"We spend our lives dreaming of the future, not realizing that a little of it slips away every day." Barbara Johnson
When I was young I was such a dreamer! Our family was part of the great middle class that came to be after World War II. My father was one of the young soldiers that enlisted right out of high school. He left the family farm where he had known poverty and saw people and places he had only read about in his small town library. When he did return he quickly married a very young girl from a tiny, tiny Texas town and together they began a life of travel and parties and upward mobility. I never lived the life they had grown up in. I grew up neither rich nor poor--in the middle. I loved to read books about other lands and other lifestyles. Television was a huge part of my home life. I grew up in America; the land of opportunity, the land where dreams could come true if you worked hard enough for them. So I dreamed.
As a little girl I dreamed of being Miss America, of being a movie star, of living a life of glamor in New York City. In my angst filled teenage years I dreamed of boys, marriage, babies but also of being a hippie and living in a commune, of protesting in Washington D.C. and making a difference in the world. I dreamed of singing like Joanie Mitchell, dancing Swan Lake and winning an Academy Award--the world was exciting and filled with promise.
Somewhere along the years the dreams got smaller and smaller until one day in my forties I realized they had disappeared. I no longer dreamed of my future and what I might be able to achieve if I just worked hard enough. Had I gotten to a place of contentment or complacency--or defeat? I looked backwards alot now and in the dark times I was looking back at all of the dreams that had not come true. I hadn't done any of the great things I had dreamed of in my youth. I had married and raised children. At the time that seemed to be all I could handle.
Now, the children I raised are gone. They are in that period of life where they are trying to achieve their own dreams. I see it in the way they live their lives. They are very busy people. I tried the other day to think about dreams I might want to revive for the balance of my life. I had a hard time thinking of any. Then I read the quote by Barbara Johnson and it made the light bulb go off. I really don't want to spend the remainder of my days dreaming. So much time has already slipped away. For the time left I want to just trust. Trust that my Heavenly Father will achieve those things in me that He planned before I was even born. Trust that I'm not going to miss anything that He has for me. Trust that, if I'll just surrender my plans and dreams to Him, He will guide my life and give me the desires of my heart. I want to build my future on trust not dreams because in that trust are the promises.
"For I know the plans I have for you--declares the Lord. Plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
He always knew His plans for me--and for you. He always knew that I wasn't going to live an amazing life in New York City, but He knew that two of my children would. He knew I wasn't ever going to be a hippie and work to change the world, but He knew that my oldest son would. He knew I wasn't going to ever win the Academy Award, but He knew that my daughter would be an amazing actress who might. He knew His plans for me were to raise children who would be so much braver and brighter and that they would do amazing things that I could only dream of. He knew He would give me spiritual children to nurture and love and one day those spiritual kids would do so much more then anything I could dream of accomplishing. He knew that these things would bring me more joy and fulfillment then any of the silly dreams I had dreamed on my own.
I'm in this new stage of my life--not wasting an instant dreaming of what I'll be one day, but trusting the Lord for each day, for each moment. I want the balance of my life to be exactly what He wants it to be. I want to accomplish all that He has for me to do. I want to be the "good and faithful servant" and to trust Him for the results.
I know there are some of you who are reading this who have had your dreams crushed and destroyed--maybe even today. I know how badly that hurts and I'm sorry that you are going through that pain, but I want you to know that you aren't going to miss "it". "It" may not look like the dream you have been dreaming--mine certainly didn't--but "it" will look exactly like God's plan for your life from the beginning. His good and loving plan for you. If you've been struggling and trying so hard to be or to earn or to achieve and you just can't get there, please know that there is another way--a better way--God's way. Trust His word, hold on tight to His promises. What does He promise you? If you are His child--you've prayed and asked Him to forgive your sins and to be your Savior--He promises you Jeremiah 29:11 and so much more!