"I only hope
someday you find,
that you can believe
I was reading some of the emails and notes I have received about a post I wrote, for this blog last winter, about my niece, Lily, and her mom, Laurie. It brought to mind both Dan Fogelberg's, "Believe in Me," and Westcliffe's version of "You Raise Me Up."
The emails, notes, and FB messages only confirmed for me, how much we all hunger to have someone in our life whole believes in us with all their being.
Some wrote about their own mothers, fathers, aunts, teachers who encouraged them to live their lives boldly and courageously. Others wrote of their heartbreak, their hunger for someone, anyone to believe in them. There were so many teens who felt that "if only" they had someone's encouragement, they could become someone who would change the world. And there were the moms, dads, and grandparents who still wondered if they could have made a difference in the world themselves...if only.
Today's post has a simple message. It is never too late.
I want to repeat that again. It is never too late. If all it takes is for someone to believe in you...then its done. I believe in you. But that isn't going to do it. That isn't going to make it happen. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in the you that God created you to be...perfect, whole, complete, filled with inspiration, beauty, creativity, fully resourced with all that you need to "make it happen."
When I was a girl, I was a dancer, a writer, a painter. I loved these things. I saw myself as these things. My mom and dad had seven (count 'em) seven other children...all younger than I was. I mourned the fact that my parents could never see me dance in a performance, rarely had a moment to read my report card...much less my poetry, and didn't have the resources to support the purchase of canvases, paints, or charcoal.
So, slowly my vision of myself as a deeply creative person seeped away like a slow-leaking pool...until all that was left were a few hobbies that I indulged in when everything else was done and all my real tasks were accomplished.
Until one day, I started spending time with the best cheerleader in the universe...God. I began spending lots of time listening to what He had to say about me. In the silence of this listening I started to remember what I loved and Who it was who put that love in my heart. In honor of my love for God, I started honoring those loves. Not self-indulgently, but God-encouraged, God-inspired, God-impelled.
I loved to write, so I wrote. And if I wrote, I was a writer, a poet, a lyricist. I loved to paint, so I painted. And if I was painting, I was a painter, an artist. I loved to sing, and if I was singing, I was a singer. Get my drift?
The more I wrote...the more I would find myself writing. I put writing, not at the end of my list of the day's priorities, but at the beginning...right after my time with God. I let that first-things-first time with God, set the agenda for my day. And God is Love, so if Love said "write first," that's what I did.
You, every one of you...every one of us...has someone who believes in us and stands behind us, saying, "You are amazing, you can do it. Go ahead...sing, write, paint, climb, run, speak....
Don't let anyone tell you anything about what you can't do. They are lying to you. I don't care who they are. They can be a parent, a school administrator, a church leader, a counselor...it doesn't matter. If God, Love, is telling you that you love to sing...then sing.
As Dan sings:
"Too many hearts have been broken,
failing to trust what they feel..."
Trust what you feel. Trust that it is Love, that is moving you to love...whatever it is you love. You do it, and keep doing it. Practice really does make perfect. Do it because you love it, and others will love it too. You will inspire them with your courage...and God will always be there to celebrate with you...to encourage you, to cheer you on.
I hope that you will never forget to love the you that dreams big...
*the photo is of my dear friend, and talented artist, Brooks Anderson...I thought you might enjoy visiting his website. His paintings bless our home with generous beauty.