I have been trying do a “Read through the Bible in a Year” reading schedule every other year. At times it is very easy and other times it can be very difficult. I decided this year, instead of reading it, I would listen to it. I have already decided after doing it for a couple weeks that I appreciate reading it more, but there is some blessing in listening to it as well. I have a 30-minute kid-free drive to work and the 20 minutes it takes to listen to Scripture being read has been a calming blessing on my way to work.
The plan I am listening to is a chronological plan. After listening about Noah in Genesis, the reader transitioned to Job – not my favorite book of the Bible. Job seemed to have everything going for him- wealth, health, family and friends. Those things were taken from him – to a certain extent- and he had done nothing wrong. At the end of the reading for that day, the reader gave some commentary on the text. She also mentioned how beginning the year reading about Job might be depressing, but that could be where some people were right then in their personal lives. She wanted to give the listeners “permission to grieve.”
That reminded me of a friend who found out that she wasn’t going to be able to have children, or another friend whose husband wanted a divorce because he wasn’t in love with her anymore. They needed permission to grieve. Their bad circumstance wasn’t because of something they had done. It wasn’t that God didn’t love them anymore or He was trying to tell them something. It just was. Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time to mourn. We all have had disappointments in our life. It doesn’t matter how large or small our disappointments are, give yourself permission to grieve. Grieving can be healthy.
In my “about me” section of my blog I wrote that being a wife and mother was what I always wanted to be. Which is very true. In kindergarten when all the other kids knew what they wanted to be when they grew up, I just wanted to be a mom. Even at that time, I somehow thought that wasn’t a good enough answer and I copied another girl’s answer of wanting to be a singer. I never wanted to be a singer. Now, here I am a wife and a mother, just what I truly wanted…and yet life isn’t always what I planned or expected. Even in doing what I always wanted, I have had to grieve plans and expectations that weren’t meant to be. Also, I struggled writing the “about me” section because I know many ladies that wanted to be married and/or have children and they didn’t. I didn’t want to make my life sound so perfect, because it is not. I have a sign in my house that says, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” Life is what we make it - the imperfections and all.
As we get older, we forget to dream, or we think we are too old to dream. We need to give ourselves permission to dream. In my prayer journal I have a section where I have written my dreams. It makes me not ashamed of my dreams and it gives me confidence to hand my dreams over to my Heavenly Father.
In 2018, give yourself permission to grieve your disappointments in your life and permission to dream your heart’s desires.