A year ago my life was distinctly different.  I had a dad.  His cancer was back, he was entrenched in the fight, but he was here and I was thankful.  In the ebb and flow of life I missed the memo that grief would nail me as the seasons changed, but it has come.  Sorrow floods my heart and my mind wanders down the road I’ve walked these past 10 months without him.  I try not to think about the way he will be missed at our Thanksgiving table, the gifts I won’t be buying for him this year, and the multifaceted way it touches us all- my mom, my siblings, my husband, my kids.  We all feel the loss and it is immense.  I try not to think about it, but the sorrow lingers.

My life tells a story of broken dreams and love that redeems them all.  I do not mourn as one without hope.  I know, that even now, God is redeeming the pain I feel and bring beauty from it.  He loves me too much to leave me in this broken place.  He will move me through it, gently taking my hand, carrying me if need be, and walking with me until we are on the other side.  In the midst of my ache, he comforts me.

Let me tell you what God did last week~

Monday morning I received a glorious invitation- a friend asked me to accompany her to the first ultrasound of her 15-week pregnancy.  I was elated. I haven’t seen a baby in the womb since I saw the pictures of my youngest (now 8 years old).  I love the mystery and wonder of life, and eagerly counted down the hours, thankful that the appointment was later that afternoon.  All babies are special, but this is an extra special baby.  My friend and her husband have 2 children on earth and 6 in heaven.  Her journey has been one of great sorrow, but amazing hope and steadfast faith.  God has woven our hearts like sisters, not just friends.

As we sat in the dimly lit room, eyes fixated on the screen, smiles filled our faces.  This baby is perfect in everyway.  We heard the heart beat, saw the profile and laughed as he/she wiggled and waved.

This appointment was one of the hi-lights of my week.  I’ve soaked in the shared joy of this precious life and thought a lot about broken dreams.  My friend has persevered through devastating loss over and over again.  Her heart has continued to believe the gentle whispers of Jesus and the promise of life over her family.  She walks toward life even when circumstances looked like death.  She refused to give up and now she is entering into the beauty of this dream and inching closer to the day when she will hold this perfect one in her arms.

She is a death-defying dreamer.

I’ve felt God unfolding this phrase in my heart; encouraging me as I move through this holiday season filled with a mix of emotions.  I want to be a death-defying dreamer too.  God has spoken promises over my life and I long to hold them.

We all have dreams that seem to die before their time, places where we’ve reached for something that never did find it’s way into our grasp.  In those moments it’s hard to keep reaching, especially when disappointment and discouragement come more frequently than fulfilled longings.  I speak to my soul—Don’t give up, don’t stop dreaming, keep pushing forward, keep reaching.  Don’t loose heart.

What is waiting on the other side of those dreams is breath taking and I want to find it.  I inhale deeply, lift my head and align my vision with the one who continues to light the fire of inspiration inside me.