“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.”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.
The Dream Giver p 95Bruce Wilkinson
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.