A reminder that tomorrow we will commit to praying and fasting for God to bring marriage to those of us who desire it, to strengthen both men and women in their personal and relational lives, and to bring change within our hearts, minds, and spirits.
I have always had a vivid imagination. As a little girl it could be my best friend or my worst enemy. The rich inner world I created had the capability of taking me to soothing places when real life was too hard to face, but it could also take me to scary places when I began to worry about things that made me afraid. And yet I have always seen my imagination as a gift God has given me that, when used well, can be an incredible force for beauty and good.
I’ve been considering imagination a lot lately, because I feel it has so much to do with whether we embody our lives in an active, engaged way, or a constricted, limited way. Some of the work God is currently doing in my heart involves revealing areas of my life in which I hide my light under a bowl out of fear that if I show my true self and all I’m capable of, I’ll either fail or be rejected. In this way imagination is a barrier, only letting me see what there is to be afraid of rather than the rich possibilities that come with taking risks. From another angle, it can be easy to simply daydream about what I wish my life would look like rather than putting my dreams into action. In this sense I see the same tendencies I had as a little girl: Using imagination either as comforter or as a portal for fear.
But as God and I continued to think together, I realized a third option, one that also showed up in my life as a child: Imagination as pure joy and creation. I recalled the hours I spent as a girl drawing pictures, playing dress up, having conversations with my stuffed animals, and writing stories, with none of the judgment that so easily accompanies our attempts at these kinds of things as adults. And I started to wonder if I could begin trying to re-capture the joy of pure imagination I had as a child and use it to grow and transform my life as an adult. I started to wonder what that could do for all of us.
It’s so easy at this stage of life to get mired down in the day-to-day burden of the grind, thoughts of things we want but don’t have, the exhaustion that walks hand in hand with achieving that ever elusive notion of “being successful”. And most of us being single, it is easy to feel disadvantaged as we work harder to find fulfillment in the face of not having the relationship we long for. In light of it all, it is absolutely impossible for us to live the transformed, richly imaginative life God deeply desires for us without His help.
The way I see it is that we need God to be our imagination, to let His vision be our vision, to bring to light the possibilities within ourselves that we can’t begin to tap into on our own. We need to ask him to remove the vices that hold us back and allow Him to let us bravely become what we didn’t know we could be, or have been told we can’t be. Really, there are no limits beyond those God puts in place for our goodness and protection. With that in mind, I invite all of you to let your imaginations run wild with God this week and see what fruit it might bring.