I live in a house full of dreamers. I’m surrounded by guys who dream about (and do) things that would never cross my mind. Brandon’s tend to be a bit more grown-up, but Bez’s are no less dramatic. The other day he nonchalantly handed me a can of pop and asked me to open it for him as if downing twelve ounces of pure sugar was an every day occurrence. I said…”Bez you’re a dreamer”. He responded “Yes I am mom. I’m an out of control dreamer.” I couldn’t stop laughing so I gave in and poured a little pop in a cup for him. His latest dream was to go skydiving. Brandon turned on a show a few weeks ago that followed a group of people as they went skydiving and all of the exciting jumps they had. Bez sat down and watched it with him and before the credits started to roll he had an entire skydiving trip planned out for himself and daddy. He was dreaming about every detail. I didn’t think much of it until I realized it really stuck with him and that he fully believed this trip was happening. Yesterday he was being cranky for no good reason so I was trying to snap him out of his funk when he said…”Mom, I’m sad because I want to go skydiving and daddy is never going to take me. I just want to jump out of a plane and I will never get to.”
When I could process the fact that I was having an actual conversation with my four year old about him jumping out of airplanes I was struck by the change in his attitude towards skydiving. He started out dreaming about it, fully believing those dreams would come true. When he realized days were passing by without a parachute in sight he traded his dreams in for wishes. He stopped thinking about it as a real possibility and started thinking of it as an improbability. He quit dreaming about his future trip with daddy and started wishing that he could have gone on a trip with daddy. He stopped looking ahead and started looking behind.
I never thought about the difference between dreams and wishes before, but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Dreams almost always look towards the future, wishes tend to look back at the past. Dreams fill us with hope, wishes can fill us with regret. Dreams give us something to look forward to, wishes remind us of what we’ve missed. I’m not saying it’s bad to wish for things…in fact right now I desperately wish I’d made it to Dairy Queen for a large cookie dough blizzard before it closed. I have just become aware of the difference in myself when I spend my days wishing for something I can’t change and when I spend them dreaming of the things to come.
During this time last year we found out we had lost our sweet baby Enoch, so he’s been on my mind even more than normal. I dream big dreams for my kids. It was no different with him. I spent so much time while pregnant praying for him, talking to him, playing music for him. I had felt him kicking and growing, we had his name picked out and the countdown was on. I had dreams for him. And I will never forget the moment those dreams were taken away from me and I traded them for wishes. I wished that we hadn’t lost him. I wished that I had prayed more. I wished I knew the exact moment he left me. It bothered me (and still does really) that my child could go from life to death inside of me and I didn’t know. Somehow I missed it. What was I doing the moment he left? What if I was cranky or fussing at my other kids? What if I was sleeping and missed his last kick? I lost a lot of time wishing for things I couldn’t change when I still had so much left to dream about.
Life looks a lot different than I expected. I had big dreams of the things I would do for God and how I would impact the world. I had ministry goals that I was determined to accomplish and nothing was going to stand in my way. Then I had Bez, and my dreams changed in an instant. I still have ministry goals, still want to do great things for God, and still want to impact the world. But right now I’m doing that by being home with my boys…doing everything I can to raise them to love Jesus. Dreaming for them bigger than I ever did for myself. I don’t have time to sit and wish that I was doing something different, or wish I had made different choices…because God has taken those dreams and made them come true in ways I never imagined. I don’t wish I was out doing something great or impressive instead of folding laundry and wiping booties. I don’t wish people knew my name or followed my ministry. I’m perfectly happy with people who only know me as mommy and follow my every move throughout every day. I won’t trade my dreams for wishes.
So now I dream about Enoch. I won’t spend my time wishing I was holding him, looking in his face. I will spend my time dreaming about the moment he saw Jesus’ face. I won’t spend my days wishing he was running around with his brothers, I’ll spend them dreaming about him running on streets of gold. I won’t spend my time wishing I knew the exact moment he left me, I’ll spend them dreaming of the exact moment I’ll see him again.
I’ve determined I won’t trade my dreams for wishes. I won’t look back wishing for a different story when my dreams give me too much look forward to.