“Do you really think I’m ever going to make it, baby?”
I looked up at Studhubs last week from my withered, exhausted state in the bathtub with pitiful, sad eyes. The kind of sad eyes you see when someone has lost a dear friend, or hit a wall of impossibility, watching the last bit of hope disappear like smoke from a cigarette into the breeze.
Sometimes I still get like this. Sometimes I still feel like my heart is in a spin-cycle.
For years, the cycles have been the same. Have an impossible dream, pursue the impossible dream. Hold so tightly to the dream that no matter what happens, and no matter how amazing life plays out, there’s a deep chasm of sorrow inside because the initial ‘dream’ hasn’t happened. Yet.
You wonder if the ‘yet’ will ever come—wondering so intensely, you begin to slip away from the hope that you were called to—that’s promised to you. You’re fixated on the emptiness that hasn’t happened instead of basking in the reality that has.
People look at my life from the outside-in and think every day must be a dream come true. Gorgeous, loving, stud-of-a-husband walking beside me; touring and traveling the world with massive, world-wide artists; jetting from country to country on yet another adventure. And while the experiences have been beyond imagination and my young eyes have seen more than most have seen in a lifetime, there’s still this black, ugly beast of hopelessness that likes to creep up on me and take me from behind, driving it’s sharp talons deep into the vulnerable parts of my soul.
Have I had an amazing life so far? Absolutely. Has it been my life-long dream to back-up other artists and to see their dreams turn into reality for over 10 years? Not quite. (:
It’s been one of my deepest honors to help build someone else’s vision, but not exactly the goal of my personal dreams.
Several years ago, I curled up on the couch to be mindlessly entertained by an episode of The Hills. By the time we were 10 minutes into the catty drama, 3 of my close musician friends had their songs played in the background behind Audrina Patrige and Lauren Conrad. And while I rejoiced at my friends success, there was this massive, wound of rejection that gaped wide—another reminder that I hadn’t ‘made it’ as an artists. I remember laying in Studhubs lap, crying like a little girl who had been chosen last for a kick-ball game.
Would I ever catch a break with my music? Would I ever be able to do my own thing? Would my dreams of touring on my own ever see the light of day—or was I completely delusional to keep chasing this extremely painful dream?
I’ve watched for 10 years as friend after friend rockets forward to see their names on marquis’ and their albums released on major labels. I’ve celebrated with them as their music has reached millions of ears, and their singles have topped the charts. And while I wouldn’t change a THING that’s happened to me, (because I know I would never be the woman I am now without the exact journey I’ve been on), every once in a while, there’s still a ‘why hasn’t it ever happened’ that rattles around in my heart like the clanging of a loose bolt in a bad engine.
But bad engines don’t run the way they should.
Any time I continue to allow those hopeless, victim-questions to remain inside of my soul, the world that I’m blessed with is forced to live in the shadow of a dream, and I miss out on the reality that’s actually in my hands.
Once again last week, it was time for a heart-tune up.
After listening to my pitiful rant for a few minutes, Studhubs looked down at me and very wisely said, “Babe, I’m going to get out of the way. You need to spend some time with Jesus and let Him tell you the truth.”
My soul was bleeding all over the place, camped out in hopelessness instead of the peace that’s always available from my Father, and my spirit needed a booster shot of truth to snap me out of it.
I knew he was right. Of course he was, but it was the last thing I felt like doing. I wanted someone to feel sorry for me the way I felt sorry for myself. I wanted someone to sit with me, stewing in my own negativity. I wanted a pity-party ally, not a loving slap in the face.
But a slap in the face was exactly what I needed.
I closed my eyes, quieted my screaming soul, and positioned my heart, my mind, and my spirit towards God.
“Father, I need you right now. I need your perspective. I need you to come with your Holy Spirit and peel these lies off of my eyes and heart. Let me see this situation like you see it.”
You want to know what He said to me?
“Thank me, Christa.”
So simple and yet, so profound. Just thank me.
I began thanking Him for the bathtub I was in, and thanking him for the Studhubs that was so wise. I began thanking Him for how Michael W. Smith always believes in me, and for the tour we were on, and the people I was getting to speak and sing in front of every night. I began to thank Him for God Loves Ugly and how it has already gone all over the world, and the emails and messages of hope and changed-lives I receive every day. I thanked Him for my health, and I thanked Him for my parents and friends. I went on and on and on and on and still hadn’t scratched the surface of ALL I have been blessed with.
Everything shifted. Almost instantly. The more I thanked Him, the more His Spirit came, like a blanket of dew over a new, green world that had just sprung forth. I could feel it, tangibly. And it didn’t just feel like peace, it was peace.
A grateful heart has no room for hopelessness. It has no time for a victim mindset and no time for competition and comparison with others.
A grateful heart sees like God sees—and when you see like God sees, believe me…..you change.
Is there a dream that you’ve been holding onto that has become more of a burden than a dream? Is the heavy sorrow of that unfulfilled dream polluting the life that you hold inside of your hands right now?
It could be your dreams of a husband or a significant other. It could be your dreams of a better life or a job that you actually want to wake up and go to. It could be the dream of singing, acting, painting, owning your own business. It could be anything.
Whatever that dream is, hold to it, fight for it, believe in it….BUT NOT at the detriment of the life in front of you right now. NOT at the expense of all you’ve been blessed with.
Set that dream before God. See yourself holding it in your hands, and handing it over to Him. He’s in charge of it anyway, and His timing is perfect. Tell Him you trust Him. Or maybe, tell Him if you don’t trust Him and ask Him to show you that He’s real, powerful, loving and trustworthy.
Just be honest with Him. He can take it. (:
After you hand Him the dreams that you’ve been holding onto, begin to thank Him for what He has already placed IN your hands. Thank Him for the little things and thank Him for the big things. If your life is hard, painful, and you’re in a dark place, find ONE THING that you can thank Him for—maybe that you are still breathing, or maybe that you have your health.
You can always find something.
Until your situation changes, you get to change within your situation.
What do you do with unfulfilled dreams? You hand them over, again and again, moment by moment, if need be, to the dream-maker. He knows what’s in your heart and He knows what you need. And until the dream comes to pass, you get to walk with the most loving, relational, kindest, most beautiful person in the universe.
The Prince of Peace.
Sounds like a good deal to me.
Xx, Sista Christa
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