My husband and I walked (*) till we found the dirt coastal trail at Land's End, San Francisco.
We've never hiked the entire trail so we were grateful to find a map.
The map had the words "YOU ARE HERE," inside a big pink circle. And I thought of how I began my walk with God. He told me, "For all have sinned," (Romans 3:23) and that included me. Even as an eight year old, I knew I had not lived how God created me to live. I knew I had been selfish.
From there, I have gradually unwrapped a little of who God is, and His dream for me. My dreams were not encouraged as I was growing up. So I am here: asking God questions, exploring, and listening.
At the beginning of any dream, we need to stop and figure out where we are. It doesn't matter whether your dream is to lose weight, give more time and money to help ___________ (a child, a neighbor, a stranger), or find one's calling.
Or maybe your dream is to repair a broken relationship, have/adopt a child, or start a ministry.
I dreamed for several years of reconciling with ______. Finally I had to listen to counselors, my patient husband, and friends, who said there was nothing else I could do. The map showed she didn't want reconciliation.
Where was I? In denial, then acceptance. I pray for her, and I still love her. But I am no longer bending backwards trying to reconcile with her.
It sounds basic to figure out where you are, but it is not. One of the hardest things to do is to admit where one is right now.
Not where one thinks one ought to be (e.g., At my age, I should be _______), or where one would like to be.
Where are you, now? Take a moment to think. Write it down. Maybe, you don't know. That's okay, at least you know that much.
Knowing where you are is the essential first step to making your dream a reality. Where you really are, right at this moment, will determine what your next step will be.
For example, a friend shared her big "aha" moment, when she finally admitted she struggled with alcohol addiction, and she got help. She turned to God, and she joined AA. She developed accountability relationships.
Or when I told God I wanted to be who He created me to be. I was sick of trying to please certain people, and not listening to the ache in my heart for more.
Going to God with that ache, and asking Him to guide me is what eventually led me to start my blog. It took me a while to admit I wanted to write, AND it was a worthwhile use of my time. A big hurdle for me.
Once I decided to write, then I had to acknowledge a big gap in my knowledge and practice of writing. I subscribed to Jeff Goins' excellent writing blog (Check it out!). In the next week or two, I will post an interview with Jeff Goins, AND a GIVEAWAY of his book, WRECKED. Look for it.
This quote shows our partnership with God:
There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self, and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God. John Calvin wrote, "Nearly the whole of sacred doctrine consists in these two parts: knowledge of God and of ourselves."
Quoted by David Benner, Ph.D., in his book, The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery.
If you haven't already, I hope you will take time today to ask yourself: Where am I? Be honest.
Almost daily, I pray Psalm 139: 23, 24 because I need God's help to search my heart. On my own, I know I can easily deceive myself.
Search Me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
-Psalm 139: 23,24
Where are you? What steps have you taken toward your dream?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this adventure with me. Next week, I hope to post Part 2 of A Parable at Land's End, where we will explore the trail's long middle part.
If this is your first visit, here is my first post in the Dream Series.
(*) Many thanks to dear friends, who watched our girl for us, as part of our belated anniversary celebration.
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Copyright Dolly Lee/Soul Stops 2012.