For most of my life I have been making a list. I like lists. I like the possibilities of crossing items off the list. I like to see a whole page filled with checkmarks. Everything is done. Ready to start a fresh page with a new list.
My lists have included many things:
When I am older, I will get my driver’s license – ✔.
When I can afford it, I will buy a car – ✔.
When I am grown up, I will move out – ✔.
When I have finished university, I will get a meaningful job – ✔.
When I am married, I will … – _____.
It is the items without a ✔ that bother me. They live in the never never land of empty time and space. They sometimes hang like a black cloud over my head bogging me down in the land of unfulfilled wishes and dreams. They sometimes feel like the places where dreams have gone to die. My timelines for getting those items checked off do not match up with my reality. And clearly, they do not seem to match up with the journey that God has taken me on.
They are sometimes moments of fear. The places where I have let the fear of never accomplishing that item paralyze me from fulfilling the wishes of my heart. I have chosen to put adventures and experiences on hold simply because I do not have ____ and therefore I cannot ______. That would be giving in to a lie!
And yet I yearn for those dreams to be fulfilled. For there to be a checkmark placed on the line to say that one more time I have had the success and dreams met that I crave. Then my gloomy sky would be transformed to bright sunshine, right? But isn’t this a lie too! There have been times when the dreams of my heart have been perfectly fulfilled and I have been absolutely and completely unhappy, wishing for more in spite of the bounty that I am surrounded by.
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” Isaiah 28:16b
I am learning that God, the ultimate dream giver, has fashioned me according to His plan. It was and continues to be a good plan. It is only revealed to me a wee, tiny, pinprick at a time. He asks me to walk forward with confidence, holding His hand, following in His footsteps. The dreams and longings of my heart are ones that He knows intimately for He made me. He has not called me to live a static life but to rather bask in the reality that He is the sure foundation. One that can never be moved. One that will withstand the sands of time and the storms of my life. And the plan He has for me may not look like what I want it to be, but that does not change the hope and promise of His presence.
So I am revising the list. I have decided to add a few new checkmarks to things that were in holding patterns. Instead of the dreams dying a slow death, they are getting a new update, one that reflects the confidence I have in Him to carry me through. His arms are big and wide.