As a mom over 45 I have found myself wondering where my dreams have gone? Wondering if I have let them die, given up, or just lost my way. Not because I lack happiness, but maybe because sometimes I focus too much on others, my family, dreaming FOR them, instead of living my own. Sometimes my dream IS them, and it all gets mixed up. I know I am not alone. I hear the conversations and read the thoughts daily. We long for so much, we get caught up in the “what should be” and can lose sight of what is, our dream, His will.
In an unexpected moment, a sunset, He whispers to our soul, “Remember who you are. Remember whose you are.” Those dreams of old come spilling forth. Like the warmth of the sun, they envelope me in a warm embrace. I do still dream. My dreams still live. The more I am still, the more I ponder, the more I realize that even those dreams I thought lost, are being nurtured by all that He has called me to in this moment. I can trust Him. He does not give us the desires of our heart all at once. He plants seeds of hope, visions of ministries, and through our daily living, daily obedience He grows them.
Right now life is about this. These three people fill my heart with joy. They challenge me to be better, to give more, to laugh, to grow. My best for them is to be the best of me. It’s not to dream FOR them. It is to set wings to my own dreams, to trust-have faith. It is to live in such a way that they feel safe, loved, cherished and free to dream. It is taking joy in hearing their dreams and watching as He begins to unfold those dreams. I can hold on tight or I can release, having faith.
My dream was to be an advocate. At age 14 I knew God was calling me to serve the forgotten child. I had grand visions of working for UNICEF or Save the Children. Instead I became a “Child Abuse Investigator” and later case manager. I became an advocate and leader with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Then, in a moment, after 6 long years, heard the words, “You are pregnant.” In a moment my husband and I knew everything was to be put on hold, the new call was to grant these miracles the very best, for me to be at home, being mom. Why do we so often think that means putting dreams on hold? Why did I let my mind go there? Why do I even today sometimes doubt.
My dream is not dead. My dream has not been completely fulfilled. Instead, God has grown me, all while growing my dream. I am still called to serve the underserved. I am still called to serve the forgotten child. However, God has shown me that as He has taught me to parent, to mother, He has placed a desire on my heart to come alongside that woman, that mom who doesn’t know, doesn’t know how. Years of advocacy, years of being at home, years of waiting. I am beginning to see glimpses. There are others with a similar dream. We begin to meet. We begin to pray. I am reminded to have faith.
A little over a year ago I had the privilege of meeting at Family Life with the Arkansas Women Bloggers network. We had a wonderful lunch, time of sharing and then the cherry on the cake, was hearing from Barbara Rainey. Her words that day struck a chord and prompted me to move from discouragement to hope. She is an extremely talented author and artist. Her husband leads one of the most influential Family Ministries in our country. She has children. She reminded me “there is a season” and “nothing is wasted in developing our dreams, who we are.” An empty nester, she has just begun a new venture, one in which her heart for family, motherhood and her talent as an artist are melded into a beautiful business-Ever Thine Home. She reminded me to keep the dream. Remember who I am, whose I am. She reminded me that in His time, in the right season, He will unfold the rest of the dream. It won’t be working for UNICEF or Save the Children, but it will be so much more, because I am now so much more. I am reminded as Holly Gerth says in You’re Made for A God-Sized Dream, “Your God sized dreams are not just about making his purposes and plans a reality. They are also about revealing his character through you. Who you are on this journey is just as important as what you do.”
Today I will dream. I will be the mom who cooks, cleans, plans, carpools, holds the hand, watches the girl learn to guide the horse, listens to the heartache of friendships. I will grow. I will need HIM, meet Him each morning seeking His grace and His wisdom for the day ahead. I will see that not one moment is wasted. Even my mistakes, those times I ran ahead of Him, are salvaged. He will not let the dream die. He will take every moment, use it to correct, teach and encourage. I will grow. The dream will grow. In season, it will come to fruition. I will have faith. I will live faith. Faith fuels the dream.