Friday, April 12, 2013

When You Start Dreaming

     
Since before I can remember, I've been a dreamer. I was the wide-eyed little girl, jumping up and down and giggling behind her hand at the thought of a good "plan." I dreamed about being a ballerina, dancing in Europe alongside my beloved dance instructor Miss Tony. I dreamed about being a farm girl and imagined it into being by trouncing around the backyard of my Las Vegas home wearing overalls, carrying a milk pail to "milk" the cow (in actuality it was a green garden hose). I dreamed about ways to make my family happy when life got a little bumpy. I dreamed about being a missionary wearing the disguise of a nurse, entering China or the Middle East, touching the hearts of the people as I helped meet their physical needs. I dreamed about moving to Africa and adopting dozens of orphans, gathering them into my open arms and open heart to create a loving joyful family unlike they had ever known. 
      If I listed all of the dreams that have spilled out of my heart over the course of my 24 years of life, I would have to write a novel the size of an encyclopedia. "Impossible" is not a word to which I pay much attention. There are times when I have gotten side-tracked or bogged down by doubts, but I turn back quickly to dreaming big, letting nothing hinder me. Oh, the possibilities that become reality when you let your heart dream! If I hadn't dreamed big as a little girl, I wouldn't be a nurse, a privilege that brings me joy every day. If I hadn't dreamed big, I wouldn't be in seminary, pursuing a master's degree in intercultural studies. If I hadn't dreamed big, I never would have moved thousands of miles away from everything that was comfortable and my family who loves me in pursuit of even bigger dreams that are now becoming reality. Tears are actually beginning to trickle down my cheeks as the words flow from my heart through my fingers and onto the page. There are few things I am more passionate about than dreaming. 
      I am again facing a transition in my life, transitioning from a travel nurse position into one that has yet to make itself known. My last final of the semester is on May 8th, and after that I have no idea what the summer holds. I have been tempted to become discouraged and stick with the "safe" options that have presented themselves along the way, but I choose to keep dreaming. I dream big, never growing tired of the joy that springs up inside of me at the realization of a new dream or the fulfillment of an old one. My heart is singing at the thought of where my dreams may take me next. So dream big, my friends. You never know what could happen when you start dreaming. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weary

      My fingers have been itching to write lately, but haven't been able to quite catch up to my crazy, caffeine-buzzing mind. I've drunk more coffee in the past three months than a person should be allowed in a lifetime. I attribute it to the fact that I have been living in two places at once, essentially living two separate lives between work and school. The song of this season of my life is "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North. It begins "I'm tired, I'm worn, my heart is heavy, from the work it takes to keep on breathing." Maybe a little pathetic, but I believe in being honest about the struggles of my life, and that is honestly how I feel right now. Every day is a struggle, and I am simply worn out. 
     Weary is the word that keeps coming to mind to describe the way I feel as of late. Dictionary.com defines weary as: "physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, strain, etc.; fatigued; tired." My second favorite definition is the following: "characterized by or causing impatience or dissatisfaction." That is how I feel right now. Exhausted, impatient, dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with the way I've been coping with the hard circumstances, impatient with myself for not always knowing which direction I should be headed. 
      I am feeling especially weary today, in the middle of a three-day stretch at work. This morning I opened up my Bible to the book of John, seeking the Lord for peace and encouragement for my weary soul. As I was reading chapter 4, one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible, verse 6 jumped out at me like never before: "Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well." Jesus, wearied. I realized that as I am crying out to God out of desperation, I not crying out to a God who has no clue how I am feeling. Jesus knows what it is to be weary, to be tired, to be worn out. In my weariness today, I am comforted by my God who not only listens, but understands the weariness of my soul and wants to give me rest.