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Dream The Awesome Dream

This is a hint to read all the way to the end. You won’t regret it. If you do. The next post is free.

What does all this have to do with Dreaming the awesome dream. It’s really not to far off. We all have different “awesome dreams”. One thing will always be the same though.

Lately I’ve been more up than down when it comes to dreaming. Maybe it’s because I’m going to turn 40 soon and I’m nowhere near what I thought I would have accomplished by now. As I write this I feel somewhat embarrassed being so transparent. Shouldn’t I be grateful for all the things I already have. I have the most amazing wife. Much more than I could have dreamed for. She’s kind, loving, forgiving, and makes awesome food. She makes me laugh, and tells me not be so hard on myself. My boys have taught me to love in a way I would’ve never imagined possible.

I grew up most of my childhood without love. My parents couldn’t take care of themselves let alone me and my siblings. If I said our parents abused us I would be putting it lightly. Abused in foster care as well , we had no safe place. We spent years living in one shelter or another. Even trafficked by our own mother for beer and cigarettes.

My escape was dreaming awesome dreams. I was 11 and my brother was 4 when we were adopted. My sister was adopted earlier, but her situation was no better than before. Suffice to say, my parents didn’t know what they were in for. While the healing process began for me it would take almost 25 years before I felt like a whole person. During that time I did a lot of dreaming. I dreamed about making lots of money one day so I wouldn’t have to steal just to eat. I dreamed about having a non-dysfunctional family. I dreamed that one day I would go to Disney World. I dreamed of having Nike shoes, clean clothes, and gifts at Christmas that weren’t already broken.

I didn’t dream about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just dreamed that I would grow up. At the time, that was an awesome dream. I was thankful to the social worker who told my father that he would have to let us bathe at least once a week. I was thankful when my father left to go to the bar and terrified when he came home. I dreamed of being adopted. I felt guilty about it, but not guilty enough to stop dreaming it.

You already know that dream came true. While my parents were not ready  for what hit them, we were loved. They fed and clothed us,. We took showers every day. My parents got us the most awesome toys for Christmas. They even took us to Disney World.

Things weren’t perfect. I really didn’t know how to love anyone the way a normal kid would. I was constantly fearful that it could all be taken away if I messed up too much. My biological mother said I was only being adopted because someone would want my younger brother. No one wants an 11 year-old mess. She instructed me to be compliant and thankful I wasn’t in a group home. Not a lot to dream awesome dreams about.

It wasn’t until I went through of years of tears, prayers, and counseling as an adult that I emerged ready for restoration. That restoration began after getting married. No matter how I messed up my wife wouldn’t leave. While she often thought I wanted to take risks that were way out of line to fulfill my dreams, she urged me to dream while being patient. Learning self-control can be so tedious.

Like a tree growing roots a normal life began to take hold. About six months after my first son was born That tree bloomed for the first time. For the first time in my life I was shedding tears of pure joy instead of sadness. I remember he was sitting on the living room floor and he reached for me to pick him up. It was a love I have never known. It was like being born again in an instant. My salvation story is more of something that grew over time. My parents and church leaders taught me about God. I did my soul-searching. Over time the convictions that my parents had become my own. This was different all together. There was nothing. Then… BANG! There was something. This has nothing to do with my thoughts of creation. It’s just the best way I can describe what happened to me. By the time my second son was born my experience was more like what I hear many fathers share of seeing their child for the first time. What the enemy meant to destroy

God restored through the bond created with my oldest that day in the living room. That grace was proven true when I met my first son as the Dr. pulled him from my wife’s womb. (Which like the little stinker he is, he peed all over it.) 

Here it comes.

What does all this have to do with Dreaming the awesome dream. It’s really not to far off. We all have different “awesome dreams”. One thing will always be the same though.

As I said before I’m about to turn 40 and I have yet to realize all my awesome dreams. I’m getting down. The bible says:

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy. Proverbs 13:12 NLT

We must remember all the dreams that have come true. many of the dreams realized in my life came to pass without me noticing. I wanted to learn to love. I strove for it. Prayed for it. I’m sure my family prayed it would happen. No one expected that a six-month-old, reaching out for his daddy would be the tipping point. I know it’s hard to run a race in which the finish line is only seen by God. All the more reason to recall what He has done already.

You see. When hope fails it leads to despair. When despair erodes apathy remains. The end of apathy is death.  This is not the same as planting the seed in the ground and letting God worry about when it bears fruit. Giving a dream over to God is a display of hope.  This is at least the perception that the dream is lost. The belief that nothing can fix it. Regardless if the lost dream is truly lost or just perceived to be lost the result is the same without allowing God to bring comfort.

If your hope has failed ask God to intercede. Call on friends. Call your church. Find a counselor or support group. Do something. If you don’t your despair will ultimately lead to death. Remember, there are more dreams that need nurturing. Find one first that you can take one step at a time to complete. For me, it was my degree. It was writing this post that brought to mind what God did for me through my son. We both have dreams that either won’t come to pass, or are not for the present. For as many drops of rain the fall from the sky there are dreams for you to take hold of. Do it now. Right now. Raise your head skyward. Open your mouth and stick out your tongue. Catch the dreams you can and leave the others for someone else. 

God Bless,

Mike DeNatale

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