Amidst the many beautiful moments that occurred on Saturday, the day of my son’s baptism, let me share another one: hands shaking, I stood and sang “Be Not Afraid,” to John Paul. I knew that he wouldn’t yet understand the words I sang, but I hoped that they might be imprinted on his heart, and that someday, they might strengthen him to follow the path God has made for him.
The version of my song “Be Not Afraid” that I sang to my son at his baptism, made much more beautiful by the talented piano playing of a good friend of mine:
Singing my prayer for my son, in front of many of my family members and friends, forced me to make myself vulnerable. Just as I recently gave voice to my fears, at John Paul’s baptism, in the presence of those who love and support me, I dared to give voice to my dreams for my son. I don’t know what God has in store for John Paul, just as I don’t know what God has in store for me. I don’t know the man John Paul will become, just as I still don’t know the woman I’m meant to be. And in the face of so many unknown variables, it is daunting to give voice to my dreams, let alone to dream at all. But, I’ve discovered that giving voice to my deepest desires, whether for myself or for the ones I love the most, brings them into focus. For, giving voice to our dreams is the first step in making them real.
My baby boy is still so small and innocent. He doesn’t understand that although rolling around on the coach is fun, rolling off the coach hurts. He doesn’t understand that no matter how adorable his smile is, there are some people who won’t smile back at him. I would do anything to spare him pain, physical or emotional. But, I know I cannot do that. We live in a broken world, where pain and sadness and fear abide. All I can do is give voice to my dreams for my son, and to support him, love him, and help him build a faith that gives reason for him to “be not afraid.” And if I truly want the dreams I have for him to mean anything, I must show him that I am willing to give voice to the dreams I have for myself. I have to face my fear of failure and speak, even just to myself at first, the dreams I hide within-the deepest desires of my heart.
And so tonight, under the twinkling stars and shining moon, as my husband and I discussed life and death, sickness and health, and debated what song we’d like best to hear before leaving this earth and hopefully entering heaven (an extremely touch choice, but as of tonight, my husband-“Where the Streets Have No Name,” and me, “The Swan,” in case you are curious…although we both contemplated choosing Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission), I once again made myself vulnerable and spoke of the dreams I have for myself. I admitted my fear of not making a difference in this world, and spoke of my dream to touch others, whether through my actions, my words, my music, or in whatever way God chooses for me. In the darkness of the night, pierced only by the glow of the stars and the moon, I took the first step in bringing my dreams into the light.
My prayer for you today is that you dare to give voice to the dreams you have for yourself and for those you love. Don’t let your fear of failure stop you from dreaming, and from taking the first step to making your dreams a reality. Give voice to your dreams so that you might see them illuminated, so that you might discern how to best make them come to fruition. And above all else, ask God for the wisdom and insight to make your dreams align with those He holds for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29: 11
Thank you for joining me on my 31 day challenge!
Day 1: Be Not Afraid
Day 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Day 3 Keeping a Faithful Heart in Light of Suffering
Day 4: Facing Fears with Laughter
Day 5: Listening to My Heart
Day 6: Daring to Love Myself in Order to Love Others
Day 7: Opening Up My Idea of a Remarkable Life
Day 8: Giving Voice to My Fears
Day 9: Being a Bearer of Joy
Day 10 & 11: Give Everything
Day 12: Switching My Focus
Day 13: Reaching Out
Day 14 & 15: Letting Go
And click here to read all the other wonderful blogs joining in on this challenge!