[I’ve decided to start a podcast of my stories! if all goes well, you’ll be able to hear the audio form of my posts here.]
I’ve said this way too many times now, but I’m a dreamer. Ever since I understood the concept of the future and being able to achieve things, I wore my dreams like a badge of honor.
I’m the daughter of a single mother who always keeps me grounded. A vivid memory of ours was when I was six years old, and I wanted new toys, so I told her she could keep 3000 from her salary for food, and give the other 3000 to me. I remember her laughing at the brazen confidence of her daughter.
My uncle co-parented and stood as my father. I don’t know him by any other name but Papa. He taught me how to dream. He brought me to the fanciest places, taught me about art and beauty, and assured me I would see the world as if my destiny was already revealed to him.
The way they both parented me was a graceful, brutal dance to the tune of life. With my mom, it’s always the metronome humdrum of bills and debt and scraping to get by. With my dad, it’s classical music and my first designer perfume and arts and my first time on an airplane. I know I needed both. So now, there’s me.
I woke up one day a few months ago and felt this intense pressure to give my parents a house. I’ve been crunching up numbers, looking at home loans, trying to understand what things like equity and amortization mean.
I know I’m young and that’s my pass, I could think about these things later. But that’s not me.
The third Parent now teaching me is my Heavenly Father. The Lord is teaching me patience and faithfulness. The quiet of the backstage and the invisibility of serving others. He is teaching me that I need to be the least because that’s the greatest in His eyes. He tells me the most perfect time is His time, not mine, so while I work, I wait. And wait, and wait, and wait. I often say the Lord and I make such a great team, because He infinitely makes up for all I lack, and well, there’s nothing I bring to the table really, and it’s a bit funny, but He enjoys having me around. I’m just loved, and that’s all I have to be.
Imagine my delight when somebody told me that God plants dreams in our hearts as a means to point us back to Him. There’s a reason why writers can’t put the pen down even if it’s the hardest thing to do. There’s a reason why we look forward to a brighter future even if today speaks nothing of it. It’s because it’s His decree – His delight – to give the Kingdom to His children, and my utmost privilege is that that inheritance also belongs to me.
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” – Jesus, in Luke 12
Jesus gave me back the freedom to dream after years of poverty and debt and rotting houses. I can’t emphasize how much of a privilege this middle-class life is to me. One time I went out for a slightly overpriced pedicure and cried because somebody was washing my feet and making my nails pretty. How dare me! But I did not starve to death that day, I just sat there. I could just sit there and be pretty. It’s always funny and poignant to me.
So, today is the day I let my heart relax a little bit. I closed my social media feed peppered with targeted real estate ads. Because of God, that pressure is off of me today. I get to rejoice in the roof over my head, the jobs keeping me on my toes, and the dreams I see so vividly in my future. I am His daughter, and that’s my pass.
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Where would I be without Christ? Without the hope of a life that is indestructible by despair? Without the longing for a home that’s not here on earth? It liberates us from the claws of proving our worth here. I dream of a future that’s not for me – it’s for my mom, to never touch laundry ever again, for my dad, to tend to the garden of his dreams, and for me to keep finding ways to give myself to the Church minus the hustle to survive.
My heart gets to rest in hope. I can show up tomorrow and just be fully there, maybe open a real estate ad or two but not get bogged down by the numbers. Post-pandemic life is still tough on my budget but we’re getting by. Maybe I’ll get another pedicure in December and cry.
Oh, it’s freedom, it really is. Thank You, Lord.