Let’s go to a movie. Then after, we can talk dreams. The little ones, the big ones and the one we’re scared to speak out loud, Amanda texted me a few night’s prior to New Year’s Eve.
I was dumped on New Year’s Eve in eighth grade. I had decided this boy was going to be my first kiss, a peck; because Christians aren’t supposed to kiss. I had even given him a whole plate full of Christmas cookies in hopes to seal the deal.
Then he called.
And dumped me by telling my friend to TELL ME I was dumped.
Good friends follow-up this news by telling you to skimmy down into your sports bra and run out into the snow to make snow angels. I’m completely sure that moment was far more exhilarating than my first kiss with a dumb boy would have been. So amen, and thank you dear eighth grade girlfriends.
The remainder of my teenage New Year’s Eves didn’t improve and it wasn’t until post college that I learned my most favorite way to celebrate an upcoming year is at home, with loved ones, sans pumps and glitter.
Amanda and I slipped onto her couch under this GIFT FROM GOD that she has; a heated blanket that feels like all of heaven has come down and snuggled upon you. And we began to talk dreams.
I don’t really have any right now, she said.
Me neither, I replied.
That was it. We continued the evening by sharing a pizza and me scavengering through her untouched leftover Christmas treats laying on her countertop.
I’ll be honest. I was disappointed.
I really thought that night was going to be a life changing conversation for me. That with a waive of a wand, we’d solve all my aches and longings and set me on a very clear direct path to arrive at that point in life called PERFECT. And we didn’t. In fact, I left Amanda’s house at 11:39PM because I literally was so tired (and because my mom has trained me to worry incessantly on drunk driving on New Year’s Eve and the only way to not get killed is to beat them home.) I counted a quick fake 10-9-8... Happy New Year!, hugged my dear friend tightly and then found myself back at home, tucked under my sheets… dreamless.
‘Cept for this. The other day I was talking to God by the fireplace. That’s where most of my conversations happen with the God of the universe; by a fire indoors made of fake wood and run by electricity – I much prefer this luxury vs having to do it the old fashioned way of Moses’ days. Having to find God in the wilderness with sandals and dirty feet just isn’t my thing - nothing worse in this world than dirty feet, a sin in my books! No wonder Jesus washed feet the night before he died – he was all like Listen folks, this dirty feet thing, THIS is sin. This is brokenness.
I much prefer my fireplace God to Moses’ burning bush God.
So there I was before my God. And I prayed for those close in my life. I usually tend to face the direction in which those people live and hold my hands towards them – like maybe I can reach them a tiny bit more that way. Bella was at her dads and so I reached with all my might, nearly on my tippy toes as if that might get me a touch closer. And then I said: God, give me eyes to see her. Gawd, I want to be a better mommy!
I covered, then patted my eyes as I said this, an ache for me to see the world differently, to see my daughter as much like God sees her in my limited human capacity.
And as I did so, I pictured the blind man and the mud. I imagined scooping up my own mud and wiping it from my eyes – maybe it would help me love better, but if not, I’d at least have spiritually exfoliated a bit.
Interesting it’s mud. From dust we come, dust we’ll finish. The earth, the world. It’s like Jesus was saying to us through the blind man: Listen, I made you AND formed you. I creatively knit you from this. THIS. Just mud. Just dirt. And I made ALL OF YOU. That’s how pretty awesome I am. But this dirt, this earth – it’s the real deal stuff. It’s your birth and your death. There’s another world you tend to look to, but keep trying real hard to see the world, the reality I created – not the fantasy you keep turning to. Cover your eyes as many times as you need to, to re-try to see me. And THAT'S where you’ll find that love you’re longing for to gift to Bell; it's already in your hands. you just have to find it.
I think God wanted me to have that conversation with Amanda. To get to a place where I felt I had no dreams so that I would look around. Because it was with no dream in place for the New Year that God finally got the necessary space to speak to my heart: “member how you dreamt of Bella? ‘member how you used to picture growing up and having a baby of your very own? Do you see her? Do you see your dream, alive and well? Let’s do THAT this year. Let’s enjoy that dream.
Dreams come and they go.
Dreams propel and inspire.
Dreams come from our earliest memories and longings.
Dreams are so far out we can’t imagine them anywhere but out there, somewhere.
Dreams exist both in our past and our future.
But at some point dreams ignite and come alive. Let’s not forget that part of dreaming, I mean, right? When the dream stems legs and starts running around (in my case, it literally has two feet, the most contagious laugh and a spirit that can ignite even the darkest room… my dream’s name is Bella Grace; which means beautiful gift.)
Happy New Year, y’all.