How to Dream in a Healing Season

My dreams look different these days.

Yes, in some ways, there are still big dreams tucked into my heart about the usual things – career success and home design and adventures and the typical things we think of when we talk about dreaming. On the other hand, my wildest and bravest dreams, the ones that stir my soul, are simpler and slower.

I dream of being truly healthy – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

I dream of finding my ideal pace in life and being content in the present.

I dream of healing coming to my family and peace instead of drama being the norm.

I dream of learning and growing and becoming the type of woman I want to be.

 

These dreams are a little less shiny. They aren’t always going to translate into a lot of praise from others or social media fame. They aren’t fancy. They don’t look like traveling the world or receiving accolades. They look more like dreams for a simple, wholehearted life that’s truly aligned with my values and desires.

 

My life right now is in a season of healing, one that I’ve wanted to rush through and give a deadline. That doesn’t actually work. We cannot micromanage or hustle our way through healing and to wholeness. We can’t schedule it out and tell our hearts, minds, and bodies how to react and process.

 

The other day I was with one of my dear friends, one who was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We were at a worship event and were taking a break sitting outside on the ground. She told me, “I like seeing you like this. I haven’t seen you like this since before your parents’ divorce.”

The like this is at peace: resting, not leading, not in crisis, not at an event, not trying to be super deep and intentional. Like this was just being.

When the people closest to you comment on your behavior, you should listen. They usually are seeing something that’s hard for you to see for yourself.

It’s true, it’s been a long time since I’ve just been. I’ve been fixing and healing and numbing and fighting, fighting so dang hard, for so long. I’ve been the friend with a lot going on. I’ve been the friend you need to check up on. I’ve been the friend running a million miles per hour or else I’m a total mess.

To be the friend who sits in the sunlight and simply is present, that’s a dream in this season of my life, that’s who I want to be.

 

My counselor, my husband, my pastor, and my friends have all said the same thing – this crisis may have blown up over the last few years, but the core of how I operate has been present for a long time. That’s what needs to change within me.

This season is about finding the woman that God always intended me to be – kind, confident, and peaceful with a side of spunky, wild, and free.

While I was hurt badly by my parents’ divorce, more than anything, it exposed the mess inside of me. It pressed on me. What came out of the pressing was a complicated mixture that I am proud of and somewhat regret. Often all rolled up together.

I found that my default is to use busyness to avoid pain. Or else I feel stuck in it, paralyzed and panicking.

I found that I love playing the hero. I love fixing things. I love being the fun one and the one who brightens up the world.

I found that I place expectations on myself that are higher than anyone else could place on me.

I found that I take on responsibility where I do not have authority, this combo leads to resentment and sometimes angst.

This is what my pain exposed. It also forced me to my knees, to the Presence of God, to the comfort of my husband and close friends, to my words.

 

I know that I’m building something out of this rubble.

In some ways, getting married felt like the restoration of so much heartache in my life. But marriage was only the beginning. Yes, it was a huge thing that I was believing for and my marriage has been one of the biggest blessings in my life, but the restoration and redemption of my life is a bigger picture than just a girl learning how to fall in love and commit to forever.

This season of my life, these early years of my twenties, are years I know will shape me. How I use them are important. While the ideal is to use them building some amazing career and having wild adventures and doing a million other things, I feel this parallel calling to use them to shape the person I am underneath all the action. I want to use them to shape my soul, spirit, and mind.

So that’s what these dreams of mine look like these days.

 

When I talk about being a wholehearted dreamer, I’m not just talking about daring to go out and change the world. I’m also taking about daring to go deep and change yourself. Not through our own might, but through our frailty and understanding of the might of God. Not in a formula of to-do lists and self-help, but in the deep heart work and slow, steady growth.

We are becoming – through trials and grief and anxiety and pain. Whatever our dreams need to look like, we will receive them and dream for the future while learning to be more present in the process.

This is how you dream when you are healing – in whatever way you need to.

 


Want some practical tips? Here are a few:

  • Get alone with yourself and ask the hard questions like “what do I want?” and “who am I becoming?”
  • Write things down. Both where you are at now and your dreams for the future.
  • Share your hopes and dreams with others.
  • Repeat as you need.

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