2016 is the year for me to dare. Dare to hope. Dare to dream. Dare to write.
I’ve left the ‘dare to dream’ part to the side for a bit. Maybe because that one is the hardest. Or because it seems to be the most impractical. Or the one that takes the most faith.
About five years ago, God placed a dream in my heart. I was actually still working full-time and hadn’t even taken the step of faith to be home. I had felt the call to home education and wasn’t even there yet either. So when this dream was laid on my heart, I pretty much ignored it and wrote it off as crazy since so many things were still very much up in the air.
When I shared the idea with my husband, he was all for it. Not something we were going to jump into or anything, but something that he believed in too. Something that, while it didn’t make any sense, also made perfect sense.
We didn’t do much about it, though. The only thing we did was start a coin jar. We weren’t really diligent about saving coins. But when we remembered to toss some in this old water jug, the dream would stir a bit.
Fast forward a few years. I left my job. I started to homeschool. Things were difficult but we were pushing through. We had started allowing ourselves to dream a little bit about this thing. Not much, but we started to talk about it more. About what it would take to really do it. Because the details of it can make my head spin. It’s not something you can just do overnight.
We had some major setbacks in the first two years we started dreaming a bit. But we never had to touch that jar. There wasn’t a ton of money in it or anything, but I still didn’t want to empty it out. It represented something. It represented this dream. This crazy, crazy dream that was planted in my heart.
Every time finances got tighter and tighter, I prayed that we could leave the jar be. And we did. It was a small way to hold onto possibility.
And then last summer, in 2015, we reached a financial point where we just needed cash. It was preserving time. Time to buy meat for the year. And there was not enough money to even cover bills so we had no choice.
It started by taking just one tub of coins to the bank. I was amazed how much that one tub held. And then another, and then a third. By the end of the summer, I found myself sitting in the parking lot of the bank, holding our last small tub of coins.
I remember putting the car into park and just sitting quietly for a few minutes. I prayed. I allowed myself to cry a bit, and then pulled myself together. And then like so many times in the past few years, just felt some financial numbness as I dumped the last of the coins in the counter.
When I went back to the car, my heart was heavy. And so, I let the dream die. Or should I say, I let the enemy have his way. Even though we would have needed hundreds of jugs of coins to make this dream come alive and that one jug of coins wasn’t even enough to get started, it was more about what it represented. It represented a life we feel called to. A family time like no other. A time of exploration and discovery. A time to pursue God uniquely and to once again place our family in His hands in a new way. A life choice that would make us rely on Him more than ever.
And in the midst of letting the dream die, I allowed the lies to enter my mind. See, you are crazy. How did you ever think your family could do this? Did you really think that life this way was possible? Did you actually have the courage to believe this dream could come true? Just really who do you think you are?
A few months after our jug was emptied, I was talking to a friend. I forget how it came up, but I decided to confide in her about the coin jar and our dream. She was the very first person I told. Her response? It lit a small spark.
She thought it was great. That we should do it. Now.
Now? Well, that’s impossible. But, still. Maybe I wasn’t so crazy…
I shared this dream with a few more people. They didn’t think I was crazy either.
A few months after this first conversation with my friend, she approached me with a smile and started telling me a story. She was in a store and saw this mason jar that was beautifully decorated and thought of me and what she wanted to do. The jar was crazy expensive so she decided to make her own. So she hands me this jar full of coins. While I can’t remember her exact words, (because darn it, I was crying of course) she said something to the effect of, “I believe in your dream. Here is a new jar to start dreaming again.”
You know, when a friend stands by and supports your dreams, and tells you it’s okay to dream and wants good things for you, it stops you in your tracks. It reminds you that no dream is too big for God. I’ve asked myself many times in the last few months, do I really believe that nothing is impossible through Him? I’ve been standing on that promise now for the last few years, and while so much has not worked out the way I ever thought it would, I’m more firm in my hope in Him.
I wrote in this post that this year I was determined to take back what I let the enemy steal from me.
And so, I’m daring to dream.
Hubs and I started talking about it again. We’re not at the, “let’s make plans and get this thing rolling” stage because that’s not even a reality right now. But we can dream. We can dream and pray and pray and dream.
If God’s in our dream, then He’ll be the one to put the pieces together. He’ll be the one to set it in motion. And even though we will put coins in a jar to live out our faith, we know He can provide the hundreds of jars we’d actually need.
Our job? Is to put one foot in front of the other. Every day. To keep our eyes and hearts on Him and surrender this dream to Him. To take small steps towards it, being ever so mindful that if He’s not in it, we’ll be okay not to pursue it. Regardless of whether this dream comes to be, my hope and trust is in Him.
Because to be honest, I have no idea whether this dream will ever come to pass. To be even more honest, I have no idea if we’re even daring enough to do it. I’m daring to put the possibility out there. But am I daring enough to know people will think we’re crazy? Daring enough to leave comfort and stability to pursue a chance at living life in a new way? At least for a time. Daring enough to be as wild and free as my heart cries out to be?
I don’t need to know whether it will happen. I look daily at this faith jar, nestled in with some other treasures, and remind myself to pray. To trust hard. And to take one step. And then another.
How do you walk towards the dreams God has placed on your heart?