I was recently talking with another soccer mom about my daughter Rachel being in Germany right now pursuing her dreams.
Rachel is in language school so she can pass the German proficiency language exam required for admission into the German university system.
Her first year out of high school she also spent in Europe, first in Germany then in Austria going to Bible College (two different Capernwray-Torchbearers Bible Schools), a dream of hers that she fulfilled. http://www.capernwray.org/worldwide/Capernwray-Worldwide.html
This mom friend that I was talking to about Rachel said to me, “I think it is wonderful that your daughter is following her dreams after high school to go to Europe and travel.” My friend went on to say that she also had a dream after high school to go overseas, to go into the Peace Corps, but advice from her parents and well meaning adults was to first go to college and get the career thing going, then travel. Then go overseas.
It’s been 20 plus years and still dreams left un-fulfilled for this soccer mom.
I too had a dream. To go to Africa, and I have had this since high school, and I had told my parents I wanted to maybe become a Bible translator and go to Africa and though they did not discourage this dream, they did advise that I first get my degree.
I got my degree. Got married. Had kids. Never went to Africa-yet.
Yes, I am doing other good things and I feel God has given me new dreams and I am so blessed to raise these amazing five children and I feel like I am making a difference and I continually pray for God to direct me and my family’s lives. I am not saying I am not living the life God would have me live and I know I prayed a whole lot for God’s direction in my life back when I was young.
All I am saying is my advice to my kids and to others: Live the dream now. don’t get stuck in a prescribed life. Don’t feel like you have to live the boxed in life someone else where you just have to fill in the blanks. Ask questions. Dream big dreams. Follow those dreams. Live the adventure. While you are young. While the dreams are still vivid and strong and you don’t have responsibilities and jobs and kids and a spouse.
I am not saying that you cannot live the dream while you are older with kids and a spouse and a job. But it just gets harder. I do believe in restored dreams and new dreams and never forgetting those original dreams. Sometimes, those dreams take different forms due to our circumstances.
I so enjoyed the recent Disney movie UP! http://adisney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/up/
In it a young creative Carl dreams of adventure and he meets a spirited Ellie, also a dreamer, both promising one another that they would travel to a lost land in South America. It is their dream.
The movie moves quickly through their lives- marriage, saving for their dream trip to South America, bills to pay, bad news on not being able to have children, saving for the trip to South America, more bills to pay, graying hair. And, still, no dream fulfilled.
Then, Ellie dies, and Carl remembers his promise to her. With a Boy-Scout type of 8-year-old boy named Russell, Carl lives his dream and finds adventure and inspires the next generation to live your dreams.
The message? It is never too late to go for your dreams.
But, always better to do them when you can.
My husband had a dream to travel across the country in his Fiat Spider convertible after he graduated from college with his engineering degree. He wanted to camp along the way and bring his guitar and sing at campfires and meet people and share Christ with people he met. That was his vision.
While he was interviewing for jobs, he made it clear to his potential employers that, though he was serious about a job and starting as soon as possible, he would be taking this trip with his convertible when mid summer hit, and he would need about 5 weeks off of work, unpaid, to travel.
Some potential employers said to him, “Call us when you are serious about working.”
One company though saw my husband’s potential and hired him (Blount) and Chris started work for a few months, and then took off for his dream of traveling across the country. He returned to work, dream fulfilled, and has continued to work for Blount for 25 years and has 10 patents for the company.
God honored him for following his dream.
A gal from the discipleship group I led for high school ministries at Rolling Hills has a dream. To go to Bible College in Germany, the same one my daughter went to. This gal is facing some road blocks to going and she is in her second year out of high school. She has had this dream for 4 years. She wanted to go right after high school but she just did not have the money. So she started going to the state college in town. But she is just not feeling that is where she should be. The dream/passion/idea to go to German Bible College has just not gone away.
Some tell her to get her degree first. But, she just does not feel that is what God wants. And she will not let the dream die. She is seeking the Holy Spirit in this. And so many signs are telling her this is the right thing to do. She is meeting people from Germany and people are saying, “Go for your dreams.”
She decided to quit school for now, work full time, save enough so she can go next fall.
If a dream is from God, He will provide and He will not let that dream die. There might be road blocks, but if we remain true to His Spirit in our lives, He will remain faithful to help us fulfill that dream. Despite the obstacles.
There was a story in The Oregonian about how a “gap year” can be a good thing in the life of a recent high school graduate. http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2009/07/gap_year_can_help_bring_life_i.html
I know in Germany, it is required to do a year of military or community or church service the first year after finishing your schooling. There is something so good about that. When students are required to serve in some capacity beyond the needs of themselves, they grow. They change. They re-evaluate life goals. They see what is important in life. Beyond, just working and earning money.
My daughter’s German boyfriend went to Africa his first year after earning his high school diploma. Fantastic. He wants to go back. And my daughter may be joining him.
Another dream of hers.
Hmm. Maybe I can visit as well. Finally, reaching that Africa dream after all.