I have had two dreams/desires over the years that have always stuck with me. One has been to buy a motorbike and ride around Australia for a few months. The other has been to open a Bed & Breakfast and to also be able to use it as a weekend retreat for women who just need a break from everyday life because of difficult circumstances. Both those dreams, God willing, are about to become my reality!
It's taken me a while, I can be a slow learner, but I've realised that if I want my dreams to become reality I have to not be afraid to follow the true desires of my heart and to not be afraid to search where those desires are coming from. On the surface those dreams and desires can look selfish to others and even feel selfish within myself but that's where the courage to search for what's really going on begins. Not to give justification or to defend those decisions but to know that they are coming from somewhere real and honest and not based on what you think you should do or what others expect from you. The only person I truly care about being on my side at the end of the day is God. I find he is much less judgemental and critical and far more compassionate and understanding than I am even to myself. I understand the wisdom of seeking out wise counsel from those that truly know me and understand where I am coming from because without their support, I could not be doing what I am doing. But ultimately, the buck stops with me and my relationship with God. And I'm ok about that.
My point? Don't give up on your dreams! I have been through one of the worst times over the last year and never dreamed I would be embracing life the way I am and making some exciting, wonderful and adventurous plans... albeit scary and challenging and confronting as well! But that's one of the things I love about it. I like to be stretched and challenged, to keep learning and growing and encouraging others to do the same. Having been brought up with so much fear instilled into my life about just about everything, it is pure freedom to realise I don't have to live like that.
I am finding this time in my life to be incredibly lonely and at times that is crippling and brings me undone. But I have a learned to be resilient. (To bounce back up in a way that has nothing to do with the oncoming of middle age spread ;) ) I love where my life is heading, I love the opportunities I have been given and I am incredibly grateful for them and for the way God has just flung open doors to get me to where I am today. I have never felt his presence more or his walking beside me, leading me, even when I'm sure he must just throw his head in his hands and say 'here she goes again' and has to summon up more angels to follow where I tread haha! But that's ok because his grace and love and desire to see me live a fulfilled life is way above anything I care to do or places I want to go. And he knows my heart...
These desires are His desires. I am convinced of that because I am doing it in the face of real fear. Fear of failure, fear of becoming that insecure, shy teenage girl that I always was and is still very much a part of me that I am constantly learning to care for. Fear of letting others down who believe in me. Fear or never fulfilling my dreams and living an empty life. It is His strength that sees me through, that gives me courage and helps me to embrace life in the face of grief and hurt and pain.
I am so grateful for the encouragement I have received about my new home and my biking adventure. God places us in positions where we are not alone because he created us to be in community. I have reconnected with old friends who have been instrumental in helping me be who I am today and I have been embraced by new friends who have already impacted my life in such a short space of time. I see him building new community around me and I am humbled and thankful.
I kind of feel like this has been a bit of a long winded and slightly gushy (sorry!) post today but I
hope you see the heart of what I am trying to say and if you don't,
that's ok too because He does and He is my all in all, my rock, my
shelter and always my salvation.
Love ya... J xx