Thursday, April 18, 2013

A season of being hidden.

(Linking up with Amanda today!)

A few years ago when I was a new mother I had a woman minister to me with these words: 

"The Lord put talents and desires in your heart for a reason. You don't have to fight to make things happen for yourself. He will open doors at the right time, and your talents won't die. They may seem to go away for a season, but they're like a seed underground. You may be underground now, but it's only for a season."

Those words feel even more meaningful to me now than they did then. Maybe I didn't expect to go three years further down the course of my life and still feel like a little seed, aching for warmth and sunlight and the freedom to extend my arms up to the sky. Maybe I thought my dreams would have grown stronger and started to manifest themselves in my life.

Instead I start to wonder if anything will ever become of them. Am I really any good at doing what I want to do? Do I have what it takes to be successful? With so many talented and driven people in the world who have better resources than I do, why do I think there's something special about me?

God recently brought those words that were spoken to me back to my memory. And I realized, my vegetable seeds have been trying to teach me the same thing. I planted them by the window, watered them every day, and waited. They took so long to sprout that I was wondering if I did something wrong. Not enough sunlight? Should I forget about the old ones and plant new ones? But then... they started to sprout. One after another. The ones that lay dormant for so long that I was just about ready to give up hope - there they were, sticking their adorable little heads up from the dirt. Who knew there was activity under there that whole time? The wonderful miracle that God created in those tiny seeds was springing to life where I couldn't even see, hidden from my view, but not His.

So it is in my life. One of my big dreams is to be able to write and sing my music. At the beginning of this year I asked myself just as I have in years past, is it time? Do I give myself to training and practice? Do I take on new projects? ..I took a couple of steps forward, and eventually stepped back again. It felt like I was fighting, striving for something that stays perpetually out of reach. Then the doubts came at me again. Will this ever amount to anything? I don't even know if I'm particularly gifted.  Maybe this fight feels impossible to win because I'm not meant to win. Maybe I'm meant to do something easier that will present itself to me over time.

It's in the face of these doubts and fears that God's words to me take on special meaning. There's more to my dreams than even what I see in them. The seeds of desire God planted in my heart will come to life, they will grow, and they will bear fruit. Jesus said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." 

The truth is, I don't know what will become of my dreams. I don't know what my destiny fulfilled looks like, or what calendar God is using to mark things off as they happen in my life. I do know that he's not nervous because I'm creeping on thirty, and that he has something in mind that's more meaningful than a lucrative singing career that garners me all the outward trappings of success.

I also know that God cultivates the gardens of our heart in a masterful, tender way. There are times when he works in our lives and we see wonderful things happen instantly, but a lot of the time his workings are subtle and their effect in us is hard to measure until we look back over time and see how changed we are.

So this is my comfort today. These years of smallness, of being hidden and sometimes unappreciated and unrewarded - they're not wasted. Growth is happening, strength is developing, beauty is evolving. This is a stillness that doesn't end with death, but that is molding character and perseverance  inside of me that are vital to possess.

I'm sharing these words today not because I need to vent and process them, but because I hope they will resonate with some of you who might be in a similar place. Are there dreams God placed in your heart that have been waiting for the chance to fly? Are you longing for God's promises to be fulfilled in your life? I want to encourage you with these words as you wait:

So I say, "My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:18-26 - NIV

No one whose hope is in the Lord will ever be put to shame. 


Your life is beautiful today. Your success is not measured by how popular you are, how impressive your giftings are, or how many people know about you and like you. It's measured by your surrender and trust in God. That's one of the most beautiful gifts you can give him.

17 comments:

  1. Stopping by from Desire to Inspire...

    This was beautiful! I can definitely relate to having a dream that seems to have been put on hold. All the while, I must trust that God is working "behind the scenes" all the time.

    Thank you for these words of encouragement today!

    By the way, I blog over at Grace-Full Intentions {http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com} and have touched on waiting dreams. My latest was this one {if you'd care to read it}: http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com/2013/04/god-sized-dreams-being-versus-doing.html

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    1. Thank you Alana! I'm glad you were encouraged. I'll be sure to stop by your blog soon. :)

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  2. This is so beautiful Hannah. I feel like I'm standing on the cusp of realizing some of my dreams, after waiting for what it feels like forever to figure things out. I love the idea of our potential and dreams being hidden like seeds. I felt that way SO much when my boys were babies because all of your time is consumed with being a mother those first few years. I've been amazed in the past few months how God has brought people into my life that are nurturing and encouraging my dreams and my talents. And in a place that for a few years I was trying so hard to get out of (my current job). I truly believe that if we maintain our hope in Him and listen to that small voice within we will find our way. :)

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    1. Yay!!! I'm so happy that you feel close to achieving your dreams. It's awesome that God has brought those people into your life, even from a place you didn't expect. Trusting him always pays off eventually. :P

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    2. Yes it does! It is a wonderful feeling when we see His plan coming to fruition. :) If you don't mind I'm linking to this post in a blog I'm writing tonight. :)

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    3. No, of course you can link to anything of mine anytime. ;)

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  3. "It's measured by your surrender and trust in God." Those words are beautiful truth. God defines our success, and His definition is SO much different from the definition this world believes.

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  4. I LOVED this. Beautifully written and very encouraging. The Lord has been gently speaking this idea of "enough" to me. He is my portion and I need not strive for anyone else's love. He is enough.

    So, thanks for sharing this today. :)

    The Brayn of Chalayn

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    1. I'm so glad, Chalayn! It's kind of a hard lesson to learn, isn't it? Or maybe we never fully learn it until we go be with Him. Regardless, I'm glad we have that truth to hold onto throughout our days.

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  5. Amazing post, Hannah. We can have faith it the fact that all God's things are beautiful, even if we can't see them or they don't look quite so pretty to us right now. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him.

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    1. Thanks, Courtney. He really, truly is.

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  6. Hannah,
    This was BEAUTIFUL, I wish we could sit down for coffee and I could tell you about the long journey to my dream, which I am now living... my dream was to move into the "ghetto" a place others turn their noses up at, and love the people, live life with them and allow Jesus to use me. It's a long road to our dreams, but we learn so much about Faith, Him and ourselves along the way. I am praying hard for you today! Thanks for sharing your heart.

    If you have time, you can hop over to http://colleensamantha.org and read about my adventures of living out my dream!

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    1. I wish we could, too! I would love to hear it. I'm hoping on over to your blog right now.

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  7. Wow, I feel like you could have written these words for me! A truth full of hope and patience and beauty. I look forward to the day when we read posts chronicling your dreams abloom on this blog!

    ~Iris

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    1. Thank you, Iris. I appreciate that! :)

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  8. Hannie...
    you write...I read...and I smile at the joy of hearing your heart :-)
    love you.
    -Julie

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  9. Hi Hannah, I needed that one tonight! and you should know, sometimes your seeds sprout out in your kiddos. At least one of mine has a heart for South America, even if I never get there again. I'm so hoping Gloria gets her little dream fulfilled tomorrow--a Skype call with her mom! Love you, Aunt Vicki

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