verb To have the courage to do something.
When I was younger, I played games like "truth or dare". Many times, people choose either option depending on the type of person they are. I personally chose based on the group of people that I was playing with. If the group of people I was playing with were more adventurous, I would choose the "truth" option. I played it safe in those situations. I've always been the type of person to make decisions based on the predicted outcome. Unfortunately in life, we can't predict every outcome. In some scenarios, we just have to have the courage to step out on faith and live.
DREAM /drēm/ noun A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.
When I was younger, I would dream of my adult life. The type of home I would have, the type of car I would drive and even the type of family I would have. I always envisioned myself as a wife and knew that eventually I would become a mother, although I was never in a rush to have children. What happens when the life you've always dreamt of doesn't come to pass? This is especially hard for me, because the trajectory of my life was right on track for everything that I've always wanted. I had a great career, a few businesses, made good money and had a husband whose comedy career was taking off! Everything in my life seemed to be on track for my dreams to come true....
The reason why the title of this blog post is called DARE to dream again, is because at this very moment, it feels like I am a kid again playing TRUTH or DARE. Because the TRUTH is, I am terrified to be hopeful for the things that I once dreamt of due to past disappointment. The TRUTH is, you can plan as much as you want, but things still may not turn out the way you want them to. The TRUTH is, that "many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”Proverbs 19:21. The TRUTH is, that at this point in life, dreaming feels like the biggest DARE I could ever face!
I would have never known that living in my purpose would mean that at 30 I would find myself as a pregnant widow. I now realize that this journey was necessary for me to become the woman that the Lord is calling me to be. I've always been someone who planned and prepared for the future. I was always forecasting to the future and getting excited about what accomplishments would be next for me. After experiencing the loss of Chris, I found it hard to dream or be hopeful for future things. I found myself only able to focus on things in the immediate future. Part of me believes that it is because ultimately, I know that I have no control over anything. I just chose to allow things to naturally unfold. Part of this is great, when it comes to trusting God and allowing Him to order our steps. The other part of it is actually not great at all; it's a trauma response. Choosing not to plan or look forward to the future is due to past disappointment and things not coming to pass the way I thought they would. Recently, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my life and the things that I actually would like to have. I am now realizing that the hopes and dreams that I once had are becoming a desire once again. I am now starting to think about the home that I’ve always dreamt of, and the family that I’ve always wanted. I am realizing that just because things aren't unfolding the way that I planned, doesn't mean that they still can't happen.
What I've realized through this experience is that although my journey isn't what I expected for it to be, I can still have those things that I've always wanted. Since my purpose is attached to my journey, the life that I've always wanted won't even compare to what the Lord has for me! The impact that my testimony and my journey will have on women is far greater than I could have ever imagined. Let me run through a few series of events for those who may not be familiar with my story.
I got married at 21, was married to an entertainer and had a very non-traditional marriage. He lived in New York for most of the week and traveled often. We didn't have our first child until I was 30. I underwent a procedure for endometriosis prior to getting pregnant, during which they also had to clear a blockage in my fallopian tube. My pregnancy was high risk due to fibroids, suspected ovarian torsion and then the diagnosis that my baby was growing smaller than normal. I then became pregnant a widow at 30, just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the entire world down. After having my daughter, the Lord told me to stop working as a RN and focus on ministry. I started a non-profit organization to help young people like me who experience grief and loss during the early stages of raising a family. It was difficult for me to navigate and find resources as I went through my grief/healing journey so the goal of my organization (Beauty Over Ashes) is to provide the support that these grieving parents need.
I could not have fictionally written my life story. I would have never imagined that I would have the resilience to live through this story. Typing out just a few years of my journey amazes me because there is so much more that wasn't mentioned in the above paragraph. There are so many things that I've gone through in just 33 years of life that I know it was only the Lord who has gotten this far. I am now in a space of healing and willingness to be open, share and inspire those who may also be experiencing a season in their life that is challenging. Many times we look at challenging life experiences as obstacles or things that will hinder us. I like to look at them as relatable talking points for us to witness to others. Once we get to a place of healing, and understand that this journey was to push us INTO purpose, we will then realize that it's OK to DREAM again. It takes a lot of courage to decide to live again. Each day, just take one more step closer to your future and allow the Lord to guide you every step of the way. It will not always be easy, but it will certainly be worth it!