Last week I read Sheridan Voysey's book 'Ressurection Year'.
I wanted to read it for a couple of reasons:
- Due to disability, I've had to and will have to let a lot of dreams go. I wanted to hear how others have coped with the pain of having to release dreams back into God's hands.
- The question of suffering - or as Sheridan's wife, Merryn says "Is God a meanie?" I have strong opinions on this, but I'm always interested in hearing what others think.
I don't want to say much about what the book says and the conclusions it comes to…. go buy the book if you want to know that!
The dreams Sheridan and Merryn have had to let go are different to mine - but also similar in a couple of points: Children and ministry
I made the decision before I married Steve that having children would not be a good idea. As a teenager it was my dream to be a mum, but with my own health, medical history and the risk of passing on my health problems, I could see it wasn't a good or a safe dream.
It's been a difficult dream to release, not helped by unthinking comments and people feeling they can share their opinions on my decision. But it was right to do so. It's taken a long time - but I'm at peace with that decision. I don't bite people's heads off for making silly or insensitive comments any more either!
I've had my moments of asking if God is a meanie, but I know without a doubt He's not. Just read back over some of my blogs and you will see behind them the wrestling I've done and the fight I engage in to protect children from some very dangerous theology on suffering. (See one of those blogs here)
But this book was about broken dreams and knowing when to leave them behind.
That’s a hard one - the one about having kids was a hard one emotionally, but in every other way it was a 'no brainer'. The hurt of no kids vs the pain of watching your child suffer in a multitude of ways, and not have the physical ability to care for them…… yep - no brainer.
I know there will be people from the miracle brigade who will vehemently disagree with that, telling me I have no faith - I should have had a child and trusted them to God….. Yes, people actually have said stuff like that. Well, bless you for sharing your thoughts I say…… but this decision was between me, Steve and God. It was right to let the dream go.
People with disabilities have to let many dreams go, and so do parents of children who have additional needs and disabilities. Many of the things you have longed for and hoped for are gone either in a moment, or wrapped up and thrown away in a slow decline.
It's not a case of choosing to let these dreams go - it a decision that's been made for us.
At the moment I'm looking at what I do as a children's worker and a consultant. More work is coming my way that I am gifted for and able to physically achieve - but it means having to choose what to let go. That means looking at many long held dreams and seeing which ones to release.
Although I can 'do' all of the things I do, the physical energy expended on some of them means I have to do less of other things to balance out my energy. I need to work smarter - which means I need to dream smarter too. (At the moment I'm dreaming of getting my regular days off back!!)
Some of my dreams I can release to others, and enable them to fly with those dreams whilst allowing them to adapt the dream into their own way of working - this is good and healthy.
Others, I have to accept will be laid down permanently, unless God chooses to lay them on someone else's heart.
I'm at peace with all this - yes, really!
If you too are facing having to lay down a dream, 'Resurrection year' may well be a help. For me it was a moment of feeling God's hand squeezing my shoulder and Him saying "yes, I know…. Yes, I care, and yes I'll be with you and guide you as pass some of your dreams on to another" I also had the assurance of a fresh vision/dream to take forward - still as a kids worker and consultant… but working and dreaming 'smarter'.
Keep dreaming my friends.