Misty Garrison » Gathered Fragments

Anything. Like perhaps. The unspeakable dream. Maybe?

Been working on yesterday’s post for a while. In my heart. In my head. On the computer screen. In my head again. Always heavy on my heart. Fighting perfectionism. Wondering if I would say too much. Worried that I would say too little. Does that example even make sense? Did I just basically repeat myself three times and not say anything at all? Hit the publish button already. I meant for this to be on the blog BEFORE Christmas as evidenced by my Zechariah/Mary examples. Sheesh!

A few weeks ago, in the midst of all that internal struggle & not so encouraging self-talk. I get a phone call. From a friend. Who has no idea what I am trying to write. And what does she call to tell me? Oh, just about her very own unspeakable dream. Say what?!?!

Fast forward to this past Sunday on our way out the door for church. Still haven’t finished yesterday’s post. Been thinking perhaps I want to add a few quotes from Jennie Allen’s book, Anything, to help drive my point home. “On a whim,” I decide to take the book with me in the car so that I can reread all my highlighted portions on the way to and from church & decide which quotes to use. “For some reason,” I actually take the book into church with me along with my Bible, purse, notes journal, diaper bag, etc. I had no intention of reading or looking through it during the service, but it made it into the sanctuary with me anyway.

I place it on the empty seat beside Steven and forget it is there. Worship. Sweet. Amazing. Worship. And prayer. After a while, I figure we are on the last set of songs. Not that I want to leave this place. Feels like I just got here. Or has it been 10,000 years? Either way, I really don’t want it to end. Then the pounding starts. And there he goes messing with my heart again.

Really? You want me to grab her hand? That friend who called to tell me her unspeakable dream? The one sitting next to the empty chair beside Steven and my Anything book? And do what? Take her to the altar with me? You do realize that no one else is up there. Oh, except the worship team & band members bringing the house down with your praise. No big deal. It’s not like it is a rather large room with a Texas sized altar or anything. And did I mention it is empty? And that they haven’t even invited people to come up there to pray right now?

And I have stalled long enough now that the song is fading. Panic. I’ve missed it. If only they would play one more song, I would obey his summons. Really should know better than to bluff the God of the Universe. The music transitions into “one more song.”

With sweaty palms I reach out. Desperate. Lest I fumble the moment with my cowardice. Grabbing hold of her, I half-shriek, “Will you go to the altar with me?” We are there. Bowed low. Huddled close as I whisper-shout begging our Father to forgive our unbelief, to strengthen us with his might and give us the faith to live our unspeakable dreams. For him. And our petitions are engulfed by praise. I am not sure she can even hear me. But he is there. For God inhabits the praise of his people. Making his dwelling there. And he hears.

We are back at our seats. Then it is over. The service, that is. She leans over hugging me her thanks. Then looks down and says, “Is this your book? My friend was just telling me about it. She knows the author and said that I should read it.”

To make a short story long. Later that day, I sent her the above video and an excerpt from the book along with the offer of reading it again with her if she wanted. She accepted. And now I would like to invite you to “join” us. From wherever you & whenever you are. The two of us will probably try to meet in person to discuss from time to time. But I would also love to hold a little discussion here as well. I plan to share a bit of my thoughts as we progress and maybe you can to. If you want. Who knows maybe we could get a little virtual book club going, or something.

But for now might you ponder the question,“What is your anything?” And if it wouldn’t be asking to much, might you consider sharing it with me. With all of us. As we begin to speak our dreams to one another. For faith comes in hearing. And sometimes when my faith is small, I might need you to whisper your faith to me.

Funny how many times, I have tried to force ministry or friendship opportunities. When all I really had to do was answer the phone and take a book to church with me. He had the rest all along.

As he always does. Just like he has our “anythings” & “unspeakable dreams.”

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Back in October I spent 31 Days of Going with my pretend best friend Shannan aka Flower Patch Farmgirl. More often than not, she unravels me with her words. And challenges me with her life.

Day 4 of that little journey she is sharing about how “Going Doesn’t Mean What You Think,” and midway through a list of what going “could be” she slips this one in:

“Maybe it’s an idea so hair-brained that you hesitate to say it out loud.”

Unravel. Bawl. Ugly, gasping for breath, snot everywhere. Then shaking from the energy exerted. Weak.

Not sure how long it took me to cut off all the frayed edges so that I would at least appear to be alright again.

Girlfriend has been reading my personal journals again. Or perhaps she has a window into my soul. Or maybe she too has had heard the Most High whisper, “Come, follow me. Here. To this place. In this way. For these people.” Actually, I know she has. And I know she went. And that she is still going. Following him wherever he may lead.

And there lies my own invitation. Unopened. Because I already know what it says. He whispered it to me a year or so ago. And it has occupied my mind ever since.

But never my lips because…

…to speak it gives it life.

…to speak it makes it real.

…to speak it gives people power over it.

Because to them it is foolishness. They ask, “Why would you want to leave all this for that over there?” And I can hear myself screaming, “Why would I miss out on all of that over there just for this?!”

Perhaps you {like me} are like those people who keep their baby name a secret until it is on the birth certificate, because they know Aunt “so and so” will steal their joy by making some asinine, insensitive comment about a town drunk or some such seediness or perhaps a long dead family pig having the same name. And if people can’t be trusted with a name, how could you possibly trust them with THIS? Because, really, its up to you to protect God’s plans from other people’s doltish opinions.

You know, just in case it doesn’t actually happen.

Or is it?

Perhaps like Zechariah, you are struck dumb by your disbelief. And now you must wait & watch, silently, as the words of the Lord are fulfilled in their proper time. Wanting nothing more than to share what you know with someone. Anyone. Who will listen. And your throat burns from the truth you must swallow along with your doubt.

Maybe it is for the best after all. What if the plan changes? Or worse. What if the plan is just plain crazy? Too crazy. So you pretend that you don’t want to reflect badly upon his honor when really you are just worried that your own character will come into question.

Reputation. Fear. What will people think? What if I let him down? What if I can’t do this? Questions race. Doubt surges. But the dream is stronger and our God is greater. For he who spoke the dream into our hearts, also spoke the world into existence. And as surely as the Word became Flesh to dwell among us & rescue us from our sins, so will the word he whispered to us come to pass. In his time. In his power.

And like Mary we have pondered his plan in our hearts and have even uttered her words of obedience, “I am your servant. As you have spoken, so be it.”

But then there is the fiance to tell that she is pregnant.

And our own souls are pregnant with the unspeakable dream. Perhaps you know the one. The one that could only come from God, because never in your wildest imagination would you have desired this for yourself. And dang if you can’t figure out how to fit it into a five-year plan. Especially since the darn thing is still in its cocoon and you have no idea what it is actually going to look like when it emerges. Or how long it will take. Or who you will be.

And the only thing that scares you more than speaking the dream. Is living it. Or no. Wait a minute. Your worst fear is NOT living it. But instead waking up when you are 80 to realize that the dream has faded much like the color in your hair and the spark in your eye.

Dream. Speak. Live. Happy 2013, dear friends.

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  • melissa stover - i love shannan! got to meet her at blissdom a couple of years ago and she’s just wonderful. glad to meet you here and at the inspired home.ReplyCancel

Abundance is…

…opening an early Christmas present. Sweet hubby thought I might want to wear this beautiful scarf to some of our family festivities.

…receiving a gift that gives back hope.

…celebrating a Savior and the good news of his birth, death and resurrection.

…living His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

“I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, ‘Now is this political or social?’ He said, ‘I feed you.’ Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”

~ Bishop Desmond Tutu

And, I would add that the good news to former sex workers in Africa is a home off the streets, counseling and an alternative means of income. To find out more and help create sustainable business for these precious women, check out FashionAble.

“Lord, we pray that rather than picking apart your gospel to suit ourselves, we would pick apart the twisted assumption that bread is only for the fortunate, water only for the lucky, and freedom only for the strong. Amen.”

~ prayer from December 19th in Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.

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Abundance is…

…spending last Sunday in the brutal wind & cold replanting what I thought were early sprouting ranunculus bulbs into various pots and hauling them to my mom & dad’s greenhouse for safe keeping. Only to find out a little later that they were paper whites growing in God’s designed time for them. Serendipity indeed. While I might regret the loss of my beloved ranunculus blooms when spring comes, I am amazed at the unexpected gift these precious beauties are and the gracious charm they bring to the house.

…special reminders of God’s perfect plan and the truth that when one dream dies a new one sprouts up in its place.

…delicate white petals in the midst of the bitter cold.

…a light in the darkness.

…a city on a hill.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

~ Ephesians 3:20-21

Come. Lord Jesus. Come.

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