I don’t dream of a white picket fence.
I don’t dream of the details of my wedding.
I don’t dream of driving my children to soccer practice in a suburban.
I don’t dream of ministering by teaching a Sunday school class.
I don’t dream of luxury.
Let me be clear, I don’t think dreaming of those things are bad, in any way. But, because those aren’t my dreams, I’ve always felt different. I grew up in Southern Christian Suburbia. This place, Southern Christian Suburbia, told me to order The American Dream, with a side of church (of course).
I’m not sure exactly when I realized that that’s not the life I want, but I always look back to these certain instances in high school where I was not on the same page as the people around me. All of my friends put great amounts of time and energy (okay, ALL of their time and energy) into making sure they were in committed relationships. I, on the other hand, was more concerned about seeing if my boss would let me become the first 15-year-old manager and making sure that my next speech for Speech Club (yep, that happened…for six years) was the most compelling one yet. I also remember a sleepover where my three best friends and I were lying around talking about weddings and they had their colors, bridesmaids, location and dress picked out…They asked me what I wanted for my wedding and I said, “I should probably find a groom before I started making those kinds of decisions.” Then, when I was 16, the opportunity for me to go to China on a missions trip arose. I remember being the first one to turn in my form and deposit. Everyone else was hesitant, I couldn’t convince a single one of my close friends to go, so I just made new friendships with my fellow adventurers. These instances may seem obscure, but they mean something to the development of my dreams.
I’ve always been blessed to have the most wonderful parents who, even though I think it sometimes scare(d)(s) them, encourage me to want those different things. Of course, getting older and going to college allowed me to meet other people who have different dreams too (although, there was still an overwhelming amount of girls that were only at college to pursue their MRS degree). So instead of the dreams I was told to dream,
I dream of an apartment in the city.
I dream of being with the person whose love makes me better (and vice versa).
I dream of seeing so much more of the world.
I dream of using my talents to show people the love of Christ.
I dream of helping the poor.
I dream of being satisfied with just what I need.
Like I said, the things I don’t dream of aren’t bad, and in one sense, I want the same things as everyone else, I just think I’ll get there my own way. In Jonathan Martin’s book, Prototype, he quotes Henri Nouwen, “One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.” My dreams, they are part of who I am. I think I wrote this to remind myself of that. So, maybe, this is your reminder to examine your dreams (whatever they are) and remember who you are.