When my sister and I were little, we often turned Christmas into a mission. My sister was the Head Spy. She would lead the hunt because of her amazing telepathic skills. She had this uncanny knack for being able to discover our mother’s hiding spots for our presents, no matter how unlikely.
When those skills sometimes failed her, we would simply go to “Plan B.” This meant lots of gift shaking, feeling and smelling. If the gift paper was thin enough, we might be able to read the lettering on the box underneath. If all else failed, we would “accidentally” rip enough of the wrapping paper to reveal the contents.
But the resulting discovery would never bring the euphoria we imagined. Yes, for a moment we were excited — especially if it was a coveted item on our list.
However, on Christmas morning, we’d feel an emptiness, a sense of disappointment. We had “opened” our gifts too soon. It drained us both of much of the joy that accompanies waiting for right time for presents.
I’ve experienced the same thing in motherhood. From the time I was a little girl, I have had dreams that God has put into my heart to write. Over the years, those desires only grew and became stronger. Before I had children, I realized a bit of my dream, using my writing skills in two jobs that I loved.
And then Molly was born. For a time, I continued to pursue my writing ambitions with gusto. But soon, I made a conscious choice to delay the full realization of those dreams.
I was struggling with motherhood. And I realized that it was simply not something I could do well and pursue all my ambitions. It was not how I was built. And I wanted so badly to do right by the little ones God had entrusted to me.
I didn’t bury those ambitions entirely. My grammar mastery came in very handy as I assisted my children with English homework and research papers. I worked at home as a part-time freelance writer, earning extra money and benefitting from the flexible schedule this provided. But it wasn’t the kind of writing I dreamed of. And I certainly couldn’t pursue it with abandon.
I poured out my heart and frustrations to God in countless journals over the years. When, God? When will the timing ever be right? When will I have the time to run after my dreams? Sometimes, I thought those dreams were dead. That I would have to settle for a scaled-down realization of my heart’s desires. I had surely missed my window of opportunity.
Then, about a year ago, I felt a shift. My kids are both (nearly) teens. Through the years, God had allowed hardships and experiences that enriched my voice and abilities. And He began opening doors — in rapid fashion — that I thought might forever stay shut.
Those long-buried dreams are finding their way to the surface — and the pursuit of them is so much sweeter now than it would have been years ago. Why? The joys and challenges of motherhood, rather than holding me back (as it seemed at times), have enriched me and grown me in ways that has simultaneously equipped me — and my children — for chasing dreams.
Now, finally, the time seems right to unwrap them. Timing truly is everything.