what happened.

The night before I was to find out about Teach for America I was excited. “God, will you give me one more dream about TFA? Just for fun?” I prayed as I fell asleep.

Over the course of the last six months, God has given me four dreams about Teach for America after I asked for them. They were all positive.

I woke up the yesterday morning after having a dream that I didn’t get accepted to Teach for America – I was crying for most of the dream. “That was…weird.” I thought as I got out of bed. “Am I supposed to believe that was from you, God?” I wondered.

The dream left me feeling curious, but I still believed with all my heart that I would be accepted to Teach for America. I went about my day doing all that I had planned – I went to a movie in the afternoon and was on my way to the library when I decided to stop by the house for something.

I checked my gmail and saw an email titled “Your Teach for America Application.” With shaking hands, I opened it with eager anticipation. Immediately I noticed there was no congratulations. The first line said, “Thank you for your interest…” and that was all I needed.

I went into shock, and lay on the floor for the next two hours. I used up half a roll of toilet paper on my snot and tears.

I got up to use the bathroom and went back to my spot on the floor. I don’t know what it is about the floor…I was so low in my spirit that it seemed the floor was the only place to be. A bed was too comfortable – too far removed from the way I was feeling.

It felt almost like someone had died, and I realized it was my dream that had died. For years I have had this dream, and in a moment it was killed. I had to repeat out loud to myself “I’m not doing Teach for America” over and over again because my mind couldn’t comprehend it.

I thought about how I had already thought of a facebook status for when I was accepted, and how I was going to ask for teacher clothes for Christmas. I thought about how I knew I wouldn’t date a boy until after my two year commitment ended, about how I anticipated living with other TFA members, how I was planning my summer around the TFA training institute, how I imagined my first day of class with my students…I thought about how I would have to switch my entire thinking process from now on.

I wondered, did I make up all those dreams and all those words I heard from God? Am I a crazy person with voices inside my head? I hear they have institutions for people like that. Then I concluded no, I’m not crazy. God did give me all those dreams and speak words of confirmation to me. So WHY, God? WHY!? Why would you do this to me???

I don’t know why, except to say this: I’ve been learning that God often has to break my heart in order to give me something better than what I thought I wanted. Earlier this year my heart desired this certain guy, and at another point in the year I desired a certain job. I couldn’t dream for anything better. But God took those things away from me (really, he never gave them to me in the first place) to make room for something better, and I think he did the same thing with TFA.

Never before have I dreamed or prayed or believed in something so much. I threw myself into this dream – I gave my all and then some. I feel like I was sprinting out on the water toward Jesus, and now I’m down at the bottom of the sea. When I was on the floor for those two hours all I could see was darkness. I didn’t think I’d ever get up or laugh again. “My entire being is crushed – I am the remnants of a shattered dream.” I wrote in my diary.

I wanted to be mad at God. I wanted to blame him, to curse at him, to disown him. If this had happened a few years ago – a year ago even, I would’ve. But I yesterday couldn’t hate or blame him. I couldn’t because everything in me knows that God is good – even when I don’t understand.

Toward the end of my stay on the floor I wrote these words, “God, you see me right now. You see me crying on the floor and you hurt for me. But you also know what’s next. And you’re excited.”

I believed in this TFA thing so much that I didn’t plan for the future apart from it. My mom would always ask what I planned on doing if I didn’t get accepted, to which I would respond, “Oh ye of little faith.” I told her that I would be accepted because of God, so there was no need for plan B.

I’m glad I never made a plan B. I’m glad that I went for Teach for America with all heart and all my faith in God – I didn’t play it safe. I’d rather run fast and fall hard than ease forward with caution. Even though it hurts a lot freaking more, and makes me look like a complete fool.

My future is blank once again. I was so ready to be rooted, so ready to be a part of something long term. Now I’m lost with no where to go. Well, I have Nicaragua to go to for a few months, but after that I have no direction. The other day my dad asked me what my vision was for my life, and until then I never realized I had no life goal beyond Teach for America. That’s what it has been for years. And now it’s gone.

I don’t know what the future looks like. What I do know, however, is that I’m not going to let this heartbreak stop me from once again stepping out on the water toward Jesus. I know it’s not safe, I know I may fall, I know I may even get the floor wet with my tears. But I trust that God is good, and to him I will lift my eyes.

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About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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11 Responses to what happened.

  1. shanaynegans says:

    You brought me to tears my friend. Your passion is really inspiring. You are no fool!

  2. b says:

    yo hopie!

    i wish you me and em could go get a frosty. right now.

    i love you so very much and i know that God has something freaking amazing planned for you, as you know. also remember that quote about sacrificing everything to live with your friends, maybe there was truth in that for you too. i sure hope so. how great would it be if we could all be in the same place, in the united states?!? really cool in my opinion. i would love to head over to good ol’ georgia after my stint in spain. ugh… lets talk when you get a chance. once again i love you.

    you should write a book.

    -b

  3. Lauren says:

    Hope, I’m soooo sorry. I know how much you wanted this. Your outlook at this point is so positive and I have no doubt that God is going to use you for big things. I love you and miss you so much!

    P.S. Can we set up a Skype date?

  4. brianalonzo says:

    I’m sorry Hope. If you need a place to dream some more our home is always open to you. Stacy and I have just recently gone through a bit of a shattered dream ourselves and understand that some people need space while others need love. We can offer both. Love you and praying with you friend.

  5. matthewlasnyder says:

    “I’m not going to let this heartbreak stop me from once again stepping out on the water toward Jesus.”

    You, friend, are an inspiration. Keep running on water.

  6. Talia Barnes says:

    love your rawness, desperation and determination. praying for you.

  7. Sam says:

    i may have just cried through this whole thing. Hope, my heart hurts for you but also take comfort in that what you wrote really resonated with me and really got me thinking about my life dreams and how God is closing doors in my life as well. Seasons of pain come, its a part of life, but God is faithful to bring bigger and better, more fitting things into your life to show you His provision. Praying for you and your heart. Love you girl and thanks for sharing all of this.

  8. B. Smith says:

    Beautiful! Great perspective, lifted my spirit 🙂

  9. Hotler says:

    “Now I’m lost with no where to go.”

    The journey is the destination.

  10. holland says:

    hopey,
    im so sad for you but also so hopeful for what is to come…i just cant wait!
    thanks for being so vulnerable all the time…it inspires me.

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