My dreams are simply delayed but not denied…

by Samantha Garcia

 

For years I thought they were denied. I thought I didn’t even deserve to dream and that it wasn’t practical, productive, or even a value to others. I pushed aside the dream to write for years to the point where even keeping a journal was out of the question.  

Looking back, God didn’t deny my dreams. He simply put them hold. Why? I had to go through a lot, grow, and YES even SURRENDER to HIM. I see now the journey was in process for years but the ultimate starting point is not a common one.   

My walk with Jesus started with a one night stand.

Years ago, I was on a one way train of self-destruction. If there was a way to destroy one’s life I was on that path. I drowned out emotions with endless bottles of wine and other drinks. I clung to toxic relationships because my self-worth was so low it was almost non-existent. Save money for tomorrow? NEVER. As fast as the money came in it went out and then some.  

After countless groups, books, and one amazing class, I’ve learned that I was reacting normal to an abnormal situation. I was lashing out trying to control my life in any way possible only to spiral out of control. I clung to a toxic normal.  

It’s sad to say my old normal was filled with abuse and rape for many years of my young adult life. It became so normal my life ran on auto pilot. Not only did I expect to be assaulted but I had reactions so rehearsed I never gave them a second thought. Through those years any dreams of life, travel, writing or even friendship were gone.  

God blessed me with a breaking point. In the midst of this storm I gave myself three choices…

  1. Kill myself
  2. Kill him
  3. Leave never to return

In the Fall of 2001 I left for a domestic violence shelter and embarked on this journey called Life.  

With shattered self-worth, I believed in God but didn’t think He wanted a relationship with me. After all, who would want a relationship with someone who has been molested and raped as many times as I have?  

Years upon years I went through life thinking I was not worthy of healthy relationships and that I was just a sexual object. So I behaved in such a manner.   

Fast forward to about four years ago…

I went out on a Friday night to “tear up the town.” Because after all that’s what single women do, right? And after a few drinks a man and I go back to my place.  

This is when I hear God’s voice…

The morning after, with a hangover and a strange man in my bed I wake to hear a voice say, “buy a Bible.” As the guy next to me woke up and then begin to leave he said, “I’ll call you.” Both of us knew our time together came to an abrupt end. As I tried to get myself together with coffee and a shower, God’s voice grew louder…

Buy a Bible.

Buy a Bible.

BUY A BIBLE.

After two hours I found myself at Barnes and Noble, holding an iced coffee with the sun glasses still on to hide my bloodshot eyes. There I was standing in the Bible section scanning which one to pick. After a moment of searching I chose the pink, leather bound one. After paying for it, there was a long 10 minute ride home.  

But over the next few years, God worked, whispered, and pruned me. As much as I pushed Him away He reached out and held me that much tighter. He kept surrounding me with not only books, music and podcasts but also People. For the first time I was shown what true friendship was like no matter how broken I was. 

At the age of 35, I started to realize that God wants a relationship with me. Me who has the checkered past. Me who’s hurt others as well as myself.  

Me… Sam…

After groups, classes, lots of laughter and crying, I realized my story is not one to hide. In fact it’s the perfect vehicle to help others heal.  

Last year I saw a picture…

Your dreams are delayed not denied.  

God whispered and said, “Now you’re ready.”

The dreams that I had put on hold to write, have healthy relationships, take control of my money and even enjoy work ARE NOW ALL HAPPENING.

Looking back I realized God put my dreams on hold because I was far from ready. I had to make mistakes, learn and move on. I had to cry, yell, laugh and cry some more.  

God had to transform me from the inside out. I didn’t need a physical makeover. I needed a makeover of the spirit. With full surrender I was able to be filled with the Holy Spirit and push aside the chatter of the world.  

It took many years but God has given me opportunity to DREAM and the gifts to carry them out.  

So the plan for 2017 is to be able to say, “My dreams were delayed but now they’re fulfilled because God never denied me.”