Lately, I've been getting more personal on here. Maybe it's because it's therapy, maybe it's because I'm convinced someone needs to hear what I have to say, or maybe I just have a hope that my words matter. My hope from my personal storytelling is to encourage others who are standing where I once stood.
Today, let's talk about dreams.
I don't mean sleeping dreams, I'm talking dreams of the heart.
Have you ever realized how we're naturally conditioned to forfeit some dreams simply by circumstance? I'll give you a perfect example ...
In 2016, I lost my ability to forever have children from my womb. Knowing fully well I would need a surgery for health reasons and wanting to feel okay with my decision, I emotionally prepared myself months prior. Before walking out of the hospital with no uterus, I had dreamed of a family with four or five kids. Flash forward to entering that hospital and I accepted my future - if I couldn't bare children naturally, I wouldn't have any.
I put my deepest desire into a box and kept it on the highest shelf where it would be safe from disappointment. I went on believing I actually didn't want kids for the next two years, and I had decided how my life would be: maybe a husband, a dog, and a tiny house. I settled.
Recently when I was strumming my guitar and singing, something swam deep inside me --- and I remembered. I remembered my strong desire of wanting to be a mother, I remembered my desire to bear children from my own body. All of my deepest desires came back to me. And tears streamed down my cheeks, the sting of pain cutting my heart. In that moment, I welcomed my dream and opened myself up to the possibility of adopting or surrogacy. In that moment, I reclaimed a piece of my soul I had tucked away with that box. I stood on my tiptoes, reaching on the highest shelf, and opened the box to put that piece of myself back where it belonged. I had given up my dreams because it had to be my way or nothing at all. More than that, I had given up because I wanted to avoid facing the pain of my deepest truth: I would never have what I truly wanted.
What are you giving up because circumstances have told you it's not possible? What dreams are you keeping in a box safe from the brilliant light of discomfort?
If there's anything I've learned, it's that we aren't defined by our desires, our vision, our dreams. We are shaped by our faith - not in circumstances or having our desires met - but in God.
No one is guaranteed to see dreams come to pass in this life. We are simply not guaranteed the luxury of being given exactly what we want.
When we are deep in throes of grief, disappointment, loss, and hopelessness, it's only natural to put pieces of our souls high upon shelves. We feel protected that way. We feel safe from shame, disappointment, guilt, and fear. We feel safe from pain. If your heart is being stirred for something and there is a mixture of remorse, take it as a sign to reclaim your deepest desires, not for the sake of clinging to them for your happiness or security, but for the chance to have a faith that will give you new life.