Sunday, August 29, 2010
Letting Go of Dreams, People, Places!
I'm glad you stopped by for a visit today. I have been bubbling over wanting to share with you about a sermon I heard today. It meant something to me, turned a light on in my head that shined its light right into my heart.
The title the minister chose for his message was "Drawing Straight From Crooked Lines". Interesting title, isn't it?
The crux of the message is that our lives are lived in "crooked lines". We make plans to buy a house and then we are laid off from our job or transferred or get pregnant and therefore our line to buy that home is put off while we have a detour down a crooked line. He talked about how our lives are filled with the unexpected: a lost job, a spouse dying, a home burning (his did 5 years ago and he lost everything), a child moving across the country, etc. He spoke of how God's plan for our lives was a straight line to our destination of becoming all we are created to be but that we see "the crooked lines" as detours because we don't see the entire plan. We aren't able and that of course is where faith comes in. Resting in God's love, knowing that the road we travel is the best one for us. None of this is new to us, is it? But the slant of thought that he brought to the message that was meant for me is this: "most of our deepest suffering as human beings is because we don't let go of the plan we had, the outcome we wanted". Is that what I do I asked?
Have I caused myself pain because I didn't let go of a dream. Oh yes, that is what I have done, it is what I do and I have increased my pain by doing it. Instead of mourning the loss I could be celebrating the road I didn't plan.
Case in point. When we moved to North Carolina through early retirement, we picked out the town, the state. We could have gone anywhere but one daughter was in the Marines and stationed at Cherry Point,NC, one daughter was in West Virginia, single and planning on following us, the third daughter was in junior high school and with us. I had read all the books that warned not to make any retirement plans based on your children's plans because they always change but still I did just that. Oh, logically I could see that children aside it was a good and logical choice. The winters are milder, we are within 20 minutes of a larger city, beautiful scenery, my husband wanted it, etc. But a dream doesn't have much logic, does it?
The daughter in the Marines had been stationed in NC for 7 years and planned on always being here. Loved the area. She met a Marine from Chicago, married him, left the Marines and moved north, 12 hours away. The daughter in WV married a man she met from England and they want to stay in the mountains. The baby girl is going to vet school in Raleigh but wants to live all over the world. My dream was if we moved out of WV where jobs seem always scarce, the odds were the kids could all find work in NC. We would live at least within a couple hours of each other and we would be there for each other to lean on, learn from, laugh with from now on. My dream died. I limped along and wept as it crumbled piece by piece as everyone's plans changed. This message was a wake up call. I know that what we dwell on multiplies whether it is joy or sorrow. I know that we either see the glass half empty or half full. I have always considered myself the half full person but when I heard the statement this morning that most of our pain in life is caused by our not letting go of our plan, our dream, our hope, I saw the light shine on my attitude. I have tried telling myself over the last 8 years that oh well, I am not the kind of Grandma that wants to baby sit every weekend, I am not the kind of Mom that wants to cook family dinner every Sunday but still the pain persisted. Now, I see that I must celebrate the crooked place in the road, I must birth a new dream, I must choose joy in the way it turned out because God has a plan that is greater than the one I dreamed. I have seen it before in my life. I must see it again.