“I don’t want to lose this feeling, the one right now.”
It’s the feeling that attached itself to an email from someone I’ve known for years. He had no idea he was including it when he sent the message about changes his ministry was making – changes that would mean I would not be traveling in the fall, not stepping on the holy ground of a place that had changed my life, not hugging the woman who has become the very heartbeat of the stories that change stories.
“Would it break your heart to step away from Jamaica? I have somewhere else in mind for you.”
My response was the right one. I knew it was. That I want more than anything for Christ to be given glory and people to be cared for and ministry to be done well. That change is a good thing because it keeps us pressing on. That I would be honored to serve, wherever the destination – even if it meant the destination would change.
But I didn’t answer his question. Because my heart was indeed breaking, but by not by any words he had penned.
It was breaking by the feeling.
The one that whispers, “God doesn’t even believe in your dream – just throw the book away.”
It’s the feeling of a dream being gutted by fear. The seed of doubt that grows like dandelions with no hope for wishes.
Within moments, the feeling had consumed me. The book had been called out as a joke. My writing had been declared illegitimate. My passion to tell stories had been deemed fraudulent. The voice had confirmed the fear that lived so deeply inside me, the one I have to slay each day – that my dream is indeed just a dream.
And I remembered her voice. The voice of the heartbeat on that small West Indies island. “The world needs our story, love. You’ve got to tell our story.” The tears fell as I sent a note to a friend who knows the fear I try to keep well hidden, knows the shame that still tries to push through the cracks of this life that finds its joy in restoration.
“I don’t want to lose this feeling because I want to remember how empty it is. So if it ever threatens to return I can look at it with familiar eyes and then tear away at the very throat of the lying voice with one trembling brave left hand. My writing hand.”
And so I face the fear that threatens to slay me. And to it I say, “There are stories to tell. And I will not lose – no, not one.”
Why am I sharing this moment with you? Because I believe you’ve been there before. And I believe you’ll be there again, if you are a dreamer. And so know this – I am praying for you even now, that you’ll have boldness to look fear in the face and call it out. That you’ll be able to hold your dream high as a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God who gave it to you as a gift. And that you will rest in knowing that not one moment of your dream will be discarded or destroyed in the battle.
I’d love to know what your dream is – would you share it with me in the comments, or send it to me in an email?