GOD GIVES US THE DESIRES OF OUR HEART (Ps 37:4)– even when our dreams are extravagant, and even when we don’t deserve them…In fact, not only does our Father want us to enjoy the gifts of answered dreams, but He goes further– fulfilling them beyond our wildest imagination. 🙂 The interesting thing of course, is that we can get so conditioned by problems and failures, so used to disappointment and sorrow, that we stop believing the good times will be coming for us too.
I’ve just returned from three incredible weeks in Europe and I can only begin to tell you of the ways God met and surpassed this lifelong desire to travel! Highlights include a romantic gondola ride on a warm moonlit night in Venice, taking a cooking class in Florence, standing inches away from the greatest art in history, & exploring the ruins of ancient Rome and the specialty markets and cafes in Paris. Here I was, actually experiencing things I’d only read about or seen in movies, and then it got even better! In His infinite goodness, God knows what makes my heart sing, and wouldn’t you know He would arrange for a variety of divine appointments– opportunities to really talk with people and learn about their lives! (But this will be a subject for another day :-))
Our vacation will be remembered as one of my great milestones– one of those life-altering events that forever changes the way I view the world. However, while stories which refer to some of these adventures will undoubtedly continue, I don’t foresee this blog ever becoming about travel. Whether in France, Italy, or home in the Pacific Northwest, I remain drawn to the same kinds of themes and lessons about life itself. I’m fascinated by the unique qualities of individuals AND by the commonalities we all share. And I celebrate finding God at the center of all of it!
The first of these “lessons” I nearly missed. In fact as I contemplated what I would share in my first posting after Europe, it didn’t even occur to me to look at my pre-travel thinking. Now, reflecting back, I am struck by how often I thought the trip might not happen– despite the years of dreaming and the months of planning. Up until the very end I would imagine an accident or illness, keeping us from going. Perhaps the trip would be cut short by a delayed flight, lost luggage, or terrible weather… I thought I was being realistic in my faith– knowing that God is good but trying to keep open if His will was not for me on this trip. People would ask if I was excited and of course I was, but I also remained pretty guarded, as though waiting for the other shoe to drop. See, somehow along the way, I came to believe I couldn’t really have the whole dream, that good things are always tarnished by the darkness of our world– but that tells you more about me than about our loving God! It’s the voice of the enemy that brings doubt and fears; why are we so willing to agree with the idea that something will go wrong and our desires will go unmet? The ABUNDANT life is also about living it without future tripping about what may or may not happen to disappoint us! It’s about living in the moment with gratitude and yes, a certain joie de vivre!!