You know those moments in your life where you were a child and there was no limit to how high your imagination would take you? You could dream it and it would happen. You could think it and there was no stopping you. You could dream and dream and dream for hours on end and nothing would change. There was nothing standing in your way. There was no one there to tell you your dreams were dumb or irrelevant or never going to happen. There was nothing and no one to take away that childlike faith in the process of creativity and dreams.
I’ve been on a journey and it’s been one where I’ve felt like I’ve let go of some things I dreamed about doing. I decided I am going to share some of those things with you all in hopes that we can do some damage control and get back the former things people stole from us. So here goes…
- Marriage. I know you may be thinking “geez… it’s not that big a deal. It’ll happen when it happens, Linds”. I know you’re right. But when you have people making jokes about your singleness, laughing at the thought that there’s no one at your church they could match you with, or even calling into question your sexuality, it hurts and because it hurts, you let it go. You think, I must need to lower my standards to find someone because obviously there’s no one that will meet my criteria of man I’m looking for. I’m going to be 30 this upcoming year. 30. I’ve never been more excited for a new decade before. My 20s were full of hurt, dumb decisions and the awareness that my humanity is vulnerable to other humans thoughts, comments and opinions. Marriage is important to me. I have dreamed of being a wife and mother since I was a 4 year old girl. I know the Lord cares about me and cares about my dreams and desires because he put them there. So, here’s to the possibility that meeting a nice, Christian guy at church. It could happen.
- Kids. I love kids. I love spending time with them and listening to their wild stories and imaginations. I love singing with them, reading books that I have memorized backwards and forwards, coloring, and challenging them to dream bigger. I love spending time with children because if you tell them “hey, I think I want to go to the moon” they will look at you and say “that’s awesome. You know what would be cooler? Going to Mars. Mars would be awesome AND that’s where the martians live. Get it? Mars? Martians? Yeah, I’d go to Mars” (based on a true conversation I had with a 5-year-old). Kids don’t care. They don’t care how lofty your dream is…they will dream with you and they’ll make your dream sound silly and small! I have always dreamed of my children… I have fluctuated between wanting 2 to a house full. But I know I for sure want a boy and a girl. I want to teach them how to love Jesus, how to care for others, how to believe and have faith, and obviously why we love OU football. I have this dream and believe that it will come to pass. I also want to adopt. I don’t care from what country, I just want open my home and heart to any child that needs a family.
- Dream Job. Do you know what it’s like to stumble (literally…not even kidding) into what your calling is? For years, I struggled trying to fit in a mold that wasn’t for me. I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. When I discovered counseling it was like a weight had been lifted…no, like the blindfold that had been over my eyes had been taken off! It was so freeing to read material and absolutely know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could implement this in everyday life. I could use this and I could help someone! I started reading material that I enjoyed and wanted to spend time reading for hours on end. When I started dreaming about being in practice and having an office of my own and working with clients to get them operating at their most healthy level, I was met with mostly yeses and “oh, you would be so great at that”‘s. But the ones closest to me told me I should re-evaluate, look at how much time I really had and essentially, dream smaller. That caused me so much confusion. I then thought, “well, maybe they’re right. What if I can’t do this? What if grad school is too hard and too time consuming? What if no one wants my help?” The only way to silence the lies…bring truth to the equation. The truth was, I was not where I wanted to be. I had found something that was like a hidden talent I didn’t know I had and I didn’t want to hide that! My dream job is working as a therapist for kids, teens and adults who have been through trauma and feel like there’s no hope for them. I want to love the unlovable and show them Jesus. I want to have an office that when you walk through those doors, you’re met with peace and it envelopes you like a blanket. I want to pass my NCE and make this dream a reality. And truth be told…I’m more than half way through my graduate program and after 3 semesters and 2 summer sessions, I’ll be an OU graduate with 24 hours of post-grad before taking my exam. Y’all, out of all my dreams, this one is the closest to actually happening.
- Health. I’m 5’5. I’m curvy. I’m blonde and have green eyes. I’ve weighed as much as 250 pounds and as little as 135. I’ve found that healthy doesn’t look the same on everyone. Healthy on you maybe 130 with wonderful muscle tone. For me, my healthy is 168, size 10 jeans and large t-shirts. It’s not disgusting to be a woman with curves and muscle. It’s not a bad thing to have more “meat” on your bones. I’ve worked myself into a frenzy trying to be the “fit one” of my family. I had friends that I always felt I needed to look “good” for because they didn’t want to have a “fat friend”. I saw a picture of myself this weekend that made me incredibly sad. I have been working on eating better and trying to figure out the time where I can get in the gym. That hard work was covered up by the over sized t-shirt I was wearing. I looked fat. I looked at my sisters in the picture and they look beautiful, while I looked like frump girl. I don’t dream of walking down runways at fashion week, but I do dream of waking up comfortable in my own skin. I dream of waking up and not caring who I see, not caring if someone I see will think I’m pretty. I dream of being confident and knowing who I am is exactly who I’m supposed to be. I dream of being the healthiest woman I can be and knowing that there’s a guy out there who will think that’s attractive…and you know what… that’s not a bad thing at all. So I will keep working until I achieve that.
- Singing. I’ve always loved to sing. Loved it. Have I been good? No way. My poor parents. I would sing at the top of my little lungs and my mom said it was like I was tone deaf. She told me she would try to find a nice way to ask me to sing quietly, but I always got my feelings hurt (HAH! That doesn’t sound like me at all…oh wait…). My mom said there was one day that she heard me singing and that something had changed… something was different. I was on pitch. I was matching the pitch I was hearing and that had never been the case. As I got older, I stuck with singing in choir and leading worship in my church and I continually worked hard at getting better. No one wants to sing badly. Every person who sings or plays an instrument wants people to hear them and think they can do it. I have taken more lessons than I can count. I’ve learned classical arias. I’ve mimicked the greats like Celine, Mariah, Christina, Adele and Barbra. I’ve tried my hardest to push my limits. I’ve practiced scales until I was hitting notes only dogs could hear. But none of that matters unless I’m using that gift. I was in church yesterday and had an epiphany. I am more me when I’m worshiping with arms wide open and heart abandoned. I’m more myself when I am just worshiping Jesus. I’m not the best worship leader by any means. In fact, I have A LOT of room for improvement. But the only way I can improve is to use my time wisely and when it’s me and Jesus, I need to worship. I have to worship. I have to use that time to set my heart and mind on him and when the opportunity comes, I will lead with all I’ve got. I’m thankful for my church….more on that in a second. Point is, when it comes time to worship, do it knowing that this is the moment God longs for…just you and him.
- Church. I grew up in church. It was because of my parents that I have a relationship with Jesus and the importance they placed on faith being a central piece of who the Davis family is. We changed churches a few times when I was growing up. But every time we did, my sisters and I made friends and got to know the leaders of our youth group and got involved as quick as we could. I’ve had some wonderful experiences at the churches I’ve had the opportunities to lead at. I’ve been under fabulous leaders who have helped shape me into the leader I am today. But with every change, came a little hurt. Youth pastors got their feelings hurt when we would leave. They would take it so personally, when really, we were following my parents leading. My parents never made a church decision without praying fervently, asking the Lord for direction. When you’re a teenager, you don’t get to ask your dad why. At the family meeting (yes, we did have Davis family meetings), you could ask why, but if dad said “your mom and I feel like this is where the Lord is leading us”, you took that and said “yes sir. We understand.” It wasn’t always up for discussion. Sure tears were shed, but at every new place, there were people there who almost knew us before we knew them. It was like God knew exactly what Jess, Hailey and I needed before we did. That’s why I’ve learned the importance of trusting that leading. One of my favorite moments in my church life has been finding Antioch. When I came to Norman, I was terrified. I didn’t tell anyone that. I just put the brave face on and let my parents leave my new city without crying until I close the door watching them leave. I didn’t have a church. I didn’t know my way around without my dad driving me around. I visited one church and felt ok about it, but was still uneasy. It was a cold Saturday night in January when I drove down Lindsey Street and saw the Antioch sign. I turned into the parking lot and started to cry. “I don’t know. God, what if they don’t like me? What if there is no one here for me? What if I’m the lone loser who walks in and immediately feels intimidated? What if…” The quietest answer came through my tears and said “but what if you walk in and find so much more? What if this is where I’ve intended you to be? What if joining this family is exactly what you need? What if you trust me?” I’m so glad I did. I walked through the doors and immediately felt like people knew me. People cared about me. Someone walked me into the sanctuary and made sure I had people around me. Someone talked with me about life groups. Someone, or several someones, talked to me and made sure I felt a part of the family. That was it for me. I wept through worship. I hadn’t been in an atmosphere of worship like that in ages. The tangible presence of Jesus was all around me and I wept. Having been on a journey of dreaming and seeing some of my most important dreams disappear, having the dream of a church that not only meets needs, but puts you in a place to help meet someone else’s needs was at the top of my list. The dream of a church actually being a family and working together with other churches and not competing… that dream has always been in my heart. I’m so glad I found a place that fits that. I could go on and on about Antioch and someday I will, but last night I asked the Lord to just confirm some things for me. “God, I just need to know that there’s a yes somewhere for me. That I haven’t missed you…” There was a prophecy given last night and Tulsa was mentioned. My one fear of graduating so fast and early has been that I will have no choice but to leave Norman and move back to Tulsa. My one fear is that all I’ve found here in Norman, specifically my church family, will disappear and I won’t find that anywhere. Within the words that were given Tulsa was mentioned. Tears streamed down my face. That’s all I needed. Someday, Antioch is going to make it’s way to Tulsa and Tulsa will never be the same. And that’s what I dream about at night.
This is just the beginning of a very long list of “former things” that I know are going to happen. I know the verse in Isaiah 43:18-19 says to forget the former things…do not dwell on the past. But, I do believe that there are dreams that have been planted in us and sometimes those things get forgotten or trampled on and it causes us to “forget” them. I think when God spoke these verses he also included those former things having new life breathed into them. I feel as though God is saying “You may have forgotten those things, but I never have and I never will. I’m going to breathe my life into that dead thing… It’s going to have new life. It’s going to be new and fresh and you won’t be able to deny my life reviving spirit at work in your life… That’s how I work”. So, the former things you think have died, they’re going to have new life. I hope you’re ready for that moment, because when it happens, you won’t be able to stop the things that God has placed in motion.
What are your former dreams? What are your former things that you’ve let go? Think it over. Pray about it and watch God work in you…