It seems everyone is waiting for something—a dream job, the love of their lives, freedom from debt and financial growth. What are you waiting for? Personally, I hate to wait, and never thought I'd wait for love and marriage.
Growing up, I was mentored by a couple named Barbie and Ken. Perhaps you know them. My sister and I played with them for hours on end, envisioning our lives through theirs—the fancy cars, luxury homes and wardrobes, oh, the wardrobes!
At 18, I was off to Oral Roberts University (ORU), hopes high and the dream strong. Oh, my husband is on this campus, I thought. With 2,000 men and 2,000 women, there is one for everyone!
A Lovely Prophetic Dream
During my junior year, while taking an afternoon nap, a dream seemed to confirm my vision for love and marriage. In the dream, I saw a woman walking slowly and determinedly along a brick road that twisted and turned. Single, long-stemmed roses were planted on both sides of this road. The woman kept walking, seeming not to notice the roses. Her eyes were fixed straight ahead, as she was enamored with what she saw at the end of the road.
From time to time, men would come up to her road, pick a rose and hand it to her, but she would never take the roses they offered. She kept her gaze fixed firmly on what was ahead.
After she had walked for a while, another road that looked so similar to hers emerged in the picture. There was a man walking on the road, his gait much like hers and his eyes equally fixed on the end of the road. In his arm was the most beautiful bouquet of roses I had ever seen.
Before long, the two roads became one, and as they did, he reached out and took her hand, presenting her with the bouquet from his other hand. Neither turned to look at each other but remained transfixed on the end, walking hand in hand. Their walk eventually took them into the most magnificent garden, full of every imaginable flower, fragrant and alive.
What struck me most about this garden was the obvious presence of the Lord. As they stood before Him, His glory now streaming down on their faces, I heard His voice say to them, "Well done, good and faithful servants. Enter into the glorious garden of reward I have prepared for you."
The Dream's Meaning
I awoke from the dream a bit groggy, and over the next few days, praying and writing in my journals, I asked God if there was a deeper meaning to this unusual dream. Here is what I sensed Him saying:
"Lynette, I have called you to a road of My choosing, and I want you to keep your eyes on Me. At times along this path, there will come men who have good things to offer, but I want you to keep your eyes only on Me. For at the proper time of My choosing, I will bring to you a man who has walked a similar road, and who, like you, has his eyes transfixed on Me. When he comes into your life, he will not distract you but will strengthen you. He will have all the qualities your heart desires, and the two of you will walk together through the remainder of your lives. When you finish and stand before Me, I will tell you, 'I am well-pleased.' Then you will enter into My glory, a glory I am preparing even now for you."
Wow, what an intriguing, truth-filled dream! Little did I know how often it would be like a cool cup of water in the desert for the years of waiting to come and how many others would embrace it like their own and choose to wait with purpose for the vision that lay ahead.
When Other People Live Your Dreams
A year later, I walked across the ORU stage, bachelor of science degree in hand but no bachelor for me! I did, however, have all my bridesmaids, so perhaps it was a bit redemptive. Over the next few years, my bridesmaids and many others were living my dreams. My best friend, Toni, married right out of college, began having baby after baby and now has 10 children!
Have you ever faced the challenge of watching someone else living your dream — right in front of you? Through my 20s, then my 30s, still waiting for this dream, I discovered two choices that made all the difference. First, when one dream is on hold, go live another! You may feel like stopping, waiting and focusing on that one thing you want so desperately to change, but we have to keep moving and dreaming because dreams tell our hearts we're living, not dying.
The second choice is a choice. Hope is a choice, not a feeling. In his book, The Anatomy of Hope, Dr. Jerome Groopman, chair of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says hope is as powerful as any medicine prescribed or procedure performed. I've learned that hope is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
So at times, in the midst of such utter hopelessness, I chose to be a woman of hope, hoping for the man on the road with the roses, yes, but hoping for much more too. Dreaming beyond the job descriptions, I chose to believe in the faithfulness of God.
When My Dream Came True
I was nearly 40 when my longtime dream of moving to New York City came to pass. I accepted a job transfer and arrived with fresh hope in a vibrant city of dreamers. Every day for the next two years at 9 a.m., I walked through the concourse of the World Trade Center—except on 9/11. That morning I was conducting a meeting in Hartford, Connecticut.
Three days later, while so many fearful people were leaving the city, several men were arriving with the hope of making a difference. One of those men was Ron Lewis. He and his friends decided to start a church in the heart of Times Square—Every Nation New York. I began attending, and over the next few years, Ron and I became friends and then realized there was something more.
So at the age of 42, in a church on Park Avenue, down an aisle lined with roses, I married the man of my dreams, a dream so long in coming yet right on time. On our wedding day, Ron gave me the gift of four teenage boys. Four boys and no stretch marks is a really good deal!
When the Dream Almost Dies
For years, I dreamt of having a little girl, so we tried, and surprisingly, at 45, I was pregnant, only to be told at my first appointment, "No heartbeat." One out of eight couples struggle with infertility, and this became our journey for the next five years—years of tears, surgeries and an adoption that fell through at the last moment. We chose hope, yet so many hopes were crushed again and again.
One night in front of my bathroom sink, tears streaming down my cheeks, I heard these words: "Lynette, your story, My glory."
I said to the Lord, "But I don't like my story right now. Please, another story instead!"
Again came these tender words of encouragement: "Your story, My Glory."
During this same time, our third son, Jordan, took a summer mission trip to Africa. While there, he had 21 nosebleeds. What's that all about? When he returned home, on the day before his 21st birthday, he was diagnosed with stage 4 sinus cancer. He endured 71 rounds of radiation and eight rounds of chemo, after which, amazingly, he was declared cancer free and returned to his dream of finishing his last semester of college.
He graduated on time, won the Overcomer of the Year award and met his great love, Cady. He got a wonderful job at a bank. Seventeen months later, at 8 a.m., he went with his dad to buy the engagement ring, and at 10 a.m., during a routine follow-up exam was told the cancer had returned, this time with a vengeance.
Jordan and Cady were married a month later, determined to live their dream of a life together. For the next nine months, Cady never left his side. Thousands of prayers from around the world surrounded us, along with the faith to move mountains and receive a great healing. However, two years ago as of March, in what will remain a great mystery in our lives, our precious son breathed his last breath on Earth and his first breath in heaven.
For the last two years, we've been on yet another journey of hope inspired by our son, who never lost his hope or faith, challenged to keep living on days when we've felt like dying. In the midst of this journey, yet one more amazing dream happened. On Christmas Eve, the Christmas before Jordan died, we got a call from a brave young woman, now in her ninth month of pregnancy, who had decided to pursue adoption.
She had chosen us! Could we be ready to adopt in three weeks when she was due? At age 51 and 54, we looked at each other and said, "Well, yes, why not?" The very next day, while again at my bathroom sink, a photo came to my phone—two newborns in red and green hats! And not just one but two dreams come true! Our twin girls were born just outside of Bethlehem on Christmas morning!
Since things happened so quickly without the ability to share the news personally with everyone, we pulled together a short video to let our church families and friends know.
In the last two years, this video has gone viral four times and been seen by over a million people. Indeed, it is our story, His Glory, on a scale we never imagined.
Life is full of ups and downs, tears and fears, fulfillment and disappointment. Through it all, I've learned how faithful the Lord is. He can be trusted and is out for our good. One of my theme Bible passages has been Psalm 27:13-14: "I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord." In short, choose hope and dream again, because it's your story for His Glory, and He is right on time!
Lynette Lewis is an author, business consultant and speaker who travels extensively, speaking in both corporate and Christian venues. She is the author of two books, Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos and Remember the Roses. Visit lynettelewis.com for more information.
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