122 || Obstacles to Finding Your Identity in Christ || Merritt Onsa

Our fears provide clues to understanding where we may have placed our identity in something besides Jesus. In this episode, you’ll discover the value of acknowledging what drives your fears. But you will need to tune in to next month’s solo episode to learn what you can do about it. In the meantime, I am challenging you to really look at what you’re holding tight to and what, if you lost it, would crush you, because that’s where you’ll begin to see that you have misplaced your identity.

121 || Listening to Your Feelings Can Sabotage Your Dream || Laura Harris

If you have a dream, don’t be surprised when discouragement shows up and threatens to destroy it. In this episode writer, mama, and former silent-struggler Laura Harris shares her vulnerable story about the night on the bathroom floor when she realized that she was on the verge of depression and could no longer hide it. You’ll learn how God brought her through it, used this difficulty to open her eyes to a greater purpose, and the steps you can take if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

120 || How to Pursue Your Dream Without a Road Map || Heather Boersma

Heather Boersma’s dream wasn’t on her radar two decades ago, but it has been a journey of learning, listening to God, faltering, and then remembering to trust Him again. What she shares about intimacy with Christ will open your eyes, again, to the significance of resting and trusting in Jesus. You’ll hear the best reason NOT to measure success via your results, the importance of our mindset, and the power of agreeing with the truth God speaks over you through His word and not the lies of the enemy.

A Testimony of God’s Redeeming Love || Bonus Episode || Merritt Onsa

This bonus episode is about the life events that led up to me receiving Christ and what happened in the years that followed as He continued to pursue my heart, heal the brokenness caused by my own decisions and rejection of Him as well as the wounds inflicted by others. He truly made me a new creation, just as Scripture, says, “… anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

119 || How to Stop Fear from Stealing Your Dream || Merritt Onsa

Fear is a common feeling once you start chasing God-shaped dreams, but this fear is not from God. We have a very real enemy to seeks to steal, kill and destroy you and your dreams. Thankfully, we also have a good Father in heaven who loves and cherishes you. He wants to empower courage in you, especially in the face of fear. This episode will coach you through four strategies to overcome fear and anxiety related to pursuing your dream and the importance of discerning what is driving your feelings.  

118 || Do This When Fear Threatens Your Dream || Esther Littlefield

When God calls you to a dream that is bigger than yourself, you might question if you’re the right person for the job. Fear is normal, but fear is not from God. If fear and doubt are creeping up on you, the next step is to trust God’s character, believe He is good, and know that He is for you and the dreams He’s given you! Listen as Esther Littlefield explains what this has been for her and then, find the courage you need to take the next step, regardless of how ready you feel.

117 || Breakthrough Lessons for Staying Focused on Your Dream || Laurel Smith

Creative business owner Laurel Smith dreamt about making jewelry 14 years ago, before she possessed the knowledge or tools to do so. That dream is now a reality in Laurel Denise, but its God-given purpose didn’t become clear until years later. Laurel’s story reminds us that understanding your purpose and calling takes time. She also shares her secret of learning to focus her time and energy so she could pursue jewelry making as well as her passion and calling of motherhood.

116 || Two Simple Reasons Your Dream is Not About You || Merritt Onsa

You have a dream, a passion that burns deep inside and makes you want to leap from bed in the morning. Maybe your dream is a desire to change the world for the better, or make beautiful things, or teach others what you have learned on your journey. When that dream begins to bubble up, you might get so busy figuring out the next step that you forget to ask who your dream is for. This episode will coach you through questions to ask yourself as you consider who your dream is meant to serve.

115 || Four Opportunities You'll Find on the Way to Your Dream || Christa Hutchins

Ministry coach Christa Hutchins is the woman you’ll want by your side if you’re feeling overwhelmed in managing the details of your dream. She loves to serve Christian women who speak, write or lead, helping them develop strategies to accomplish their goals and dreams. But even if you’re not that far along yet, don’t know exactly what your dream is, or are in a season of waiting on the right timing, you’ll love hearing Christa’s clues on what you can do when you have a dream, but it’s just not yet time.

114 || How to Let Your Faith Lead Your Dream || Amber Brannon

Entrepreneur Amber Brannon wants to unleash stunning design on the world. You’ll learn from her the importance of being clear about who you are (and who you aren’t) as you pursue your dream. She describes what that process was like for her company, Copperheart Creative, and how it helped them discover the types of clients they love to serve. Amber teaches us what she learned from trying to control everything – including that it’s not possible – and how she’s letting Jesus take control, instead.

113 || You Were Created for a Reason || Merritt Onsa

There is purpose for your life; you are not here by accident. I believe this to be true, and today I’m talking about the two perspectives I’ve been wrestling with related to this topic and how we decipher our God-shaped dreams. The first is that He uses our gifts and talents for our good, for the good of others, and for His Kingdom. The second is that He uses us in spite of our weakness, failure, or even our blatant rejection of His calling upon our lives. So, which is it, strengths or weaknesses?

112 || Because Fear Will Try to Steal Your Dream || Julie Watson

Author and coach Julie Watson reminds us that God calls us into places where we feel incompetent or are just too full of fear to move forward (think of Moses). But He meets us in our “gaps,” and He grows us when we say “yes” despite our objections to the challenges we face. Julie reveals the surprising truth about the training, education, or preparation needed to pursue your dream. Finally, she asks a poignant question that helps us think about what we really want for our life and our dream.

111 || How to Find Remarkable Beauty in Ordinary Dreams || Ashley Hales

Ashley Hales teaches us the importance of pressing in to the greater story of the gospel because of its impact on our lives and relationships; she also reminds us of our identity in Christ. You’ll discover the value of instituting small disciplines in your life like finding a verse to meditate on or a way to move your body each day; and she talks about why she wrote her first book, Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much (IVP), even though she never planned to write a book.  

110 || You Have Great Value and Worth || Merritt Onsa

In this solo episode, I’m talking about where we can find our value and worth because we are daughters of the King. You’ll hear more of my story about how I rested my value on something that was ultimately going to fail me. I share the best response I ever got from a Christian man who knew he couldn’t bear the weight of my identity on his back. And I talk a bit about what’s going on my world right now that has revealed to me that I am struggling, again, to remember that my security is in Christ.

109 || Believing the God Who Sees You || Cari Jenkins

In this episode, Cari Jenkins teaches about our identity in Christ with gentleness and conviction. She reminds us that He sees us and knows what we need. You'll learn that listening to the Spirit and trusting His lead, might result in something completely different than what you planned or hoped for. She confides in us about her recent heart-wrenching decision to have a hysterectomy (as a single woman who has never had children) and the ways the Father revealed and revised her vision for motherhood.

108 || How God Uses Brokenness to Shape Your Dream || April Matt

This week, April Matt reveals the value of asking good questions and listening well as you consider your dream because you might uncover something you never considered. You’ll hear why your dream is worth pursuing, even when it gets hard, you have bad days, or you feel like quitting. Finally, April teaches us the importance of partnering with people who have the skills you lack and who can help you see when you’re working from your own strength instead of resting in the Lord’s.

107 || You Are a Daughter of the Most High King || Merritt Onsa

In this solo episode, I’m talking about identity, specifically our identity in Christ as daughters of the Most High King. You’ll hear how I struggled early on as a Christian to even understand what this means and how to live it out. In attempting to understand what it means to find our identity in Christ, I also share what it’s not, meaning you’re going to hear a bit about my messy life before Jesus (um, yes, it’s still messy AFTER Jesus but just in a different way now!) This is important because when we understand who we are in Christ, it informs how we move towards our God-shaped dreams.

106 || Because Your Dream Requires Everything of You || Holly Christine Hayes

In this episode, Holly Christine Hayes shares the difficult truth about pursuing a God-shaped dream – that it’s hard and it may require everything of you. She teaches us the importance of examining your season of life, considering the realities of your dream, and what you might do instead if this isn’t the time to step out. You’ll discover the value of surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and the importance of staying watered and rooted if you’re going to step into a God-shaped dream.

105 || Because Your Dream Increases Your Intimacy with God || Krista Hengesh

In this episode, Krista Hengesh of Live Salted talks about the faith required to step into what God has called you to, especially when you don’t know what the results will be. We discuss the spiritual warfare you’ll face when walking in His will and seeking to make Him more famous. We remind you that you are a daughter of the King and that when you trust Him with your dream, your life, your everything, your dependence on Him will naturally need to increase and thus will grow your intimacy with Him.

Hello 2019! Bonus Episode

Happy New Year and welcome back to Season Five of The Devoted Dreamers Podcast. This episode is a quick update on what you can expect from the podcast for the remainder of this season, including a new publishing schedule, monthly themes, solo episodes, and the Dream Letter, which is launching later this month. Be sure to subscribe to get yours!

Next week I’ll be back with another interview, this time it’s my conversation with Krista Hengesh of Live Salted ministry.