Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tending the Flame


“Decide you will stop retreating from fear and step through it instead. Write down your decision, post it and don’t throw the note away until you have taken your first step.”  
The Dream Giver p 95
Bruce Wilkinson
When I was fourteen, I had a dream. I dreamt of being a great actress. Common? Perhaps. Trite? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I pursued that dream through study and practice for 8 years. Then the flames of burnout which hungrily devoured my last year of college consumed my dream, leaving ashes behind. Years later the dry bones would form sinew and achingly come back to life but by then insurmountable obstacles seem to pen it in. Finally I would do a small play here or there and my heart would burst into bloom, but then the giants of fear, injury, weight, lack, age and insecurity seem to block the dream from swimming anywhere but very small puddles. (I know that I’m hopping metaphors terribly today. Please bounce with me.) I became reconciled to the muffled quiet and the emptiness where this dream once resided. And then awareness, a whisper on the breeze of wait, there is purpose in the emptiness: a realization that the great healing He has been doing in my heart has been necessary if this dream should ever grow. So this dream smoldered in the dark and the quiet, tucked away.

In the meantime other dreams came to lead with blazing fire, one especially. I could not understand how if each of these dreams were lit by Divine Flame they could co-exist in one future. I could not spread my mind wide enough for ands and not ors. Then suddenly the blazing fire I had been following guttered, spit and seemed to go out. Weeping, I handed the smoking torch back to Him not knowing if there are any embers left hiding for another time, or if acrid incense is all that is left. For a time my hands were too wet with tears to carry any flame. I simply needed to mourn the loss. But eventually I sat up and looked about me understanding how wide the horizon is when I am not following one single light. A slight crackling caught my ears and out of the corner of my eyes I glimpsed a ribbon of smoke prancing in the wind. So I have been seeking permission to tend this flame. Not wishing to take up a lantern that is to light a different part of my path. I don’t feel the fiery passion I had at 14 or even at 20. Time and disappointment have taught me caution. But they have also taught me to trust the Light Giver over the light. To understand that I may be asked to give back this fire at any time and though I may feel abandoned in the dark, I am not. To recognize that even if the fire becomes a bonfire of glory it is a mere shadow of His light. So I follow and tenderly nurse the flame.

But how? In prose not poetry what is the concrete step I need to post so I step through the fear? I am already clearing away some wonderful commitments to give me a few more bits of time for this. And now I am working on two general audition monologues. My goal is to have them edited, memorized and crafted by the end of the July. There in plain, detailed English is what I am working on now. Now I've posted it and I promise not to throw this note away until I have completed this step.
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11 comments:

Bristol said...

I love your metaphors here! Good luck, Joybird! I'm so glad to hear you're courageously pursuing your dreams... keep us posted!

happygirl said...

Oh Joybird. Facing your fear, speaking your fear out loud, and taking steps to move through your fear. You are doing it. I hopped right along with you metaphors and the prose of hope and courage move me deeply. :) (can't wait to meetcha)

Anonymous said...

What words..

David Nilsen said...

This is really exciting, Joybird! Keep us posted.

Tiffini said...

LOVE the Dream Giver. It has been years since I read it...might pick it up next week and re-read it.
I back you 100%! You CAN do it. It is your calling from all that I am reading from you...He wants this for you Joybird. I read the other day when we are going forward in God's call there will be giants if we retreat they are gone..go forward for the giants are just lies ... speak truth to them and keep going.
xo

Brian Miller said...

woot way to face those fears joybird...go for it...

on the other hand is SD really ready for happy girl and joy bird...i am thinking there might be a happy joy explosion...smiles.

"Ima" said...

So excited for this journey for you. I love the way you wrote of it; the flames, handing the torch back to Him, trusting the Light Giver more than the light. Really beautiful and can't wait to hear more about this journey.

emily wierenga said...

But they have also taught me to trust the Light Giver over the light.


beautiful, dear joy. how i've missed you...

Anna said...

Exciting, and a beautiful post. "Trust the light giver"...

Anna said...

Exciting, and a beautiful post. "Trust the light giver"...

april said...

good for you may sound trite, too...but i say it anyway. so inspiring!!!

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