Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Even if it breaks your heart

So it’s contest season. And that means high hopes—maybe even delusions of grandeur—and the set up.
What is the set up, you ask? It’s something you might understand if you have say, a big brother, a friend who is a practical jokester, or a boss who will never be satisfied. The set up is the potential for our dreams to find the brunt of a serious beating. Regardless of the outcome, when we lay it all out there we set ourselves up for the inevitable effect of gravity.
And I’m not just talking the fall, but also the splat.
Of course, there is always the possibility that you won’t fall. Or splat. Sometimes you fall and land on your feet in a better spot. But if you ever want to fly, well, let’s just say the ledge will never get you there. You gotta leap.
Whether you are riding high on a win, sopping up tears over the devastated remains of your masterpiece, or scratching your noggin over conflicting opinions, your dreams are still in God’s hands.  
Now, having surrendered my work to be tarred and feathered in grand standing public forum several times makes me feel like I have earned a few stripes for courage. And each time you receive a critique or contest scores you may discover that you are developing the coveted “thick skin” you need to take a licking and keep on ticking.
After all, haven’t we all heard those stories about the most successful bestselling authors having collected a stack of rejections navel to nose before someone, the right one, saw that certain spark.
It’s easy to say, “Don’t get discouraged.” And yet, like so many things, It’s not always easy to practice.
Let’s face it, sometimes our weakness wins out. We are human after all. Vulnerable. Sensitive. Soft. I know I am. And if our dreams are stored within these jars of clay, might they also be frail from time to time?
In those times of doubt, it would be easy to let the enemy win. Let him steal our dreams. Taunt us with whispered thoughts of our foolishness and inevitable defeat. We know, without question, that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And still, when we are surrounded by destruction, we think it is God telling us to move on.
Don’t let those lies in. Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart. Believe in the dreams God gave you. He put them there for a reason.
Isaiah 54
How about we build each other up? What is your favorite encouraging scripture? And how do you expel doubts about your dreams?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Over you

After a month long hiatus I am back. My intention for my sort of media fast was to buckle down and wrap up the last few chapters of my book. But then something happened that kept me away much longer. My heart is still heavy from the devastating loss my family suffered. And though the last thing I want to do is continue to drown in the grief, it seems to have a hold on me. As if I lost this enormous part of myself, and there is no hope of getting it back.

There is a new song on the radio that keeps tugging at my admittedly shaky emotional stability. And though the words are a constant reminder of my pain, they are also a beautifully cathartic release.

But you went away
How dare you
I miss you
They say I’ll be okay
But I’m not going to
Ever get over you  

When the song is over, and I’ve had myself another good cry, I think about how blessed I am to have a life unencumbered by an excessive burden of loss. God has always been my refuge. And I am thankful to have been shielded from a hard life marked by tragedy.

Even in my despair that past few weeks, God’s grace has been so evident. His loving arms my safe haven. But as this loss sinks deeper into my soul, I wonder how I will walk through life without a scar etched onto my heart.

They say time heals all wounds. Maybe that will prove to be true. But how do you deal with grief when the wound is still raw? And have you every lost someone you still carry with you?