The Horizon of a Dream

Have you ever sat back on your heels over-looking a horizon? A new dawn and you blink your eyes again at the rising sun to realize your dream is still there, it’s a reality. This is no new dream, you’ve toiled it many nights, but the nights seemed endless, hopeful, but tiring, and you wondered if maybe you were sleeping. When the sun rises you realize the dreams are real, and you’re about to catch hold.

Tomorrow I board the plane to my dream. I’ve acquired many other dreams and hopes and aspirations over the years, but something about this place pulls my heartstrings. Tomorrow the sun will rise, and myself before it, perhaps I’ll watch the sun come to meet me in the sky.

About ten years ago I spent my nights copying the Comprehensive Chinese-English dictionary onto college-rules notebook paper. It took 8 months. About five years ago I was writing my teen-angst journal entries in half-Chinese and half-English. About one year ago I had decided to give up my social work major and tested into Chinese 201 at UK. About 9 months ago I nearly had to drop out of the class because I was spending every night until 3am studying after work. (I have a collection of vocab flashcards expansive enough to construct a 5 story building). About one week ago I was finishing up final essays for scholarships on this subject and celebrating my success in the classes.

After ten years people still ask me the same question: “Why Chinese?” (Some nights I ask myself the same thing). I think something about the number of people I will be able to talk to in their own language means something to me. There is probably also something about the difficulty of it that attracted me initially (I had much more drive as a child). Now I tell people, “I’ve started learning, I don’t want to quit.”

The language is now so deeply rooted in my spirit I can’t let it go. I blame God for that. These past few months of preparing for Shanghai University have given me much time to ponder my dreams, my plans, and my opportunities. I’ve dreamed of going to China for as long as I can remember, with the reality so close I don’t know how to handle myself. I’m amazed at what God has been up to all my life. I’m not sure what his intention is with it, but my mom pointed out it must have been him who put it in my heart to study so long ago. The opportunities I’ve had to learn are insane: a teacher in my small town in Berea, a friend my age at church who was born in China and recently been adopted into an American family, being homeschooled, the fact that the program at UK for Chinese is so new!

God has been constantly shaping me and my dreams since I was a young child. I’m curious how they will all come together. He has closed doors to some things that I never believe I could live without, he’s opened my heart to new ones which have changed my life.

“I know the plans I have for you” Declares the Lord, “Plans to give you a hope and a future”– Jeremiah 29:11.

I wonder what I would have thought of my life ten years ago. I’ve had many pondering of the future. Now, watching the future unfold I feel my heart start to race. The things in between, I never could have guessed or understood. There’s no use guessing at the future… but there is use in dreaming. It keeps our hearts open. And I believe God has a reason for them. I’m not sure we ever fully understand what the reasons are–I believe there are more than we know.

In the mean time I’m going to follow God to China and then I’ll follow him right back home. On second thought, home is where he is and his plans for me… and right now, that matches the first sentence. =)