This year is the 25th anniversary of my husband’s home going to heaven. I was a young wife with five children when he tragically left us. Where did the time go? And how did I ever get where I am today, sitting in my “home” in Nepal and reflecting on steps of obedience and how they have resulted in heavenly multiplication?

Years ago I was a busy mom living the good life on a ranch in Colorado. I remember my dream of the future. I saw my husband and I in our latter years. We lived in a log house on a mountain that overlooked a valley. In my dream I loved to have my grandchildren over. We would pick strawberries and make jam. We would gather eggs from the chickens and visit the garden to see how things grow. My house had extra rooms for them with cozy quilts on the beds.

How well I remember when the Lord asked me if I would give up my dream for Him. To make that decision took days, maybe weeks. This prayer of consecration is called the shortest prayer with the longest journey. Finally I agreed, “yes Lord, I would give up that dream for You.” The Bible says if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). When the Lord asks us for this kind of sacrifice, He is not trying to take from us, but to give us more than we could ever expect. He loves us so much, yet His love goes beyond and through us to encompass others.

God also asked His friend Abraham to give up a dream. When God asked him to offer up his son, the Bible says he rose early the next morning and left with Isaac for the mountain. This supreme act of worship demonstrated Abraham’s complete trust in God’s faithfulness and love. It is my conviction that Abraham had seen the resurrection plan in Genesis 15 when God showed him a vision of the future of his descendants. Galatians 3:8 says that the Gospel was preached to Abraham, and Hebrews 11:17-19 that he believed God was able to raise Isaac, even from the dead. God helps us to move with Him into the future by divine vision and direction.

The covenant bond between Abraham and God, evidenced in this account, legally paved the way for Jesus to redeem humankind. In the same way when we make these sacrificial choices, God is able to bring salvation to others through us, blessing us to be a blessing to others. Often God redeems our sacrifice, like he did with Abraham and our dream is restored. But one thing is certain; He always multiplies what we give.

I could have never foreseen then what the future would hold for me. I didn’t know my husband would leave me and that God would plant a seed for nations in my heart. I would never have imagined that I would have the courage to take my youngest son and move halfway around the world. That first choice was one of many. I chose to stay in the will of God when it wasn’t pleasant, when it hurt my flesh and my soul. There have been many prayers of consecration over the past nineteen years that brought me to where I am today.

But how rich I am today because of those choices! Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands” (Mark 10:29-30). How true are His words. Today, instead of one land, I have three, and that is literal: I have houses in America, the Philippines and Nepal. I have spent months away from my children, but I have spiritual children now from multiple nations! My heart has been expanded to encompass cultures and peoples very different from my own, and I am so much wealthier in my soul because of them. His plan is that we would not only be blessed, but also become a blessing to others. These choices of consecration are always to increase us: in influence, in relationships, in wisdom, yes, but also in ways that enrich our soul. And the beauty is that at the same time they bring increase to others.

As I write this, I encourage you to give Him your dreams. He will take them, break them, and use them to feed nations. But like the little boy with the loaves and fish, you will receive even more back! My life has proven Him faithful to this promise. And who knows, I may still get that house on the mountain-side besides. Our God is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, so seek His plan of blessing for you and through you to others. You will not be disappointed.