January 6, 2011

Nursing a dream

I've nursed many things over the course of my life. Some have actually been people like my son, husband, or another family member or friend. At times, I've nursed myself back to health with long seasons spent administering intravenous antibiotics at home. I don't missing those days, months, and years. They were a lot of work.

There have been occasions where I have nursed grudges before graciously letting go. Other times when I've nursed hurts while the Holy Spirit administered healing. Sometimes the hurts belonged to others. At other times they were my own.
Currently I am nursing a dream. This is actually new territory for me. Don't get me wrong. I've had many dreams. God has even allowed some to come true for which I am very thankful. Yet this is the first time that I recall actually having to nurse a dream.
On Christmas Eve I had an amazing dream. When I awoke the dream was still very vivid and I felt extremely hopeful. Perhaps more hopeful, regarding a particular situation, then I had in quite a number of years.

For the past 14 years I've been living life wearing one shoe and walking on crutches. The other foot and leg have been encased in fiberglass, for reasons I won't go into at this time. A few months ago I took off the long-leg cast and began to relearn to walk. This was my first Christmas since our son was 6 years old that I have worn a pair of shoes. My husband & I didn't exchange gifts this year.

Who needs gifts when you finally can wear a pair of shoes?!?!

Yet there are issues remaining with my leg. Obviously there's a whole lot more to this story. The cast seems to have done what was needed but it has also done a lot of damage. My foot won't go flat on the floor. There is no movement in the ankle. So essentially I am still disabled.

That is what makes the dream so important. In it a man, who appeared to be a doctor, approached my bedside. He told me that he had seen all that I'd done to get out of the cast. Trust me when I say that it's been some of the hardest work I've ever done. He also said that I had gone as far as I could go, on my own, and that he and his colleagues would be taking over from this point. They would do all that was necessary to get me walking normally again.

And then I woke up.

I felt strangely encouraged as if I'd just received an intravenous dose of faith. When I walked in the door at my Mom's house to begin our Christmas celebration the first thing that I shared was the dream. It was still so real to me. Throughout the day I couldn't help it. My mind kept revisiting it time and time again.

And then it happened.

Later that afternoon as I was descending from a stool, at my Mom's island, my foot landed oddly. Had my ankle had the ability to twist it would have. My Mom looked on in horror as I corrected my gait. At the time I didn't feel much of anything. By the next morning there was some swelling and discolored areas around the ankle. After taking it easy for a day or two it felt better.

And then I made a bad decision.

A few days later I decided to go and walk at the local recreation center. Over the past few months I'd pushed myself to walk hundreds of laps around that little indoor track. It is a safe place where people can walk at their own pace.

Things started off fine. There was no pain in my foot. Strolling along with my iPod blasting in my ears all was going well. Then suddenly my knee locked up. I was on the far side of the track so I stopped for a few minutes. It's amazing how much you can pray in a short time when the possibility for extreme humiliation is at stake. I had to get around the track. God helped me and while finishing out the lap the knee felt better so I pumped out a few more rounds.

And then I regretted it.

As my husband and I left the building my body began to rebel. My knee went into full lock-up mode every time that I bent it. Needless to say you have to bend a joint to use it. Once we made it to the walkway all dignity left me. The pain was so intense that I let out a yell. My neighbors probably heard it. My husband helped me get to the car and then to the couch. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was benched for the night. Basically I've been benched every since.

And then I started nursing my dream.

It seemed in need of resuscitation. I've been nursing it every since daily because in all of the years of this physical struggle I've had only two dreams related to my leg. Both have been significanct to me. I'm not exactly sure just what to make of this one but I can't shake the dream.

And truthfully, I don't want to.

I want the dream to live on inside of me until it becomes a part of my destiny. It elevated my faith. It made me more hopeful. So despite the fact that on the outside it appears that the very opposite of what I dreamed is occurring I'm doing all that I can to hold on tight.

 Why? Because, I believe that I am meant to walk again. I also believe that God has a plan that He is working out in His time. It is far past anything that my mind could possibly conceive. In the meantime, while I wait on Him--I'm nursing a dream. His Word is the medicine that I am applying along with a whole lot of prayer.

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jer 29:11 The Message

Have you ever nursed a dream?

Is it possible that you are holding on to a promise from God right now but find yourself in a struggle?

What do you do to maintain your dreams until they become destiny?


Susie - Walking Butterfly said...

Oh wow, my heart is racing as I read this wonderful description of your dream and all that means! I know that when a dream sticks with you and gives you faith, that's enough to know it is from God. He loves you and is giving you encouragement to "nurse" this wonderful desire of your heart.
This is going to be so fun to read about your progress. Would the Father give you such hope if He did not want to heal you? Blessings

Melinda Lancaster said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the progress as well, Brenda Sue. He's already done a miracle. We're so grateful.
Here's to nursing our dreams.

Vonda Skelton said...

Hi Melinda! I'm glad to have "met" you online and appreciate the opportunity to read your blog. I pray your dream is nursed to fruition!

I dream all the time, but I know what you mean about this type of dream. I had one a few years ago, and it has been coming true day by day. And I'm praising God for it!

Praying for continued healing and the joy of seeing your dream come true. :-)

Melinda Lancaster said...

Thanks so much for stopping by. What a pleasant surprise.

Your words are a balm of encouragement to me. I praise God with you that your dream is coming to pass! Yay!

I'm expecting great things from our great God for both of us. Looking forward to reading your book!

God bless!

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