I was thinking about my daughter the other day.
I don’t know her yet. She hasn’t been born. But for Christmas, I bought her a pink polka-dotted tutu from JCPenney. It seemed appropriate. I practically lived in mine the year I was 6.
There’s also an antique pink rose headband waiting for her, along with a plush, white crochet coat hanging in her closet. And she hasn’t even been conceived. I’m expecting her though.
As I gave John a bath the other night, I remembered that not very long ago, he too was just a dream. Three years ago in December 2009, I wrote about waiting for something I really wanted, and the wrestling with God that inevitably followed when I took a risk and hoped for something.
Is God good while we wait?
What is the waiting for?
Why does waiting feel so empty?
Why is hoping so risky?
|Photo cred: http://viraeya24.tumblr.com/|
These are the questions we ask when we want something and are forced to wait, and I’ve realized, we often give up without really asking. The longing hurts too much. What if God doesn’t come through? What does that say about God? What does that say about me?
I hate to say it, but that’s what I did this time. With John, I didn’t know if I could get pregnant or not. I never had before. I prayed and lamented and cried and begged. I wanted a child, and I only knew one person who could get one for me: God.
This time, I’ve been more hands-off. I’ve disguised it as a laid-back approach to conceiving, but it’s really lack of faith turned apathy. I’ve been afraid to hope.
I wrote about it in the dream blog. I tell my friends about it. I even buy her clothes. But I don’t talk with God about it. I don’t plead anymore. Too much to lose. I remember it hurt, the sting of wanting something I was helpless to get for myself, only to wait and delay again. I would rather just pretend I don’t want it. Maybe she will surprise me.
So what do I really want? And what am I willing to do to get it?
My friends and I are reading through Donald Miller’s Storyline book, and these are the ultimate questions of our lives:
Who am I?
What do I want?
And what am I willing to do to get it?
The Civil Wars were playing in the background while John splashed in the tub, and the album arrived at To Whom It May Concern. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the words until this song. I pulled John out of the tub and wrapped him in his towel, and hugging him close, I listened.
Maybe it’s not just me waiting. Maybe she is waiting for me.
Maybe this is how God makes our hearts and lives ready for the things we want. He makes us want them desperately. And the desperation, the longing, is what forges in us the humility and character and beauty to care for the gift.
Beautifully, hauntingly, the Civil Wars sang, reminding me a dream is just as real as the thing itself. I was holding living proof there in my hands, soaking wet and squirming.
So I swung him around in his fluffy brown towel, and we danced across the hardwood as I kissed the tiny face of the boy who used to be a dream.
What’s a thing or person in your life you have now that only used to be a dream?
For most of us, it’s relationships: a partner, a child, or even simply a sense of belonging or knowing one’s life purpose. What do you have now that was only a daydream not long ago?
It’s encouraging to see that dreams do take shape and come to dwell among us. I need to remember this pattern so I can gather up my courage to dream some more.