Hey there! Guess what! This is my 100th blog post! (Cue the party horns, with confetti and balloon drop!). It will be a year ago in a couple of weeks since my first blog post here. That’s amazing! God is so amazing! Pull up a chair and grab some tea and a cookie to celebrate with me.
It doesn’t seem likely that I would be here. I’m just a kid from Kansas. But what an adventure I’ve been on! From my adoption at birth, through my teens, then the marriage and divorce, the rough years, to where I am now is almost unbelievable. You couldn’t make this stuff up!
I decided about a year ago to attempt to say ‘yes’ to anything I was sure God was saying to me. That in itself has been one adventure after another- minor and major! Going to Israel, quitting a perfect job to go volunteer at Sanctuary of Hope, joining the Catholic church, and all the other travels this year- Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Israel and finally, Mexico. Just reading about it wears me out.
Have you ever had a dream you thought you were too old to chase? I’m here to tell you, you’re never too old! When I was in my late 20’s, I went to community college; I’d been out of high school for over 10 years. I signed up for 15 hours, and the next week I discovered I was pregnant! It took 10 years, but I graduated with straight A’s and my Associates degree. But the age part? The oldest student on campus was well into his 80’s… the oldest graduate was in her 70’s. I guess it’s never too late to chase a dream.
So, I’m ready to chase more of my dream. I’m very seriously looking at college. Out of state, away from the tiny county where I’ve lived my entire life. To study theology, so I can live and share my faith more effectively. Yes, I’ve already been questioned as to how ‘useful’ that degree would be. The question is always, ‘and you’re gonna do… what with that?’
Chasing dreams isn’t for the faint of heart. Even with all the excitement, there’s a price to be paid. With every new thing we embrace, there’s something we must release. Something we will still love dearly, but will no longer cling to. A security, a familiarity we give up. There is often a very real loss and corresponding grief we experience. There is a cross to bear on the way to the next level of life.
A couple of weeks ago, we sang the song “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. One of the verses says, ‘the cross before me, the world behind me’. Jesus let me see part of the cost of going away to school. I would be moving 13 hours away from my home, my dog, my friends, my church. And my daughter and grandson. I couldn’t just run over there if they needed me. I’d miss some of seeing my grandson growing up. It’s not forever, only two or three years. I’d be back for holidays and visits. But I would have to trust the Lord to take care of them. Do I trust Him?
I’d be moving away from my BFF. This affects both of us. She has MS. Not that she needs my assistance at this point by any stretch; I’m sure she can out-hike me on any given day! It’s a very slow form, but there is no guarantee about how quickly she will progress. We get together every week for ‘yarn night’. We started out crocheting together. Then it morphed into dinner or shopping at the local farm store or thrift store. Neither of us will have the other one to call and say, “Hey! I’m going to the craft store, wanna come? Or, I’m going to Wal-Mart. You need anything, or just want to come with me?”
Then I think of Hebrews 12:2 … it talks about Jesus enduring the cross for ‘the joy set before Him’. In other words, the level of new life at the end was worth the price He would pay. Am I willing to endure my crosses to gain the next level of life He has for me? That may largely depend on my own attitude. Why do I even want the next level? Just for me, more pleasure in my knowledge? Or so I can more effectively share His life with others?
What about you? Has He put dreams in your heart to chase? Are you willing to chase them? Can you hear Him calling you, like in the Song of Songs, “Come away with Me, My love! Let’s go leaping on the mountains and skipping on the hills!”. What adventures await! Will you pay the price? Go for it!