Friday, May 6, 2011

Practicing a reverent pondering of dreams

After finding myself hanging out on another blog this week - belonging to a mom, probably not more than ten years older than me (if that), with nine children (five of whom are adopted) - I've felt something I haven't felt in awhile. Wrecked, in a good way. Emotions and desires and dreams I thought were long lost have paid me another visit, and I confess, I don't want them to leave. I'm hesitant to talk too much about it, because as a writer, I constantly fight the temptation to get stuck in a whirlpool of my words. I swirl round and round and round again, never actually getting anywhere I want to go. It's challenging for me, at times, to translate my words into a plan, into action. And the thought of relegating this dream to merely a written-about desire is a tragic thought. I want to tread lightly, even reverently, on this ground.

I want to treasure this in my heart, the way Mary pondered the things she heard and witnessed when she was raising the Son of God. When she carried him in the womb, birthed him and raised him from infancy, to boyhood, to young adulthood, and then, released him to manhood. When I read those words in the gospel story, I imagine her taking these things and placing them carefully in a treasure chest that only she had access to. She didn't run out and share them with every person she met, or even every close person in her life. I could use some more of that reverent safe-keeping of intangible treasures in my life.

But as I've recently disclosed, it has seemed that I no longer have any dreams for the future. Whereas I used to live in my dreams, my aim and challenge now is to live fully in each day. If I were to be honest with myself, however, I would have to admit that there are two dreams I am aware of that I still possess. They have hung in there with me and weathered the storms of the past several years, and so, I am growing to believe that they are here to stay. Knowing that, and knowing the way I've lived in my dreams before, I desire to hold them lightly. As if they did not belong to me, because in truth, I know they do not. Dreams do not belong to any of us. They are gifts that may be given or taken away at any moment. If we do not cling to those dreams, they do not have the power to break our spirits when they are lost. But I'm getting off on a tangent here.

In grad school, my dream was never to be a counselor, oddly enough. I wanted to work with refugee trauma survivors, ideally in other countries, to support them in their journey to healing. I wanted to do this largely through the power of story-telling. That is, being a witness to their stories and helping them tell their stories to others. This was the beginning of the theme of "beautiful rubbish", and I didn't even have those words for it at the time. Well, as great as that dream was, I can't say I still have it as it was. And I've come to accept that. The interesting thing is, the components of that dream haven't actually disappeared, merely morphed into a rearranged version of the old.

Only God knows how these may or may not materialize. My only role at the moment seems to be treasuring them in my heart, continuing to live each day, and seeing what he does.


  1. Dreams fail often....but that doesn't make God's plan any less exciting!!

  2. True, indeed. Unfortunately, it seems a lot harder to live that out in practice, rather than in theory.