My Secret Hopes and Dreams

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I said to myself, “I just want to be happy.”

Myself answered, “would you rather be happy, or have a wild ocean life?

I said, “a wild ocean life.”

Then I went to sleep.

This is a post about what I want out of life, how I came to those conclusions, and how I am pursuing those dreams.

To begin with, I will talk about babies.

What is it with woman and babies? If I spent years studying neurological science in women, or God’s ordered plan for families, or both, could I understand it?

When there was a newborn in the church,  all my friends used to gather in a line, waiting for a chance to hold it. I was, I will confess, never in that line. I didn’t really like babies. They were hot and sticky and I always ended up accidentally dropping them. If being a woman meant that I had to like babies, well phooey, I would just fail at being a woman.

I guess I just thought I would never like babies. Never want one, never need one.

However. About a year ago, my cousin Randy and his wife Shelley had a baby girl named Jocelyn. I went to visit her, and held her, and before long I was starting to have dreams that Jocelyn was my baby. Furthermore, they were very pleasent dreams.

So for what it’s worth, I now have a secret wish for a baby someday.

Of course, the subject of babies leads naturally into the subject of husbands. As odd as it sounds, the main reason I want a husband is for the convenience.

Problem: I’m sick all the time and have a hard time making enough money to support myself.

Solution: Husband!

Problem: I am going to go on the mission field, but am scared of how lonely/depressing it would be to go alone.

Solution: Husband!

Problem: I want to adopt a baby, but still firmly believe that a child should have, if possible, a mother and a father.

Solution: Husband!

If I were planning my romance, it would go like this. There would be a guy, and I would fall for him, but I wouldn’t know if he liked me or not, and no one would know that I liked him, etc, so as to have zero zilch drama.

But in the meantime I would get to know him and realize that he was perfect for me.

Then, one day, he would realize that I was perfect for him too, and he would say, “Hey Emily, let’s get married and jet off to Africa.”

“Okay,” I would say, and we would get married and jet off to Africa.

Impossible, you say? There is no such thing as a romance without drama, you say? Well. A romance without drama is one of my secret hopes and dreams, however far fetched it may be.

But bigger, much much bigger than babies or husbands, is my hope and dream to be on the mission field some day.

Maybe this one shouldn’t be in the same category. With babies and husbands, the hope is one born of natural desire that most women will experience without being able to help it. The mission field idea began with a hope of being involved in  something bigger than myself, which is a natural enough desire. However, after years of random trials and wild ocean life, I realized that the way to be involved, really involved in something bigger than myself, was to give everything to God without holding back.

God said, “I want you on my mission field.” Thus, the desire to be a part of something bigger than myself transformed into a desire to be on God’s mission field, permanently, for the rest of my life.

I have one more dream to share. My dream to finish college.

Although I felt very strongly for a while that God wanted me to get my degree in communications before I went on the mission field, I began to doubt myself this winter. My friend Phebe and my sister Amy both went on long mission trips, returning with pictures and stories of poverty and sadness and people who needed Jesus. I thought, “what am I doing her, going to college, when I could be out there, accomplishing great things for Christ?”

This doubt churned round and round in my brain, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Once I was talking about this to my cousin Randy and he said, “Emily, this is my opinion. I think there are missionaries, and then there are effective missionaries. The effective missionaries are the ones who have spent time in preparation.”

That really struck a chord with me. I had felt before that God wanted to prepare me by sending me through college, and now the same feeling returned. Because truth be told, I love college. I mostly love learning.

What are your secret hopes, dreams, and desires?

9 responses to “My Secret Hopes and Dreams

  1. I appreciate your honesty, Emily. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Have you been eavesdropping outside my bedroom door when I have those long conversations with myself late at night? Are you sure? Because you pretty much stole words out of my mouth. A lot of them. Including the bit about the mission field looking big and scary, and it just seems like it would be a lot less big and scary if there were somebody to hold your hand. And “what am I doing here, going to college, when I could be out there, accomplishing great things for Christ?” – pretty sure I said those exact words to myself about ten times in the last two weeks. Good to know I’m not the only one experiencing the mid-college crisis. And btw, I think your cousin Randy, whomever he may be, is a rather wise person.


  3. Crystal Derstine

    so well said, Emily. I really liked the last couple lines but the rest is so a part of my life too.


  4. Mine was a romance without drama, mostly, I didn’t know he liked me until he called my dad up one day and asked. We dated and learned to love each other, and got married. He was the first and only guy I dated. The crazy thing is I always wanted a romance with lot’s of drama. Romance without it seemed a little too normal and boring 😉 But mostly I’m happy with the romance that God gave me and I think you will be too. Because it landed me in the hands of the most wonderful husband in the world and 4 wonderful children.


  5. Oh, Emily. Your thoughts sound like mine used to at your stage of life…
    I think the key here is “to give everything to God without holding it back”. College is your mission field now. Give it to God. Don’t hold back. He’ll tell you if he wants you to do something else. That sounds simplistic, I know. But it’s so key to being a missionary. So key to being a Christian.


  6. Okay, so you don’t know who I am but I can’t help but reply. Go for the college thing. My man and I serve in Thailand. He’s looking at going back to college to get a degree so we can stay here legally with fewer complications. Much easier to do that when single and free! I secretly hope to study in college one day.
    And, as much as your hubby may give you that solution #2, I fear that it’s not quite that easy. I sailed happily along in my friendship and marriage with Dru for quite sometime–but isolation and a need for other girl friends still set in after a while…
    Hope all your dreams come true for you! (Although I’m suspicious about that one about the non-dramatic romance…not sure if you’re going to make that one. Judging from what I know of you–which is very little really. :))


  7. Husbands are nice. As you said, they can solve a lot of things. I used to say they are very good solutions for the problems you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have a husband, like when I was pregnant and your dad took such good care of me.
    I won’t tell you my secret hopes and dreams because they are secret, but there are ministry-type things that I would love to do, someday, but they’re the kind of thing you can’t do without being asked, so I’m still waiting.
    Good post.


  8. “… the main reason I want a husband is for the convenience.”

    Somehow, I think this statement will reappear at a later date. Like, say, during the open mike at your wedding reception.




  9. Ha, great post. I love reading your posts. I had a drama-free romance and it was great. I agree with the above comment that husbands solve everything… for a while, and then reality sets in again! Ditto to the isolation and need-of-girlfriends thing. Husbands are great though 🙂


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