I spent my fondest summers visiting my grandmother in the countryside of Croft, North Carolina- a tiny farming community just north-west of Charlotte. Croft boasted in having a historic general store, Food Lion and Tasty Freeze. The pace of summer was slow and the delights simple: sunshine, a cool breeze, fireflies, swaying on the front porch swing and having a cold glass of Cheerwine.
Summers were magical because it meant I could allow my imagination to run wild- my grandmother's home (built in the 1830s) was an excellent backdrop for make-believe. Childish pretend games with my cousins of explorations of "far off lands" or the "Jungle" as Tarzan and Jane with our “lions and tigers” (cats & dogs.) Oh my!
If I'm honest, my favorite part of those summers was simply sitting on the front porch listening to my grandmother reminisce about the "good old days." I loved quietly listening and imagining living life at that time. From those moments, I began to dream of my future. What would my life be like, and how would I one day reminisce over the past?
Dreams blossomed of a future that looked much like my grandmother's life- complete with a close-knit family and country home. Perfection in my young mind was a replication of my grandmother's life- at least the best parts of her life, and I believed if I could achieve it, life would be grand.
Fast-forward 35+ years later.
Here I am in Croft North Carolina, living right next door to my grandmother’s house complete with a close-knit family and my own country home that even has front porch rockers/swings. I’ve been blessed to be able to replicate that life for over 20+ years and can say it has been grand.
All things must come to an end for you see, our land has now been sold, and that childhood dream has come to completion.
Now, I have a choice- wallow in self-pity over the end of a dream or embrace the idea that I might have other dreams that are not yet realized.
Scripture tells us:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
I take comfort in this passage because it speaks hope, future, and freedom. It tells me that dwelling on the past will only hinder my progression forward and my vision of the future. The wise choice is to accept that God is making a new way for me and what I might perceive as a wilderness is actually a blossoming adventure of being transplanted into a new blessing-a new dream waiting to be realized.
God has been with me every step of my life and granted me dreams and provisions that have been overflowing.
So, I will cling to this Scripture, and I will take Phillips Brooks advice-
“You must learn, you must let God teach you, that the only way to get rid of your past is to make a future out of it. God will waste nothing.”
Dreams Unrealized Can Be A Good Thing.
I will place my trust in a God who blessed me with childhood memories and dreams, believing His "new dream" will be even better than the old and maybe also include another front-porch swing in the design to grant me even more blessings to reminisce.
Father, thank you for the dreams you have granted both realized and unrealized. In all things, open our eyes to your goodness and give us your peace as you guide us through this life, trusting that all things will work together for our benefit.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” ~ Proverbs 3:5