The Day I Killed My Dream
“I have to kill it–my dream. The dream of ever getting married at all.”
I heard my voice say this to her on the other end of the phone. What am I saying?
“I can’t carry this anymore. I know He gave it to me, desires of my heart, it’s not a bad thing to want, blah blah, I know, I know. But I am so done with the unmet expectations. I’m still so mad at Him for ‘telling’ me things that I built my hope on. And I know a root of bitterness has taken ground. I just can’t anymore. I used to be so free and consumed with Jesus and the Kingdom and I can’t be that Danae anymore because of this huge distraction.
I feel like I’ve been walking the Way of Life…but constantly ready to deviate and follow my own path at a moment’s notice. I can’t carry this Dream healthily, and so I don’t want to carry it at all.
So I think I need to kill it. If He ever wants to give it back to me…He can surprise me with it.”
I closed my eyes and leaned forward from my position sitting cross-legged on my bed. I felt heavy with the weight of the burden and relieved at finally speaking aloud those words.
She confirmed it. What else?
“I don’t know how to give it up. I don’t know how to do any of what I know needs to happen.”
“Okay. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, we love You and we want to hear You.”
“Can you see God?”
“Yes. but I can’t hear Him. I don’t want to. I’m still so mad and I’m afraid of what He’ll say. And if He does speak, can I even hear Him, and do I believe Him? I don’t know.”
“Do you want to tell Him how angry you are?”
So I tell Him. I let Him have it. I was convinced beyond doubt that I was hearing truth straight from Him. And it felt like the Word returned void.
I saw myself as a five-year-old. MAD. Arms crossed, pouting. The sight made me laugh in spite of myself because of course. And then I saw His face and it shocked me.
Tears. Papa was sobbing. I watched and felt as the five-year-old was so surprised by the tears and the simultaneous empathy that was flowing from the Presence that she jumped into His arms and let Him hold her. She still couldn’t hear Him. But she was feeling a little bit again.
She spoke through the phone, “What’s He saying?”
“I can’t hear Him. I still don’t believe Him.”
“…Do you believe me?”
“Yes, I do believe you.”
“Then hear this and believe this. Marriage will not complete you. You will not stop being lonely if you get married. There is still pain, there is still heartache, there is still hardship. You will only be content and complete and FULL…with Jesus. That is the truth. His is the only intimacy that is guaranteed.”
And I believed her.
And then I saw that the five-year-old had her fingers in her ears. Take them out. She did and then smacked her hands over her ears. I laughed. Stubborn. Finally she relaxed. And waited on Papa’s lap as trust began to be rebuilt. Empathy is powerful when God Himself is sharing your pain. Your loneliness. Your confusion over the misalignment between Heaven-words and People-words. He gets it. I don’t know how, but He does.
“I’m seeing a vision of you on a mountaintop. You sacrificing your Dream will be like Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac. That’s the magnitude of this. But, Danae…I don’t see a ram. God is not providing a way out. You have to kill it.”
Whoa tears. Whoa deep well of grief and mourning the loss of THE heart’s desire. From childhood, this longing has consumed me–in some seasons more intensely than others. But consumed nonetheless and distracted nonetheless. My body tensed in reaction to my emotions internalizing the weight of this. Abraham’s One Thing. My One Thing. No, it’s not a literal, physical, living, breathing human being but it might as well have been, the way I’ve been carrying this dream f o r e v e r. Wooooowwwww. Yep.
So I just processed this. And sobbed. And through the phone she began to pray, and as she did, the five-year-old became the 25-year-old, and I was covered head-to-toe in a suit of armor. And I saw, as she prayed Anger and Bitterness off of me, that I had been hiding and protecting with them. With the prayers, the armor disintegrated and I suddenly became aware that I felt better than I had in months.
White. Flowy, soft, long-sleeved linen dress, and I’m in it. I’m smiling at Him and I can hear Him now. He’s laughing.
“What else does he want to give you?”
The most beautiful gold necklace. I put it on, and I’m laughing. We’re both so light and full. He grabs my hand. “Let’s go to the mountain. Now, while we still can!”
And I am so ready.
So we’re standing at the stone-slab altar and it’s all like Narnia and darkness. And I know that my Dream will show itself in a physical way. It does.
A pop-up book. A big, glittery, pink, castles, meadows, waterfalls, knights in shining armor fairytale because DUH. I don’t mess around.
And I laugh again because that’s exactly what It is. A Fairytale. A made-up narrative. I feel a dagger in my hand, so much like Narnia, and Papa catches my eye and says, “Do you want me to help?” and I’m shocked as I feel myself say an emphatic “No. I’ve got this.” Even with a smile on my face. I thrust the dagger through that pop-up book.
And it’s done. I can’t see anything for a minute. She speaks on the other end of the phone, “I just saw Him hand you a key…and it goes to a door, and above the door a sign says ‘Real Life.'”
And I LAUGH. Because yes. Yes, PLEASE. I’m so ready for Real Life.