Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.Proverbs 13:12
If you have been a long-term reader of this blog, you may remember a 2019 post about the dream of my son. In that post, I shared the very real hope of motherhood though I was neither a wife nor a mother.
I wish I could tell you that in two years everything changed…that I found my husband and we did, indeed, have that son. But that hasn’t happened for me yet.
In my thirties, I felt all the ticks of my biological clock. I was the only aunt of my two-now-three neices and nephew. I thought of all my happy childhood memories with cousins and felt the burden to provide them. I didn’t have the resources to adopt; all I could give them were fur cousins. I resolved to be the best Auntie I could be as I waited–somewhat grumpily–to be a mother.
The weight of that motherhood burden was so heavy that I used to periodically check in with my neices and ask how they felt about not having cousins. At first, it bothered them. Over time, they became thankful and didn’t care; they were happy to have Auntie Becca all to themselves. I played with them. I listened to them. I encouraged their dreams. When they grew older, they protected that investment and wouldn’t let anyone call themselves an “aunt” in their lives but me.
There have been moments when I have felt nothing but bitterness and rage over my lost dreams. How could God give me such a vivid dream if it is never to come to pass? Was it even God at all? Does He even exist/care/see me?
I have been through more than my fair share of negative spirals over this. Nothing hurts quite like having a dream deferred. Then God broke through with a different perspective:
Within me there is a tidal wave of love for my husband and children, but I hold back the tide for when they arrive. I have learned to hold the dream of them loosely in my heart, and I don’t live my days with my head on swivel trying to find them.
I let God into my everyday life.
Now I live choosing daily to focus on Him and what I do have not what I don’t. Sometimes that takes playing the same worship song over and over till I get the anthem that God loves me and that really is enough. Other days, it is joyous adventure led by His Hand. Either way, it is a better life than the life before focused on tragedy and lack.
Patience is not a virtue I wear well; I have to fight for it.
I have to fight to have it at all, really. Time itself is a reminder of patience. Having just 24 hours in a day when you need 28 makes you realize not everything happens as quickly as you may want it to. I can struggle and work hard and give myself barely a minute to eat of sleep while I try to get everything done, or I can accept my limitations, do my best, and trust God with the rest. Life always turns out better with option 2.
God’s waiting room is not a punishment; it is how He works. It took 15 years for David to go from the anointing to becoming King. It took 25 years for Abraham to go from the promise of fathering nations to hearing that first cry of Issac.
God guides us one step at a time expecting us to do the best we can, and what happens next hinges on the faithfulness to the step–the opportunity–he has for us right now.Pastor Andrew Price, The Bridge Church, Mount Olive, NC
There are things I have to do right now to be a good steward of all my resources and a prepared home for the blessings I believe God has in my future. I take that responsibility seriously. I guard my investments of time, money, and talent diligently. Sometimes that means I have to say “no”–even to people counting on me to say “yes”.
Trusting God is not passive.
I’ve come to believe that my life is no longer about achieving a certain goal in my personal life or career. I think, more than anything, it is about living life with Christ, being a good steward of all He gives me, and finding joy in the journey.
I don’t want to just store up treasures for some future glory; I want to find treasure in my everyday life and enjoy it too.
The treasure looks like many different things:
- It is that friend that has been encouraging me for years.
- It is the money slipped into my hand at Christmas to protect my pride and honor my commitments.
- It is the play put on with excellence at my local theater that filled my heart with pride and artistic comfort.
- It is the moment spent enjoying a good meal with loved ones.
- It is sitting unplugged from electronics and crocheting or knitting something new to wear.
- It is meeting new people and hearing their stories.
- It is watching the birds come to my window and eat the treats left for them.
All these moments and thousands more are what I look for and treasure. They are reminders of a loving God and assurance that I am headed in the right direction. God has so much more in store than I can plan for today.
I keep hope alive and don’t listen to naysayers.
There are a lot of reasons why a woman of my age should give up on the dream of motherhood. In terms of childbirth, I became geriatric twenty years ago and having a child is a health risk.
Yet, I dream on. If it is truly God’s will for me, He will open doors no man can shut, and I will have a baby in my arms to laugh and rejoice with. If it is not God’s will, I have nothing to lose from living a life of love and service now.
Hope is not gone, friends. As long as you are breathing, there is still room for your circumstances to change. Focus on what you have and what you can contribute to, and let God take care of the rest. Life is too short for anything less.
So how do you hold a dream?
You hold it loosely and trust the Author to fulfill it or rewrite it as necessary along your life’s journey.