A Child’s Dream
Growing up we all had dreams. We had many dreams of what we wanted to be when we grew up. A ballerina perfectly in pointe. An astronaut taking the first steps on Pluto (before they decided it wasn’t a planet anymore). A famous singer with the best #1 hits. A football player just named as this years MVP. You name it and we all dreamed of something or another.
As we grew most of those dreams became more of a hobby and reality set in that we may not have been that graceful, and really couldn’t carry a tune no matter how hard we tried. Football was fun but you’d rather be indoors playing. And well, since Pluto isn’t a planet anymore its not near as exciting to visit.
We move on from those childhood dreams and move to more realistic ones. Becoming a doctor, a nurse, a computer programmer, a teacher, getting married, having children, etc.
God’s Dreams for Us
The more time we spend with God the more we realize the dreams and desires He has for our lives. He has been slowly instilling them in us since we were young. That child who wanted to become a famous singer may now be the worship leader at their church. That child who wanted to be the next MVP football player may now coach their local kids football team. God plants those childhood dreams in our hearts for a reason so they can grow into something beautiful. It may be completely different than what you originally thought yet so much more beautiful than you ever could have imagined.
Accepting New Dreams
Sometimes our dreams are meant for a short time period in our lives. Then God calls us to move on to a whole new dream. It is always hard letting go of that dream when we don’t fully know what God has in store for us next. One thing for sure is if we trust Him and His plan we will be greatly blessed. If we resist His dreams and we clench so tightly to the dreams we want instead of trusting Him we miss out on some pretty great blessings. Letting a dream die and mourning that dream is not easy. It takes time and lots of chats with God. It’s hard to let go of something you’ve loved for so long. But when you’ve finally let go and let God take control you will finally be at peace about it. Seeing those new dreams that He gave you flourish is amazing.
A Special Needs Dream
As a child I was always drawn to stories of those who were different. I remember watching a documentary about two little girls who were born conjoined. After that I would try putting two dolls in one sleeper to make them look conjoined as well. I also remember being fascinated when I heard of a little girl who was allergic to the sun. I even wrote a short story about it for school. Looking back I believe God was slowly preparing me to live in a special needs world.
When you find out you are expecting a child you start to have dreams for them. You imagine and dream of what life will be like for your family. You plan things and get excited.
When your world is shattered and you are told something is wrong with your child your dreams shatter as well. Some find out during pregnancy, some at birth, some months or even years after they are born. With Lily it was 2 days after birth when she had a stroke that led to seizures and eventually brain damage.
No matter when you find out, it is a shock. You mourn and you grieve. You realize your dreams have died. Then you pick up where life left you and you realize you must go on. You make the best of your situation and you accept the new dreams God is preparing for you and your family. You eventually begin to love those dreams as if they had always been the original dreams to begin with. Believe me these new dreams are just as beautiful!
Advice for Friends and Family
It is important for those of you who are friends or family with a special needs family to remember that you don’t need to act different toward us. We have accepted our new dreams that God has given us and are excited about them. We love hearing of your child’s accomplishments and achievements. Please don’t censor what you say when you talk to us. I’ve had friends and family who feel bad because their child, who is around the same age as Lily, pass her up in something. They start to tell me about their excitement for their child then stop. They don’t want me to feel bad or sad that Lily isn’t yet able to do those things. It is ok to tell us. We want to rejoice and get excited with you. Just as you rejoice and are excited with us when Lily finally reaches a goal she has been working hard at for such a long time. Talk to us like you’d talk to any of your other friends. Include us in activities, birthday parties, cookouts, etc. We would love to be included. The act of you remembering us means so much to us. Please don’t have the mentality of “If we invite them they won’t come anyway so we might as well not send them an invitation.” Yes it is correct that we probably won’t be able to come. Lily has a pretty strict schedule, she has off days where her muscles hurt her, and sometimes we are just too exhausted from a busy week of therapies and appointments. But that simple gesture of an invitation means the world to us. It shows to us that you haven’t forgotten about us and that you want to stay a part of our lives. It gives us a sense of normalcy. Don’t get me wrong we love every aspect of our special needs world. But that occasional hint of being able to do normal things with Lily and including her among other kids and things kids do is priceless to us. It helps reignite those dreams God has shown us for her future.
My Dreams for You
God’s love for us is so unfathomable. Why wouldn’t we want His dreams over ours? After all He sees the big picture and gave His only Son for us. The words of Ephesians are exactly my prayers for you.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Know how much God loves you and how BIG His dreams are for you! God can do more than we can imagine so why not dream big?
Keep dreaming and allow God to change those dreams into something more beautiful than you can ever imagine. Most of all remember that when we choose to accept God’s dreams as our own those dreams are unstoppable.