By Dara LaPorta
I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments. Some are funny, like the time I was back-flipping across the gym floor in front of a crowded gymnasium cheering on our high school basketball team, lost control and crashed. The crowd let out a collective gasp, to which I quickly sprung up and exclaimed, “I’m okay!”
But one story leans less towards embarrassing and more towards humiliating. Around six years ago, my husband was playing professional baseball and we were enjoying the company of one of his teammates and his wife, rejoicing in her success, as she had recently fulfilled her dream of starting her own cookie business.
Kindly, Justin (Matt’s teammate) turned to me and thoughtfully asked, “Dara, what’s your dream?”
I panicked. I stuttered. I stalled. I had nothing. Not one thing came to mind, not one small goal or crazy dream. Outwardly, I avoided the question and laughed it off, but inwardly I was devastated.
Proverbs 29:18 (GNV) says, “Where there is no vision, the people decay.”
I was decaying and didn’t even know it. What had happened to me? I used to be motivated and disciplined and hard working. I used to be confident (maybe even overly confident) of who I was and sure that God had amazing things planned for me. How had I become passion-less, purpose-less, dream-less?
Looking back now, it’s so clear. Because of the transiency of my husband’s professional baseball career, I struggled to find a place of my own. I chose instead to invest all of me into his career, into his dreams, ignoring the dreams and passions God had built me for. I had forgotten that God made me not to JUST be Matt’s wife, but to be HIS daughter. He made me for a unique purpose and I had abandoned it.
Psalm 139:13,14 says,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Have you forgotten too? Have you placed your dreams, your gifts, your hopes on the back-burner, assuming your best days are behind you? Did you forget God created you with purpose and intention? He created you with gifts and characteristics unique to you, all to bring Him glory?
Ann Voskamp said this and the words have been ringing in my ears ever since I read them:
“Now is not the time to be demure with the gifts you’ve been given. Share them lavishly. Now is the time to let your life be poured out as ink in an epic story of bold sacrifice and startling courage.”
I wish I could say that after that humiliating encounter, I took immediate action right then and there. Unfortunately, it took me another three years to recognize my decay and take those first steps into rediscovering God’s purposes for me. Even now, I am still learning how to dream boldly, share my gifts lavishly, and press on without fear.
So now I turn to you and thoughtfully ask, “What is your dream?”