I started this post six different ways.
I’ve been writing it in my head since March. I thought, “Should I title it, “On Getting a Job” so that you would all know that’s what happened?” Around July, I decided I’d call it, “On Finally Getting a Job.” I don’t have that title for you. By grace, I don’t want to.
There’s a baby asleep in my arms. Even asleep, her cheeks give smiles. I know it’s probably gas, but it calms my heart to watch her smile in her sleep, to imagine that she’s in a place where dreams are real, and that hers are good. I am talking to her mother, one of my closest friends, talking to her about life and how it’s not what I thought it would be, and though I’ve spilled my enough tears over that to make dehydration a concern, I find myself smiling now. I explain that I’m in a place where dreams are real, and that mine are good.
For dreams, I’ve been learning, are not stagnant. They are like we are, constantly changing and morphing, true and real before we even realize we’re living the dream. I don’t have a “dream job,” but man am I living a dream life. If you stacked my success up next to so many people who are doing so many cool things, it might look small. And yet, life feels big.
It was my dream to be a writer. And here I am, coffee-shop sitting, writing for you.
It was my dream to go where God called me, and I’ve been in the city he whispered in my ear for three weeks now. I don’t think I’m leaving (for a good long while anyway).
It was my dream to be used to knock down the walls of the Kingdom, and just today, I told that little baby how much Jesus loves her. If she were the only one I told, my life would be worth it. But I get to tell lots of people.
As someone who has always taken much pride in her accomplishments, someone who did things right and well and who could be depended upon to be sensible–as someone like that, I’ve had to learn the rhythms of living the dream. They look like early-morning fog dancing around the church in the stillness before the broken and the joy-filled and those in between come to worship. They sound like the whoosh of filling morning cups of coffee, maybe three in a row, with a friend who insists I can stay another night even though I’m making the toilet paper disappear twice as fast. They feel like the baby bounce, the back-and-forth you learn to quiet the whimpers of tiny souls. It tastes like grace, more grace than I would ever have thought I’d need back when I was doing everything right.
Every day is all grace, grace in coffee and grace on toast and grace in the way I make it right on time. Every day is all grace, grace in coffee shops and grace in old friends and grace in new ones. Every day is all grace, grace for me here living the dreams I didn’t know I had and grace all over you, because you’re doing it, too. Every day is all grace, grace to stamp out fear and grace to be brave, and wouldn’t you know it, grace in tears and grace in anger and grace when you just go to sleep instead.
I didn’t come to this coffee shop to write this post. I came to write an email, to edit a magazine proof, to have a latte. I didn’t write the post to let you know I still don’t have a job or even to let you know that I’m okay with that, though both of those are true. I just wanted to write, and I kept putting down first lines and taking them back up. I thought about that post that’s been lingering, waiting on dreams to come true.
And in a flash of grace, all of this hit me. On [not] getting a job: I’m already living the dream.