I grew up in the 70’s. Well…let me rephrase that. Since I’m not sure that I’ve actually grown up yet, I’ll put it this way—I entered junior high in the 70’s. Back then, I dreamed of being a designer and was always making something. In the seventh grade I had a collection of 60 beaded chokers that I had created. More is better, right?
Soon after my beaded choker phase, my design capabilities advanced when I became fascinated with my mother’s Kenmore sewing machine. I wish I had a picture of the amazing already-faded denim skirt with the western yoke and ladybug buttons I made in ninth grade. I’ll never forget the first day I wore it to school.
I was out at recess at Western Oaks Junior High. Of course, ninth graders didn’t go out on the playground. We were too cool for that. Instead, we gathered out back on the blacktop. When the girls saw my skirt, the oos and awes began.
“Where did you get your skirt?” my envious girlfriends wanted to know.
Beaming, I announced, “I made it.”
“Really? Will you make me one?”
“If you get me the fabric.”
“Where did you get jean material like that?”
“I cut up a few pairs of my brother’s old blue jeans. I saw a pile headed to the Goodwill. I couldn’t let my mom be guilty of such a crime.”
For those of you that were born after the age of cardboard denim, you might not be able to comprehend why the worn out stack of jeans was such a treasure. Back in the 70’s faded denim was an extravagance only achieved after months of continual wear. I didn’t have a closet full of a variety of jeans. No, I washed and wore the same pair EVERYDAY until they finally faded and looked stylish. But there was one small problem. By the time they did look good, they no longer fit. Because while my jeans were shrinking and fading, my butt was campaigning for expansion.
I remember lying down on my bed just to get the zipper up and then doing squats to loosen the seat so I would be prepared for strenuous tasks…like sitting. Denim and fashion—such a vicious cycle. Kind of like my dreams.
Back in the day, I dreamed of being the next Calvin Klein but by the time I got to college, my bankrupt self-confidence talked me out of pursuing my dreams. I opted for a prudent degree—one in Business Finance. Not much of a risk taker, it took me a long time to realize that dreams and desires don’t go away because we decide to take the safe route. I thought it sounded impressive to tell people I was a bank examiner or in commercial lending, but in reality, finance and banking bored me. In my heart, I wanted to create.
Turns out, as a stay-at-home mom, I really didn’t need a degree to be a domestic engineer. Even now, my youngest is 16, but here I am—still at home. Who knew that teenagers are needier than toddlers?
I still indulge in creative efforts now and then, but my passion for writing is the strongest creative urgency I’ve ever discovered. For me, writing is like designing with words. Writing is artistry and encouragement, all woven together. I start with an inspiration, add truth and embellish it with anecdotes and humor and wa-lah!
It’s odd though—I never dreamed of writing in high school. My plans were to be a designer, but it wasn’t until adversity encountered vision that the passion to write stirred inside of me. The same thing happened to the Apostle Paul.
In Acts 9:3 the Bible says that while Paul was traveling on the road to Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. In this passage, the word light comes from the Hebrew word phos which besides meaning a literal light also means truth, knowledge, and the power of understanding moral and spiritual truth. In essence, light also means revelation.
Before that encounter, Paul perceived that his life’s work was to persecute Christians. It wasn’t until he ran into his destiny on the road to Damascus that Paul comprehended his real purpose. When he was blinded by the light he came to the end of himself and found a new beginning.
Sometimes, our own dreams are like a pair of jeans. By the time we finally achieve what we thought we wanted, our dream has faded and no longer fits. Thankfully, God has a way of pulling things out of us that we didn’t even know existed. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
When we get to the end of ourselves, we find the beginning. When we finally die, life springs forth. So get blinded by the light, and see your destiny shine.
Prayer: Father, help me to be aware of the truth that surrounds me. Help me to surrender my own agenda and submit to the plans that you have for me. Your plans far exceed any dreams I can achieve on my own. I pray that you would illuminate your truth to me so that I can fully walk in your ways and accomplish the purpose for which I was born to achieve. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
Scriptures to Ponder:
v Acts 9
v In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
v But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16
v The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138:8
v God is mighty, but does not despise men; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose. Job 36:5
Thoughts to Ponder:
What are your dreams for your future?
Have your dreams faded or increased over the past several years?
Have you ever experienced the death of a dream? How did you feel?
Like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, we often discover our destiny when adversity encounters vision. Have you ever experienced a similar encounter where a difficult time brought new revelation about your destiny? How did that affect you?
In Acts 9:15, the Lord says that Paul is his chosen instrument to carry his name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. How do you feel about being God’s chosen instrument for the task he has fashioned for you?