He is Father to the fatherless, defender of the widow– words from the pages of scripture (Psalm 68:5) also applicable to my life. Fatherless and widow, these words evoke heartbreaking emotion, a tragic embrace of nightmare and dream—my reality. 6 years ago I became a widow, less than 8 months later God redeemed my life and gave me a new name; I was once again a wife. The pathway between these 2 life events was, in essence, my own “yellow brick road”. However, instead of seeking a wizard, I went in search of the One who sheltered me, strengthened me and lead me along paths of life. As I found him I also grew in the knowledge of myself, shrugging off the shell of who I thought I was, embracing a purer version of who God says I am. I found freedom, I found hidden treasures, and I found a confidence to simply be me. Through this journey I heard the voice of Holy Spirit, my constant companion, in simplicity each day. Sometimes I tried to make it complicated, but he stepped in, saving me from myself, settling my spirit and renewing my heart to trust. As I walked through desert places, His presence was a geyser of crisp, clear water. I drank him down, longing to fill and satisfy the unquenchable thirst burning deep within.

One of the many truths revealed inside the deep recesses of my heart was this- in the midst of loss there is a void which must be filled, God has come to fill it with love and life; His brightly beaming dreams. He asked me to trust enough to dream again, living limitless in an otherwise severely limited world. It’s my choice- vulnerability in his presence, giving over this territory to the one who loves beyond comprehension. If I decline his embrace, darkness will invade choking out any hope of illumination; there are only 2 choices.

It’s not easy; it’s intentional. Dreaming through grief requires intense determination, unwavering concentration and every bit of available strength; it’s exhausting, but oh so worth it! As I embraced God’s dream, my GPS shifted to a new location, one far beyond the dimly lit city I currently inhabited. My compass pointed towards a land of infinite possibility and undeniable potential. Fresh life greeted me each morning; dew kissed droplets shimmered upon the carpet of my life, beckoning the steps that carried me forward into a beautiful destiny. Sorrows from the day before, now recycled, they were the essence of promise filled dreams awaiting a dreamer. The tender moisture washed my feet, removing debris, refreshing weariness and redefining direction. Bittersweet moments mingled, cascading across my taste buds; extreme contrasts heightened my senses causing an awareness of startling beauty, paralyzing pain, and their ability to coexist within my world. The brilliance of a heavenly glow gave light to the dreamer, bringing forth promises far beyond human frailty.

I can’t imagine life any other way now, and yet, I know the price of those moments—they cost everything. The past 4 weeks have plunged me back into a similar season, one defined by loss, days suffocated by grief; but still He beckons me to dream. This time I am tired, weary from intense battle, I weigh the price against the promise. I stand in surrendered silence knowing there is really only 1 choice; I desperately desire life, and it’s sweet surge of fresh fire coursing through my veins. I take a deep breath, knowing there is no turning back, and submit myself to the light.

Father to the fatherless, life without my dad crushes me. I don’t know how to dream through it, and so I wait, again. It’s the same way I’ve been waiting these 4 weeks, pouring out sorrow, yearning for refreshing rains to fall upon this parched ground. Fatigue intensifies my loss, threatening to cripple me, raising a deafening cry of death against the life inside me. In that moment my Father speaks strong authority in softness, “Enough”, death’s cry is silenced; drops of rain begin to fall. Slow and steady they dance across my heart proclaiming promises of deeper connection to the One who formed me, He who knows the silent cry inside. He is my Father, he will be the father to this fatherless child, and I will find him in still deeper ways. So I stand, arms lifted high, head bowed low, welcoming the One who fathers me. His love is near; he draws me into his embrace, I press my face against his chest, and listen to the sound of his heart as it beats out the rhythm of my name. His love awakens me, rekindling the fire inside, igniting the spark of one new dream, and for now, that is enough.