laying my dreams down.

Letting go of every single dream

I lay each one down at Your feet

Jesus.

I heard this lyric to this song for the 1st time today– in Zumba class, no less– and nearly stopped moving (which is kinda taboo in Zumba, but whatevs).

I attempted to pay attention to the song in between stretches and movements as we ended our workout, but couldn’t really grasp it. So I asked our instructor the name of the song (I recognized the singer, Lauren Daigle, right away by her voice) and bought the song so I could hear it in its entirety.

It’s almost 11:30, five hours after class ended, and I’m still listening.

After leaving work, I quickly threw my things in my room and left for a walk, both a treat to myself for finishing my homework on time (victory!) and a chance for my soul and my body to finally breathe together, in sync, after a long day. As I walked I listened to this song, singing along the words I had learned already as I stared at my ever-present comforter, the stars, glistening across campus. It’s a breezy spring-like night here in Nashville, and as the wind blows  I exhale and almost feel myself saying hallelujah with every gust of wind, an exhale of both mind and spirit. Another week down. Another grind almost completed. Same old, same old. It’s exhausting just going with the motions. It’s sweet relief when Thursday comes for my brain and my heart.

And this song still rings in my ears, like I can’t shake it. I sing and exhale at the same time, relieved at the comfort the words bring.

Now I sit in front in the middle of campus on a spring-like Thursday night, listening to this song in one ear, the roar of the campus fountain in the other. I’m pretty sure  I’m getting odd stares and looks from the straggling students wandering around at close to midnight, but I don’t care. I need to be outside as I write tonight. Don’t know why, but I just couldn’t contain myself inside.

The song is on repeat now, the words becoming familiar enough that I sing along aloud:

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You. 

I used a lyrics site to look up these words, cause no matter how well I know a song I typically mess up the lyrics. The particular site I used chose to add an exclamation point to the last line of the song. I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I deleted it. Solely because this whole trust thing isn’t exactly joyous in my mind: it’s more like terrifying.

I’m in this season of life where I have no clue where I’m going.

No. idea.

And it’s quite honestly the scariest feeling, not knowing what is next for me. For so long I’ve had plans, or at least ideas, of the “next” chapter. After high school was Lipscomb. After Lipscomb was teaching… until now.

Now there’s nothing. And I sit in classes, I volunteer my time where I can, I visit with friends, and yet there’s something hollow about it. There’s something that just keeps going off in the back of my mind: this is it. This is the end. 

My college career is flying by in front of my eyes. As much as I wanted college to be done last year (and trust me, I want the particular classes I’m in now to be done, too),  I’m not sure now. I think I want to be done– I feel like a fish outta water some days, like I’ve overstayed my welcome. And yet. I’m not quite ready to leave, because at least here  I have something figured out.

This has been my steady for nearly 5 years. It’s been my safe place, my home, my peace. I didn’t just love and cherish the college chapter, I needed it. I needed college as much as I wanted it (and not just for an education).  And as much as I think I’m ready for the next chapter, I’m quite scared to let this one go. Because it’s certain. It’s unchanging. It’s fixed, while I’m growing and changing and moving about it. I needed the stability of college for so long, and now I’m not quite ready to let it go for another chapter of unsteadiness and wandering.

I was okay with it when I had a plan. I was sad about leaving Lipscomb, but at least I had the next chapter already figured out. At least I was letting go of one stable thing for another, or so I thought.

Now that that’s gone out the window, so has my stability, my sure bet… and I’m absolutely terrified.

One of the aspects of my counseling right now is career counseling (God must have had some foresight there when I got matched with my counselor, who is a career counselor by trade). My counselor has a lot more confidence in me than I have in me: she thinks I know in my heart of hearts what I want to do (I’m not so sure), and commends me for even coming to counseling for this reason (while it’s not the only reason, it’s up on the list). She gently reminds me that “having it all together” post-grad is a facade, and a lot of others are struggling in silence with the same thing  I’m sitting here in counseling for. At least I have initiative to figure it out before May, she tells me.

I can’t imagine waiting till May, truthfully. I think I’d be a basketcase. Because it’s only February and I’m sitting here straight terrified, casually checking job listings on campus and taking random career tests to figure something out. I’m going to a conference this weekend about Enneagram, in hopes that maybe it’ll help provide some insight to how I can use what I’ve been given in a career.

I have time, I remind myself. And yet time feels so short. Just sitting here writing this out has overwhelmed me to tears. It’s such a scary, vulnerable place to be.

I have ideas. I have dreams… at least  I think they’re dreams of mine. They’ve been planted somewhere in my head and my heart, enough to say them out loud when I brainstormed ideas with my counselor this week. Most I’ve kept quiet, unsure if it’s God or me planting the ideas. Some I’ve said aloud to friends, thinking maybe their insight would help me discern whose ideas they are. Hasn’t helped yet, but their encouragement has at least guided me to figuring things out some more.

I have these dreams. I have ideas.

I don’t have plans. Or answers. Or a sure bet.

But I have Jesus. And while I don’t have plans figured out or my next steps planned out… I have Him.

And in Him, I have an answer to all of this: trust. trust. trust.

Such a simple word. A harder concept.

I want lay my dreams down. I want to trust him to move the mountain that I’m facing. But I’m scared.

I’m scared of the unknowns. Of not having an answer, a next step in front of me. Of laying my dreams down and picking a dream up, only for God to say no again, thus this cycle continuing.

I want to let it all go, lay it down. But I don’t at the same time. It’s such a difficult place to be.

In my heart of hearts, as I sit here drying my tears and writing this, I hear this: there’s something more than this. 

More than this fear. More than this sadness. More than my endless anxiety about the unknowns, this questioning and uncertainty. There’s more to life than sitting here trying to figure out the next chapter of it.

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

trust2
From my friend Kaitlyn’s new book, Even If Not http://kaitlynbouchillon.com/even-if-not/

 

He’s steady. He’s stable. He’s good. He’s the answer I need right now. Even if  I don’t figure it all out right now… He has it all. And he’s seen tomorrow. And next week. And May 8th. And he promises me that they’re good. Good things are happening, if I trust that He’s got it all in his hand. If I trust that He has my hand through it all.

 

I want to believe that. I do. I’m so exhausted from trying to figure it all out. I spend more time stressing about the future than I spend working on present-day things, and it’s made me and my heart spent. Weary. I want to believe there’s more than this plan-making and life-building on my own, because it’s taking its toll. Badly.

As terrifying as letting my dreams go and laying them down before God, keeping this I-can-do-it-on-my-own charade up is a lot more terrifying. And infinitely more exhausting.

trust1
Also from Even if Not, releasing on Tuesday!

So I’m going to try. I’m going to lay it all down: the loud dreams, the quiet dreams. the broken and bruised dreams of yesterday. The dreams I don’t know yet. I’m going to let them go (one by one if I have to), and let God handle it. Even if it scares the hell out of me to let myself go, it has to be better than doing it myself–and just getting by, coming up empty-handed while doing so.

I’m choosing trust. Even if it scares me to death. Even if  I want my plans and dreams figured out tomorrow (or yesterday).  Even if I’m worried about the future and what it has in store. Even if He doesn’t give me the answers I want,  or when i want them, I will trust that His answers. His ways are better than mine. His plans are greater. His dreams bigger. And I will trust that right now, He is the only answer  I need. Because He holds everything I could ever want or imagine.

I’m going to try. I’m probably going to screw up a lot, because I know myself and my controlling I-want-it-my-way ways. But I’m going to keep trying, because in my heart of hearts, I know He has plans bigger and better and more me than I could ever imagine.

I’m going to trust Him with this mountain. And I’m going to climb it with my hands wide open towards the starry sky, knowing it’s where my help comes– not from my own understanding.

When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You

like I was going to leave you without the song. God works through words and music and lyrics and it makes my heart happy. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “laying my dreams down.

  1. Oh, Jordan. I love you! I love your vulnerability and honesty. The end of your college career is daunting, overwhelming, and terrifying. For a long time – in fact – right up to my senior year, I had everything planned out too. But what most people didn’t know (and couldn’t tell from the show I put on) was that I was struggling with some pretty severe depression and some rough health issues. It made attending classes impossible at times, and I graduated a semester late because of it. I was furious with myself. I was furious with God. I was furious with just about everyone. At the time, I was completely ashamed. I was not proud of the way I finished college (which was just barely). But looking back, I see that with everything I was dealing with, just finishing – just having a degree, regardless of how it was done – was HUGE. And I left with no idea what I wanted to do or if I would ever use my degree.

    I took a part time job the summer before my last semester just to occupy time and pay the bills. I was a telephone recruiter for an online qualitative market research company. Basically, I just called people and asked them a few questions to see if they would be interested in participating in online focus groups. I didn’t see it going anywhere. It was just a way to pay the bills while I tried to piece myself back together. But then, I was offered a full time job about a week after I graduated. I loved the company and the people I worked with. I didn’t have a better plan yet, so I took it. And now, I’ve moved up even more, and I even get to use my English degree! I am happier and more successful than I ever dreamed I would be. I was afraid I would suck at being an adult, but my accidentall professional turned out to be exactly what I needed.

    I’ve been through the dark night of the soul and come out on the other side. And there was a purpose for it all. I am better able to relate and understand so many people. I lost some arrogance that I had before I screwed so much up. And the humility that I learned from such a struggle has served me well and given me a perspective that I see in few recent college grads. It has made me wiser, and I completely believe that I wouldn’t be in as good of a place or job today had I not struggled so much.

    All of that to say this: you feel lost and confused and scared right now. And that’s normal. And you have every right to feel that. But you don’t have to have everything figured out. And it’s ok not to. God is good. He’s cooking up big, incredible, amazing things for you. And you are going to be magnificent! So when you get scared and overwhelmed and it all becomes too much, just breathe. There is a plan for you, and its bigger and better than you can even imagine. Know that I’m rooting for you, and I believe that you will conquer whatever comes your way. And if you just have patience and listen (which can be so hard!), I promise that you will be just fine. You will find your place, your new home. And you will thrive. If you ever feel panicky about the future, I’m happy to talk with you! Love you, sweet girl!

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    1. Sweet Kimberlyn! Oh how I love you so. I’m so grateful for your words, and for taking the time to read mine. 🙂
      I had NO idea of the struggle you went through senior year. Depression is the worst thing (I have depression and anxiety, I get it.) and am SO glad you made it through and have done such awesome things on the other side of it. Life, let alone senior year, is hard with depression– it’s no small feat to succeed like you did. Thank you for sharing with me. It’s always nice to be reminded that this emotional roller coaster I’m on is normal! I’m so thankful for you, and miss you very much– please let me know if/when you come around campus!! (Ms. Kenna told me you came by recently and I was SO SAD I missed you!) I’d love to give you a hug. Love you so much.<3

      Like

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