Turn Your What if Into What is
By Terri Savelle Foy
Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself, “What if?” What if you finished your degree? What if you started that business? What if you were out of debt? When you ask the “What if” question, you are allowing yourself to dream.
I want to talk about 5 years from now. What do you see? What are you doing to prepare and plan for what you see? Most of us are so busy doing things we have to do that we never get around to doing what we really want to do. Many people never take the time to think about what God wants them to do… over the next 5 years.
I meet so many people as I travel across the world teaching God’s Word who have abandoned their dreams for one reason or another. I don’t want that to be the case for you. Why? Because I believe the dreams in your heart are God-given and are a part of His calling for your life. If you’ve heard me teach much or read my articles, you know my life is drastically different today than it was 5 years ago. A lot can change in 5 years! God has taken me from insecure in His call on my life to living a life of purpose as I actively pursue my destiny. However, I have discovered that it’s not always easy. In fact, it can be downright hard to pursue your dreams! The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:3, “A dream comes about with much business and painful effort.”
I want to share with you what I’ve learned on how to fight for your dreams, and how to turn what if into what is!
First, I have a question for you…
What’s Your Routine? You are a creature of habit. Every day you do so many things the exact same way without even thinking about it. The way you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush. The way you put your make up on or the way you shave. The way you put your shoes on. You may have 200 restaurants in your city but you probably eat at 4 or 5 of the same ones and order 4 or 5 of the same menu items every time.
After doing these habits for years and years, you continue to make these choices without even thinking about it. And it works the same way with the bigger issues of life. It’s not until you STOP and THINK about what you want to do with the rest of your life…that things will start change.
You could be doing the same things you did last year and can’t figure out why nothing has changed. You must make decisions that will lead to and support the goals you want to achieve.
How do you know if your choices are leading you to your dreams? Look at the results! A lot can happen in 5 years…or nothing can change in 5 years!!!
Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, said: “If you don’t know where you’re headed, then any road will take you there.”
Imagine it’s 5 years from now. Ask yourself… What if? Allow yourself to dream.
The Lord showed me recently, during my quiet time with Him, an illustration regarding the sport of boxing.
Who’s In Your Corner? If a boxer is going to win the prize, he has to train with a good coach. If you are going to achieve your dreams, you will need a coach, a mentor, a minister to consistently speak truth to you.
Don’t let just anyone have a voice in your life.
Have you noticed during a boxing match, there are always people in the corner of the ring? What are they there for? Are they yelling at their boxer, “You stink!”, “Give up!”, “You can’t win!” No! They are there to cheer him on, encourage, and help.
Who you have in your corner is vital to your success.
Proverbs 13:20 tells us, “He who walks with wise men will be wise but a companion of fools will be destroyed.”
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn
It is so important to spend time with people you want to become like. You may not personally know people who are the success you want to become, but you can spend time with them through their books, videos, and audio teachings.
One of the major ways the devil will try to distract and cause you to give up on your dream is through the negative words of others speaking into your life. That’s why it is so important to make God’s Word the final authority in your life, not other people’s opinions.
I read a story about a man named Victor who at 15 years old was told by his teacher that he wouldn’t amount to much and that he should drop out of school and learn a trade. Because he was told he was an idiot, he acted like one for the next 17 years. Then, when he was 32, he took an IQ test and discovered that he had an IQ of 161. Since finding out he was brilliant, he began to act brilliant! Since that time, he has written books, secured several patents, become a successful businessman and chairman of the Mensa Society, which has the qualification of an IQ of 140 or higher! Never let negative words determine your destiny.
On October 2, 1954, a young man got his chance to sing at Nashville’s legendary Grand Ole Opry. Afterward, the concert hall’s manager told the singer he wouldn’t be singing there again and was better off returning to Memphis to pursue his old career of driving trucks. That young man was Elvis Presley!
No matter what your dream is: to get out of debt, to see your marriage restored, to be healed physically or emotionally, to have a baby, to publish a book, to run for office, to open your business, etc. – it will require intense focus. Are you willing to pay the price when it becomes hard work?
Never Quit The Fight! Pursuing your dream will require a fight, but listen to me: Never, never, never throw in the towel! It’s always too soon to give up! Determine that you’re going to FINISH STRONG.
Any time you look at an American penny and you see the face of Abraham Lincoln, I want you to think about what he went through to see his dream fulfilled:
At 22 years old, he failed in business.
At 23, he ran for the legislature and lost.
At 24, he experienced a second business failure.
At 26, he lost the woman he loved. She died.
At 27, he suffered a nervous breakdown.
At 29 years old, he lost another political race.
At 34, he made an unsuccessful run for Congress.
At 37, he did get elected to Congress, only to be defeated again 2 years later.
At 46, he lost his bid for the Senate, and the next year, he failed in his attempt to become vice president.
At 49, he was defeated for the Senate again.
At 51 years old, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.
He fought for his dream no matter what. You and I have to fight for our dreams, too.
You Have An assignment. Some people say, “Life is like a carousel—sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down, sometimes you just go round and round.” Others may say, “Life is like a deck of cards—you just have to play the hand you’re dealt.”
The truth is life is an assignment. You are here by assignment. You have been assigned a mission! Look at the personal mission statements of these three people who have changed the world:
WALT DISNEY: “My mission in life is to make people happy.”
PHIL KNIGHT, FOUNDER, NIKE: “My mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
ERIC SCHMIDT, CEO, GOOGLE: “My mission is to collect all the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone.” Their mission keeps them focused.
See Beyond Today. I believe my mission is: To provide the tools & the teaching to show people how to make their dreams bigger than their memories.
My mission keeps me focused. My mission helps me see what my life could be like 5 years from now. Seeing beyond today helps me set goals and know where I’m going. My mission empowers me to dream and ask, “what if ” questions. “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” – B. J. Marshall
Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Over the past 10 years, I have made it a habit to write down all the possibilities and dreams I see while spending quiet time with the Lord. Look at some of the things I wrote down 5 years ago:
1. Worldwide Book Distribution
2. Minister Through A Weekly Television Broadcast
3. Impact The Nation Of France
4. Host Women’s Conferences
5. Invest In Troubled Teenage Girls
Can I just tell you how good and amazing God is? Each one of those goals I wrote down is a reality today. My what-if has become what is!
Let me encourage you to write down at least 1 thing you see 5 years from now for your life! There is great power released when you write the vision. (Habakkuk 2:2) Don’t be shy. Don’t be timid. Just trust God, allow yourself to dream and write it down.
Sow Beyond Today! Dad taught me this profound principle: You may not have what you need but you’re never without the seed that will produce it!
Seed represents your future. 5 years ago I sowed seed for every one of those dreams. Galatians 6:7 tells us that a man’s harvest in life depends entirely upon the seeds that he sows.
When a farmer sows seed, he knows exactly what he’s sowing the seed to produce.
My mission keeps me focused. My mission helps me see what my life could be like 5 years from now.
There’s a picture on the package – that’s his vision. You should never just give an offering not knowing what you’re believing for! A farmer also knows it will do him no good to keep the seed in the package. He has to sow it. Give it.
“He who sows sparingly reaps sparingly; he who sows generously reaps generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:26)
I’ve seen this happen in my life so many times that NOBODY can talk me out of it. It may not make sense to your mind, but if you’re in need…GIVE! It’s the law of seedtime and harvest!
Success Coach Jack Canfield says, “Tithing, that is giving 10% of your earnings to the work of God, is one of the best guarantees of prosperity ever known.”
You might say, “Terri, I don’t have much.” I understand, but the size of the seed isn’t important – it’s the significance of the seed that matters to God.
Think about the Prophet Elijah visiting the widow and her son. (1 Kings 17) God told Elijah to go to this little widow woman’s house and that she would have CAKE for him. I would go too! That’s the reason I go to weddings: cake!
When the Prophet arrived, that little widow woman was preparing to die. All she had was that little cake – enough for her and her son to eat and then die.
Basically, she was saying “This is all I have…” and God was saying, “That’s all I’m asking for….” That is significant seed!
Look at the Prophet’s instructions to her: Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first, make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. This is the word of the GOD of Israel: ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before GOD sends rain on the land and ends this drought.’” 1 Kings 17:13-14 The Message
Don’t hang on to it. Sow it. Don’t eat your seed. Sow it!
You might say, “I don’t have anything except $10.” God says “I’ll accept that.”
What are you willing to give for your dream? Give your time? Give your money? Give your talent? Give a ride? Give a compliment? Give encouragement? Every dream I’ve seen come to pass has required that I sow seed towards it.
How big is your dream? What kind of investment do you need to make?
5 years is 260 weeks, 1,825 days, or 2,629,744 minutes! What are you going to do with it? Richard Bach said, “Here’s the test to determine whether or not your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”
The next 5 years can be the most exciting, rewarding, productive years of your life…. or just another 5 years! You have a mission, an assignment. See something and sow something.
Follow Terri on Instagram @terrisavellefoy and Facebook!
For years, Terri Savelle Foy’s life was average. She had no dreams to pursue. Each passing day was just a repeat of the day before. Finally, with a marriage in trouble and her life falling apart, Terri made a change. She began to pursue God like never before, develop a new routine and discovered the power of having a dream and purpose.
As Terri started to recognize her own dreams and goals, she simply wrote them down and reviewed them consistently. This written vision became a roadmap to drive her life. As a result, those dreams are now a reality.
Terri has become the CEO of an international Christian ministry. She is an author, a conference speaker, and a success coach to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Her best-selling books Make Your Dreams Bigger than Your Memories, and Imagine Big have helped people discover how to overcome the hurts of the past and see the possibilities of a limitless future. Her weekly podcast is a lifeline of hope and inspiration to people around the world.
Terri Savelle Foy is a cheerleader of dreams and is convinced that “if you can dream it, God can do it.” She is known across the globe as a world-class motivator of hope and success through her transparent and humorous teaching style. Terri’s unique ability to communicate success strategies in a simple and practical way has awakened the dreams of the young and old alike.
Terri shares from personal experience the biblical concepts of using the gift of the imagination to reach full potential in Jesus Christ. From stay-at-home moms to business executives, Terri consistently inspires others to go after their dreams. With step-by-step instruction and the inspiration to follow through, people are fueled with the passion to complete their life assignment down to the last detail (see John 17:4).
Terri and her husband, Rodney Foy, have been married since 1991, and are the parents of a beautiful redheaded daughter, Kassidi Cherie. They live near Dallas, Texas. For more information about Terri, go to www.terri.com.