A few years ago, a faithful, praying friend said to me that she felt God telling me to bury my desire for children. OK, I’ll be honest, I can’t remember exactly what she said, but that is what I heard! And I knew I couldn’t. My desire for children was too strong to consider burying my dreams. So I didn’t, and I decided to forget about her words.
Recently these words came back to me, and I knew that by ignoring them I was being disobedient to God. She is a faithful intercessor, so I had no doubts that these were God’s words to me – I only wished that I had listened harder, rather than try to forget them.
I started to journal what this could mean, and this is what I wrote:
Just as seeds need to die, be buried, be covered over with dirt to stand a chance of growing, so do my dreams. Then I can water them, care for them, pull out any weeds or lies … but only God makes them grow.
However, as I was pondering what dreams I needed to bury (apart from the obvious one of having children), it occurred to me that maybe I had the wrong metaphor. I was thinking about planting, and then waiting expectantly for the fruit to grow. What is burying actually meant burying my dreams. Burying them and mourning for them.
Boy, that hit me hard. Was God asking me to give up my desire for children? Was He asking me to let that dream die? This is what I wrote:
Maybe I need to bury them, mourn my dream, and then see what God does. Does he do a miracle and bring new life, or does time lessen the pain, even if scars remain and the memories and milestones still cut deep.
A few weeks later, when I was ready, I wrote a list of my top dreams on scraps of paper and literally buried or planted them in the ground.
As I let each dream drop, I tried to discern if God was calling me to bury that dream, or to plant it. I am not sure if I always heard him correctly, but I tried my best to ‘let go, and let God.’
If I heard “bury” I assumed that God was saying “let it go”. In the light of the resurrection, burying something doesn’t mean it has to be the end: I believe in miracles, and I believe that God has conquered death. But I tried to choose to let that dream die.
Just as I believe in miracles, I also know from experience that planting something doesn’t always result in fruit! So, when I heard “plant”, I assumed that God was telling me to nurture that dream and if it is His will, He will make it grow.
I’m not sure if I have let go of all my dreams, or if I am still clinging to resurrection hope. Nevertheless, physically and metaphorically burying my dreams has given me permission to mourn some of them and encouraged me to nurture others. It is also a reminder that it is God who both raises the dead to life, and who makes new life grow. In other words, in both situations I need to step back, let go, and let God do His will.