Unleashing the Dreamer I Used To Be

 

Unleashing the Dreamer I Used To Be

 Don’t have time to read today?  Click here to listen to the audio version of this post. (And, to enhance the experience, be sure to listen to Hillsong UNITED’s “Oceans” after the blog post is all done!)

 

I’m not quite sure what I really want in life.

One of the most challenging things about walking through the dreaming process with my husband lately has been getting in touch with what is inside of me— my deepest hopes and desires and the visions God placed in my heart once upon a time.  It is easier for me to hear what someone else is dreaming and then serve them in realizing their vision.  Historically, when someone else casts a clear vision that resonates with my heart, I can then harness my creativity and somehow my mind and heart are able to expand and get excited about and figure out how to dream and wish and hope and get creative within their dream.  That is safe and comfortable for me.

But to ask myself what I really want in life?  To identify what visions God has placed in my own soul and dare to hope that those might ever come to pass?  That’s a tough one.

One morning a few weeks ago, as I was spending time with the Lord processing through all of this, I found myself paralyzed with fear at even the thought of daring to dream.  I found myself admitting to God that I am fearful of dreaming.  I’m afraid of getting my hopes up, afraid of being disappointed, afraid of doing something foolish or rash or unintentionally destructive.  Dreaming seemed too risky.

…Yet I kept hearing God gently call me further out.  He was kind and filled with so much love and so much tenderness… yet He was also clear and firm:

“Dream, daughter,” He urged.  It’s in you.  I’ve put it there.  And it is time for you to look inside and see it.”  

And when that made me tremble with fear, He went on:

“I’m here.  I won’t leave you.  I care about what you care about.  I haven’t forgotten you.  And I haven’t forgotten what you used to dream about when you were a little girl.  Go there,” He urged.  Remember what you used to want before adulthood and responsibilities and grief and hardship and money got in the way…”

 

So that’s where I started.  It seemed safer to put words to what I used to want or what I used to think was possible before logic and bills and “the real world” came to cloud up my thought processes and weary my soul.

And honestly?  This simple activity helped me break through the barrier that had been holding me back.  Putting language to my youthful dreams and desires was safer territory for some reason.

So I thought back.  I called upon my childhood self, my young adult self, and even my newlywed self and I asked her what she dreamed about and hoped for.

I won’t share all of what I wrote down with Jesus that morning, but just to give you an idea of what kinds of things came out of me that day, here is a condensed version of what I discovered:

  • I used to want to serve the world in a Christ-centered way with my husband by my side, arm in arm…
  • I used to want to be a homeowner…
  • I used to want to live in a country setting with lots of animals, near a walking/hiking path of some sort, maybe near a lake, with friends close by so that we could have tea together or go for a walk together anytime we want…
  • I used to want to travel— both for fun and for missions trips…
  • I used to want to have a home that had guests over all the time, feeding them meals, playing board games, laughing and talking about the “real stuff” of life…
  • I used to want a home with lots of windows, surrounded by beauty, with a yoga area of the house, and a writing nook or room where I would be able to write and read and pray and ponder uninterrupted for hours a day…
  • I used to want to write a book… and maybe a Bible study…
  • I used to want to be a teacher (of whichever age/stage I was at the time)…
  • I used to want to live light and be able to pack up and move at a moment’s notice if that’s what I felt God leading me to do…
  • I used to want to have kids that had no addiction whatsoever to technology, screens, video games, pornography, etc…
  • I used to want my kids to be athletic and strong, with a love for health and wellness and eating well…
  • I used to want to adopt children of all different ethnicities…
  • I used to want to run a retreat center that helps people find quiet, contemplative time to be with Jesus and reconnect with how much He loves them and what His intentions are for their lives…
  • I used to want to grow up and be healthy, active, joy-filled, and fun to be with…
  • I used to want to be a mail carrier or a park ranger when I grew up (because I figured it would keep me active and able to be in the great outdoors a lot)…
  • I used to want to grow up and be a person whom others looked to for wisdom and encouragement…
  • I used to want to have a few super close friends and grow old with them…
  • I used to want to grow up and be a mom that was approachable for my kids, a safe place to confide and process and vent…
  • I used to want to have a healthy, inspiring marriage that God would use to minister to and encourage the people in our lives…
  • I used to want to be a person who is confident, approachable, humble, welcoming, and life-giving to those around me…

 

Those were some of my dreams.  That was what I hoped for back in “the old days.”

And do you know what else?  A lot of that is still what I want in life.

 

 

 

* * *

What about you?

What did you dream about when you were younger?  Think back: What did you want before adulthood and responsibilities and grief and hardship and money and logic got in the way…?

Please share your journey in the comment section below.

 

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