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Last year while I was on sabbatical there was a deep question bouncing around my head and heart: “What are the dreams inside me?”
Out of that sacred space I launched Tree by Water, a ministry to spiritually care for spiritual caregivers.
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“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”
The unfortunate truth is that many times, the pastor’s wife’s callings and God-longings are drowned out in a sea of ministry initiatives and dreams and visions of others. The oftentimes “supporting role” of Pastor’s wife includes so much time and energy encouraging others dreams in the church and carrying out tasks that MUST be done at home (grocery shopping, picking up the kids at basketball practice, paying the family bills, etc.) that there is little room for her dreams.
The voice of those longings gets tired of being ignored, and those longings get stuffed deep, deep inside.
But you can’t fool me! I know they are in there. And I believe with my whole heart that they are worthy of doing the following 1. Speak 2. Be Heard and 3. Nurture and 4. Fulfill.
1. Speak ~ Give it voice
Acknowledge those God-longings that He gave you. There is a significant level of vulnerability in speaking words that mean so much to you. Start with prayer. Speak back to God what you feel He has said to you in the past. Find the quiet place in your heart to lay it once again at His feet.
2. Be Heard ~ Find a friend or spiritual director with a “non-anxious” presence
One of the greatest gifts I have received is time with a spiritual director. Spiritual Direction is a special relationship where one person intentionally listens to another and to God with the purpose of being open to the activity and presence of God. That time and sacred space is a gift that has changed my life, and it is what I am giving my life for through “Tree by Water.”
3. Nurture ~ Give it what it needs to grow
For a dream to grow and thrive, it needs attention, prayer, time, energy, and resources. Ask yourself what you need to learn and develop in this process. For many this step will take years! Years of preparation and prayer for your dream, if done with a heart of surrender, will grow your dream to a place of complete dependence on God.
~ The Action Step
I have found that once the first three steps have been done well, that God will show the way of the “action plan” and the people to join you. Start with brainstorming. Sit with a pad of paper, a cup of tea or coffee, and list out the possibilities. What is the end “goal,” and what are the steps to get you there?
I believe in you!