Off to Africa

photo-1Today I leave for Africa. Per usual, my luggage is not packed, but it's contents are spread across three rooms in our apartment. I've taken my vitamins and just washed down my first Malarone pill with a veggie juice. I am hugging and kissing my husband non-stop. In two days, I will be on another continent.I never imagined the life I am living. I didn't have enough dreams in my heart to imagine all that is possible. On my best day, I couldn't have dreamt all that God had planned for me.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20 Message Version

Dreams are powerful and dreams are fickle. In second grade, I wanted to be a star basketball player for Duke. In tenth grade, I wanted to win the Nobel Peace Prize. As a senior in high school, I wanted to be a fashion designer and buyer. During college, I wanted to make a name for myself. By the time I moved to LA eleven years ago, every dream I had was dead in the water. I was broken, hurting, alone. Survival had replaced my dreams.Have you ever considered how hard it is to be human? Life happens to us and the pain of our past drives us toward more pain. On top of our choices, our culture sells us a selfish dream. It whispers and it shouts about fame, achievement, awards - things that fill our souls like fast food fills our bellies. We are full, but with nothing of substance, so we crave more, and more, and more. In all our getting more, we are not satisfied.It's time to dream a bigger dream.I am thankful that my mom dreamed a bigger dream for her children. She was not content giving my brother and me the same life she had - she wanted more for us. Her dream included us. I am thankful that my Pastors decided to commit to Los Angeles 30 years ago. They had no idea in dreaming their dream, my dream job would be possible. I am forever grateful my husband's dream for family includes me and all the babies, grand babies and great grand babies we don't have yet.Dreams are a way for our imagination to give voice to the impossible. We hold dreams lightly because they change. We hold the God of our dreams closely because he doesn't. He gives us more than we could ever ask, imagine, or think. As we surrender our ideas, our opinions, and our dreams, He rewards us with His dream. God only ever gives His best.God has given me a new dream. As we go off to Africa, another unimaginable piece of the dream is born.What is your dream? God can give life to that which feels dead in the water. What is your pain? God can take your pain and turn it into purpose.