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Neglected Dreams: Introduction

February 2016

Introduction:

Like so many women, I wondered: could I really have it all?

The question then turned into: do I even want it all?

The notion of having it all was having the husband, the career, the kids, the house, the dog, the sporty SUV, the friends and the social calendar to go along with it. Over the years, society has taught us women that yes, we should want it all and we should attain it by any means necessary. But what happens when you don’t live by society’s rules? What do you make of life when it takes so many unexpected, at times, painful turns? Not only has my life completely gone against the grain of what a young woman’s life in today’s society would look like, but there have also been many unexpected obstacles that have come my way that I wish I could have avoided—more than likely your story’s the same. All these obstacles and detours have helped create this existence we call “life.” In my case, I married straight out of college, at the tender age of twenty-two, and I never thought that my life would be what it is today. Many would say that I gave up my dreams and downgraded myself to be a stay-at-home mom and a housewife. The old me would have kindly, yet regretfully, agreed, but the new me would say you obviously don’t know my God so let me help you out. Although I love my family and take pride in being my husband’s number one supporter, I wasn’t sure exactly where I fit. Being the wife of a man with a demanding career (and somewhat in the public eye), the mother of two boys, and having no social calendar, my life was so far from what I imagined it would be. It wasn’t until I learned to embrace the blessing that my life had become, that I was then able to see it blossom into what God had in-store for me all along.

Turning Point

When I brought who I am, and whose I am, to the forefront of my life, old dreams and desires began to resurface and seem attainable again. As women, we tend to get sucked into how society views us and allow the world to place demands and expectations on us that don’t fit into our own personal standards. When that happens, we have to snatch back control of our lives. At one point, I thought I would break with just being a wife and mom; dedicating most, if not all, of my time to my family wasn’t what I had in mind for myself. It sounded exhausting and too selfless for me. Once again, I was forgetting and rejecting what God was trying to do through me and was more focused on what I thought I needed. I thought I couldn’t live without that time-consuming career or being socially important. I struggled with the fact that I didn’t, as some would say, have my own. Every woman has that thing in her mind that she imagined would make her feel like she has “arrived,” so to speak. It was simply being independent and depending on no one for anything, and I planned to do that by any means necessary. It wasn’t until I accepted the life I was blessed with (and embraced it) that I was able to see the advantages that God had given me through the life which I was already living on a daily basis. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that revelation, because it opened my eyes to so much more. It allowed me to see that it’s never too late to start anew.

It’s Never Too Late 

It doesn’t matter where you are in your life today; God wants to fill the desires of your heart. At times, it might feel like the dreams that you had at some point have died a thousand deaths inside of you; but God can and will uproot every last gift that He has placed in you, if you will allow Him. I really thought that because I wasn’t where my social media accounts, the television, or friends around me said I should be by the age of thirty (along with my own self-inflicted expectations), that it was too late for me to even attempt to live the life that I desired. In my eyes, my life was all about my husband and kids, and I was just here to be a spectator and cheer them on. I began to wonder: could I live by God’s standard, keep my household intact and still have a successful career? If I didn’t think that it was possible, and chose family over career, would I be fulfilled with that choice? I had so many moments where I felt like God had forgotten about me. During a low time in my life, I was reminded that God hadn’t forgotten about me, just like He hasn’t forgotten about you! Despite every setback, disappointment and every mistake, God has been with you every step of the way. All the disappointments and let-downs has set the stage for a major comeback! We can dream new dreams and revisit neglected dreams, hibernating deep inside of our hearts. Those dreams aren’t dead: they’re just sleeping, waiting for you to awaken them. I had to first remember who I was, evaluate where I was, and then visualize where I wanted to be, but this time focus on God’s standard and not the standards of the world. My hope is that this book will help you reaffirm who God says you are and take inventory on what’s going on around and in you. We must not only do regular evaluations on where we are in life but we have to do a check on our spiritual walk and where we’re trying to go in order to stay on the track that God wants us on. Lastly, I hope you will be encouraged to visualize the greatness within you, and revisit the neglected dreams that God once placed in you while strengthening you to dream new ones. Neglected dreams are only neglected because you’ve lost hope in them somewhere along the way. Jesus Christ is the epitome of hope and can rekindle the dreamer in you. Let’s begin the journey to live the life that you so desire and deserve through Christ Jesus.



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