As young children, we begin to form our own ideas of what life would look like. Some of us have hopes of traveling and enjoying the sights, smells and lands of far away places. Others find joy in the discovery of life through science, archaeological digs, and space adventures. While still others dream of the hopes of life with the person of their dreams nestled in the country with the white picket fence, gardening, maybe the urban farm, and spending days on committees of local organizations. Each of these women have dreams of making a difference, living life to the fullest. Some dreams include marriage, kids, and life filled with other people and the responsibility that brings; while some women choose to live single with a freedom of everyday choices being open to their decision.
Life goes along pretty well in these dreams. I don’t believe any of us truly dream of the day we find ourselves with our dreams being shattered, unreachable, or even taken away. However, yes, that does happen. Unfortunately, too many of us live with the reality that our childhood dreams have really never been achieved in our personal lives. Many of us see them through the lives of others, but not our own.
Today, I hope to encourage you! As you read this blog, this month we will be digging deeper into the area of “How to Live Forward When Life Is Not What We’ve Dreamed.”
I have heard it said many times — “You are the energizer bunny” “You always seem happy” “You are too optimistic” I even had it said to me, “I am jealous of you, you have never worked a job you didn’t like.”
While all these things may be true to some degree, the reality is, life has not always been the happiest; I have days where I sit and cry; and I have made many mistakes, my biggest disappointments are those times when I have hurt precious relationships. It is true, life does not always go like we would like it to. But I can show you how I have managed to keep going in the midst of difficulty, pain, and old-fashioned personal hurt. One of the biggest takeaways is, I have learned to say “I am sorry”. Even though it may not be heard or trusted, still say “I am sorry”. When we hurt others, it’s likely during a time when we are hurting or when we fear not being “enough” in another’s eyes.
Are you with me in any of these feelings? Have you ever felt “not enough”, lost, or alone in your pain? Or maybe you are working overtime so you didn’t have to deal with where the pain or the hurt came from?
One of the first causes of pain: Never feeling like we are enough…The tones of words can cause hurt, deep pain, and the internal question of “why even try?” The immature growth lesson is, we keep trying because giving up is not an option. So we keep trying with overuse of our energy to pour into our work or our family, our kids, or our community. Soon we find we are not living for ourselves but we are living for others. Eventually we discover we are not ourselves but we have become no-one because we live for others, hiding in the truth that we truly are unhappy. We think we are hiding well, when in truth, we are fighting the urge to hold back, and unfortunately one day the explosion happens. Not only does it happen, but we discover the explosive reaction has come upon someone who is innocent, who doesn’t know what is going on in our life or work situation. They are stunned! They are wondering what has happened, asking “what they can say or do”; or what has happened to this person they thought they knew. Through my experiences, I have learned this is when I have given my power to be me to another’s idea of who I should be. And, it never works.
There are many other ways we can be hurt/pained. But it is through scripture that we can find HOPE during these times of trouble or how to avoid them all together. Yes, of course, we will still have trouble, pain, and hurt, but we find HOPE in God and through His Word. Stay tuned to my Facebook and Instagram social media pages for your dose of HOPE!
As we conclude, may I remind you that none of this is easy; it is a daily process of surrendering. There are wonderful days of celebrations, YES, I was able to follow God’s desires for my heart today. In truth, there are still many days and times of tears, hurt, and pain. My one prayer each day is, through it all, I continue to live with grace as my goal in relationships, allowing others to make their choices, praying God’s will be done, and in His time in each of our lives.
Lessons I am learning along the way:
-God loves all His creation, we are all His children.
-God chooses to teach me daily through the choices I make. Celebrations or consequences. Both are examples of His great love for me, called GRACE!
-I am learning to let others experience celebrations and consequences for themselves without my approval or opinion. Living in GRACE!
-I am learning to listen with my heart rather than thinking ahead to what my next words or questions will be. Intentional Listening without judgment. It’s not my life to live. Living in GRACE!
-I am learning to Love with extreme excitement! Enjoying life to its fullest! GRACE makes all things beautiful!
-I am learning to be present at the moment! It is ok to turn off the phone, make eye contact with the one speaking and to laugh a hearty laugh in conversation.
-I am learning self-care was taught by Jesus himself — Matthew 14:23 “he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.”