“I’m afraid of the chaos that a new dream might bring.”
It was almost exactly 3 months ago when I read these words, and was consequently sent on a spiral of inner turmoil.
“I stop dreaming sometimes, because I’m afraid of what it would take to change my life. I stop dreaming because I’m afraid of the chaos that a dream might bring, afraid of what a new dream will require of me. I practice being fine, and I tell myself that things are all right, just as they are.”
Sitting there, a fresh morning atop a mountain in Guatemala, the realization was all too alarming.
The truth in those words set my bones on fire.
How would my life be affected by this new dream starting to settle into my heart? Am I ready to deal with that?
I know I am not alone in this.
This longing to fulfill a dream or purpose that is itching a spot we can’t reach… yet the fear of how it will affect EVERYTHING.
It’s a big bite to take, I suppose.
Those days in Guatemala, learning pieces of myself that were uncommon in my every day life, taught me something. When the Lord places a dream and passion in your life, He starts small. He shows you glimpses here and there of how He plans to glorify Himself in you. I never knew all the ways He had crafted me, and how those pieces could work so harmoniously until I was directly where He intended that I be.
You can’t help but start dreaming. It’s too much to ignore.
So, little by little… you start prying. Looking at the angles, asking the questions, seeking out what’s next.
“You don’t know what the story is about when you’re in the middle of it. You think you do, but you don’t. You make up all kinds of possible story lines: this is about growing up. Or this is about living without fear. You can guess all you want, but you don’t know. All you can do is keep walking.”
The dream is planted, the rustling starts, and the middle happens.
And it’s messy. Horribly messy and extremely uncomfortable.
When we start pursuing a dream, it’s never expected that the dream will chase us right back. The chaos of a new dream. The middle.
You lose your job.
You have to move home and live in your Mom’s craft room.
You have to go back to babysitting from time to time.
You have to accept monumental changes.
At 27. Or 41. Or 63.
Ever so keenly, you feel the transition peeling back each layer and exposing the tender skin of this new dream.
It’s painful, it’s humbling, and it’s the most refreshing place to be.
I promise that the middle doesn’t last forever… the time of transition is just that, a season of becoming and learning what’s next. It may be about growing up, it may be about living without fear, it may be about a great many things you are supposed to be learning. While we’d like to know what it’s about… it won’t change the fact that we have to continue through it to get to that new dream.
Just when the middle seems unbearable, the destination begins to peek over the horizon.
“Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. Walk away, try something new. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either.”
Doesn’t it sounds so thrilling?
Get unruly, go wild, and ditch your cube for great new worlds.
Don’t be fooled.
This is not what it’s about… it isn’t about making some fantastical decision that makes you the trendiest, adventure seeker that everyone emulates.
It’s about your journey… each person has their own season of becoming. For some of us, that season looks like a walk of obedience to finding the right relationship, and leaving the current one in the past. For others, it’s allowing that piece of yourself you’ve always stifled to engage with the world, letting go of fear and exposing a new identity. For others still, it’s deciding that the comfortable place you’ve found yourself in, is no longer a safe space, because it’s deteriorating your spirit… simply because it’s not where you need to be.
It’s about those things because those decisions come painfully, slowly, and with considerable sacrifice.
The words of my last 3 months. The lessons I’m learning.
Dreams are for the brave.
Transition challenges the best of us.
The journey to becoming is liberation at its finest.
Proceed with caution: You could end up losing your job, moving into your Mom’s craft room, and preparing to leave the country for an extended period of time. It’ll be the scariest, most exciting thing to ever happen to you.