"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Journeys and Dreams

I dreamt last night. I dreamt a lot. I had four very different dreams all with the same theme and the same ending...

I woke up tired. And in prayer...

In each dream I was trying to get somewhere, a very specific destination, and I just kept getting lost. Working hard and drawing on all my knowledge of the certain area I was dreaming about, I would make my way toward the destination and still find myself lost and the desired destination far-off. And, throughout each dream, and at the end of every dream, I ended up at the same starting place.

Frustration filled my night. The "starting place" was a fearful place, a bad place, but I wasn't afraid in the dream. I was just frustrated. Each time I would end up in that "same" place, I would feel utterly defeated, deflated and discouraged. "I am here AGAIN!?" And, I knew that "that same place" was so far from the destination I was so eagerly working my way toward... and then I would wake up.

I have been talking much lately with the Father, and those I who are close to me, about this journey of faith. Is it long, arduous, and utterly frustrating at times? Yes. Is it full of blessing, peace, victory and joy? Absolutely. Ahh... but it is both.

I am not entirely certain why this has been a recent topic of conversation for me and my Lord... maybe a "mid-life" mini-crisis of sorts as I look back now on 20 years of faith. Where have I come from? Where am I going? And, why do I often "end up in the same place". ...same sins, or at least the same roots of insecurity, pride, doubt, and fear.

Unlike the dreams, where I just couldn't seem to get anywhere... I couldn't move forward... this has not been my experience in my faith-journey. In fact, I rejoice in the truth that I have come a long way. Truly, I can hardly recognize the Stephanie of 20 years ago. In these 20 years, I have known significant victory, deep peace, and genuine joy. And yet, ... And yet. I have such a long way to go. The "destination" of holiness, awareness, and heaven feel far-off.

And, sometimes I feel lost along the way. And sometimes I feel tired. And, yes, often I feel frustrated.

But... as I fell asleep each time last night, I continued on. I pressed forward and "hated" that "same place". I kept trying and kept moving forward. And, so I do today in my faith journey. I will press forward and by grace alone I will arrive at my final destination! Thank you, my dear Jesus, for securing this truth and this hope!

"...to follow Jesus is to take the high road to Calvary. Littered along the Calvary road will lie skeletons of our egos, the corpses of our fantasies of
control, and the shards of self righteousness, self-indulgent spirituality,and unfreedom."
~Brennan Manning, The Signature of Jesus
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