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Dreams and Reality


Last night, I had some pretty bizarre and vivid dreams. My nightmares often take on the form of war, where I am fighting for injustice against the ‘enemy’ and risking my life. Last night I seemed to have one of those dreams that just lasted forever. I will spare you the gory details. At the end of the dream though, I had been advised to flee the country because my life was in danger. In my dream, I began to explore the possibility of moving with my cat Shalom to Africa for a few years. Interestingly enough, this part of my dream was incredibly realistic – brainstorming ways to fundraise, pulling names out of the woodwork of various connections I have (connections that I have made over the years in real life, and names of people I haven’t thought of in many years!) and making this plan into action. The plan was to start in Kenya and travel. This part of the dream was so realistic that when I woke, I turned to my computer to continue the search for work overseas.

Today I got my passport – something I haven’t had in ten years. I feel like I have a ticket to the world now, though admittedly with no savings to actually use this passport! Still, it is one step closer to making a dream of traveling to Africa closer to reality.

As my day progressed, I started to shrug off this dream as purely a dream with absolutely no roots in reality.

But then, in chatting with a friend and sharing my nightmare/dream, I started to question myself – why do I feel this is a dream that cannot be translated into reality? what is stopping me from making this happen? Or rather, how do I MAKE this happen?!

I have lamented many times on here that I do not have contact with my immediate family. This continues to weigh heavily on my mind and tears form as I once again acknowledge this reality. I’ve also been involved in a court process against my Dad and I have great hope that this will finally come to an end in the coming months. I feel like so many of my decisions about my future over the past 8 years have either been tied wanting to re-establish relationships with family members or have been held back by what has seemed to be a never ending court procedure. Leaving the country has never been an option.

Today as I was thinking about moving to Africa, I began to realize that I am in an interesting position in my life. So many of my peers have family members to think about in their decision making, spouses to consider, aging parents to look after. I do have extended family whom I love dearly and will consider in any decisions I make about my future. But, compared to many others, I am free to pursue my dreams, whatever they are, wherever they take me without the same pressures that have held me back or that hold others back.

Out of all that I learned from the program, I think one of the things that stands out to me today the most is a desire and readiness to move on, to move forward, to pursue my dreams and make reality those things that I want for me. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that many of my nightmares about war and about me standing up for others and protecting others. I’ve always thought it interesting that this comes out so vividly in my dreams as it mirrors my life and my decision making so well. So much of my decision making has been about protecting, rescuing, saving others. As one of my closest friends pointed out to me recently, I’ve started to make decisions for ME, based on what my dreams and needs are. This is new territory for me and honestly a little daunting. But also exciting, for the world is my oyster! There is so much that I can do, so much that I can explore!

I remember a painful moment in the trauma program where I felt that my Dad set me up to fail by abusing me and I faced the reality of the consequences of his actions over many years. But I am so much more than the abuse, so much more than the damaged goods I used to believe I was, so much more than stupid family dynamics. My Dad might have set me up to fail – but God has raised me up and will use me powerfully for His glory. I think this is one of the beautiful things about God’s economy – that no matter what our pasts are, God can and will use us for His glory. I love the story of Joseph in Genesis who was thrown into a bit by his brothers and sold into slavery. He later was placed into a position of power and was able to save not only his family, but his people as well. When his brothers came to him to seek forgiveness in fear and trembling, Joseph said words that I hope to one day be able to say to my Dad: “What you did, you meant for evil, but God meant it for good.”

And so, in confidence of knowing that God has plans for me and in the desire and excitement of moving on, moving forward, I am going to explore possibilities that I have only allowed myself previously to dream about. I am not going to let those things that once chained me to a stunted reality stand in the way. I am going to dream big and see where that leads me, whether in my own city or to the far corners of the earth.

And maybe, just maybe, in the coming days, months, years, my dreams will become more than dreams. Maybe they will become reality!

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