"Have you ever wanted it so bad, it hurts?" I asked my husband this evening.
We'd just put the baby to sleep and I was hanging off the bed so as not to wake him with the light from my iPhone - the one with the screen cracked in a million places that I refuse to repair on principle. (I love Apple but seriously, it's a racket folks.)
I've been reading again, and I'm so excited with possibility that my heart is threatening to jump out of my chest and down into my feet just for the thrill of it. I know my blood is pumping at an insanely unhealthy rate, but I'm powerless to stop it.
I can't calm down.
"Want what?" he asks.
"It. Want it."
He looks at me curiously to see if I'm in one of my moods again - the ones where I get all, "I can conquer the world," on him and start dreaming bigger than Mt. Everest.
"Sometimes, it's so close I can taste it," I tell him, choosing my words carefully in hopes they will make him understand. "I know I can do something great, Musa. I know I'm capable of so much more than I'm doing right now. If I could only follow through."
I wait for his usual affirmation, but tonight my husband, my biggest supporter, is silent. Maybe because he just spent $100 on the writing class I decided I wanted on a whim. Maybe because I'm not making any sense. Maybe he's too tired to dream with me.
But on this particular evening, I am undeterred. I march downstairs, turn on my computer and come here.
To a world of words. My safe place.
Maybe you feel like that too. I can't be the only undisciplined dreamer out there. Maybe you feel like you're stuck in a rut waiting to be discovered, working to make your side hustle your main hustle. Maybe you're like me - tired of hoping big things will happen because your dreams just disappoint you.
Dreamer friend, take comfort tonight in the fact that you. are. not. alone. I'm right here with you. Sitting in the trenches struggling to believe. Trusting God that this very moment - the one spent in my living room on my couch in my PJs with a bowl of cereal and my laptop, bearing my soul to a world that neither notices nor cares - this moment is meaningful.
We are exactly where we should be. Discontented dreamers make determined doers. There is hope for us.
But surprisingly, it is not what you might think.
The only hope for disappointed dreamers is a loving savior who frees us from having to try so hard.
I should know. I try really hard.
There I was. Late as usual. Speeding down a local road praying (while breaking the law, mind you) that God would make time stand still like He did that time in Joshua.
As is always the case whenever you're in a rush, someone's grandmother had somehow wandered over to the fast lane and was moving at a snail-like pace. I was sure I could walk faster than she was driving. Heck, I could probably skip faster.
So I did what any good Christian would do. I checked for cops in my rear view, then switched lanes, stepped on the gas, and passed her on the right without a second thought.
Traffic was horrible. I caught every stoplight known to man. I glanced between the GPS, the clock and the road like I had OCD.
It wasn't until miles and miles later, when I was sitting at a stop light that took an eternity, that I looked over to my left and noticed the car beside me. Sure enough, it was grandma.
To this day, I have no idea how in the world she caught up with me. I'm sure she was doing 35 MPH the entire time.
But the Holy Spirit spoke to me in that moment so clearly:
"You're rushing to get where you're going, Christina. But I'm going to get you there at exactly the time I want you there. You won't get there any faster or slower than I say. You can try to take shortcuts, but they won't work. I'm the one in control."
I ran my first 5K solo. It was at the National Harbor and I went out to prove to myself that I could do it.
No training. No eating plan. No Couch to 5K.
Just sheer will and determination.
It started off pretty good. The scenery was beautiful. We ran down to the water and beyond the Gaylord near the shore. It was the perfect day.
I picked a person in the crowd to keep pace. She was middle-aged, short and older, so I felt confident she was a good pick. I passed her not too long after starting, quickly picked another person and matched their pace. I felt great.
But as the adrenaline started to wear off, I started to slow down. Then came the hills. I was running so slow it felt like I was on a treadmill. I can't remember exactly when, but my pace-setters both passed me.
They weren't the only ones that passed me. A young mother pushing a stroller up the hill sped past me too. I willed myself to keep one foot in front of the other.
"Hold on! You can do it!" came an older voice from behind.
Who else but grandma. She was much older with white hair and she called out to encourage me as she passed me.
I barely finished the race, and swore solemnly that day that I would never, ever come get lapped by a grandma.
It can be frustrating sometimes - dreaming and doing, failing and trying again. And it can be scary. I've only ever really had one dream in life, and I feel like it let me down ... or I let myself down.
But God can handle broken dreams and broken hearts. Only He can handle them, in fact.
And whether you're living your dream, or still finding your dream, or waiting for the big break, He wants one thing of us all - surrender.
Giving up doesn't seem like the best way to get ahead does it? Maybe not.
But I've learned that you can't hurry God's work and you can't rush through life. It's meant to be enjoyed in the present. And part of the journey is trusting Him every step of the way.
Thankfully, every time I forget, He lovingly reminds me. Even if it does mean sending a few grandmas my way :-)