“… unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
It is the dream-come-true moment that lodges itself in our memories.
The day the baby was born. Or the day you wore the cap and gown. Or the day you moved in.
It isn’t that you’ve forgotten. It is only that time does heal and dreams-come-true are complicated. They ask so much of you. When you are changing diapers in the night or ripping out weeds for a new garden you do not have much energy to spare for looking back.
Which may be why I have written so much about dreams-come-true and so little of letting them die.
Because no dream lives that has not yet died.
Some call this surrender. They describe it as letting go. Giving back to God. Release.
I prefer to call it planting.
First there is the dream. It seems to have come at once from somewhere deep within and somewhere so far beyond yourself that the only explanation is divine. God has whispered, and your eyes are now open.
That is the seed.
Then comes the next day. Which turns out to be not all that different from the day before. The dream appeared to be so real, so startling and immediate, but life seems not to have noticed. Life is much the same as ever.
We each have our own way of living these days. Some of us wrestle and rage. We cry and we grip and we will not let go until, utterly spent, we drop the seed and we bury it.
Others of us begin to doubt almost immediately. I can live without this, we say. Maybe it was never meant to be, we tell ourselves.
This is how dreams die. How they are buried in dark dirt.
This is how we live with dry bones.
Waking up is difficult. Resurrection, even of the figurative sort, can be painful.
T.S. Eliot warned us:
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
It is painful to dream again. To risk a broken heart. To walk through a valley of dry bones and say I believe.
But, oh friends, I am convinced. It is the only way to live.
I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. … Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.
On Monday, an envelope stuffed with papers arrived in my mailbox. I knew it was coming, but I still caught my breath when I saw it there.
It sat on the kitchen table while we gathered groceries and medications and swimsuits. School begins on Monday, but we were squeezing in one small family vacation before calling summer quits.
Late at night, with our bags packed and our kids in their beds, I read the papers. I signed the papers. There was no time to visit the post office, so I packed the papers with everything else the next morning.
We drove north toward Ithaca, New York. The Finger Lakes, they call them. It’s a storybook landscape of mountains and water and red Dutch-style barns. The kind of landscape I found only in books when I was a child growing up in Texas.
Just the right landscape for a dream-come-true.
Now that I’ve left those papers at a post office in Ithaca I can tell you this:
Dry bones do live and this autumn and winter I’ll be writing a book.
I’ll be writing a book for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. … Then you will know that I am the Lord.
And I pray, Let it be to me according to your word.
Let it be, let it be, let it be.
Thank you, thank you, Sarah.
Oh my dear friend! How exciting! I can’t wait to walk through this process with you!
Oh, yes, Cara! I’ll be leaning hard on my writer friends these next six months. Grateful for you.
This past couple of weeks has been difficult for the church I work for. The pastor resign and emptied his office in the middle of the night. the church is grieving, I am praying that they don’t divide . .or spend too much time and energy in the whys. Your post touched my heart. The brokenness, the dying of dreams, but I so loved the planting – the newness ahead – the Resurrection – the rebirth.
Thank you for sharing this. I hope and pray as you put your heart to words that God inspire you, so you can, in turn, inspire us!
Suzy, I’m so grateful for your prayers and praying for you and your church today. I’ve learned (the hard way, of course!) that New Moons are the very darkest moons. It can be so hard to believe in new life when the sky is black, but it’s true. Joy does come in the morning.
I can’t wait for this book:) So excited for you, and for us, your readers!
Thank you, Kimberly. Grateful for you as a friend and fellow writer. Let’s lean on one another …
Congratulations. I know this will be a book I order the moment the pre-publication orders begin to be taken. I will also say to my friends not “this is a book you have to read” because I sort of recoil when someone says that to me, but I will say here is someone who writes with a spirit I find so refreshing and encouraging. I am so happy for you and all of us who read you.
Your words have made my heart glad today. Thank you, Dan.
Man oh man friend.
I’m rejoicing with you.
And I’ll be cheering you on in every season of this beating of fruit onto the page.
Thank you so much, Elizabeth. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you …
Congratulations to you, Christie! How wonderful. Patience and perseverance…we never know what is around the corner!
It’s true, Carol. The night can seem so long, but morning, once it begins, rises up so suddenly.
Quietly cheering you on from my small corner of the world! Such good news!
Lori, so grateful for your cheers! Thank you.
I found myself catching my breath opening this post, and knowing all the work God has been doing to breathe new life. I cannot wait to see all that God continues to do through this season. And, I’m just so excited to read the book!!
Ah, Aimee, you know just how long ago I buried the dream. It is a special joy to celebrate with you. Can’t wait to sign a copy for one of my oldest and dearest friends. *Hug*
thrilled for you. not the slightest bit surprised, given how consistently lovely your words in this space are. but thrilled 🙂
I hope you can soak up every last bit of joy. What a wonderful moment.
A great moment! Thanks for celebrating with me. And I’m extra grateful today for those who helped along the way. You are on that list. Thank you.
Can’t wait to get my hands on it!
It’s a bit like welcoming a new baby into the family, isn’t it, Lisa-Jo? And you are certainly an honorary Auntie. 🙂
Exciting news! Enjoy Ithaca — it’s gorges 🙂 OK, that must be why I am not the one writing a book…
Ha! Sarah, it was stunning. Absolutely gorges. 😉
Just thrilled for you, my friend. This is the way of living with dreams…
Thank you, Kris. So true.
“I prefer to call it planting.”
Yes, me too.
We will pray all spring — good things are to come, friend!
Thank you, Ann. Truly.
Such good news. We are thankful and proud….and will love reading your work!
Thanks, Dad. 😉
Holy Spirit chills…big smile…AMEN….praying with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can’t wait to read it!
dear one! what a glorious display of splendor it will surely be! i am glad i will share a state with you these next few years as i see this dream of yours unfold, hopefully more up close;)
Yes, Jessica! Can’t wait to have you and yours so close.
You know I am cheering you on, have been from the beginning. So excited for this season and to be following your journey. Hugs.
Shelly, thank you. *Big Hug*
This is excellent! You have a way with words and I see many books in your future! Congratulations!! May God continue to bless you as you enter this new chapter of your life.
I cried reading this. Because . . . hope.
I’m praying one deep breath and rest as He leads you. That you remember He did this. And His timing is always perfect. May you abide there, in peace.
Such good words! Thank you, thank you, Amy. I don’t live in NY but not too far away. About 4 hrs. south of Ithaca in southeastern PA. Please tell me if you are ever in my area, and I’ll do the same. It would be such a treat to hang out in person. 🙂
And, you live in New York? Where? I live in Central New York . . . not too far from Ithaca, actually . . . and I travel to NYC and Westchester County often for work . . . would love to know where you are and maybe, possibly, visit over tea one day.
I’ve been in a place of the darkness for several weeks. Last night hope began to rise. A physical switch flipped in my mind. I am so grateful for those moments. And for friends like you with words to describe feelings I know so well. I can’t wait to read an entire book of those words. Love you-
Thank you, Jamee! Hope is such a gift. We can’t manufacture it, but we can hold on tight when it is given. Praying it continues to grow in you. *Hug*
Beautiful, wonderful news. So happy for you – and not surprised in the least.
Thank you, Diana. So grateful for your consistent encouragement! You do my heart good.
Yay, oh yay! Christie, I’ve been wondering about this, and hoping for you that this dream would come true. I’m just thrilled that it is. Please let me know if there’s any way I can help as you bring this book-dream to life.
Thank you, Kimberlee! I will definitely do that.
Christie, I’m a little tardy to the party here, but I wanted to give a hearty “Congratulations!” God bless your writing! And on your earlier Ferguson post: if ever you make it to Ferguson, meet me for lunch (I’m right across the river)!
Thank you, Em. I would LOVE that. Some day …