Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dreams. The Ones Which Happened. The Ones Which Didn't

Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”


At age 10, I wanted to be an author. I began writing a book, illustrated it horribly, even, then when my mom accidentally spilt some wood stain on those six pages, I felt relieved. I'd grown bored with the whole thing.

At 13, I took French in Jr. High and adored my French teacher, Mrs. James. Even crocheted a long brown scarf for her at Christmas and once when I was the only one who knew four vocabulary words during an oral test, Mrs. James said, "Well, it's nice that at least Debra studied her vocabulary at home yesterday."

I lived off of that comment for 6 months and for the next 15 years I dreamed of visiting Paris...but never got there. And feel 100% ok with that today.

Then at 16 and still living in California, I wrote something like this in a notebook, "I feel I belong back East. All of my favorite authors live/lived there and I feel so out-of-place here out West."

Well, I did get there. Here. Eighteen years later Tom, Naomi and I moved to New York state and it was love--it was belonging--at first sight. 

But before that big move, when I was just 17, I wavered. Thought I should be a missionary every time those zealous foreign missionaries spoke at our church and seemed to stare at me from the pulpit. It didn't feel like the right fit for me, but I believed whatever God wanted you to do would feel uncomfortable. 

At 18 I went to college and friends, old and new, told me I should be a journalist. An English teacher in California. An English teacher in Africa. Frankly, it all sounded strange to the me inside and well, dreadful, too.

At 19 I remember shopping one day in that college town and three screaming children being wheeled in carts by their exhausted moms. I thought, "Thank-you, God, that I will never, ever have children!"

At nearly 21 I had a baby girl and declared her the best thing that ever happened to me, next to finding Tom and getting married.

At 35 I fell hopelessly in love with Jesus and the whole world looked new. I so enjoyed teaching adult Sunday School a couple times each month in our sanctuary from the pulpit and had huge dreams of someday traveling and standing before thousands and teaching them.

Years later I realized my favorite pulpit is this computer one which enables me to stay home and still share Jesus with an audience--and that's when I found blogging. In eight years, what an adventure, what a learning tool--for myself, not just for those I teach. 

Dreams. Visions. Goals. Some come from our heads and some come from God and what I've seen? The ones from God happen. He is so good at making a way where there is no way and because our times are in His hands, He can tweak things to make certain we get to where we're supposed to be. 

It would be mean and unfair of God to birth impossible dreams within us.

Nothing is too hard for Him, He provides all that we need for His plans, but only as long as we do things His way... and don't sit around staring out of windows, crying about the other ones, the dreams which never came from God's heart to begin with. The wispy, unknown-to-God dreams we once felt were vital, lovely things... those are the ones we must release so that Real Things can be known. And experienced.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path."

Proverbs 2:6-9 ” For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go."


And after last night's storm? Tom and I are fine. Grateful.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.” 
― Erma Bombeck



Bonnie said...

This was lovely, Debra. Just lovely. Thank you.

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