A Safe Place to Dream

I said in an earlier post that I was going to be writing throughout the month of March on the subject of “the shadows that shape us and the Light that saves us.” So when I saw this challenge from Holley Gerth, I knew exactly what I wanted to share today.

Holley asked us to write “A Letter to the God-sized Dreamers – telling your sisters why what they’re doing and who they’re becoming through this process is worth it–even on the hard days.”

I’ll begin with a little back story. For most of my life, I’ve been a shadow-dweller. Hiding myself and my God-given dreams from others. Trying to protect myself from being judged and ridiculed. I was afraid to let the real me be seen and, as a result, I even forgot who I was.

To this day, it’s something I still struggle with. I have to consistently work on overcoming my desire for other people’s acceptance because I know good and well that I’m accepted by God. He knows me, He loves me and that’s all that really matters.

I recall a conversation I had a few years ago with a woman who was grilling me over my job-status. I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist of that conversation:

“What do you do all day?”
Well, I do a lot of writing. I volunteer, I…
 “Are you still looking for a job?”
Well, sure. I’d love to be working full time but…
“Wow, I could never do that. I’d be so bored.”

I felt condemnation in her questions. Especially when she told me about some of the women she knew who just went to the gym or the spa all day while their kids were at school. It sounded like she was insinuating that women who did not work outside the home were all the same – lazy, good-for-nothings. It wasn’t hard to figure out that she pretty much had the same opinion of me.

And the thing is, it hurt.

I told her that this season of my life had been tough, but it was just that – a season. And I did not know how long it would last but I was trying to learn whatever God was trying to teach me through it.

I think I actually heard crickets as she stared at me, silent, eyebrows arched, as if waiting for a better explanation.

The truth is, I wasted a lot of time fretting over the set-back of unemployment until I realized that even this was part of His plan for me. That “down time” had an up side. It made me look up. It caused me to grow closer to God and re-connect to my true self.

And, for that, I am thankful.

I’m also thankful for the empathy I now have for those who suffer in ways we cannot see. I wonder how many times I may have judged a person unfairly without knowing or caring to learn their story. What I’ve learned is that our paths are different. Your journey will not look the same as mine, and mine may not make sense to you but we all have one common denominator.

We belong to God. And we are slowly becoming the person He designed us to be.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Our lives, our giftings, our dreams are all unique and they come from our Creator and no one is less than or more than another.

So maybe we should stop pouring salt in each others wounds with our insensitive words and condescending looks and silent presumptions and accusations. Let’s give grace to one another because it’s a lot easier for us to fulfill our calling when we have the encouragement of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Just think how far we could go, what heights we could climb, if we could share our true selves and support each other in pursuit of the dreams God has placed in each one of us!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Maybe something has thrown you off course. You’re in a place you’ve never been before, a place so dark you can’t see your way out. Maybe you haven’t heard this in a while and you might not believe it right now but I want to tell you something.

Whoever you are, wherever you are – You are not alone!

You matter. Your dreams matter. God gave them to you for a reason and, even though you may feel misunderstood by others, do not misunderstand this: God has a plan for you that is perfect and bigger and better than anything you can imagine.

Today, if you find yourself peaking out from the shadows, wondering if it’s safe to come into the Light, the answer is yes! Don’t be afraid. Your God-sized dream awaits.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

 

The Beauty of Shadows

“Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain, and see even there, upon this winter’s day, how beautiful the shadows are!” Charles Dickens
FTI+-+Beauty+is+Everywhere


March is a month of transition. And we can hardly wait for winter to turn to spring. 
 
Soon, the days will stretch wide, like the arms of a dear friend coming for a long-awaited visit. And we will be wrapped in light. 

But even the dark of winter serves it’s purpose, causing us to retreat and contemplate the goodness of our God. The One who created this season as well as the next.

Truly, when we look around there is beauty everywhere. And, today, if you are seeing shadows, be thankful.

After all, shadows can’t exist without the sun.

Praying your weekend is beauty-full!
 
Throughout this month, leading up to Easter, I will be writing posts about the shadows that shape us while focusing on the Light that saves us. I hope you will join me!