welp, i’m officially IN my 30’s. i turned 32 last week, and the creak in my bones this morning as i got out of bed to walk the dog proves it. (i’m pretty sure knees aren’t supposed to make that noise … )
that thing is happening again- the thing where i start thinking about something, and then the next seventybillion people i talk to want to talk about that one thing. and every blog i read is also about that one thing … that one thing this time is wanting. dreaming.
some of this i blame on my birthday. i get more introspective around my birthday than i do at new years’ … something about getting older makes me look back, and then look forward. some of this i blame on my counselor. [dang that woman for being awesome … she loves me so well, walks with me through hard and deep and scary places, lifts my face and hopes for me and invites me to begin to dream again. it is both the best and worst.] i have a couple of seasons i can point to as possibilities, but i couldn’t say for sure when i stopped wanting and stopped dreaming. as i cautiously began to take stock of last year, i realized that it had been a VERY long time since i wanted something and it was ok, even good, for me to want that thing.
*when i was 20, i decided that i wanted to open a cafe & bookstore. i made menus, researched kitchen equipment, explored the process of getting certified to retail a certain line of coffees, and started experimenting with recipes.
*when i was 26, i had a dream of writing a book with my best friend.
*when i was 27, i had a dream of backpacking around europe and learning to make ethnic cuisines from local housewives. i have a dear friend who owns a production company, and i was going to rope him into following me around so that we could make that trip into a documentary. and then i could use those recipes in my cafe!
*when i was 28, i had a dream of moving to raleigh with a team to plant a church that would help reach this city with the gospel.
did any of you know that i wanted those things and dreamed those dreams? maybe a few people knew one or two of the things on the list … but probably not many. because somewhere in the hubbub of life, the disappointments began to pile up and the bruises on my tender heart began to petrify it. it became easier to bury desire and silence wanting than to let them breathe and speak.
my brave, beautiful friend katie wrote this yesterday:
I have found over the past few months that somewhere along the way it became easier to stuff down desires and construct walls to protect my heart because that is safer than getting hurt, that is easier than trusting that His no is sweet, and that allows for me to smile and carry on without the danger of wounds. I fear that at some point “Ok, Lord I’ll go where you lead” really began to mean “I’m just going to stop hoping and believing and start halfheartedly and silently accepting.” … At the end of the day that’s where my heart gets lost – it’s in the balance of living with open hands and in honest submission while contrasting having desires and hopes and dreams for the life we’ve been given here. Because obviously there is call in scripture to petition for the desires of our hearts, implying that our hearts are crafted and built to hold desires and to chase them and yearn for them, but there is also a call to be willing to surrender even what we see to be the fulfillment of a promise if that is what has been asked of us.
So where do we sit? How do we function properly when our hearts are doing what they were built to do and are filled with hopes and desires but what we see and hear from Christ is to sit and be still and wait. What is the proper response? Because I fear that in a response of hurt and frustration I fall way too easily into the idea of simply no longer wanting it. I just respond with fine, I will content myself without it and somehow this has been the reasonable response to the call to wait. Would this not all be simpler if I never dreamed that dream in the first place?
We can’t prevent a no by convincing ourselves a desire isn’t there anymore.
We must dream, we must imagine, we must live, fully and unapologetically in our vulnerability before Him so that He may teach our hearts to hear and sing His songs. Because sometimes the melody is slow and meets you in your tears, and sometimes the melody finds a pace to join you in your rejoicing, but no matter the dream that melody is constant and it is revealed in the vulnerability of a heart laid bare before our King.
“Jesus is better than we imagine, but if we imagine nothing, then what is He better than? – Lore Ferguson