Portrait of a Dreamer

Portrait of a Dreamer

She rides a wave of energy and enthusiasm. She sees possibility around every corner. She wakes up eager to work on projects, engage with friends, and praise God.

I see her like this, around Thanksgiving. We talk and talk, sitting at the high stools around my parent’s kitchen island. She’s bursting with ideas, and I listen, and encourage her. I, too, know what it’s like to dream, and dream big, and we share it this moment.

I know her incredible gift of empathy, her skill as a nurse working with very ill young children; and, most of all, her unwavering faith through a pain and tumult the majority of us cannot fathom.

We hug and promise to stay in touch. She lives more than halfway across the country, so we’ll rely on email.

We share notes at least once a week or more at first–prayers, scriptures, updates on our kids and home life. We talk more about our Thanksgiving conversation–how she wants to share her experiences with the wider world, and how we might find a way to do it through my blog, as a starting point. It’s a tender subject, and the vulnerability scares her. I promise to revisit it with her after the holidays.

She gets quiet. No emails. No comments on the blog anymore. I surmise the pendulum has swung back, and hard. I send a note. Yes, she’s struggling. She’s low.

I write back:

Always know you are loved and admired. What you do–your spiritual side, your love and care of your family, your nursing–is so inspiring to me. I may write, but I could never do what you do.

I know it’s not nearly enough, so I pray.

Then, last week we’re called to think of a God-sized dreamer in our lives, and I think of her, my childhood friend.

The one who’s been through it all, and still loves God and dares to dream. The one who would’ve likely had died in childbirth had she not moved to a larger city and seen a new doctor who told her a VBAC was life-threatening and safely delivered her second son by C-section. The one who led a young girl to God on her back porch, and ended up hospitalized shortly afterwards when her brain’s neurotransmitters abruptly betrayed her. The one who walks through stunning bright and inky black. The one who persists, even when she’s not sure whether or not she can trust her thoughts. The one who holds God close, but who He holds even closer.

Today, I walked in my back yard, snapping photos, searching for beauty in the muted shades of gray and brown and taupe and feeble green. The most beautiful thing I found was the tiny, frail shell of a flower, still clinging to a stalk. I found its worn splendor almost by accident, I had to get that close.

All that was left was a parchment-like wisp, delicate-veined. The last of the day’s wan sunlight poured through like glory, and I thought of all those I know who’ve suffered loss, illness, trauma, and still offer forth their hearts — worn, translucent, shining and wholly lovely.


This one is for you, sweet friend. You matter. You are beautiful. Your story will be told.

This post was shared gladly with Jen’s Soli Deo Gloria, Holley Gerth’s God-sized Dream Team and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story:

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  1. (Tears.) There are no words… I am moved. Deeply impacted. Appreciative.
    Kim recently posted..A Woman Who Dares to Believe in Living Out God’s GraceMy Profile

  2. Beautiful tribute.

    (The pendulum swing in a good friend touches my soft spot – I too value a friend who is lovely and loving in her battle.)
    Lori @ Encourage Your Spouse recently posted..Encouragement 101My Profile

  3. What a gift your friend is…to so many people! I pray she will continue to dream big. And your writing is so beautiful, I feel like I know her.
    Christine Wright recently posted..80 Acts of Kindness – a Quick Update!My Profile

  4. Your words and friendships are such a gift. Your choosing to give them both is such a blessing to many.
    Kristin Taylor recently posted..{God-sized Dreams} InspirationMy Profile

  5. What a beautiful post about such a dear friend. Only recently am I beginning to really understand the power of such true friendship. Thank you for inspiring me with her story today! I will jeep her in my prayers this week 🙂
    Lisa recently posted..Encouragement for the Journey………My Profile

  6. Such a touching piece devoted to your friend. I hope she reads and is encouraged and knows how much she is loved and treasured. The picture of the flower is beautiful!

  7. Oh, for a friend who loves you just as you are. What a blessing she is to you and what a profound blessing you are to have AND to share her. My girlfriends are the sisters I chose for myself and they are precious to me.
    I pray peace and longevity over your relationship.
    Thank you for sharing, sweet sister dreamer.
    Peace and good to you.
    Chelle recently posted..I am not Esther…My Profile

  8. Thank you so using your words to let us meet this remarkable, beautiful friend of yours. Saying a prayer for both of you this morning!
    Holley Gerth recently posted..Your Future is Better than “Happily Ever After”My Profile

  9. What a blessing you are to each other, and now to me and all who read this! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this tribute. Praying for both of you:)
    Mandy recently posted..Humbled and AmazedMy Profile

  10. Everyone needs a friend like this, to urge us into our dreams. I love how you support her and open the door for her here.

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your friend…she is blessed to have you. Thank you for the blessing your words are today!
    Mel recently posted..My God-Sized Dream: With LoveMy Profile

  12. What an exquisite and encouraging piece of writing. I’m so delighted you’re on the #TellHisStory journey … and chasing after God-Sized Dreams, too. (Praying for your friend.)
    dukeslee recently posted..#TellHisStory: Laying Down Your IsaacMy Profile

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