Here are some of the most painfully honest words I have written in my lifetime by way of an introduction:
Hi, I’m Josephine March, and from the time I was six, I could tell you exactly how my life was going to go. Six was the year I knew because six was the year I could read and I ran right into chapter-books immediately. Here's how life would go: I would hole up in the attic for years, ink-stained fingers churning out stories, poetry, or plays that I would act out with my family and friends in my spare time. My irrepressible zeal for life would be unparalleled and I would charge every challenge with optimism and relentless spirit. In the course of time I would leave my beloved home and move to the big city where I would take the perfect job to inspire imagination and grant me the spare time needed to write – that of a governess. After this, I would meet Professor Bhaer who would be my greatest encouragement and worst critic all wrapped up in one intoxicating package of wisdom and brilliance. A couple of musical performances in German and a terrible falling out later he would show up in the rain with my manuscript and offer me his empty hands. I would, without question, fill them with mine. “Not empty anymore.” We would marry, move into a Greco-Victorian house (it made sense in my head), and impart our knowledge to a collection of lovable lost boys who we would take in at random.
This was my dream, though I never really said it out loud. Whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, this was the dream in my heart. When Bobby Killmon called me into his office for my senior consultation and asked me "If you could have and do anything you wanted, what would your life look like?" this was the dream in my heart. When I said "to write" or "to travel" or "to make a difference" or "to teach" or "to empower others" I may have meant those things, but not implicitly (without qualification, absolutely) because, implicitly (in a way that is not directly expressed), this was the dream in my heart.
As last year rounded out at an altar, I sobbed less than gracefully into the carpet and reminded the Lord that I had already given Him everything, asking Him what He still required of me. He said He wanted Professor Bhaer. I informed Him I had no idea what He was talking about. (As far as anyone knew, I didn't. I had still never said it aloud.) He begged to differ. It turns out that He did know what He was talking about. It also, probably not coincidentally, turns out, that He might have different plans. To clarify: I have no idea what they are.
Hi, I’m Melinda Poitras, and I’ve no idea how my life is going to go. I’ve burned my own dreams down, and will now start over with just the ink-stained fingers. I fall into His heart, give Him my hands (also, probably not coincidentally, “not empty anymore”) and trust in His plans though I know not where they will lead.
This is what we do, and we are all called to do it. We drag Isaac to altar not knowing what comes next. There will always be a Lamb, but is there a ram in the thicket? Who knows.
Why don’t we find out together?
This is what we do, and we are all called to do it. We drag Isaac to altar no matter what we've dreamed. Our destiny safe in His hands, no matter what may come.
(Special thanks to Louisa May Alcott for writing the most beautiful dream. There is not a doubt in my mind that it was every bit as lovely in real life as it was on paper.)