and I learned that sometimes you have to risk and fall a little so that you can get back up again with even more resilience and strength.

Funnily enough, this actually set up a foundation for me to start my business and enter into a new season with God. I was attending a conference in June 2016 and felt led to buy a new Giving Key with the word “dream” on it. After so many disappointments in my childhood, I had grown jaded and had stopped letting myself dream. I was afraid of “dreaming too big” and so I just never let myself dream or plan too far into the future, for fear of things not working out the way I wanted them to. Pre-BSSM, I never would’ve said yes to dreaming. No way. It was too risky and too scary to get my hopes up about anything. But because of the journey He had taken me on in the past year, I not only knew that it was possible, but I knew that it was time to take everything I had learned and to take the next step. I knew that this wasn’t just any invitation to dream, but it was actually an invitation to dream with God. What a difference it is to try to do something on your own, vs. trying to do it with God by your side.

This past year of dreaming with Papa has been scary, and sweet, and exhilarating, and so full of grace and growth. I’m far from “making it” in my business or even in life. To give you an honest glimpse into my life: I’m 26, primarily living off of the generosity from family/friends/strangers to get through ministry school, paying off debt, running a business, learning adult things like insurance and taxes, and just trying to live a full life and accomplish my goals the best way I know how.

My life isn’t glamorous. And I’m not looking for it to be. Sure, things can get a little crazy sometimes (i.e. me at tax time = on that struggle bus), but I’ve never felt more alive and I’ve never loved anything more than what I’m doing now. All it took was a yes to an invitation to dream and I’ve gotten to step into something bigger than what I could’ve ever imagined my life to look like. 

Throughout this season, this verse has stuck with me.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” - Ephesians 3:20-21

Don’t be afraid to let yourself dream and to take hold of what your heart desires. God never disappoints and He never, ever fails us. 

 

Hand- Lettering By Carole Lola

Photographer: Jack Vu