Friday, September 10, 2010

My dreams are me, aren’t they?

My hands hold safely to my dreams
Clutching tightly not one has fallen
So many years I’ve shaped each one
Reflecting my heart showing who I am
Now You’re asking me to show
What I’m holding Oh so tightly
Can’t open my hands can’t let go
Does it matter?
Should I show You?
Can’t You let me go?

Surrender, Surrender You whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can’t You see?
My dreams are me, My dreams are me

You say You have a plan for me
And that You want the best for my life
Told me the world had yet to see
What You can do with one
That’s committed to Your calling
I know of course what I should do
That I can’t hold these dreams forever
If I give them now to You
Will You take them away forever?
Or can I dream again?

Surrender, Surrender You whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can’t You see?
My dreams are me, My dreams are me

-Barlow Girl’s “Surrender”

A few days ago I decided to finally start posting information about this blog on my facebook, twitter, & myspace in addition to telling people about it who aren’t directly related to my struggle. I’m excited about what God can do with these words, but I have to admit I’m a little scared of people seeing my vulnerability. I remember thinking I would wait until I had written a few so that the first one will only been seen by people who are really nosy (haha I know it’s a LOT of reading) or genuinely curious. But as people started asking me about that, I realized how wrong those feelings were. God led me write what I felt that day, there was a reason for it. So, if you are reading this for the first time, I encourage you to consider going back and reading them in order, to gain perspective for the growth God is putting me through (and maybe a way to help you through yours).

This blog has been a great way for me to examine my feelings and give me a focus on something more than my struggles. It has been challenging, encouraging, & somewhat shocking! I have learned so much this last week about myself, none more surprising than the realization that I’m actually a decent writer. Who knew?? Guess college wasn’t a bust after all (haha)! Maybe I learned something along the way with my 100+/- papers I wrote in my voyage to getting my Psychology degree (English minor). I have been told that it sounds like the making of a good book. I was like: “Wait, what? Me? A book writer?” I’m not sure that’s what I want to do or even possible that I have enough talent to do so. So what’s my point? Do I feel like God is telling me to write a book? No. Do I feel like God is telling me not to write a book? No. So you ask, what is God telling you? Maybe, just maybe that He has a different plan, a bigger plan for me than I could dream up myself.
Last week I saw a quote on my cousin’s facebook that shook me so much that I stopped and wrote it down: “Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.” I feel like all this time I have been focused on what dreams seem like they won’t be coming true, about the dreams God is asking me to surrender. I never really stopped to think about the dreams this time is preparing me for (the ones I have no idea right now I want).

As I talked to my sweet best friend last night (that I am missing so much right now), I was reminded of a time two years ago. Of things I said and actions I did that I’m not proud of. I thought about how much I have changed in these last two years, how I’m not the same (somewhat bitter) person I was then. My dreams and hopes for myself and other people have changed too along with my change. What about two years from now? I’m sure I won’t be the same person struggling that I am today, so why would my dreams be the same? What about 10, 20, even thirty years from now?

Nancy Beach (a seasoned perspective from the previously mentioned Perspectives book) said, “God replaced my original dream with one that fits me, stretches me, and fulfills me to my toes. I could never have predicted this in my twenties. I had no idea. And now when life doesn’t go according to my plans, I try to remember that God just might have a better idea.”

The truth is, just because I dreamed of certain things and thought things would be a certain way when I was 10, 15, 18, 21, 25, and now 27 doesn’t mean I have to keep thinking the same way and living life depending on things to be the same. I have a bad habit of assuming someone feels a certain way based on the way they act or don’t act. I know it’s totally not fair of me to do that, but I admit I do. When people don’t respond to me the way I want or think they should, I automatically assume they dislike me (hey, I never claimed to have good self-esteem). Because of my controlling nature, I allow this rule the way I feel about myself and the choices I make. What if I stop letting that kind of perspective stand in my way? What if I suddenly learned to accept those things I cannot change? I would start live with no expectations (that seems impossible for me). Without expectations, I could be free to do what’s right, regardless of my fears. So what if I apply this to the way I look at my dreams? If today I stopped living based on my expectations of those dreams I think my life would change drastically.

I added the above lyrics to the Barlow Girl song “Surrender” because the lyrics hit spot on what I (and I’m sure most people) feel about what God is asking, what surrendering means to my fragile heart. But it also reminds me of another fragile time in my life when I first heard this song. I was 21 and moving out of my parent’s house. Change is hard for me and I was at an awkward time where I had no idea what God could be or was doing in my life. I remember vividly how broken this song would make me feel. Like my dreams were so far away, so unattainable and God would take them from me, that I had no right to dream at all. Those dreams (although some are the same for me now) were forged in a time of weakness where I was wandering lost. Those dreams were created to be my light in a world I felt was dark. They were supposed to change me. Looking back I see how different my heart is already. How God isn’t asking me to give up my dreams in return for a life of no dreaming. He’s asking me to give Him the old stuff, the dreams of brokenness and let Him be my dream. Let my dreams be the result of my change. From there, every dream I create is about and centered in Him. My future husband is dreamed with the intention of building a life with someone who will share my walk with Christ. My future children are dreamed with the intention of creating beautiful hearts for God. My career, home, hobbies are now to glorify God in whatever capacity He allows. Yes, my dreams are me, so I want to make sure they reflect the real me, the me God is continually transforming .

Who knows maybe one day you will be downloading some of this material to your kindle or (the more likely scenario) I may continue to write for a while until my focus shifts to some other creative outlet. I don’t know what my future holds or how my dreams will continue to shift as my focus does. But I do know, whatever God has in store will be amazing, it will be perfectly hand crafted for me.

What are your fears about surrendering? Are you afraid that if you give God your dreams He won’t allow you to dream again? How does it make you feel knowing that every dream you have can’t possibly compare to the dreams He has for you?

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