Over Christmas break I spent a lot of time with connecting with God and dealing with many of the issues that arose from my descent into depression in November and December. After some major revelations, some highs and lows, and making a number of healthy choices I am at a much better place. In fact, I am at the best place that I have been in a long time.
In many ways my first year at seminary was the worst year of my life. The next year was spent trying to recover from it and getting my feet back under me. After this summer and especially after this time of Christmas break I finally feel that that season is done with and I am ready for what God has for me now.
One of the things that happened over this break was God invited me to take my own advice and start writing out what I want to see happen in my life. As my first post of 2012, I thought I would share some of those dreams and visions instead of the New Years resolutions I never set.
Some will be fulfilled in 2012, some will start to be fulfilled in 2012 and I’m sure others will not happen until much later.
- I want a consistent healthy relationship with God. I want as many experiences of His goodness and Love that I know that I am loved regardless of my circumstances and I do not let my present circumstances dictate what I believe about His character.
- I think I finally get that this whole faith thing is about a relationship with God and knowing Him. I really do not care about being right anymore. I just want to be in love. To be completely honest, right now I think I like God and sometimes I trust Him. I want to have more experiences with Him so that I am more and more excited to know Him and more willing to trust Him.
- I want to grow out of a Slave identity with God. I think I am stepping into being a Friend of God but I would really like to “get” my identity as a Son of God and as a Lover of God.
- I would like to be in a healthy romantic relationship with a woman who I am attracted to spiritually, physically and intellectually and is attracted to me in the same ways.
- I would like to be married to a woman who I am attracted to spiritually, physically and intellectually and is attracted to me in the same ways. (In intentionally separated this from the one above because I do not agree with the mindset that every romantic relationship must end up in marriage or it is a failure. Maybe I have two or three long-term relationships with amazing women before I end up married. Healthy long-term relationships can be incredibly healing and incredibly growing as well as fun! Those are good enough ends in and of themselves.)
- I want to have children some day and be a father. I am open to adoption. I really want to have physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy children that thrive.
- I want to have a fully healed body. Specifically I want to be free from my arthritis and my problems with vision. These are long-standing health issues that have bugged me or caused me physical pain for some time.
- I want to have a fully healed mind. While I want to make sure mourning, lamenting and sadness are accepted as legitimate responses to difficult parts of life, I want to be free from the raging pessimism that at times over takes me. I want to be free from the negativity that says my body will never be healed, I will always be in physical pain, I will never get married, or my marriage will be bad, and that if I have children they will experience major difficulties, birth defects or die tragically, etc.
- I want a fully healed heart. I want to be completely free from the irrational fears of being hurt in relationships that keep me from receiving love from family, friends and romantic relationships. I want to be free from my fear of rejection.
- I want to be free from my fear of failure. Fear of failure is probably the worst thing in my life right now. If I do not think I will be completely competent or successful at something I often choose not to try. I choose to fail because of my fear of failure. This fear is so strong some times I cannot even attempt the most simple, basic, or safe things that would not stump even an insecure thirteen year old. It keeps me from exploring more of life and I hate it. This needs to go.
- I want to be free from my fear of my own emotions. Sometimes the thing I am most deathly afraid of is my emotions. I have it in the back of my head that if I feel sadness or anger that is bad, no one will help me with them, or they will never end. I run to distraction and addiction instead of dealing with them, or dealing with the things that they point to.
- I want to healthily navigate the fact that I am (and it is good to be) interdependent upon other people but not be co-dependent on them. I want to healthily see that some people who love me actually want to help me meet my needs and when I am in a hard place, but also know it is not their responsibility to take care of all my needs.
- I want restored relationship with my immediate family. I did not have the family I wanted growing up but I want to work towards it now, at least with my immediate family. I want them to know who I am and love me and I want to actually know them and have a relationship with them.
- I want to be a person who is incredibly encouraging and affirming to other people. When people walk away from interacting with me, I want them to feel better about themselves, not walk away thinking I am a cool guy.
- I want a stable fulfilling job or jobs that really utilize all my gifts. I want to be doing something that I feel I was made to do.
- I want to be financially stable. I do not care about jet skis or holiday trips to Europe but I want to be able to comfortably provide for the legitimate needs of my family. I do not want to be in borderline poverty all the time. I do not want to scrape by. I do not want to have to fund raise.
- I want to be a published author and write a book or books that change people’s lives. It would be nice to actually make money off of this, but I would definitely settle for writing words that just help people.
- I want to do restorative work with people. I want to help people who have been discarded by society and by the Church. I want to help addicts, abuse survivors and people on the margins, because those are the people who need help.
- I want to work with and in Native American communities in some way for at least some season of my life. God loves the Native American and First Nations people. The governments of the U.S. and Canada as well as the Christian Church need to deal with this dark chapter of our history that in many ways continues to this day, and deal with the consequences of colonization that happened on these shores.
- I want to grow in my spiritual gifts and my understanding of the spiritual realm and my authority as a follower of Jesus. I want to have increasingly accurate prophetic words that help people. I want to pray for healing and see it happen. I want supernatural wisdom and discernment.
- I want to understand the appeal of hipster fashion. (Okay this is a joke. But when did super tight jeans and porno-mustaches become attractive for guys? Is it ironic? Yes. Does it make me want to be your friend? No. And who the hell decided to make plaid the new black. Are we all studying to be lumberjacks?)
- I want a healthy family of friends. I do not want to have a large pool of shallow acquaintances. I want people who will be there for me and know me well. I want to be there for other people who know me well.
- I want a restored heart to the Body of Christ. I hate the Christian religious system and there are many churches and Christians that in no way represent Jesus Christ. That being said I cannot be a spiritual nomad or orphan. God did not adopt so that I could run around and try to figure this life out on my own. I need to have a restored heart to the Body of Christ, at least to the extent that I can plug-in and connect somewhere.
- I want a heart that is prone to be thankful for what I have, not prone to feel slighted because of what I do not have. I want to be thankful for everything I have and all the opportunities before me that very few in this world get. I want to pursue every opportunity I have been afforded without shame but also recognize that most of the world would kill to have the life I have right now, including all of my problems.
- I want to continue to say “I am free enough to want everything I say and do to reveal me as I am. I love being seen as I am.” I never want to go back to a place where I feel I have to put on a False Self to be accepted by other people.
- I want to free from any sense of entitlement. I want to let go of the belief that every other person is supposed to trust me, treat me with respect, see me as special and love me.
- I want to continue to be increasingly comfortable in my own skin and never return to a place where I am comparing my life to the life of others.
- I want to humbly acknowledge that everything that God brings into my life as somehow legitimate. I want to integrate all of my experiences, both good and bad, instead of interrupting them, distracting myself from them, or running from them.
After writing these down in my iPhone I literally had a renewed sense of hope in my life. It was odd that such a simple behavior of answering the question, “What do you want for your life?” could give me hope in place of a lot of pessimism and negativity.
So readers…what are some dreams for your life?
P.S. While life has not and will not be problem free, it also is and will be pretty freaking amazing. 🙂