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Friday, May 12, 2017

Let's Dream Again!

I must admit, I was totally an idealist when I got married at seventeen. Youthful bliss? Or ignorance, perhaps?

Check out these synonyms for idealist: utopian, visionary, wishful thinker, pipe-dreamer, fantasist, romantic, dreamer, daydreamer, stargazer.

In other words, ME!! Do you see yourself in there too?

Back then, I thought I knew so much. I had everything figured out. Hand in hand, Jason and I were going to take on the world. Nothing was impossible. Don’t even dare cast a shadow of doubt on anything we imagined doing! I believed in “happily ever after” in a glorious this-is-going-to-be-so-easy sort of way. We were in love. And love conquers all!!!

Ahem. (I clear my throat. Squirm in my chair.)

Looking back over a few decades of life, marriage, and motherhood, I find that my “visionary” thinking has drastically changed. Wilted a bit. “My pipe-dreamer” tendency has been replaced with reality. And sometimes reality hurts. No more rocking in a “utopian” bliss fantasizing over what my life could be like. Daydreamer? Wishful thinker? Kaput. Zip?

Ever been there?

Last night, I attended a Bob Goff event. A couple of years ago, two of my adult children traveled across the country to hear him speak. So this was my chance to listen to him at a local fundraiser. I tell you, I've never seen anyone more comfortable in his own skin. The guy is totally relaxed onstage. Dresses simply. Tells stories in such a heartwarming, endearing, and simplistic way, I had tears in my eyes and was laughing, almost non-stop. The humorous thing? He laughs like crazy throughout his presentation. Completely real. And I loved how he spoke to my heart through simple stories.

Today, hours later, I’m still pondering his handheld mirror object lesson. When his kids were young, he’d hold up a mirror and have them gaze at themselves. Then, while they were doing so, he’d tell them what he saw in them. Almost like prophesying good stuff into his kids’ lives, even when they were little. Isn’t that cool? (How many times have I gazed into the mirror and thought derogatory things about myself?) Through Bob’s life lesson, he was instilling a positive inner self-image about who those youngsters were: “I see you. You are strong. Capable. Going to do great things.” Talk about a visionary!

I think it’s time you and I picked up a mirror and told ourselves some good things about ourselves.

No, I’m not talking about your gorgeous eyes Mama gave you. Or that cute mole above your lip. 

Let’s gaze into that mirror and tell ourselves something amazing about who we still are on the inside. “You are brave. Courageous. Kind. You offer friendship to the lonely. You help missionaries. You see good in people! You want to spread  hope.”

It's seeing the good stuff God has already put inside of you. It's seeing the real you.

So, I have to ask myself, and I hope you will too, why have I given up on being a “dreamer?” Aging? I surely am. Disappointments? Had a few. Lost hope? Traveled that road, been there, done that, and it didn’t work out? Sound familiar?

But what if all those dreams and ideals and creative thoughts haven’t really died like I thought? What if, somewhere deep inside, on the edge of where faith and doubt collide, I could see myself as that kid who still imagines big things? What if I could find the girl who likes to swing and balance on fallen logs and loves the color blue, and there I find my dreams have been sleeping, dormant, just waiting for me. And all it takes is a little zap of what-ifs flowing through my veins again, or a nudge of inspiration from a friend, or from God Himself, or maybe even, a slight kick in the seat of the pants??

What if you sat on the porch tonight and did a little “star-gazing” of your own? And while you were there, you remembered who you were when you were a little kid and believed you could do anything. What if you and I became dreamers again? People willing to try something. To take a chance again. To stomp on doubt and say, “You know what, I do believe!”

I want to be that girl again.
How about you?

Mary Hanks writes stories about redemption, restoration, and romance.