Today, I’m so thankful to have Liz Griffin from Lark & Bloom writing about her sneaky dreams.
Come on, folks, give her a warm Great Smitten welcome…
(I don’t know what a Great Smitten welcome is. Maybe an aggressive high-five? A screen-clink with your coffee mug? Do what feels right.)
It would be appropriate to say I have been a dreamer since birth. My childhood was filled with crazy ideas and a sketchbook of possibilities. Most of my dreams have been a bit ridiculous. I would go completely insane if I actually worked in a small bakery in a remote French village. Glad that dream didn’t come true.
As I matured, so did my dreams. By the time I was in college I dreamt of social change. I planned on attending law school & working for the U.N. I wanted to fight bad guys. My other dream was to have a family. Those two things seemed incompatible. I knew what I wanted to do, but had no idea how to do it.
After college I had a job offer to get into military intelligence. Basically, I would have been like the chick in Top Gun. Minus the sleeping with Tom Cruise part. Intelligence officer job, possible U.N. internship, grad school applications…my dreams were about to come true.
Or so I thought. Turns out God had a different plan. My husband & I ended up planting a church in Seattle & having children right away. Instead of helping solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I was changing diapers and discipling women.
It was a different journey, but one I followed whole-heartedly. Fast-forward seven years and a few moves. I now live in Texas. I have two kids and am adopting two more. The family dream is in full swing & the justice dream is waiting patiently.
My dreams got real sneaky this past fall. God began to merge the two and suddenly I was helping form an anti-trafficking organization called UnBound. Things began to happen in ways I never expected. After tucking my kids into bed at night I would head off to the university and speak to a group of students at anti-trafficking events. UnBound now works directly with law enforcement organizations & is going to be launching international efforts soon. I get to raise my kids and fight the bad guys while they nap. God is brilliant.
As you read this, you may think that sounds impressive. Don’t be fooled. It doesn’t feel impressive at all. I don’t have a high-rise office. There is no assistant to tell me I missed ten important calls while I was addressing Congress. Instead I spend my day potty-training & pushing kids on swings.
The other day I was making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for the kids’ lunches while on the phone with a maximum-security prison. Negotiating the release of a trafficking victim while loading the kids in high chairs wasn’t in the original dream.
Giving a phone interview while wiping poop from a child’s bottom wasn’t in the dream. In fact, this wasn’t the dream I planned at all. This is a better dream. This is the kind of dream only God could orchestrate.
He is sneaky with our dreams. In my mind, my dreams come true in a fantastic moment. Usually involving a rooftop terrace, a city skyline, and a soft breeze that blows my hair gently away from my face as I gaze into the distance. Cue swelling music and then I have my moment. The moment I realize my dream is coming true. I smile and the camera zooms out. The End.
But that isn’t what happens. Dreams creep. They hit the boundaries of our seasons, & wait quietly while we deal with life. God blends the unblendable and creates a custom built life for our dreams.
My dreams seem ridiculous at times. I’ve never stood before Congress. I don’t own a power suit. I only have 327 followers on Twitter. But I have God. I have a family who gets the best parts of me. In the middle of all that I get to play a small role in seeing slaves freed.
God’s dreams for me are better. God’s dreams for me are balanced. They aren’t based on my passion, but His destiny. I’ll take those dreams any day.
Even if it wasn’t what I expected.