As my husband and I watched “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” I could feel grief threaten my calm disposition as the actors on the screen so aptly portrayed the pain of a couple who can’t conceive. My heart broke as they wrote down all of the characteristics they dreamed for their child, put the dreams in a small cedar box, and buried it in their garden behind their home. It was their way of moving on. I blinked away the tears and held down the sobs bubbling out of my chest. “They are burying a dream,” I whispered to Mike. He quickly replied, “No, they’re planting a seed!”
My spirit jumped. Sure, we knew from the preview that a little boy would grow from their garden, but Mike’s words walked right past the meaning of the movie and jumped straight into my writer’s mind. “That’s amazing!” I squealed. “A buried dream is a planted seed.”
I’m a dreamer. And I believe we all need dreams to keep us going and give us purpose. I’m also tenacious (for the most part), not willing to give up. So, the thought of burying a dream seemed almost wrong…painfully wrong until Mike’s words changed my focus.
The little boy who grew out of their garden was slightly different than what his parents hoped. His characteristics didn’t always play out as as they had dreamed the night they buried the box, planted their seed. But seeds never look the same when they bloom either. They are always more beautiful.
Most of us have buried a dream or two. We’ve encountered shut doors so many times that we’ve surrendered to the inevitable heartache and tried to let go of the dream that once pulled us through life. We knew we needed to move forward so we surrendered the dream to start a new chapter.
Five years ago I buried a dream when doors shut firmly in my face. (It wasn’t the dream to write; that one was just forming.) I thought I was okay with this, thankful for the experience of tasting the dream and eager to follow God’s leading for the next season. But this week I realized that the dream I buried still lives and breathes in me. Its roots go deep. Though painful to relive this desire in me, it has reminded me of the necessity to trust God’s goodness and faithfulness. His plans are so much better than mine.
So today I choose to view my buried dream as a planted seed. I know God wants to do much more with my dream than I can, but if I don’t surrender to trust, I hold a dead seed in my hand. It has to be buried in order to grow into something beautiful.
Have you buried a dream? Does it help to view it as a planted seed?
May God give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed. ~Psalm 20:4