“Old things have passed away…things that we thought were dead are breathing in life again…” – Bethel Music, Jesus We Love You
This song has been on repeat in my heart and mind the last couple weeks and I can’t help but wonder how many things may seem so dead that I wouldn’t even recognize them if they were resurrected – forgotten prayers, dreams, and desires. Areas that once burned bright, are distant memories, if remembered at all. Other beautiful seasons came in their place, but the memory of disappointment and being asked to let go and just follow were at times heartbreaking. In time I knew it was best. I knew He was right. I knew He had my best in mind. Asking “why” was never a fruitful endeavor. I knew He would make all things beautiful in time. But nagging somewhere in the back of my mind was always a squirming fear. A fear that He’d forget. Not just forget the dream, but forget me. It was a fear I always ignored and never acknowledged, but it was there. I fought it day in and day out – some days striving, some days resting. As time always does, it gave room to memories fading and longings lessoned. There was no use fighting – the present too demanding to hold onto the past. I clung to the whispers, “Just follow where He leads, believe His words despite what you do or don’t see. You may forget everything else, just don’t forget His faithfulness.”
In years gone by I’ve experienced more laying down than picking up of dreams and desires. I suppose this is life and just part of it. With each one I came face to face with the bold and confronting questions of identity and value. Who was I without that ____. Others and their expectations were often as weighty as the process of laying it down. My heart now disconnected from those distant passions, I strive to pretend it’s not true. I strive to find the emotions I once felt when even the slight mention of those dreams touch my ear. Disappointment rolls in and tears stream down. Disappointed that I couldn’t follow and hold onto all of them – keep them alive, remember them and whole heartedly jump at the mention of them. Seeing and hearing someone else live out what I thought was for me, bringing with it the weight of comparison that no one can live under. So letting go was actually easier. Those dreams are simply distant memories now. My heart disconnected, cut off, and I fear I have failed Him. Fearing I was not enough – am not enough. Fearing I was childish then and those desires weren’t real. Fearing I have disappointed Him. Fearing I have been benched.
But then, the day comes when He answers all of those fearful questions. He uses the unexpected to open the door to opportunity. One I once would have jumped at, but now approach timidly. Not recognizing what He’s doing. Not recognizing His grin behind the surprise. Something tugs at my heart. A distant memory. Nothing stirs but memory. My heart feels nothing. No emotion. No excitement. Just a memory of what once was. Then, the slight thought of what could be. An old dream surfaces. In what seems like the most fleeting of thoughts – I feel hope sparked. For a brief moment I go there. I imagine Him saying “yes”. But just as quickly I reel in desire, compartmentalizing it to it’s “reasonable” quarters.
Another day passes.
Spirit moving like only He can. The memory knocking again and this time with His whisper all around it. “What if … What if it’s time now?” This time I listen. He has my attention. “What if I’m saying yes now? Will you choose to follow Me again? Do you still believe Me? Don’t you know I’ve held it all along. I had to take it from you, so it would not burden you while I prepared you for it. It was a part of My dream – part of My heart - that I placed in yours, and I have held it safely till now. Will you allow your heart to dream again? Will you trust Me again?”
It’s a question with action required – to choose to believe again, to believe Him at His Word, to ask Him to connect my disjointed heart and head back together again. I asked for this. I asked for Him to lead me on a lifetime of adventure and that’s what I’m getting. He’s leading – taking turns and detours and a whole mess of unexpected – and all along reminding me that if nothing else ever happens, I will and have always been solidified as a daughter He will and could never forget me.
Tears stroll down as I feel His Father touch to the deepest tender places of my heart. He’s done it again – taken what seemed dead and breathed new life. It was never dead. Maybe sleeping under the cover of winter’s frailty, but just sleeping. He numbers every hair on my head, how could he forget me, or these dreams He planted so long ago. Dreams that were unclear and still not in full-view, but zealously lit in days past. He holds them all. I see that clearly. And in His beautiful perfect timing, with a huge joyous grin, I hear Him say, “Trust Me. Ask for it again.”