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But dream on
Dream on
Even when you’re afraid all your dreams may be gone
Just dream on
Dream on
When the world says you’re crazy just tell them they’re wrong and dream on

“Dream On” by  Ben Rector

I love the song “Dream On” by Ben Rector. It helps me keep fighting for hope even when times are hard, and to make the most of every opportunity in my life.

“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…

Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV

Life gives all of us moments of opportunity—times we can make decisions that will change our relationships, careers, or families for the better. In those moments, we have two choices: We can react in fear, getting sad, angry, impatient, or uncertain of what the future might hold. Or, like the song says, we can “dream on,” facing the unknown with faith in God that helps us seize the moment and live out his vision for our lives.

I am always the most inspired by women in my life who fight through hardship, persevere in the face of hopelessness, and impact each person they come in contact with because they decide to believe.

At the BACC, we love celebrating and honoring women who have made incredible contributions to their communities, workplaces, families, and friendships. That’s why we’re hosting a series of events just for women called “Girls’ Night Out,” and our theme this year is “Defining Moments.” 

Every day we can make small faithful choices that turn into defining moments, which create a ripple effect in not only our lives but also the lives of those around us.

As we get ready to kick off this inspiring series, I want to share a story about one such defining moment in the life of my friend Jasmine. Jasmine made the most of an opportunity, which led to a defining moment in her faith, her relationships, and her purpose. 

Difficult times can lead to defining moments

Jasmine regularly went to church growing up, but she didn’t really know who God was. She saw him as someone she needed to perform for, always putting her best foot forward.

This mentality didn’t just stop with her view of God. Jasmine defined her self-worth by other people’s perceptions of her. She thought that if she could just behave perfectly, get good grades, work hard, and stay out of trouble, she could earn the admiration and love that she really craved. 

But this led to a lot of loneliness and insecurity. No one in her life really knew her; they only knew the perfect version of herself that she fought to portray. She felt empty, and tried to numb that pain in any way she could. 

Things seemed to be turning around when she was offered a position in New York City in the fall of 2019. She thought her dreams were coming true and she would finally feel satisfied. 

But even this new job wasn’t enough, and she felt just as lonely and miserable as before. In 2020 she was laid off from that job due to the pandemic, and Jasmine felt like she was left with nothing else to validate her or make her happy.  

All of this inner turmoil became so overwhelming that, for the first time in a very long time, Jasmine decided to pray. She told God she couldn’t keep living the way she was living and needed his help. 

Defining moments can start with a prayer

Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.

Daniel 10:12 NLT

God heard that prayer and led her to California in July of 2020. Just a few months later, she met a new friend, Octavia Petruț. Octavia inspired Jasmine to study the Bible to learn how to have a relationship with God that was personal and real, rather than performative and fake.

Through Bible studies and friendships, Jasmine learned that God’s love wasn’t something she ever had to earn or behave perfectly for. She realized that her relationship with God could give her the freedom to let go of the feelings of fear, loneliness, and insecurity that had weighed her down for so long. 

Because of her relationship with God, Jasmine decided to get baptized in April of 2021. She now volunteers in the teen ministry in Contra Costa to mentor high schoolers. As she continues to make the most of the opportunities in her life, she enjoys helping young people find the defining moments God has placed in their lives, too. 

Jasmine’s story reminds us that God will put opportunities and defining moments in each of our lives, too, if only we have the faith to seek them out.

This is why we are so excited to host our “Girls’ Night Out” events all over the Bay Area over the next several weeks. These events give women across the Bay Area the opportunity to come together to hear inspirational messages, hear powerful sharing from other women, and build friendships that help us find the defining moments God is placing in our lives. 

To find a Girls’ Night Out near you, head over to bacc.cc/defining-moments!

We look forward to seeing you there, and happy Women’s History Month!

Best,

Tenea Manuel

East Bay Women’s Ministry Leader

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