Each day you hear over and over how we need to be more flexible, more healthy, have more time with your family and friends, take more time for yourself and be less busy, more “available” and less selfish…be a part of a community effort in raising money for the next charity, run a marathon, join a gym, eat organic, try to be vegan…….DO YOGA, whew, find your soul mate. With all these expectations and no time not to mention the money to do them, I can just see and hear a single mom of three looking at me with her stink eye and saying< “Pshhh yeah right? Me find time to try Yoga and eat organic? Are you kidding, you try raising a teenagers and a preschooler who only want McDonalds and Taco Bell who have basketball practice 4 times a week and still cant learn to clean their own room.“
So many of us have the ability to change our habits but sincerely cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel as to where to start. Sure, the alcoholic wants to stop, and sure the depressed wants to be happy, but where is the starting line and how can I even begin to try and convince someone that they have it in them to be completely healed all on their own accord?
Remember the days where letters weren’t written in e-mail form? Or a text message came in the form of a folded up piece of paper in junior high that said “ Do you like me? Check Yes or No? Yeah, those were the days of summer camp where you met that special someone that would sit next to you at campfire meetings and throw spit wads at you and you would wait after class just to watch them pass by your locker just to see if they were staring back….remember? We USED TO WAIT for that!!!
How many of us can remember that taking the time to pick up a pen to write something or sit down and write a letter to someone with a stamp on that envelop really made us settle down and truly think about the other person whom was the sendee? Ever notice that now through social media the immediate interaction has to be there or we panic…we call or text as soon as we sent a message if there isn’t a response within 15 minutes…how is it that our world has coincidentally forgotten the most fundamental principle of being “Patient”? Are we that selfish that we can’t wait for somebody to just sit a minute and think about their response to us? That to me has gotten me in so much trouble to where I learned a nasty habit, called…possessiveness. I spoke for the person, before they even had a chance to respond. Maybe its because I’m what they call “ a Do-er” and just knew that that person was NOT, I repeat, NOT going to follow thru with their end of the deal, so I either sabotaged it or re-created the answer as I saw fit so it would get finished…My family confirmed this phenomenon in me calling it “ Independence” and how was I ever going to get the love of my life being so darn “Independent”. Well, I call it being stubborn, out-right non-trusting, and frankly, I was selfish. I kept forgetting that God gave every person a will…a certain way of doing things and a certain time frame for them…not me, but for them…Call that being “general” ok, sure, but I spoke so much for the other that ultimately, their identity became so passive that they no longer had a voice…it was MY words coming out of their mouth. YUCK! Passive aggressive much? Yeah, I’d say so. So on and on I went babbling about how I was “sooooo good with people, and Sooooo happy to have a team that supported my jobs, my family, and my work that I had no issues and we were all on the same page, yeah right…what the reality was, was that my team was not happy, my family was falling apart, and my job was dwindling down to nothing. Just when you think you have it all figured out…that’s when the God we so desperately cling to in the times of destitution was screaming at me to STOP and wait a second and let others be THEMSELVES!!!! The term, “over-educated and under-worked” was my forte in life and I thought I had at all..I was in so much denial that my marriage failed….my career became less and less needed, and my family didn’t even recognize the girl they raised. My email became more quiet…my phone had less and less calls, text messages stopped, and then….right then, I lost my mind. Depression solved the itch of what I needed to have as a title. I no longer was a wife, no longer a career based person, and traffic tickets, car accidents, abuse and neglect in relationships followed. Time and time again I was told to stop and wait for the dreams to manifest. Stop and listen to the desires of my heart….but with such failure, how could I wait? I needed to survive…get a job, look and be the part…Fake it till you make it, ever heard that one? I tolerated that statement and realized that I was someone else’s version of THEIR truth. I was no longer a title.
Ever heard the question, “ How can you love someone else if you can’t love yourself?” I cannot believe that and will not believe that to this day. I have loved and loved and loved so much that my giver almost ran out…but one day I woke up….Ever felt like you never fit in? Ever so desperately wanted to be a part of something and the offer never came? Ever wanted so badly to “Just belong” somewhere? Yeah, me too. That’s when I realized that God was the dreamer, before me…He was the one that had my dreams and laughed at the silly things that make me laugh and cried at the deep heart-wrenching things before even I did. I forgot that God so loved the world concept and became, Dawn so loved the world that SHE gave her entire life up and lost her identity. Lost her sense of wonder and bewilderment…Dawn so loved the world that whoever perished….got lost in her dust….and forgotten because they “hurt her”. It was time to get down to business and suck up whatever confidence I had and find the esteem that push me forward towards change. It was once told to me that I was the most confident and poised woman, intelligent and noble, but I had the lowest self esteem that this person had ever encountered. Whoa, wait, what? As I sat there and listened to this person whom I respect in the way you almost respect the awe of the Lord, this heavenly person spoke what seems to be fire from his dragon breath and I spewed out a pouty lip and a few words of puffed up steam, and swallowed down my saliva like it was the only sense of empowerment I had left and let out a mere, “huh…ok….well…….” I left that place of being almost swallowed a live and became more and more aware of my meekness….I remembered a letter someone wrote to me about how amazed and honored they were for knowing me. I remembered my friend who called me from an ambulance desperately clinging to some sense of hope that I would answer my phone at 3am and know he was so sad that he wanted to die…. Or the lady that needed money for her baby to eat that day and my dad and I gave her $20.00, or the homeless men I intentionally went to the coffee house to meet on my birthday to feed them orange juice and muffins to watch my dad share the gospel of love and hope in a world that fired him from job to job and made him feel less of man…..my self-esteem began to grow and my heart began to remember that in the secret place, behind my closed door, the bed where I am alone now, no longer married….in that quiet spot of loneliness….I Used to WAIT…..and right when I started waiting again…That’s when God returned the favor………
“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘will I really have a child, now that I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have son.’ Sarah was afraid, so she LIED and said, ‘I did not laugh’. But he said, ‘Yes, you did Laugh’.” –Gen. 18: 13-15.
God reminded me of every time I laughed at him and so eagerly jumped from relationship to career, plopping myself from couch to living room, drove miles for endless interactions with no cause, and I laughed at God thinking that his plans made no sense for me….so I even spoke for him…I lost my identity and focused on MY reality. I forgot that I always did fit in, I always belonged, and my dreams are always a reality. So, with a deep breath, I began to really take in the fact that I was meant to be the child of God that was intended…
I am willing to admit that through weakness I am growing strong….no clichés for weird antics to proclaim…I calmly state that, “I will wait, become more flexible, take in a yoga class, relax, and fit in a way to try vegan foods. I will look at a gym membership, and work on the mindset of learning to run….I will hold my tongue and watch people more, become a prayer warrior instead of speaking for others…allow people to be heard instead of spoken for and above all……I commit to wait.