I used to be a dreamer, a vivid, imaginative, active dreamer. I remember my dreams well. I used to replay them over and over again in my mind as I would lay in bed falling asleep at night. They were vivid dreams crafted with detail. Fantasies and idyllic visions that took shape in living color.
I used to love to dream about my future and what it would look like. I even had my future house picked out and fully furnished. It was a traditional style home with big windows, lots of light and a wrap around front porch. The kitchen was white and bright complete with a fabulous island and farmhouse kitchen sink. The bedroom in my dreams was serene and the bathroom spa inspired. The yard was lush and green, landscaped straight out of the pages of The Secret Garden.
In the home of my dreams I envisioned myself enraptured in the life of my dreams. A husband, two kids and dog completed my dreamy perfect picture. My husband was handsome and sweet. He even brought me the occasional bouquet of fresh flowers. In my dreams he would return home from work, greeted with a kiss and the scent of a homemade dinner roasting in the oven. Outside the kids would be swinging and sliding on their play set while the dog lounged under an old oak tree. My dreams for the future were a fantasy of the life I hoped would come and the family I hoped to create.
But all of those rose colored dreams have died.
The death of my dreams began in the garden when I came to realize I wasn't endowed with a green thumb. The dream of the perfect house and pristine floors died shortly after thanks to the reality of dust and mortgage payments. With age and maturing wisdom I buried my material dreams. They were never my most precious dreams anyhow.
Still I clung tightly to the upholstered dreams, the dreams that couldn't be manufactured or produced. I gave up on my perfect house dream but I didn't give up on my perfect husband dream. The kitchen he entered looked different in my mature dream based in a more realistic cape cod but he still came in after work to the same greeting. And he still strolled in with the occasional surprise flower. The kids still played in the yard and the dog still enjoyed the old oak tree.
But then an unexpected reality killed that dream, too. Sickness stole the most precious jewel in my dream chest. Illness put to death every last vision and image of my most vivid dreams.
I don't remember the last time I lay in bed at night walking through the house of my dreams, cooking in the kitchen of my dreams for the husband and kids of my dreams. The dream of that life has been dead for so long I can hardly remember where I buried its memory. It has been years since I've gone looking for its tombstone. I'm afraid it would be to painful a sight.
When I buried my dreams I said a final farewell to dreams forever. I didn't go out and purchase new dreams and build a new house in my mind's eye. There hasn't been a new dream husband. There is a dog but she's real and she doesn't seem to favor one sort of tree to another. When I lost my dreams I lost more than a set of fantasies and idyllic pictures. I lost the very ability to dream at all.
I have never really mourned the death of my dreams. Occasionally I have thought about the void they left behind but I never let the thought linger long. It hurts too much.
But God won't let me forget the pain. He keeps reminding me of my scars. Over and over again He directs my glance back to the wounds of my past dreams that I have refused to acknowledge and let heal. He wants me to look because He wants me to realize how gaping the wound. God keeps drawing my attention back to the most painful parts of my heart because He wants me to recognize that the ache needs healing. The cut left behind by the death of my dreams needs mending and the only way it can be made whole, healthy and right is to let God fix it. The only hope I have of being restored is to let God do the work of revitalization. The only way I will ever have the ability to dream again is to let God bind up my brokenness and restore me with new dreams. His dreams.
I used to be a dreamer. A vivid, imaginative, active dreamer. And because God is willing and abundantly able, I will be a dreamer again.