For as long as I can remember, I have had an inability to dream.
Not a Sydney-Bristow-fighting-Lauren-in-the-walk-in-fridge-dream (one of my favorite Alias episodes!) But a think outside the realm of realistic expectation kind of dreaming.
Stories of people like Christopher Columbus amaze me. Everyone knew that the world was flat; it was fact. How Columbus ever dreamt the idea that the world might be something other than what he aways knew it to be is wonder to me.
God, the ultimate inventor, is a dreamer. He spoke and the world was made. Every little detail of it. This is incredibly amazing to me.
I’ve never had any extravagant fantasies of travelling the world or becoming a world-famous author or actor (good thing, as I am not very good at either). You will not find me in line with the masses ready to be the next American Idol. I didn’t even dream about Prince Charming or the big wedding I would have — I was much too practical for that. (Though, I did get my Prince Charming and a beautiful wedding!)
This is not to say that I don’t make goals. I set goals for myself all the time; some may even be considered “lofty” and hard to attain. But somewhere inside I know that the goal is doable. Difficult, but doable.
There was a time I thought I wanted to become a doctor. This may seem like a dream, but in my mind I knew I could do it. It would be a hard, long road, but I could have become a doctor. I loved science and math, studying, taking tests and I was pretty good at it all. (Ok, go ahead a say it- I AM A NERD.) Ultimately, I felt God leading me down a different road and when I followed, it wasn’t giving up a dream; it was redirecting my goals.
Dreaming is scary to me. There are too many unknowns and a high likelihood of failure, and failure is a hard pill for me to swallow. I default towards avoiding things which I think I might fail at and stick with things I know I could eventually master.
I’ve even gone as far as to think of the worst-case scenario and expect it to happen. Somewhere around when I turned 21, I began to assume that I wasn’t going to get married. That way if God had chosen the single road for me, I wouldn’t be crushed when I realized it. Or, when I was pregnant with Kenneth I kept preparing my mind for the worst. I kept my heart pretty distant from it all. The unknown was scary, and if something bad was going to happen I wanted to be ready for it.
Thankfully, the Lord has intervened and has been doing the slow work of making me vulnerable. Opening my heart to love, live and dream.