My sophomore year of college I got my heart broken — not just a little bit broken, but the kind of broken that you’re afraid will never heal.
I sat on my bed after the final goodbye and cried. I didn’t know what to do, where to put my hands, how to get up and brush my teeth. Life as I had known it felt over and I didn’t know how to take another step.
A few weeks later, as the gash on my heart began to heal, I was finally able to lift my eyes above my hurt to see what was next. I needed to do something, needed to put one foot in front of the other. I needed to do something that would take me in the right direction – whatever that direction might be.
And so I did what any sensible girl would do – I headed straight to the magazine aisle of the grocery store.
I grabbed any magazine that caught my eye and headed home. And surrounded by glue, scissors, and a large piece of cardboard, I began to dream. I had no requirements for the board. I cut and pasted anything that I liked for any reason at all – compiling a messy collage of random pictures, products, and words. It wouldn’t have made sense to anyone else, but it made sense to me. It was mine. It was the first, teeny, tiny step towards dreaming about a future that was full of surprise and delight, instead of the disappointment and sadness where I was currently drowning.
Since that night, I’ve made several other dream boards, each one different from the last but equally full of hope and color.
These boards have been a crucial part of me learning to dream. Pulling inspiration and ideas from wherever I can find them, I compile them together in a life full of dreams that are much bigger than my current reality.
And I think this is important.
We serve an endlessly creative God — a God that brings dead things to life and calls those that aren’t as though they are. And I think that through big, wild dreaming, we are able to take one step closer to the lens through which God sees the world and our circumstances. We have to learn to dream if we want to step closer to God’s imaginative and seemingly improbable reality.
These days I feel like all of my dreams are coming true. I look around, at my job, my friends, my home, and my life and am amazed at how many of these things I had dreamt of before a single one of them came to pass. The life I’m living stretches to the ends of my imagination and dreams, filling them up completely.
But in the process of living out these dreams, I stopped doing just that: I stopped dreaming.
I have no idea where I’m going next. I’ve been so focused on today that I’ve had no ideas or hopes for the next few months, let alone the next few years.
And in some ways that’s good. There’s something beautiful about living in the present and looking around, eyes wide, at all of God’s creations unfolding around us.
But I don’t want to stop here. I don’t want to limit myself to the things around me. I want to constantly be pushing the envelope, reaching for bigger things, more impact, more beauty. Because I believe that we serve an infinite God, and I believe that dreaming with us is one of his favorite pastimes. I think it has to be adorable to watch his children stretch big and tall, trying to dream like he does.
I want to live in a grateful contentment in the present, while dreaming, hopefully and with the innocence of a little girl, about the future.
That’s my challenge for myself these days – to figure out what I’m dreaming of next.
I want to see what my Daddy’s capable of. Don’t you?
What are you dreaming of?