Dana: I’m a Christian mother of two. I’m also a Psychology intern, soon to graduate.
That’s great. In this issue, we’re discussing what it means to reimagine our dreams. What do you think it means to reimagine your dreams?
Dana: I’ve had to do this a few times as a mother and student. I’ve learned to be flexible, learning to adapt to closed and opened doors. I’ve seen the doors as opportunities to rewrite my narrative by setting new goals because I know God will use all things for His purpose and goodwill. I have learned to trust the interruptions, for in the due season, I will reap the harvest of the new dream, the new thing God is doing in my life.
Thank you. Sometimes, our hopes and dreams do not work out as we envision. Tell us about a time when you had to reimagine your dreams. Was this challenging or easy to do?
Dana: I’ll never forget the call from my clinical director informing me that my petition to extend my dissertation proposal deadline was declined. It meant I’d stay in school for another year, thus prolonging my academic goals. I beat myself up after I blamed everyone else except myself. I cried all day, even when peace washed over me. Finally, I decided to take action. I made phone calls to find points of contact for collecting data for my dissertation. I called friends to check on them. One in particular who I never imagined spoke life to me. He said everything I needed to hear as if God used him to speak directly to me. I thought perhaps God had a different path for me. I needed to create a new dream for myself.
What kind of challenges or obstacles did you face when pursuing your dream?
Dana: A few years ago, my daughter shared some things she was dealing with. It meant I needed to change my perspective of my expectations for her as a mother. My journey as a mother would look quite different, but I slowly accepted my daughter’s choices as I believe it’s her God story. I am the vessel that brought her into the world, but ultimately God is orchestrating her story. I needed to trust that all my good seeds of love nurtured her growth. This challenged me to accept her, mourn the old perspective, and see how I could be challenged to love others unconditionally.
What have you learned along the way?
Dana: I have learned to give myself a period to weep and mourn. I could also work my way out of the heartache by setting my affections on things above. I could enter into thanksgiving by honoring that even in my “bad choices,” God is still with me.
What kind of advice would you give to someone who is uncertain about pursuing their dreams? How would you encourage them?
Dana: Make a start, surround yourself with cheerleaders, and pursue all avenues to help you stay motivated toward your dreams. Make lists and prioritize steps. Phone a friend. Write your vision and goals somewhere you can see them all the time. Speak life to your dreams; even when it seems bleak, give it to God. Phone a friend, and eat your favorite food. Lastly, celebrate each milestone and accomplishment along the way.
Any final thoughts you would like to share?
Dana: Be kind to yourself and trust the process. Allow your relationships with others to put up a mirror so you can stay humble and vulnerable to hear feedback that challenges but inspires rewriting your dreams.
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!