So it’s not technically springtime in South Africa.
But I am believing, because it's necessary, in a spiritual springtime right here and right now.
April’s showers will bring May’s flowers.
Because dreams are rising up.
Plans, promises, hopes and futures.
Secrets and seeds woven right into the Creator’s workmanship are sprouting and blooming out of the hearts of the created.
A woman, whose home and dreams burnt down less than 14 months ago, proudly cares for her family and her neighbors from a secure, beautiful and fully-stocked home today. She tells me, “I thought I had lost all my dreams, but Jesus came. And he sent people. This year my life-long dream of having my own salon will come true. I’m so happy. I’m so free.”
A woman whose life story was tainted with rejection, violence, abuse and lies smiles from the first home that is really hers. She smiles while she sweeps, and she smiles while she bathes all five children. She even smiles when she travels the long journey back and forth to the government hospital to take her son in for extensive surgeries and medical care.
For the first time ever, she dares to utter a dream beyond survival. A dream to start a chicken business and take care of her family on her own. She’s ready to stop being run over by life, and start living it.
A woman who thought she gave up everything she loved, her counseling career, her platform to strengthen families, her own family and her dreams for a family, hears, “Mammmmma Kacyyyyyy,” wherever she goes. She sits in a church and teaches a group of South Africans how to change families through the art and the stories of the children.
And, on some weeks, she holds hands, plays with and tucks in a little boy in their little home.
A dream’s been sewn into her that’s bigger than she knows how to handle – a dream of living like His Family with the people He’s placed around her. A dream of teaching orphans how to be part of a family, and a dream to build a house big enough to do it well.
It’s budding. It’s blooming.
|Lizzy's Hair and Beauty Salon |
There’s a business plan for the salon.
There’s a chicken house.
And there’s a full-sized refrigerator.
And it’s hard.
These women have been losing sleep, and the last one on this list seems to be losing her sanity, on behalf of the growing pains, birthing pains, blooming pains of these dreams.
There is so much to overcome.
It feels like it’s taking so long.
And I can’t find anything in this tiny house!!!!! BAH!
The journey to the Promiseland was full of what looked like setbacks and disappointments. And even when the promise-bearers set their feet on that fertile ground, when they got to the place they’d been looking to, there were still battles to be fought.
But you know what they did?
They worshipped. They exalted the Original Dreamer when they didn’t even understand the dream anymore.
They turned to the Creator who cast us with the ability to dream, and the requirement of constantly pursuing and needing the Beholder. (Joshua 4)
They built an altar right in the middle of the river He split open to make a path to promise. They built another one that same night when they spent their first night on the grassy carpet of their new Glory House.
And then they got to work with the plans and purposes of God. Hard work.
Battles and believing with obstinate obedience.
And so will we.
Every Wednesday morning, these women gather and share Scripture, promises, plans and disappointments. We make altars of celebration, and we dance in His victories. We encourage each other to keep taking the steps toward the things God has promised and planted in us.
And we will keep going.
Until that day when we arrive in eternity and our forever Glory House, we have a cloud of glory and a pillar of promise within… strong enough to consume my bad attitude, my off-the-charts crankiness, my feelings of deferment, dejection and disappointment… even how worn and weary I feel.
So, today, I offer up my thanks to my God who never leaves us without a dream and who designed us to crave Him more every day.
And I remember how faithful He is in our families.
And I cram 6 women in my current “kitchen” for baking lessons and family time.
And… I pray that God helps me remember that, on this journey, playing with a refrigerator box and licking the bowl are actually the best parts.