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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

"Follow your heart, wherever it leads;
for only your heart know what your soul needs."
            - Jamie Conkle

I wrote the above several years ago. So, when I saw that this month's blog carnival was "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes," it brought it back to mind. I started thinking about dreams and following your heart... what I discovered was surprising.

I used to dream BIG... VERY BIG! I was always the over-achiever, perfectionist, etc... that always reached for the stars (or beyond), and then had the drive to work toward those goals and dreams.

At some point since my pain has become debilitating, I have stopped dreaming BIG... perhaps even stopped dreaming at all. Wow! This discovery really opened by eyes... and made my heart ache. I've mainly been in survival mode for the past 2 years.

After graduating with my Bachelor's degree, I wanted to work for a few years and then return to graduate school. I landed a job that I started a few weeks after graduation. I worked there until my car accident in October 2008. I decided to start graduate school, as I had originally intended, in Fall 2009 - I wasn't going to let the injuries from the accident change my BIG dream of going to graduate school.

I moved to Oklahoma and started classes that August. I had a rough first semester and ended up on academic probation. This was extremely difficult for me to handle. I had the increasing pain and isolation... as well as struggling with school, which was something that I felt was the right step to make toward my dream.

I got married in October 2009 to my best friend, which was a BIG dream come true - he moved up to Oklahoma after he graduated in December. With the help of my new husband, I was able to make it through the Spring semester (got off probation) - he took such good care of me, through some of the roughest times. I was glad to be back in good standing (with the university), but it took everything out of me.

I've been on a leave of absence (LOA) from graduate school since May 2010. Making the decision to take a LOA was difficult for me, but it has been the best decision I could've ever made. The past few months have been the worst months (pain-wise) that I've experienced thus far. There's no way I would've been able to complete the semester.

So, now what?! My life has been juggled around, my relationships have changed, and my dreams have become blurry...

I'm not sure at all. I do want to complete graduate school, though I'm not sure if that will be now or later. I want to live closer to my family (my parents and siblings, husbands parents and sibling, grandparents, etc...). I want to have a family, though this may look different depending on whether or not these migraines truly get under control - I feel confident that they will with the stimulator, but there's always a chance that it won't. I want to be a writer. I want to be play an active role in my life. I want to live out my faith and serve the Lord - I don't know how He wants to use me, but I want to serve and glorify Him.

Perhaps my dreams have simplified. Perhaps they will be BIG again... or maybe they already are... maybe "BIG" has just been re-defined, just as my life has been re-defined... My faith, hope, and dreams are in the hands of my Lord ~ "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Some DREAM quotes:
  • "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau
  • "If what's in your dreams wasn't already real inside you, you couldn't even dream it." - Gloria Steinem
  • "The greatest thing is to be willing to give up who we are in order to become all that we can become." - Max Depree
  • "If you don't have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?" - Faye LaPointe
"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal." - P. Vaull Starr

9 comments:

  1. I guess dreams are a lot like ambitions and goals... they kinda fall the wayside when we struggle to manage pain. I finished graduate school, in a haze of pain, but I knew I would not be able to continue for my Phd, which was a blow for sure. Now that I reflect back on it, I have since realized I tend to go full throttle for my dreams and if my health interferes, as it does, I seem to believe what I cam capable of is not 'enough'. Leading to a sense of failure, even when I am not really failing at all. In the end, it is simply a realization that I should have dreams, I should persue them, but I have to temper the pace.

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  2. Sadly I have never been a Big Dreamer. Praying at least I get to the point that I dream for something that I so desire. Thank you Jamie for this post. Blessings to you dear one.

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  3. I was in the midst of graduate school when The Headache hit. I tried to push through it, but was not able to. I can barely work. If I function at work, I can't function at home, and vice versa. So school and extra social outings stopped.

    Family for me is a big help. Hope the big dreams become possible!!

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  4. Jamie...never give up your dreams...just alter them a bit! Easier said then done...I know! I have filled out my application to midwifery school several times now and am SO terrified to send it in! As much as I want to, I fear I may be pushing myself past my limits with school, work, kids...

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  5. Jamie, as I struggle with the death of my mom and have also moved last June, this post reminded me of my own life. I spoke in church just before we moved and the topic was about a significant Christ moment in your life. I took the angle of still evolving because at the time I was realizing that my life was not to end up as I had imagined. My migiraines were at their height and I was mourning my limitations. I've always dreamed big and pushed hard, but some of those dreams weren't my reality. For me that was a hard lesson to learn. I feel today that my life has again been reduced significantly to just being able to do daily tasks. But I also remember what I did learn in that time; I can live within my capablilities and dream within them, too. I think I appreciate the people around me more and what God has placed before me more.

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  6. Thank you all for your kind words. I was thinking about how I used to dream big, but wouldn't necessarily identify myself as a dreamer - I'm a realist, but I have extremely high expectations, thus the BIG dreams. I'm not going to give up, but it was just such a shock to me that I hadn't event realized that I'd stopped dreaming and striving toward my goals. I have quite a road ahead of me... Once I get the stimulator implanted, but life will be different (regardless of the degree). My marriage and other relationships will look different, my abilities will be different, and my dreams will look different. It's going to take a lot of time and prayer to find the path that God wants me to take with the changes made.

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  7. Mindy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your comment really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing part of your story with me. I have learned a lot through all of this suffering, and I still can dream and do things... I just have to work on living within my capabilities, and that is very difficult for me. Thank you for your encouraging words, though.

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  8. Your words touch me so much and that has a significance that may be hard for you to see. But I hope you know that it helps me to know that I am never alone in my struggles and you help voice what I experience. Bless you

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  9. Jamie, what a journey you've been on. I can't imagine dealing with the level of pain you've experienced for so long. Thanks for extending compassion to me via your comment on my blog even though what I've experienced is much, much less than what you have. I prayed for you yesterday, and I am encouraged and blessed by your desire to glorify God in the midst of your suffering.

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