The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For (Paperback)
Let’s be honest, the life you lead isn’t what you’ve always dreamt. And maybe the person you’ve become isn’t who you’ve always imagined. Sure, you can clean it up. You can work longer, love harder, and eat better. You can scrub the surface of your life until it gleams and still never address the fact that somehow you lost sight of who you really are and what you’re living for.
Is this the life you were meant to live?
As the child of Nigerian immigrants in the UK, author and speaker Jo Saxton knows firsthand how quickly the world can cause us to doubt our dreams and question who we are. She understands how easily we can exchange our true child-of-God selves for an identity built on lies, guilt, and brokenness.
In this powerful book, Jo examines Biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites you to turn to the One who knows you intimately and loves you deeply. He sees all you’ve struggled to hide. He hears the voice inside you that others have silenced. He knows the potential and purpose that no one valued. He longs to redeem the story of your life and set you on the path to reclaim The Dream of You. Are you ready?
About the Author
JO SAXTON is a popular leadership trainer, international speaker, and author who is passionate about seeing Jesus transform lives across the globe. She has been featured at IF: Gathering, Catalyst, Thrive, and Propel conferences. Jo also chairs the board of an international discipleship organization, known as 3D Movements, serves on the advisory board for Today's Christian Woman, and co-hosts the LeadStories podcast. Jo and her husband, Chris, live in the Minneapolis area with their two daughters.
“My friend Jo has a pastor’s heart, and that heart shines through every page of this beautiful book. Reading these pages is like learning from a wise friend.”
—Shauna Niequist, New York Times best-selling author of Present Over Perfect
“In these pages, Jo’s trademark wisdom is on display and accessible to everyone who settles in for the ride. Through her gift of delivering essential messaging with wit and wonder, Jo rekindles the desires of your heart and reintroduces you to the life you were meant to live. If you and this book have found your way to each other, I have just two words to share: lucky you!”
—Deidra Riggs, national speaker and author of One: Unity in a Divided World
“We live in a noisy culture. It feels as if nearly everyone is screaming about who we ought to be, creating a heightened sense of anxiety and confusion. Jo Saxton, in The Dream of You, speaks prophetically, pastorally, and practically to this crisis of identity, because if our identity is not in Christ, we’ll struggle with deep insecurity. We’ll pursue everything, trying to fill our lives with meaning. With her own personal vulnerability, Jo invites us to relinquish our broken identities and return once more to the One who created us.”
—Rev. Eugene Cho, senior pastor, Quest Church, and author of Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?
“Jo is a friend of ours. She’s a lot of fun, but she’s also filled to the brim with guts and grit and Jesus. This isn’t a book about Jo; it’s about leaving behind who you thought you were and becoming who God made you to be. You’ll be captivated by her stories and swept away by God’s love.”
—Maria and Bob Goff, authors and Jo’s friends
“Who do you see when you look in the mirror or take a selfie? Maybe you see blemishes, pudgy cheeks, imperfection, emptiness, and a lost identity of yourself. The Dream of You is a reality check for many who have gotten lost in what society requires and what others desire of you. These false identities have created a sunken silo, sometimes unrecognizable to us. Jo brilliantly calls us to remember our true identities, discovering the people God created us to be. Jo takes us on a personal discovery of ourselves, interwoven through personal and biblical stories of broken identity that keep us from living the lives we were created to live. She invites you to be brave, bold, and courageous, whether you were told you had to work harder than everyone else or that you’re not good enough and will never be enough. God wants to redeem our stories and capture our hearts. God wants to restore your name and purpose. He wants you to embrace His redeeming love.”
—Latasha Morrison, founder and president of Be the Bridge
“Absolutely hands down, Jo is one of my most trusted voices in Christian leadership. When she teaches us about our identity in Christ, being deeply known and loved and purposed by God in The Dream of You, the greatest testament I can offer toward her credibility is that she texts me some version of that message every single week. She leads auditoriums full of people, and she leads me one-on-one. She is the real deal, and every word of this book is the gospel truth.”
—Jen Hatmaker, New York Times best-selling author of Of Mess and Moxie
“In The Dream of You, Jo Saxton takes her readers by the hand as she walks us through the many broken identities she once claimed and has now relinquished in order to retain the only One who is necessary. She does so by inviting us into the most painful touchpoints in her life while describing what it has meant for her to navigate her intersectional identities as a black woman who is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. External voices scream incessantly, telling us who we ought to be. Even heroines like Wonder Woman become cruel taskmasters whose images reminds us that we will never measure up. Jo Saxton calls us to give up the ever-elusive chase to be everything but what God has called us to be and we are all the better for it.”
—Ekemini Uwan, public theologian
“The thing I admire most about the words Jo writes is the way in which she lives them. She carries this message like a jug and passes out cups of cool water to those who have been running faster, harder, and longer. If you have lost sight of where you are going, The Dream of You is a guidebook to help you get back on track.”
—Bianca Juarez Olthoff, speaker, advocate, and best-selling author of Play with Fire
“Henri Nouwen wrote, ‘One of the great tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.’ Jo Saxton’s The Dream of You carries the antidote to this universal problem—a book that calls us to remember who we really are. It is a primal, human book, crackling with life and wind and Spirit. The Dream of You doesn’t just speak about our shared human condition, but into it with revelatory clarity, like the prophet Ezekiel speaking to the valley of dry bones. To truly hear these words is for your soul to come to life. The dream Jo Saxton writes about will actually be your awakening.”
—Jonathan Martin, author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype
“Jo writes like she teaches. With a deeply rooted foundation in Scripture, Jo fills the pages of The Dream of You with biblical meat along with challenging, grace-filled application. Most of this beautiful balance of truth and grace unfolds in her personal, and sometimes painful, journey. Authentic, funny, relatable, poignant, and tender, this book is packed with practical direction for each of us to discover and embrace our true identity in the unchanging character of God. I am excited for how lives will be impacted as a result of reading the truths found in the pages of this wonderful book.”
—Vivian Mabuni, speaker and author of Warrior in Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community, and the God Who Comforts
“Jo writes with the same gusto with which she speaks, from a life lived fiercely and faithfully. Without an understanding of our core identity, we will squander the short time we have here on earth and miss out on the story the God of the universe has written for each of us, one of meaning and intimacy. Jo challenges us to live as we were meant to, with power and purpose.”
—Jennie Allen, author of Nothing to Prove; founder and visionary of the IF:Gathering
“In reading Jo’s book, I wondered if she had been reading my journals or eavesdropping on my conversations. Her writing finds us where we are, whether we are broken, surviving, healing, or desperate for a change. This book is not only Jo’s letter to her readers, but it is a great reminder of the letter God is writing to all of us. Let this book serve as your loving wake-up call to God’s dream of you.”
—Amena Brown, spoken word poet and author of How to Fix a Broken Record
“Jo Saxton didn’t just give us a book. She gave us an invitation to dig into Scripture, to listen to her journey, and to be honest with ourselves and with God. She walks us through her story as a Nigerian Brit now in the US. You can almost hear her laugh and sip her tea as she tells us about her childhood hurts and dreams, and she weaves it all together with a reminder that God sees us and knows our dreams. What a needed reminder!”
—Kathy Khang, author of the forthcoming book Raise Your Voice and coauthor of More Than Serving Tea
“Careful. You’re about to have an encounter with Jo Saxton here in this book, and life may never be the same! Every time I am with Jo, I am challenged, refocused, inspired, and a bit more free to rise to my full capacity as a woman of God. With her trademark boldness and authenticity, Jo will empower you, embolden you, and send you out with purpose and hope to become who God always intended for you to be all along.”
—Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts