Dreams I've Dreamed

This past weekend, I participated in a girls weekend for our junior high and senior high students.  I spoke for the final session about God's love and how it changes us.  As I was prepping for it last week, I dug out some of my old journals that I've kept over the years.  One of the things that our staff impressed on the girls, was the discipline of journaling and what that looked like from many different perspectives.  You know from my last giveaway that journaling is right up my alley, so I really wanted to incorporate how God has used that in my journey with Him in my talk.  I found a series of entries, 7 that I chose, from my journey to praying for, meeting, falling in love with and marrying Travis.  I read each of them to the girls and then drove home the point about how much my life changed when God brought Travis into my life and when I knew that he loved me.  I went to Florida a single, college grad embarking on my first "real world" experience and I left over a year later, married with a new calling, purpose and role because of the man I met and his love for me.  In a similar way, when you experience the love of God in your own life and begin to believe His word and His promises, one of the most telling ways to know if you are believing God and what He says about you, is in the way that you love Him and others in response.  Authentic heart changes always manifest themselves in real, authentic life changes.  It was a fun thing to share with them and I think they got a kick out of hearing my love-struck entries about Trav! I was totally head over heels in love with him then and I'm happy to say that I still am today! 

But, as I was flipping through my old journals, I ended up spending a considerable amount of time reading as many of my entries as I could.  It was such a fun and reflective thing for me to remember so many of those emotions and the ups and downs of what God was showing me at that point in my life.  I found a particular entry that was almost unbelievable to me and I thought it would be a fun one to share with you.  

I'll spare you the sappy opening, but basically it was a letter that I wrote to Travis about the dreams I had for our future.  We weren't at a point in our relationship where we were talking about "our future" but we were very, very close.  I was waiting for Trav to initiate that conversation, but it didn't stop me from dreaming every day about it!  Rather than jump the gun and tell him what I was feeling, I decided to journal about it instead :) Good move on my part!  I think I might have freaked him out with all my details!!  Anyway, here's what I wrote on March 6, 2003.  We were dating but not yet engaged and having lots of talks about what we thought the next 10 years might hold for each of us...This is what I hoped it held for both of us....

"I want you to know what my dreams are and what I think about when I think of us.  These aren't expectations, just thoughts and desires I think the Lord has put on my heart....I imagine us being at a Church, serving the students there- high school or college.  We live in an apartment or condo that we keep as open as we can to have people over as much as we can.  Of course I am cooking for lots of people all the time, but I love it because that's one of the ways I show my love.  You are spending time with kids, both one on one and as a group, challenging them, discipling them, encouraging them and most importantly, loving them.  I imagine us going to games and plays and concerts and activities that those kids are involved in.  I know they're excited to have you there and thrilled to know that you're interested in them.  I hope we stay "young" and "cool" by surrounding ourselves with students, but I really hope we are spiritual leaders in their lives and I hope they see us as a source of love and wisdom and truth.  

I want us to work together as a team.  I hope to support you first and to satisfy you in our marriage and at home so that I can do my part in allowing you to be who God's called you to be.  I see us spending time together everyday, placing the health of "us" before the health of our ministry.  I hope that we spend time together in prayer and in the Word as often as we can, lifting one another up to Jesus and placing a great value in our relationships with the Lord above all else.  Travis I see us strengthening that friendship all the time.  Hard times and struggles will come, but we'll cling to the Father and to one another to weather the storm together.  

I dream about us starting a family together, raising kids in a stable, Christ centered home.  I dream of several little ones in our own little family and I see us giving them back to the Lord to be used by Him.  I see our family as our priority over ministry.  I want to provide a loving, stable, Godly home based on a strong, Christ honoring marriage.  I see our marriage as the best gift we can ever give them, next to the truth about Jesus.  I imagine going on vacation as a family, spending time with our friends, getting together with our extended families and just doing life together day after day.  

The best part about my dream for us, is waking up and going to bed next to you, every single day, ready to take on whatever God sends our way..."

I read that on Saturday night and was amazed at how closely my dreams of 7 years ago have mirrored our current life today.  Only the Lord could have put those specific dreams on my heart, all those years ago, already preparing me for the life He has designed for us.  Not all of it has become reality and we certainly have a ways to go before we hit all those goals, but the overall dream remains the same.  He was preparing me for a life in ministry as a love-struck 23 year old and helping me realize what that lifestyle would bring.  I laughed that even then, I didn't set myself up for dreams of a big house or rambling property :) Just an apartment or condo!  Looks like that dream came true!  I thought we'd be in college ministry, not junior high, but the nuts and bolts of our heart for students remain the same.  I love the dreams of family life and how the Lord is faithfully growing our little brood!  I still pray for those same aspirations, to keep the Lord as the center of our home and to put our marriage and our kids before ministry.  And certainly, I want to raise my kids with open hands, knowing that ultimately they belong to the Lord and not to us...But as a mother now, I realize that is much easier said than done.  

After I read this, I thought it would probably be a wise goal to take some time to dream and seek the Lord about the next 10 years of our lives and the dreams and desires He has for us.  I love how faithful the Lord is in every season, to weave our hearts and days together when we seek Him above all else.  I don't fear the future, although I have no idea what it holds, simply because I know WHO holds my future and I've seen Him time and time again care for my every step along the way.  I put more value in God's word than in my dreams, but what a blessing to realize that in these last 7 years, He has truly given me the desires of my heart!  

"Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4


Rebecca Jo said...

So cool to go back & look at where you were at & what you thought the future would hold...

its funny, I just found my old journals from middle school - back in 1985 & my journals through high school... my husband said, "You always kept journals" ... I told him I was blogging before blogging existed! :)

Anonymous said...

This was so cool to read - thank you for sharing!