Letting Go of the Right Dream

It’s hard to define the time or place. I assume it was early in my childhood. It’s not really a memory. Or even a specific event. It was more of a moment.

The one that walks right into your life, without you even noticing.

It crept into my heart. Late one night. Or maybe it was early one morning? Either way, it stayed and has been doing life with me for quite some time. Keeping pace without making it’s presence fully known. I get the feeling that I am falling behind. That I haven’t received enough praise. That I haven’t made it big yet.

Yet…it keeps whispering.

I’m drenched through and through. Immersed in this feeling. But I live life. Wondering if this feeling of something glistening and dripping wet is something I should notice. But I keep living.

When I returned from our last blog trip I emotionally took to the bed. Hanging raw emotions on a clothesline – hoping for them to dry up and fade out.

Poverty is a strong force. And it’s lies cripple. I couldn’t seem to connect to the developing world.

But here I am again. In Uganda.

I’m standing, looking into this little girl’s eyes and wondering if I can fully let her into my time and place.

Can you let this precious girl in? And will you remember her today? Or tomorrow? Will you pray for her? Or take in that she is in this picture, in this post, because she lives in poverty?

In fact she lives in one of the most feared slums in Uganda.

As I take in the sweetness of her presence. The purity behind her eyes, I understand what has taken residence in my life – holding me back.

This thing that entered my life so long ago. That kept me focused on me. The American Dream.

This dream kept me moving forward on my agenda. My praise hungry journeys. Each rung of its ladder promising success or fame. Or better yet, success and fame.

My heart and soul went to battle with this dream even though I was unaware it was even there. But not just there, a resident at that.

So as I packed my bags and traveled to Uganda, my Savior continued His faithful work of sanctification in me and spoke to me through something he told Francis of Assisi,

“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in His sight is what you are and nothing more.”

And this is it. The pure dream. It’s at this confirmation that stuff, so much stuff, falls from my heart. Leaving nothing but who I am to Him. And there I am, able to let them in.

Emerging from an America forged dream. Skin raw from scrubbing. Pink. Broken. Feeling like I lost my way. But knowing I’ve shed the right dream. The one working me over with false praise. Filling me to the brim with empty.

In the shedding, a thought emerges. Pure and sharp. The same thing Emile Leger uttered when he left his mansion in Montreal to go live in a leper colony in Africa,

“The time for talking is over.”

And with that, I sponsor my fourth child. From Uganda. Because talking, as Emile pointed out, is only a starting point. It may give us an understanding of compassion, but it never allows compassion to thrive in us.

And just talking never, ever released a child from poverty.

19 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Terri Siebert January 30, 2014

    beautiful! Thank you to you and all the other bloggers for sharing your experiences in Uganda. I am really enjoying following along,

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Thank you for following, Terri!

  2. Paige Arey January 30, 2014

    I am twelve and i am working on raising money so i can sponser a child of my own. I think i have already found the one, her name is rose. Pray for her!!!!

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Hello sweet, Paige! It is so wonderful to hear that you want to sponsor a child. I will pray for Rose! Thank you for caring about the children!

  3. Holly Barrett January 30, 2014

    Sweet post, Bri. Thanks for going to Uganda and for sharing your journey with us. Your words are powerful and challenging to me!

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      That is so encouraging to hear, Holly! Thank you for following along 🙂

  4. Steve Jones January 30, 2014

    Bri, your writing this week is blowing me away. So impressed with this post! What a challenge and what a powerful way to communicate it. Questioning the American Dream is a bit of a hot potato but you handled it masterfully.

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Thank you so much, Steve. Truly. Grateful for you and your words. You’ve provided us all so much encouragement on this trip and it has brightened our hearts!

  5. edie January 30, 2014

    This is so so beautiful, Bri. I’m wrestling with it, too. I think this post may be my answer.
    Love you so much.

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Edie – oh, to sit and talk with you! I remember our conversation in the airport on our way to Nicaragua. And God was stirring your heart and I felt the same flutter on my way to Uganda. Thought about you so much. Love.

  6. Randy Bayne January 30, 2014

    Thank you, Bri. We just started, this month, sponsoring our very first child. It wasn’t a difficult decision. Now I find myself thinking about more. Prayers for you and the team.

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Thank you so much, Randy. My heart always rejoices when I hear that someone has sponsored a child. It will be a gift!

  7. Jill Foley January 30, 2014

    I’ve been following along all week and after reading your post went and sponsored another child. I talk a lot about child sponsorship. I even sponsor quite a few children. But usually there is room for one more.

    When I clicked on the link to look at available children I told myself I would sponsor the first child. A little girl named Esther… my grandma’s name was Esther. I like the connection.

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      This is amazing, Jill. My heart was filled with joy when I read your comment, and this, “there is always room for one more.” That’s how I felt. You are amazing. And I am grateful for you.

    2. Steve Jones January 30, 2014

      Jill, you and your family are a beautiful example to us all. Thank you for all you do.

  8. Christine @ Glory to God January 30, 2014

    I sponsored my second! Thank you for your journey and your heart….and for letting them in.

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Christine! That is so amazing! I am so grateful. Truly wonderful to hear.

  9. Jenn January 30, 2014

    Thank you Bri, for sharing the rawness you have felt and for sponsoring your 4th child. Beautifully written! Praying for the rest of your week!

    1. Bri McKoy January 31, 2014

      Thank you for the encouragement, Jenn! I really, really appreciate it 🙂

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