The Place Where Dreams Live
There is this place
A secret place
For me, it is a scary place . . .
It is the place where dreams live!
Early on in our relationship, Bryan asked me what my dreams are. It was an innocent question, really. What he didn’t realize was that he was peering into a very deep part of my soul. A part I wasn’t ready to peer into myself. A part that terrifies me.
I actually couldn’t answer him. I tried. But, what I realized was that I had shut the door to that part of me . . .
I used to have dreams. I dreamed of living a blessed life with Chad. Of serving God with him. I had seen couples like that . . . couples who had grown in the Lord together and whom one look at them revealed the sweetness of the Lord. That was my dream. I dreamed of raising a family together (there’s that lovely word . . . together).
I have often said that “All the hopes and dreams of a young woman’s heart died along with Chad that day.” That is true because I took so seriously my calling as a wife. Wife was the greatest calling of my life. Wife and Mama.
I know that some of you may think Singer is the biggest calling. “Sarah, that is where God has called you.” Yeah, but not greater than Wife and Mama. As a young mama I used to sing a song written by a dear friend of mine, Paula Stitt. It was called, “Mama is a Minister.” It was all about the fact that as a Mama my ministry was before me all day as I would feed, tend to, and minister to my babies.
It literally took me most of our marriage to trust that it would last. My dad had left me . . . left my mom, when I was 11. It was super hard for me to trust that Chad wouldn’t leave. I grew to trust him. I also had heard throughout my years that if you sinned God wouldn’t bless you. Well, Chad and I were pregnant before we got married . . . hello sin! I stepped into a marriage just certain that we were doomed because we had sinned.
After years of sitting under wonderful teaching at Christian Celebration Center in Midland, MI, I realized that God’s blessings are based on His grace and mercy and on the state of my heart . . . NOT on my perfection. I finally accepted that God could and would and wanted to bless Chad and me.
It finally seemed as if we were living in that blessing and together, we had so many dreams. Dreams of serving Him together. Dreams of our future life. Dreams for our children. Dreams, dreams, dreams.
Then. October 7th.
The hopes and dreams of a 33-year-old’s heart died with him that day.
I even tried again.
I had come to a place of realizing that the life I loved was over and then along came this guy. He loved me. He loved God. Places inside of me that I thought might never smile again . . . smiled. So I dreamed. I dreamed of making a new life. I dreamed of finding a new normal with a new man and a creating a new family.
Then the abuse started. Fourteen months of hell later and we were rescued. I came back to Midland with my tail between my legs. So humiliated. So ashamed.
I guess it was then that I thought it best to stop dreaming. I felt like I had been kicked while I was down. I trusted enough to dream again after Chad died . . . only to wind up flat on my face in heartache again. AGAIN!
Besides . . . who can dream when you have to be practical? Maybe practical is less hurtful . . . less daring. I am the mom and the dad and I just needed a plan. A plan to provide for us. A plan so that when the kids are grown and gone I wouldn’t be staring at four walls with nothing to do. A plan is way less daring than a dream – because I could be in control of that. Get my degree . . . find a job . . . be practical. Yep! That was the way to go.
I even found contentment in the alone. Alone is a tough word when you are so used to ‘together.’ Those of you who knew us know that we were always together. I didn’t know how to be just me. But I did it. Me and God . . . we did it! I found contentment in walking through life as just me. Besides, maybe that isn’t as daring. If I never open my heart up again, I won’t get hurt. Again . . . there is a bit more control there.
Then along comes this guy. I kinda like him. Actually, I really like him. Yes, I even love him. I made a list years ago, not long after Chad died. I thought the list was impossible . . . I guess it wasn’t. He is everything on the list.
Innocently, he asked a question. “Babe, what are your dreams?”
It really did take me by surprise. My dreams? MY dreams? Gosh! I’ve been so busy teaching my kids to dream and figuring out their lives and surviving my own life. Who has had time to dream?
Oh sure . . . I dream of a day without cancer for Mary Helen. I dream of a day without migraines for Micah. I dream of Noah being a man just like his daddy and Abbi having the family she dreams of. Those are easy dreams.
But me? What are my dreams? Oh no, handsome! You don’t understand! We don’t go there.
I think I must have looked at him out of the corner of my eye. “Sarah . . . I want you to dream! If you didn’t have to worry about ALL that stuff . . . what would you dream of?”
Oh dear! That unlocks a door! I’ve done all of that. I’ve allowed myself to dream before! I even dared to try again. I am so tired of my heart breaking! I am so tired of weeping . . . and weeping again.
Do I dare? Do I dare dream the biggest dream that lives in my heart?
That means I have to trust. I know what you are thinking . . . trust Bryan. No. This has nothing to do with trusting a man.
To dream, my friend, means that I have to trust God.
Oh! I trust Him. I trust Him to catch me if I fall. I trust that if it all falls apart again and I wind up heartbroken again that He will hold me, sustain me, and restore me. Been there. Done that. I guess ultimately that is the best trust to have.
But what I long for is to trust God . . . with my dreams. With the deep down parts of who I am that I have hidden from myself and from Him. What I long for is to trust God with my fears, my hopes, my longings . . . with my happy!
What I long for is to trust God to let me soar! Arms wide open. Completely abandoned!
A long, happy life with a man who loves and adores me? Could that be? Could that actually happen in my life? LONG term? My dad left. Chad died. Jim abused. . . Could I actually just have the life I see so many others live?
I guess I won’t know if I don’t try.
I want to dare! I want to trust God with that part of my heart!
I am choosing to trust God with my heart, and in doing so, with my dreams. I am choosing to dream. It is frightening, friends.
So, come along with me! I guess you could say I am walking out a new faith journey. Not one of trusting in the bad. I’m good at that. No. Today I am learning to trust in the good!
I am learning to trust God with the piece of my heart that I thought might just stay dark . . . forever. Today, I offer God ALL of my heart. The parts that plan, the practical parts, the terrified parts, and yes, even the dreaming parts.
Come along with me, friends. I am going to dream. Maybe you should too . . .
“There is hope in your future.”