Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, children, a reward. Psalm 127:3
Is there anything more deadly than a dream? Because a dream can eat someone alive. Especially an unrealized one. And I should know since it proves to be a pattern in my life. See, I want something really bad. There are moments it totally consumes me. So much so I can’t think of anything else. I can physically be in the room with someone, but be completely absent. Because in my head, I’m just dreaming my life away. Fixating on the one thing I want but don’t have. And how I can get it. It’s exhausting.
Yes, I’m a dreamer for sure but in more ways than one. See, occasionally I dream Scripture. And when I do, it seems pertinent to my life. The most recent was a year ago. Last February, I heard God’s word fall on my ear… “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth.” And so, I was excited. I heard from God and in my mind, it had everything to do with my newest dream. The one thing I want desperately, but don’t have.
But tonight happened to be one of those nights. And I see how very wrong I was. Because I had a revelation. As a matter of fact, it was kind of like the mother of all revelations. And it had to do with that Bible verse from one year ago. See, I watched some random video on Facebook tonight … a man’s wedding vows. Levi saw and asked about my own wedding. He wanted to know if we ran under sparklers, too. I decided to show instead of tell, so I pulled out my wedding album. And the following picture stopped me in my tracks.
There it is. It’s the Scripture I dreamt. Go and be fruitful. And tonight, I realize God wasn’t confirming my newest dream. Instead, he was reminding me of my old dream. The original one. The one that’s already been realized. It goes all the way back to my foundation. To the little girl I was before I even left home. At the very core, I simply wanted to be loved. And my dream came true through a boy named Jason.
I was so happy here. Our wedding just weeks away, the dream was within my grasp. In truth, I thought no further ahead than the day of our union… the future just a fuzzy notion. Something I didn’t dwell on for at that time, I had no other dreams. Essentially, all I wanted was to be loved. And so, it came to pass…
Two became one. And for a while, I was content. Newlyweds. A new town. A fresh start. Life seemed exciting. But before long, I said how about a baby? And so, my husband brought me a kitty. He said, here’s your baby. And again, contentment. At least for a while.
However, it wasn’t long before I began to yearn anew. This time, I wanted to return to my hometown. But alas, that didn’t happen for at least ten years. But midway, I became pregnant. And holding to the pattern, I was content. For a while.
When I look at that photo, I see a joyful woman. And my baby boy did make me happy. However, I wanted something. Badly. At times, it’s all I could think about. I dreamed of Virginia. Going home. That’s what I pined away for. And so, despite having the love of a man and a beautiful baby boy in my arms, I still withered away inside. Simply because I wanted what I didn’t have.
Levi was four when my dream of Virginia came true. But damage had already been done. See, he knew the difference between happy and sad by the time he was two. That’s because he learned it from me. And here we are today… four years later. Truth is, Levi’s learned more stuff from me. But not good stuff. See, another dream has set up in my heart. And just like every other dream of mine, it consumes me. Like a fire. It causes me to be impatient. Hurried. And distracted. All because of a dream. All because of wanting what I haven’t got.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth…” Genesis 1:28
I previously mentioned February is a big month in my life. Specifically last February. A lot of it having to do with the baby girl growing inside my womb. And there was the dream. God’s words. He said to be fruitful. Multiply. Silly me thinking it had to do with my newest dream. And foolish me for not realizing the truth for an entire year. See, it has to do with something my aunt Cathy has said to me more than once. She tells me I’m blessed.
Funny thing is, there I sat last February with a group of women and opened up to them. I spoke of my struggles (shallow at best). Of knowing in my head I’m blessed, but just not feeling blessed. And there I was with a baby growing inside me. And the truth is, children are a blessing of the Lord. They are a gift. How was it that I could sit there with a baby growing inside me and not know how blessed I was? And am? How can that be?
You know, Cathy knows exactly how blessed I am. That’s because she lost one daughter much too soon. And the other won’t have any children. Not now. Cathy will never have grandchildren of her own. And so, she knows very well what a blessing babies are. Me? I’ve been coddled. Spoiled. I’ve had it too good. God’s ungrateful child never, ever relishing the day before me. God’s child forever looking to the next thing. The unfulfilled dream. The promised land around the bend. That’s been my life. Looking to one unrealized dream to the next. Not comprehending what dreams I have right before me. Around me. And in me.
Yes, this is the wisdom of Cathy. She says I’m blessed. And tonight, I’m starting to realize it…
This is the hard truth. Children are indeed a blessing from God. And my mother of all realizations came tonight when I realized that He filled my womb before Jason was even a thought in my mind. Once and once again. Though I was making huge mistakes and living wild, He still tried to fill me. Remember? My original dream? I simply wanted to be loved. And God? He placed love inside me. He was trying to give me my heart’s desire. Someone to love me unconditionally. But both times, I threw my babies away. Forever gone. All because I was selfish. Inwardly I cried, “It’s my life, my right…”
And so here I am tonight. And I wonder what’s different? Because I have a dream. I hold tightly to it. I don’t want to let go. No different than the twenty-something girl I was, I find myself inwardly crying… “It’s my life. It’s my right.” And because my newest dream looms in front of me, I can barely see anything else. But they’re there… an eight year old and a six month old. And truth is, if I don’t release the hold on my dream, and on my life, I’ll end up snuffing the life right out of them. Just like I did with my unborn babies. Because holding to what’s mine makes me rigid. And impatient. And so much more. The ugliness inside inevitably makes its way to the surface. And my outbursts can dim their sweet spirits. Yes, I really believe I can diminish them. Just as I did my other two… only difference being Levi and Annabelle survived my womb.
But you know what… tonight’s different. Because God reminded me of my original dream. Children. He said be fruitful. And the dream’s been realized. Right in front of me are two little dreams come true I’ve taken for granted much too long. And tonight, I think I’ll finally be released of the inward battle cry that’s held me so long. “My body. My life. My right.” Tonight, I say no more. For I’ll gladly give my life up for theirs. And laying aside the false dream I’ve been chasing, I’ll hold tight to what God has given me already. Their names are Levi and Annabelle and they’re living dreams. Through them, I’ve been blessed. This is what I believe my aunt wanted me to see. For she’s told me on more than one occasion, “You are so blessed.” And she would know… for this is the wisdom of Cathy.