Yesterday morning I climbed the stairs to my office room, sat down at my desk and lit a candle. There is nothing special about this, it’s a near daily activity I like to do before the sun fully rises. This is the space between my waking and my reality, before the kids rouse for breakfast and schooling and too many activities for a tired mama to face without having had some time to think about things other than school and laundry, and what on earth we’re having for dinner. These are my morning hours.
On my desk, sits a notebook, a floppy moleskine purchased in a three-pack at a book store. Its nothing fancy, it’s plain, nondescript. It’s as unorganized as I am , holding within it’s pages everything from workout repetition counts, to my next book idea.There’s a page full of simple math, where I crunched numbers for the upcoming Refine Retreat, and a page full of notes from a conversation with an editor about a different project. It holds prayer requests and the random grocery list, followed by to-do’s and names of people I’d like to meet. But there are other pages in there, 3 pages in particular, that I hadn’t read since the day I scribbled across them.
I thought I could handle those words. I had just told a friend the day before, how they no longer stung and I had “moved on”, but as it turns out, that wasn’t entirely true.
The sting of a difficult word can be a slow wound to heal.
I have stared hard at those words and prayed about what parts of them (if any) are true, and what parts of them are completely false–what do I need to keep, and what do I need to throw away? I’ve swung the ugly pendulum of believing all of them to be true, and allowed that weight to sink me, and then I’ve flung back to a place where I’ve ignored it all. But the truth, as they say, is somewhere in the middle. And so rather than burn the fragments of a difficult conversation, I hold on to it, I continue to pray over it, while trying not to let the sharp parts cut me too deeply.
What I have decided not to let it do, is kill a dream.
Self-awareness can be both exciting and difficult, because to be truly aware, we have to face our light and our dark. Our strengths and our weaknesses. You can’t ignore any of it. So the discouraging words spoken to me weeks ago will sit here in this journal while I figure out what bits are for growth, and what portion must be rejected.
What I want to say to you is this, if someone has spoken a difficult word to you, I am sorry. If you have sat by while someone has stripped you down of the vision God has planted in you, my heart hurts with yours. I know your ache. But after you have grieved the cutting, you need to bring your people around you, ask them to pray over you, and you need to get up and keep walking out that vision. You need to keep going.
The thing about God-given dreams is that not everyone will “get” what you are doing. Sometimes, you’re chasing a unicorn that no one else can see, and you look plumb-crazy to the world. But not to God. Not to the Dreamgiver who has set your feet on the wild path of obedience and hope.
You need to run your own race, no matter how crooked the trail appears to be. God will send you the people and resources you need. You’re not building the dream, your responding to a call. The success or failure of the vision you carry is not dependent on your skills, assets, or gifting, but on your obedience to keep going.
I re-read those difficult words yesterday, and ate 7 truffles out of my birthday box of chocolates. I sat on the porch of a dear friend and we spun our dreams out into the air between us, gossamer threads of a holy tapestry and our tears watered the seeds God has planted in each of us. He is doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?
Not everyone will believe in your God-dreams. Some will tell you flat out, “you don’t have a big enough idea”, but friend, If God has given you a dream, it is enough.
Just keep going.