When I was a little girl I used to dream about being a school teacher. Well, more specifically a choir director who could relate to her high school aged students with ease. A teacher who could inspire kids to want to achieve both in the choir room, on stage, in the classroom, and somehow in the context of public education, would be led to also seek Jesus. I wanted to be a woman who used her caring, encouraging personailty to change the lives of teenagers. I wanted to be someone that kids could turn to, and could be counted on for support and encouragement. I wanted to be 5’9″ tall and weigh 129lbs and be able to eat whatever I wanted, never having to exercise and have long flowing flawless naturally blonde hair. I wanted to be married to a man who was crazy about me and live in a house with our children and our dog and work together to create an enviroment where our kids good flourish and also become flawless. I wanted to write an award winning book that made me famous and rich and would make Oprah call me for an interview.
It’s not that my dreams were bad, (except maybe the blonde hair) but they weren’t all in the plan for me. Today I stand in my life, almost 40 years old, a divorced mother of a (mostly) grown woman and a 17 year old (going on 40 herself) young lady, wondering if I have lost the ability to dream. My life has been a whirlwind these past five years. I went from living in a house with the husband, the kids and the dog, to being a woman who has a hard time hoping…dreaming of more. Most of the last five years have been spent in disaster clean-up. Immediately after my divorce I was in gut wrenching survival mode trying to keep my kids in a healthy place while doing anything I could to make it through the day myself. I made deplorable decisions, lost my house, dated many wrong men, got my heart broken to the place where I had to remind myself to breathe, and throughout it all, truly found my personal relationship with Jesus.
As I spend this next year discovering where my life is going, I can’t help but reflect on the idea that I can finally dream again. I am no longer burdened with the emotionally crippling fear of letting my guard down at home, or not being able to survive on my own. My basic needs are no longer something that I have to fight for daily, and so I am finally able to sit and faithfully dream.
My dreams aren’t drastically different than they were. I no longer wish to be a choir teacher, but I do want to inspire kids. I’ve made peace that this 5’6″ body may never again weigh 129lbs and that I have to watch what I eat and working out is not an option. I still dream of being married. Married to a man who is crazy about me, but hoping that I haven’t just made him just plain crazy. I dream of an enduring love and companionship that is playful and grace filled. I no longer want my kids to live with me because I dream that they are going to be able to be independant…and yes…I still dream that they will be flawless. I dream of writing a book, but not for fame and fotune, but so that someday my kids will have something to reference after I am gone. I dream big dreams, because I believe in a God of big dreams. I dream because I believe in the healing power of God’s love and my dreams are a way to share the desires of my heart. I dream because I have faith. I dream because, for the first time in more than a year, I can.