I have been hiding from God. I shared on my own blog, last week, how I struggle to embrace my own dreams and not feel selfish. I had mostly quit praying. I still lifted up the names of those who needed prayer. I bowed my head in church and went through the motions, but my prayer life over the last few months has been one-sided.
I quit listening.
I think of myself as a contemplative. I think of myself as a mystic.
Other people gave me these labels, and I found them to be true. I connect with Jesus in labyrinths and through Lectio Divina. I connect with Him on journal pages and through drawings. I find God while standing in the forest or kneeling beneath stained glass. I experience the Holy Spirit as a Mother and a Father and a Friend…
Until I don’t.
Until I become so afraid that my old ideas of God are true and if I listen to Him, He will ask me to do something I don’t want to do. He will ask me to sacrifice my dreams.
Even when I believe Jesus created me with those dreams and Jesus has encouraged me to pursue my dreams, I still fear He will take them all away from me.
Like a kid, certain my mother will never let me keep the stray kitten I found on the side of the road, no matter how much I love it and how much she loves me, I have been hiding from God. I have tucked my dream under our trailer and sneaked food and saucers of milk beneath the floorboards to nourish it. All the while, my Mother shakes her head, “Does she really think I don’t know about the kitten?”
Not that I ever sneaked food and milk to a stray kitten under our trailer before (in case my mother is reading this). And no, I am not crossing my fingers behind my back.
This week, at the nudging of a new writer friend and the memory of reading Rumi by the empty tomb of Jesus, I stopped hiding. I walked out my back door and climbed onto my sons’ trampoline. I pretended it was the center of a labyrinth and I lay down on my back, staring at the sky, listening to what God had to tell me.
You know what He said to me?
“I miss you, Heather. I love you, and I miss you so much.”
And I cried on the trampoline while my black and white boy cat walked circles around me, confused about my sudden appearance in his outdoor world. I cried with one hand blocking the sun from my eyes and the wind blowing so the springs squeaked and the branches above me rustled their brittle autumn fingers. I cried while Jesus sat beside me, brushing away my tears.
And my Mother whispered in my ear, “I know about the kitten underneath the trailer. Who do you think feeds the kitten when you are at school?”
Friend, what dreams are you hiding from Jesus?
That dream is a gift God gave to you. He wrapped it up so carefully and tied it with a bow. He gave that dream to you, and He isn’t a bully on the playground, waiting to shove you to the ground and steal it all away.
He gave that dream to you.
Please, don’t hide from Him to dream it.
*originally published on Middle Places