Tuesday, March 08, 2022

I learned to love the dreams God dreamed for me

I can't say much yet but all I can share today is that TODAY IS A REALLY GOOD DAY! And I need to blog about it so that I have a record of this AMAZING day! The morning started with good news for me, a great update about our boys in the afternoon, and then by evening, my husband got fantastic news, too. It comes in threes! I bless this day!

And I bless my God who finally opened the floodgates of His blessings! Not that He was being madamot. He was just preparing me and Vince for this day, waiting for us to be ready, to appreciate this instead of feeling entitled to it.

I know I'm not making any sense. So I'll just tell another story of another dream.

Once upon a time, all I ever wanted to be was a writer and then a magazine editor because writers aren't glamorous but a magazine job was. I didn't want to be married. I didn't want to have kids. A husband and children will just prevent me from fulfilling my dreams. So I went ahead and made my dreams come true, and when they did, I said, "But of course! I worked hard! I deserve this!"

And then one day the dream ended. And I didn't know what to do. I did get married and have babies, though. And to my endless gratitude and relief, they are a joy!

But after a few years of drifting here and there, I prayed to God, "I have no more dreams, Lord. I had dreams before and they came true and then they were gone. But I'm not sad anymore. I'm grateful. I see now that even having a dream come true for a short while is a blessing. Thank You for letting me go off on my own the way you let Jonah run away from You. But now I ask: What do You want me to do?"

And for a while, all I heard was, "Take care of your husband and your kids."

And I really struggled with that! I felt, "That's it? That's all I'm meant to do with the rest of my life??"

But I also couldn't shake off this feeling that God was waiting for me. Waiting for me to do what??? And so with not much to do except to be a wife and mommy, I carried out the drudgery of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc etc ad infinitum. "This is it. This is my life. Forever."

I wasn't unhappy and I didn't hate my life, but I was also looking outwards, looking at the greener grass of other women's gardens and wondering why mine was so dull. I didn't envy them. It was more like, "I know I can be more than this." It was very unhealthy.

Finally, I just unfollowed all the moms and glam women and decided, "If God wants me to be a wife and mommy, then I'll be a wife and mommy!" And I just enjoyed everything! I enjoyed being in dasters all day with my graying hair in a messy bun, washing dishes and shopping for toys on Shopee. I enjoyed chatting about Minecraft and Godzilla. I learned how to play chess, cut boys' hair, and find out how to be a YouTuber. I loved binge-watching TV shows with my husband. I fell in love with playing with hamsters. And my huge struggle was being my kids' teacher but I slowly learned to love that, too. My life was great before but now that I viewed caring for my family as my one and only purpose, it became so much better and more meaningful!

Also, I just need to say this: Shunning #mompegs on social media was a relief, like unbuttoning your jeans when you're full. Yes, my life was full but all that social media watching made me feel ill. But with no looking at others, I appreciated what I had because I couldn't compare myself to anyone else. For the first time in a long while, I didn't think I was left behind. I didn't think, "I'm not good enough. I'm not doing enough!" I was just me and I appreciated me! And I finally accepted that being "just" a wife and mommy was my biggest and most important job and role. If I can't appreciate that, why would God give me any more jobs and roles???

And right after that, after finally humbling myself and accepting His will, God said, "She's ready!!!"

My Not Invisible book practically landed on my lap! I became co-founder of Lean In Manila and became friends with great women! I got a fun and glamorous job that still allowed me to be a mommy! And so many more blessings that I will tell you about soon! 

All I had to do was to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all these things were added to me (Matthew 6:33). Added. I was already complete. God just waited for me to see that my cup was full and when I finally did, He added more!

Being a stay-at-home mom with gray in my hair, barefoot and in shapeless clothes is far far away from my vision of myself in sleek clothes, fiery hair, high heels, and doing a job that was important. This life I now have was never in my big dreams. So I didn't understand why God would want me to be small. Turns out His dreams for me may look different, but they were nowhere near small. They just came in three small packages — three little boys. But as Luke 10:14 said, "Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with big things." 

God waited till He could trust me. And that involved lots of renewing of attitudes, shifting views, humbling of myself (my great sin is pride), and acceptance and appreciation for God's will for my life. And I'm still not "important." I'm still not in high heels. And I'm still not earning millions. But I am fulfilled and happy and content, resting in the promise that God has more dreams to unfold for me. 

And so we go back to this day! It is a GREAT day! The most amazing day! The best news - one for me and one for my husband! And good news also for our boys! Three big blessings in one day! 

I'll tell you all about today one day. But for now let me just say that if you're waiting for God to open the gates of heaven, search your heart and your life because maybe He's just waiting for you to be ready, or maybe He wants you to open your eyes to His dreams for you and accept them. Because His plans may look different from ours but they are much better. Believe it!

My goodness! I am so excited to see what else He has in store for me! Wouldn't you want to see what God wants for you, too? So exciting!

* * * * * * * 

How great is Your goodness
stored up for those who fear You
No end to the kindness
that comes from You each day

We count on compassion
in the shelter of Your presence
Hidden away, hidden from harm -
How great Your love!

A refuge so near us
You're faithful each day
We cry out - You hear us
Safe in Your arms
Sheltered from harm

"How Great is Your Goodness" by Randy Rothwell

This post was inspired by this song and this Proverbs 31 devotion, "When You Feel Behind" (please read it!), and of course today's amazing news. 

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