Giving Up The California Dream

When I lived in California there was a day I was driving home from the doctors. It was about thankfully about to be rush hour and I was driving at about 35 in the middle lane of a 5 lane highway. I was calling my friend who I hadn’t talked to in a few months when a large piece of ply wood flew out of the pick up truck that was in front of me, crashed threw my windshield, hit my the wrist that was holding my cell phone, and fell to my lap. It took me a few seconds to realize that I was still alive, there was a piece of wood on my lap that was preventing me from seeing the road ahead, and that I was still actually driving!

After stopping the car, I felt blood dripping from my forehead and I wiped it with the back of my hand. I wondered exactly how badly I was hurt with the amount of blood that was all over my hand. And. There. Was. Glass. Everywhere! Like really everywhere.

Thankfully all the blood came from a really tiny cut on my forehead, and I wasn’t really hurt. Someone who was driving a tractor trailer stopped and helped get the wood off of me so I could get out of the car. I didn’t know who to call. The guy I was dating wasn’t answering his phone, and I couldn’t get in touch with friends. 3000 miles from home, it was easy to feel alone there and scared.

Thankfully the sweetest couple pulled over to the side of the road to sit with me. It was decided for me that I needed to go to the ER to ensure that I wasn’t seriously hurt (I wasn’t, just a lot of glass everywhere), and I was able to go home.

However, the last thing I wanted to do though was drive because of the fear of something like that happening again, but the rental car company ended up upgrading me to a Jeep Liberty SUV. I couldn’t have been more thankful because in this car I felt safe and if anything did happen I would be more protected.


Last week I wrote about moving to California after I got out of college. I lived there for about a year and a half before I pretty abruptly decided to move home. I had come home for my friend’s wedding (her brother I am now married to), and a hard conversation happened while I was home. It was then that I made a commitment to the God I wasn’t following, and wouldn’t follow for at least a few more years.

When I flew back to California I had a plan in place.  I was giving my two week notice at my job and asking for a transfer to CT, packing up my apartment, and moving home. Flights for my cousin and my dad were booked so they could drive with me back across the country, and I quickly started putting my life in a box.

My California dream, gone in a matter of weeks. No more beautiful days at the beach, no more breath taking sunsets over the Pacific… oh and no more navy dream car with that fin. The chiuaua did come with me though!

In a way life probably felt like the condition of the windshield that shattered in my car. But I was going home, and it was while being home that I began to slowly build my life again.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

This verse is a verse that a few people have said to me recently. But what are the true desires of my heart? Yes, I wanted to live my California dream, but what are the deeper desires of my heart? What are the dreams that God would allow to crumble so His dreams would rise? These are the deeper desires and dreams that we may not even know are there.

One of my desires was to have a family. And not just a family, but a family that served the Lord. I remember talking to my friend in college, and dreaming about our futures. We would talk about how when we got married, we wanted to raise our families in the church. Now I began my faith journey again before getting married, but the bigger dream was given to me the night we got married as my husband prayed over our life together as we stood outside our house.

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And another desire of my heart is my desire to feel safe. Safety. The feeling of security even when there is fear. Just like I didn’t want to drive out of fear after my accident in California, there are so many times that I have been afraid to step out in faith because of the fear that I will sink. Am I really safe in the Father’s arms? Is where He is leading good? Will I be okay there?

Then my deepest desire. Following Jesus.

Over the years I have told God over and over again that I would go wherever He would lead, no matter what the cost. Sometimes the cost has been high. Putting dreams and security aside to ask what He has before me, and taking leaps of faith that can seem unsafe.

Yet, as I have taken many leaps of faith even in the midst of fear, I have found that my desire to feel safe can only be found in the arms of my heavenly Father, and following the desires that He has placed in my heart. These desires and dreams are passions that are still being discovered. However, I know that just like I felt safe in the SUV after my accident, my heart will be safe by finding my delight in Him, and know He will make my path straight.

Beautiful one, what are the desires of your heart? The deep desires? What dreams do you need to place to the side so He can give you the deepest desires of your heart… the ones that you may not even know are there? What has He been asking you to give up, so He can give you the dreams that He has for you? I know it comes at a cost, and the cost may be painful, but I also know that His ways are best, and that He truly will provide you with the deepest desires of your heart.

Just be still, let go, and know that He is God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6

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