I’ve been dreaming since I was a little girl.
I dreamed of being a figure skater when I was 5.
I dreamed of being a ballerina when I was 8.
I dreamed of being a writer when I was 13.
I dreamed of getting married when I was 23.
It seems like sometimes those days of dreaming are long gone. Lost among the everyday ordinariness of living life.
But the dreamer in me hasn’t gone anywhere. I think part of me will always be a dreamer.
Throughout my life, my dreams have expanded and changed, some were realized while others remain incomplete. But along the way I’ve discovered that my dreams aren’t only about what I want to do. They’re far more about my relationship with God because he first whispered them to my heart.
Sometimes it’s the dreams that I’ve thought I’ve abandoned that send me running fast to him. It’s there that I pour out my heart and he turns my gaze away from the circumstances of the dream that have become a little fuzzy. What I thought I saw so clearly isn’t understandable anymore. And what comes into focus is God. Every dream draws me to him where I unexpectedly find new and different and deeper ways to know him.
I’ve never been the kind of girl who dreamed of being a princess bride or who thought she would walk down the aisle in a belle of the ball gown. I get uncomfortable as the center of attention, when every eye is turned on me. But what seems like too many years ago now, I thought about a wedding of my own for awhile. But it all fell apart and we went our separate ways and I got busy.
With my career, with friends, with many other things that fill up the days and weeks and months. Before I knew it, years went by. But sometimes, a tiny glow from that dream still flickers.
I’m very sure that I didn’t take the wrong road. I’m not on a detour. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I tell God that I want to follow after him. That I’ll go where he leads. Then I find myself in a place I didn’t want to be. I tell God I'm wondering how I got here.
It's there I hear him whisper, You didn't just end up here, I led you here.
I realize he’s with me in those places of doubt and discouragement. I picture him calling my name, with all the love he has for me. And when I turn to him, then he will lead me out. To new places of promise.
My dreams were meant to lead me. Not to the dream itself, but to the one who is the giver of my dreams. I remind myself that whatever God brings to my life is better for me than anything I could dream of on my own. Trusting him is better than chasing after any dream I could yearn for. I know that God wants me to keep dreaming new dreams for as long as I live.
As a little girl I was in awe of ballerinas and ice skaters. For my fifth birthday, I wanted to go to the Ice Capades. My mother said I fell asleep halfway through the show, but all I knew was that ice skating was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. And I wanted to be a skater.
I was a teenager when I took my first skating lesson. It quickly became clear that there were no Olympic medals in my future. My weak ankles turned over and wobbled in my skates. My uncoordinated moves made it difficult to execute even the simplest elements. But I refused to let that girlish dream die.
Years later, I met a coach who was willing to take on adult students. I was excited to learn everything, even if they were half-jumps and two-footed spins, the most basic of skating elements. I picked myself up and tried again every time I fell. Eventually I competed in an adult competition. (I wrote about it here.) It didn’t matter what I looked like to anyone watching, in my heart I was a figure skater.
Dreams are meant to change and grow along with us. Dreaming of being a ballerina or figure skater were girlhood fancies that weren’t meant to come true. But they showed me what dreaming was all about.
And many of my dreams have come true. My dream of writing for a career has come true with a job in communications. My dream of writing for pleasure has come true with my blog. My dream of decorating a place of my own has come true several times over. Along the way surprising dreams that I didn't even know I had have come true.
Today my dreams are much different than pink ballet slippers and gleaming figure skates. My dreams hold the same things I’ve always yearned for. Beauty and grace and loveliness. But joining them are dreams of courage and hope and faith.
I'll always hold my dreams of yesterday very close to my heart because they helped shape the dreams of my future. And I'm still dreaming. Of new adventures. New opportunities. New journeys.
Those are my dreams today, tomorrow and maybe for the rest of my life.
Today I'm linking up with God-sized Dreams. Click the image to read their stories about their dreams!