Monday, April 29, 2013

the pursuing

There have been times in the past few years when I've questioned why I work exactly where I do, raising money for scholarships to support young people and afford them opportunities for an education. I've suggested there are more meaningful places to work where more of a difference can be made. I’ve talked about organizations impacting lives in big-time, meaningful ways. 

Yet, my groom has reminded me that there are people whose lives are influenced by the work my colleagues and I do. Lives are being changed here.

I've thought my work is not big enough, difference-making enough. My vision is wider than here. And while I know we are reaching many, I wrestle with empathy for the who we aren’t reaching. 

I am often sad for the lives we aren't impacting. 

I believe education is important. Critical. Essential to changing communities and, ultimately, the world. Empowerment through education excites me.

But, the fact is, we can't accept everyone at this life-impacting place. A lot of very deserving, smart, capable young people get turned away. Nearly 6,000 apply for 470 spots. 

I ache for them, the ones who get turned away. 

A few months ago, I had a few conversations with a former professional athlete I know who has created a plan for urban revitalization and economic development in the area where I live. The heart of his mission is to impact lives for the positive and sport is just one piece. 

It excites me to hear of revitalization -- to come alive again. Hope renewed. 

And there it is -- an itchiness, a rising within me of wanting to be a part of something big, God-sized. 

To be a part of something meaningful. To make a profound impact, for Him.

One day as I listened to this athlete-friend of mine talk about his business plans, I felt compelled to share my thoughts with him. Without much deliberation, I expressed how wildly excited I was to hear about what he was doing. Then it happened. 

I let loose this long-time vision of mine: to start a sports foundation for girls. 

Our conversation was naturally interrupted and we went our separate ways. Several weeks went by and I felt this whisper inside of me to be prepared. I was hesitant to consider what this could mean and wondered if I was just being idealistic.

Over the next few weeks, a more concrete mission made its way on a note card. 

I had something, an idea scratched out on paper. 

All the while, a scratchy “be realistic” voice gnawed at my courage. I wondered whether I was too brassy to consider my dreams ever becoming a reality, or if it mattered. And then, late one night I received a phone call. My athlete-friend invited me to talk about how I might apply my talent to my his well developed business plans. 

Could this be the opportunity I’d been waiting for? 

He had spoken with movers and shakers in the community and was interested to know more about me. Knowing I had a secure and well-established career made him hesitant to reach out, until that day I had mentioned my dream.  

It was my speaking out —

That big, brave boldness with no specificity to my vision, that started everything. 

I'm learning dreams become realized when we take deliberate steps to pursue possibility.

Nothing specific has come of the plans with my athlete-friend at this point, and I haven’t left my job. But stepping out in faith in one area of my life has led me to step out in another. 

My husband and I are beginning to consider adopting. This dream that I have carried around with me for as long as I can remember is now something I am deliberately pursuing. always thought this was too audacious and too crazy. I looked for permission to consider this might indeed be real. 

I’m learning to believe that my “crazy” dreams aren’t that crazy after all when it comes to the power of God.   

For the foundation for girls, and adoption, and all of life, there are still a lot of details to work through. So many pieces need to come together that in the end are likely to look far different than I even imagine. For now, I wait with hopeful anticipation for what He will do with these visions -- because, I now believe wholeheartedly that He will do some. thing.

Pursuing is worship.

Dream God-sized Dreams

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