I posted on social media recently about dreams, goals and visions. It read something to the effect of “If a dream causes more stress and tension than joy, it might be a nightmare. You better reality check yourself.” It came after a personal reality check. My dream was too big. I needed to let it go, and I thought I did, but yet I still hope...
I am a self professed idealist. I dream BIG dreams. I know no other way. I’m not Pollyanna and assure you I have bad days, sometimes really bad days, but for the most part I want the best and hope for the biggest and best. This, surprisingly, doesn’t always lend itself to a super optimistic outlook. BIG dreams don’t often come true, but often come with pain and growth and wiggling out of comfort zones and hard work and explaining yourself and defending your silly BIG dreams to the people around you. They’re not easy to keep because they’re so unrealistic. And yet… I dream them still.
My biggest dream BIG dream is, of course, to make a healthy living off my writing. But I have another dream. It’s lived inside me for decades and as I have grown, so too has my silly little BIG dream… Want to know what it is?
Ok my BIG dream is to someday own a resort where people come to rest and retreat. Yeah. I want to offer a space of refuge, a place of peace, away from the stresses of life to all who are weary. It started simple and small, after a family tent camping vacation to Flathead Lake in Montana. My children were elementary school aged, so this was about twenty years ago. The campground hosts were a lovely retired couple and I remember thinking to myself that I would like to be them one day. I wanted to keep a campground clean and tidy for the guests. I wanted to listen to them share their lives. I wanted to watch them get in the boat with their family and catch fish. Yes, I wanted to cultivate a place of rest, retreat and refuge in nature and enjoy it with others.
It’s grown BIG over the years, this silly little dream of mine. As Jeremy and I grew our investment portfolio it occurred to me that I could do more than humbly host. I could own the campground and shape it into this thing I see in my mind’s eye, this place of peace. I upgraded my dream. It grew BIGGER to the point of impossibility. There’s no way I’ll ever get it… but then again, maybe, just maybe I will.
A place popped up. Most of the boxes in my dream resort were checked. I was enchanted. It was high priced. Practically out of our possible price range. Completely impossible. I know this. I know there is no way and yet I dared to dream. I had my handsome Realtor husband show me the grounds. I wanted it. I probably even prayed for it before the harsh “no way, no hows” of reality snatched the silly dream out of my hand and threw it to the ground. It shattered into a million little shards of sure not gonna happen. No way. Or maybe just “not yet” and herein lies my sliver of hope...
What’s more, therein all that fanciful BIG ridiculous dreaming a revelation rose from the ashes. My BIG dream is only possible because there’s enough possibility from where I stand now to make it a dream to even hope for. We ARE real estate investors. We DO operate an obscure Okay Oasis that welcomes guests to rest and retreat. We MIGHT have the capital to make a deal work, if not this deal then another deal. I HAVEN’T always been this way. There HAVE been times in my life where a dream like this would truly be unrealistic, not just impossible.
The same realities that smashed the dream stirred up a song in my soul that humbled me to my core… “Who am I?”…
Who am I that I dare to dream this dream? “Who am I that the eyes that see my sin would look on me with love and watch me rise again?” Who am I that I have the nerve to dream this dream? I am a methamphetamine addict with a less than 5% chance of ever staying clean. And here I stand 24 years later clean by the grace of God. Who am I that dreams this dream? I am the batty, bruised up lady talking, okay, okay screaming irrationally to herself as she stumbles down the side of the road. Now unmedicated save for the workouts to keep my endorphins and serotonin levels healthy for several decades. Who am I that dreams this dream? A college drop-out with nothing but a two-year community college degree that took five years to earn. Who am I to dream this dream? Who am I? I am her. And yet I am here. And yes I do dare to dream my BIG dreams!
I am a child of the most high God. I am redeemed from a pit of addiction, self-hatred, mental-illness and uneducatedness. I am lavishly loved by me, and God (and a bouquet of my favorite souls too!).
By most standards I am an epic fail as far as love and life go. I know there have been laughs behind my back about who do I think I am to dream about a writing career or owning a beautiful place to let people retreat to. I know because there have been laughs right in my face too. But still… I think I’ll keep my dream! Yeah. I’ll dream BIG because if a bum loser like me can be saved from the impossible pit I came from, a safe place by placid waters might just be possible too! Ever and always, dream BIG little one ;)
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