Sunday, February 27, 2011


What are your dreams?

Funny.  I'm writing this even as my children and husband are watching the movie Gifted Hands.  But here's the brutal truth... I'm in a slump.   Some kind of weird funk.  That strange space between final safety checks and the actual jump.  That exhilarating, heart-thumping, toes-hanging-over-the-edge moment... the one where fear shows up and tries to talk some kind of complacent sense into my illogical, radical idea... the moment when I'm just. about. to jump.

To take that vulnerable leap.

A couple of weeks ago, after I finished tucking blankets under chins, saying prayers of blessing, relishing seconds of silence, a switch flipped inside me.  THAT switch.  The one where... oh, goodness... you know the one.  It's that switch where the red light flashes brilliantly on my emotional dashboard.  The one that comes on after I've mulled over some nagging question all day or analyzed some topic until steam begins to pour from my emotional radiator.

LeRoy was already in bed.  I paused for a nanosecond, considering how rude it'd be to wake my already-showered, soundly-sleeping, have-to-get-up-in-the-morning-to-work husband.  But my rudeness won out.  And, bless this man with supernatural forbearance!  He threw back the covers, his command, loving, gentle, "You talk.  I'll listen."

I stood there in the shower.  Emotion, heavy with frustration -- indignation, really -- poured from my heart, soul's soliloquy with husband, my soul mate, listening intently to every word. 

Angst, passion, hopes, disappointments, hurts, and dreams tumbled out.  I traveled down the road of comparing myself to others, crumbled under the weight of not measuring up, entertained defeat. 

"I am so, so glad, LeRoy," the champagne-setting on the shower head nozzle washed over me, "that you and the children love me just because I'm me and not for any kind of success or accomplishment... not for my performance."  The last words sputtered through broken sobs.  He embraced me long, the strength of him protecting me from utter despair, my tears falling on his already shower-wet shoulder.

To be naked.  Vulnerable.  And... loved.

All this mental box-checking causes me to dwell in a place of shame and self-condemnation... self-pity.  A place where I'm tempted to succumb to self-loathing over unchecked boxes.  Complacency has appeal, however depressing.  I click on the computer game Luxor and fritter away almost three hours, stare off into space, eat three-fourths of an extra large bag of peanut M&M's in one sitting.

Passion is a tricky thing.  It fires me up, helps me see goals with renewed clarity, fuels motivation.  But just as quickly, I am my own worst critic.  I begin to edit myself, second-guess, doubt the wisdom of not going along with convention.  Dreams get muddled and I am embarrassed at the vulnerability and nakedness of being wrong.  The possibility of all that risk entails.

"Maybe this is a year of breakthroughs."  LeRoy said it casually in a conversation about goals and direction for the coming months.  I didn't volley hope back, but instead grasped desperate at the encouragement-laden words.

Maybe.  What if.  To be vulnerable enough to dream.  To be okay with outcomes I can't possibly anticipate... or with {gasp} dreaded outcomes.  Would it be the end of me?  And what if it were?  And what if all sense of self-preservation, this survivor mentality, was stripped away, leaving my heart exposed?  And what if all that I've held onto were left at the door, leaving nothing to hold onto but God and finding out that He's all I've ever needed.  To find out that all my successes and failures, performances and painful lack thereof were always superficial coverings after all.

What if I lived a naked existence... with the full on realization that I have everything I need.  It's more a statement than a question.

What if I show up in the moments of the day already full.  Filled with the abundance of Grace.  Grace tangible in the breaths I take, in each heartbeat.  Grace in the challenge and pursuit of dreams.  To let the moments stack up until Grace -- not performance -- is revealed.

Does this mean no more box-checking?  Could my day unfold naturally, holistically, without my manipulating and controlling... void of cancerous comparisons?  To live confidently on the offensive?  In complete freedom?

What if.

"Encountering the living God and receiving a fresh revelation of His heart both give us a greater hunger for freedom in our own lives and require us to 'set the captives free.'  This appetite drives us past the cultural norms and fuels us with supernatural courage...  Revival ignites life in people to press against the limitations and boundaries of society.  It calls to the deepest parts of mankind and screams 'Freedom!' so loudly that the same cry comes out of our mouths.

This is where we stand as a movement in our generation.  We are in the throes of a reformation.  No longer will we tolerate the status quo of an externally governed existence.  No longer will we accept training in powerlessness."    ~ Danny Silk, Culture of Honor

To dream big dreams just feels vulnerable.  Naked.  It's not really, though.  Right? 

"Sometimes that which ignites us with indignation burns a hole through the wall to a revelation."  ~ Beth Moore, Esther  

These are the questions I'm asking myself, (so I thought I'd ask you, too): What fuels your dreams?  What dreams feel so immense that they cause you to feel exposed?  What indignation has given you a revelation?  What are you doing about it?

1 comment:

  1. I was okay until you asked such pointed questions at the end. Oh my!:)

    I do know, or at least I have learned, that I am incapable, helpless and had better give up rather than try harder.