Saturday, March 14, 2009

Live Your Dreams!


I'd been seeking out a long lost friend from high school for some time now. I'd looked for him online, in local phone books where he used to live, and found nothing. The last time I saw him, it didn't go so well. We didn't have a fight or anything like that, it just didn't go so well. I don't remember ever seeing him after that, but we did talk and write letters, and I kept those because I really did treasure our friendship.

Well, last night, I was able to contact the family of his son, who I never met. He was born after our "incident," but I remember my friend telling me about him and telling me his name. I spoke with my friend's daughter-in-law on the phone, and she graciously told me many things about my friend, including the fact that he had passed away a number of years ago. If only I had found him 10 years ago...

I have to tell you that somehow, I knew that he was gone. Somewhere on the inside, I'd been forewarned. And although the news made me sad, I wasn't surprised. The sad fact is that I will never have an opportunity on this side of heaven to reconnect with my friend. The good news is that I have made a connection with him through his son, and there is something very sweet about that.

And now to a different story, (hang in there with me for a minute!) For many years, I've been saying, "If only..." about playing the piano. If only my parents fostered the gifts in their children...If only I had taken lessons 25 years ago...If only this, if only that. Well, the Lord blessed me with a beautiful grand piano. It was built in the 1920's, still has its original ivory keys and is a beaut! My "if only" days were over. Time to take lessons! And so, for the past few months, I've been taking piano lessons, and learning to take my first baby steps! It's time consuming, takes discipline, and I'm so glad I'm not sitting at the piano bench repeating my "If only" mantra! I don't expect to be a concert pianist anytime soon, but I do expect to be able to play, at least at a novice level!

And a third story...(just work with me here!) I've had lots of jobs, and have had lots of disappointing experiences. In the past five or so years, I've come to a stark realization why. I'm not the kind of person who can sit behind a computer doing someone else's business. I desperately need to know that what I'm doing makes an actual difference in someone else's life. "If only I knew then what I know now!" but I didn't. And maybe I had to become a stronger, more mature person before I was able to help someone else without climbing into their struggles. And now that I know, I've been given the ultimate opportunity to do just that. My new job will be an incredible challenge to what I believe I'm called to do in life. I will be working with adolescent young ladies whose lives have been virtually devastated by circumstances that you and I could not imagine living through. And if I am called to this, if this is my gift and my anointing, then I will go with God's power, wisdom, understanding, and strength, and lives will be changed because of Him! I'm excited, nervous, scared, and anticipating finding out more about who I am in Christ through this opportunity to serve Him, AND GET PAID FOR IT! :)

So my question to you is, what are YOUR "If only's?" What dreams and visions have you let go of? Have you searched for ways to see them come to pass, but in the waiting, you feel like they've died? Have you mourned their loss before they were even dead? Stop mourning! Didn't God said He would give you the desires of your heart?

Please heed my counsel on this! Don't spend 25 years saying, "If only..." If you need to, dig in, fast and pray and seek His will concerning those things that just don't go away inside your heart.
Remember, your steps are ordered by Him, and if the time isn't just yet, you are probably being prepared for your ultimate goal. But if there is something you can do to get prepared, don't just wait and pray about it, do it! Go to school! (I plan to start my master's in the fall!) Find a job that fulfills your dreams. Volunteer at a place that gives you a good taste of where your heart is, take lessons in something you've wanted to do. Don't just sit on your haunches, but show God you are serious! Pursue those dreams and visions with a fervor. And if you begin and find it's not what you expected, don't get discouraged and don't stress it! Change it! You've just taken a step closer to your true calling by eliminating one thing that didn't work. That's how Edison invented the light bulb! After thousands of failed ideas, he said, "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." (CAVEAT: Don't just give up because it's hard...change it only if it's really not working...)

I believe with all my heart that each of us has been given gifts and talents that God is waiting for us to discover and walk into. And that's where we will find the kind of fulfillment in our lives that we've been hoping for. What's your "bent?" What would you do if you could do anything in the world? What do you love? What do other people tell you that you are good at? What do you regret not having done with your life?

Don't give up on those dreams. I don't care if you are 17 or 75. If you are breathing, it's not too late! Another wonderful bit of Edison wisdom, "Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." You can't imagine how close you are!

Discover, hunt, chase your dreams and visions with everything you've got. Don't let ANYONE discourage you from your heart's desire. Go for it with both hands, and watch God lead and guide you right into the plan and the purpose He has had for you since before you were born!

Hebrews 6:10-12 (New King James Version)
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

PS. If you've had a dream come to life, please leave a comment and let's encourage one another!

7 comments:

  1. Woulda, coulda, shoulda are cousins to 'if only'. I don't believe in including them in my vocabulary. Praying your new job brings you to the center of God's will. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  2. One thing I have learned in a life thats been often filled with " If onlie's", is that the life I had, with its ugliness or beauty, is exactly what was needed, and where it was needed, in order for Jesus to find me. If all those things I neglected, or didnt do because of circumstance, never had taken place, I would never be where I am today... in a personal, and intimate relationship with Jesus. Thanks Kathy, for sharing your heart stories today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This really is the season for rekindling those dreams and making them reality. God wants us to follow those dreams HE has placed in us that are core to our being. I've done enough of the 'if only's' to know that the time is indeed NOW

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is really encouraging. I'm with David on this being the "season for rekindling dreams". Once again, it's those preordained works that only you can do. I'm really excited for you. I look forward to continually hearing about the challenges and triumphs. He will always cause you to triumph in Christ. As Erwin McManus said, "Christians should be on the balls of their feet, not with their heels dug in." Go until He says stop!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amazing Kathy,,,,,I've always wanted to play the piano too, and I just started a few weeks ago. I became discouraged thou, because the teacher who is somewhat famous at being a popular praise and worship leader and pianist became offended at someone at our church and he quit. So I was torn about what to do,,,do I quit and give up my childhood dream or do I go on with being taught by one of his students that is not being paid but is giving of his personal time as a praise-offering to God. Well,,,,,I have decided to carry on with my lessons. I want something to offer my precious Heavely Father that gave me everything. Thanks for sharing your stories Kath, I am glad I took the time to finally read your blog, it has been inspiring and upliftting to me. You are a blessing sister. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kathy, thanks for sharing your heart on this. These are all things that we need to be reminded of as it is so easy to let life wear you down and somehow lose that "spark" for moving ahead with our dreams. I appreciate your words and taking the time to share them. May the Lord richly bless you in all you do.
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Kathy. Your blog is really interesting. It's so difficult when someone has passed away and you still have "unfinished business" with them.
    I'm glad you have started learning the piano... it's a wonderful instrument, and every minutes practise is well worth the end result! My mother used to make me practise an hour every day after school, and sometimes I really didn't feel like it, cos all the other kids were outside playing... but now, I'm so glad I can play, and people do get jealous (as if I was born able to play and never had to work at it, haha!). So, be encouraged - you will never regret any time that you invest in learning to play. :o)

    My "if only's" ... I don't know... real-life got in the way of my dreams as such an early stage I've kinda forgotten them. Maybe I need to have a chat with God and see what happened to those early dreams and desires... I've been so busy just surviving, I've not given them any thought for decades.

    Anyway, like I said, interesting blog... God bless ya for posting it.

    ReplyDelete