>Big dreams. Would it be too presumptuous of me to write that we all have them? Perhaps. I have them. Sure, many of my dreams are seeded in reality or at least in the realms of human possibility, but I have them.
In fact, I’ve had dreams for a long time. I’ve even kept record on lists: dream vacations; top 20 places to visit before I’m 50; family activities; etc. Sadly, many of the dreams and wishes I’ve penned on paper are not mine. They never belonged to me. I named them, talked about them excitedly, and hung on to them as a rope connecting to my future. But they weren’t mine. Instead, they were dreams belonging to the girl I wanted to be, or at least thought I should become.
Somewhere along the timeline of my life, and I cannot pinpoint the exact day it happened or why it happened, I deemed myself an undesirable. I knew that God loved me and that Jesus died for me, but never grasped the entire beauty that resides in that truth. Instead, I viewed myself as someone that God had to love and someone who most humans would never want to get close enough to know, let alone love. And with that warped world view, I began my quest to be wanted
I thought that my value was drossy, so then most of my interests were guilty by association. It is not uncommon for teenage girls to want to look and act like everyone else, so at first, my confused sense of self identity was normal for someone of my age. Yet, my desire to be anyone but me grew and aged with my body and morphed into perfectionism. Knowing that no one was perfect, but thinking that everyone else was superior to me, I began to take parts of others to create the “perfect me.”
My friend Casandra is a champion cleaner. Her base boards shine and counter tops glisten. Even the doorknobs on her closet doors sparkle. I added this trait to my repertoire, along with my friend Megan’s enthusiasm for children, and my friend Danika’s up-beat demeanor and zeal for organization. I could list at least twenty-five friends and acquaintances from whom I’ve stolen parts of their identity and weaved them into my own.
And I didn’t stop at personality traits. I added their dreams and goals to my lists as well. In fact the sheer notion of me making a dream list to begin with was something my friend Doreen did. When she mentioned her desire to Jet Ski through the Everglades before moving from Florida, I added that to my new list. Why not? It sounded like fun. Actually, it does not sound like fun to me. Yet at the time, I thought it did. But here is the truth. I am terrified of alligators and have no desire to soar into their territory. It doesn’t matter that the loud engine would probably scare them away…it only takes one hungry, insubordinate gator to take the bait. Yet for years, and I mean twelve long years, I honest-to-goodness thought that I would enjoy jet skiing in alligator infested waters.
While I think there is no harm in being influenced by Godly friends and acquiring positive traits and ideas, disregarding my talents, dreams, and desires was not only befuddling, it was sin. That’s right, one of the ugliest three-letter words in our vocabulary. It is sin because it is disobeying the voice of God.
God didn’t create me to imitate His other creations. He created me to serve Him with the specific qualities he gifted, yes gifted to me. And knowing this doesn’t make me prideful or hoity-toity, it humbles me. It’s OK that I don’t want to teach preschool, ride a mule down the Grand Canyon, or deep sea dive. Now, if God tells me to go jet skiing through the Everglades and write about my experience, I’ll do it, but not without a revolver and large knife ala John Locke (the character from Lost, not the English philosopher).
If assigned mass and tied to a string, my character flaws, quirky habits, and sins would circle the planet at least once. But I’m not going to exchange them for the errors of another. Instead, I’m going to own them along with my positive traits and there are quite a few of those too you know, I am the daughter of the King. No more hiding who I am and yearning to be who I am not. Without shame, I’m taking every ounce of my flesh, every molecule of my soul, every pound of baggage, and each and every inch of my dreams and I am laying them down at the throne of the Holy of Holies. For with His masterful hands, He will use all I am and all I can become for His glory. And that is my heart’s desire.