Quiet Anthem

Honest Faith :: Bold Vulnerability

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Your Dreams Have Come True

My husband, a 28-year-old dreamer and pursuer, successfully defended his dissertation last week. He wrote a 5-movement symphony and 150 corresponding pages of comparative analysis. For two hours, I listened as he discussed his decisions before a committee of his professors; it was at turns an invigorating meeting-of-the-minds and erudite peeing contest.

By 6 p.m., my husband’s committee co-chair shook his hand and said, “Congratulations, Dr. Klug.”

I’m married to a doctor! A doctor!

After we got home, announced the victory on private and social messages, ate dinner and put the girls to bed, we sat down to relax. I was cozying up to watch Body of Proof, when Greg touched my arm. “Thank you for working so I could get my degree.”

I muted the TV and looked at him. “You’re welcome.”

The messages on Facebook are still coming in; people congratulate not just Greg, but me. It feels strange to be congratulated for someone else’s accomplishment.

I asked Greg why the praise would go to us both, and he guessed it was that people recognized I had put my dreams on hold for his. In a sense, they were congratulating me on the life that I will live henceforth.

Hot tears came up, but the familiar burn was different than normal; it was satisfying to hear that people may recognize my sacrifice in detouring from my dream life in Arizona to move to a not-so-dreamy life in Colorado, where the work is too hard, the paycheck too small, and the daily bustle sometimes doesn’t feel like a healthy means to any end—even a doctorate.

I came home last Thursday depleted, with a paycheck that was equivalent to what I made in high school. I stood in the kitchen and ranted to Greg about the dishes in the sink, the girls who hadn’t been bathed, the book that I still haven’t gotten a chance to write, the dreams that I somehow abandoned. I stopped myself and looked at him. “But that’s not true,” I said, the tingling in my hands pacifying. “You and the girls are my dream. I wanted you, too.”

I spent my twenties in solitude, chasing after degrees and other dreams, writing and teaching my way through a day, only to come home and curl up under the sheets while sobbing into a pillow, wishing I could share my life, wishing that alone wouldn’t be my anthem much longer.

On Saturday morning, my lovely friend Leslie—a hilarious and determined woman who accidentally married a delinquent who divorced her after ten years of marriage—called me because she was done. The depression, unfamiliar and ferocious, had been stabbing her for weeks. She apologized for her rant, her inability to see past her loneliness, her clearly unjustified first-world problems.

I reminded her that God doesn’t deem physical hunger as any more important than emotional starvation. I reminded her of what has happened in her life recently—specifically a book contract offer (!). I reminded Leslie, my kindred spirit, that right now she wants what I have, and I want what she has.

So often we look at each other’s life and imagine the other’s blessings for ourselves, completely overlooking that in our own hands, we are in possession of answered prayers.

Image from Pinterest

18 comments:

Kate Houssney said...

As I sit here, on the same brown couch feeding my two month old baby, tears drying on my cheeks, I am so thankful for you, my friend Renee, whose words speak life into my heart. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I am excited for the coming season of your life and I thank God for the current season of mine.

Stephanie Wilson said...

I want you to know I will quote this! This is beautiful :) And congratulations on seeing what truly is most important - God's gifts to you.

Renee Ronika Klug said...

Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for stopping by. Quote me (and can you link back so I can see?)! I look forward to reading your work.

Renee Ronika Klug said...

I have to share my friend Kate Houssney's comment, which somehow won't show up, because it's just so honest and beautiful and raw. I love you, Kate, adn feel thankful that you were encouraged, which was my hope in writing this post. Here's Kate's comment:

"As I sit here, on the same brown couch feeding my two month old baby, tears drying on my cheeks, I am so thankful for you, my friend Renee, whose words speak life into my heart. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I am excited for the coming season of your life and I thank God for the current season of mine."

Jenn Gaites said...

So true! It's funny because after I read your post on hearing God ask you what you want, I stopped to think about it for myself and could only say "this". I am living my dreams. It is certainly not the way I pictured it, which is why I understand looking at others' lives and imagining their blessings for myself, but it is in every aspect that I can currently recall, a fulfillment of the specific dreams I have had since I was a child. God is good!

Lee! said...

Renee this is so great!  Thank you for reminding us that dreams can be put on hold, but still hold powerful to our hearts.  I'm so proud of you and your endeavors.  So happy for you in your accomplishments.  So excited for you as you move forward into this new chapter!

Stephanie Scott said...

Reading this blessed me. Thanks Renee

Kyle Rutkin said...

Super cool post. I love reading things like this that come from the heart.  

Shari Lopatin said...

What a beautiful post, Renee. Of course, congrats to Greg ... but also to you! How this post spoke to me today. You are so right. Often, we forget to look at what we have, and realize they are our answered prayers. Amazing how greedy we can get sometimes. :-)

Renee Ronika Klug said...

Shari, I don't see it so much as being selfish, as being a bit short-sighted. :) I feel better all-around that way. Thanks for reading. 

Renee Ronika Klug said...

Hi, Kyle. Nice to meet you! Thanks for reading, and for your encouragement. If it's not from the heart, then why bother, right? 

Renee Ronika Klug said...

I'm so glad. 

Renee Ronika Klug said...

Lee! Moving forward, indeed! With you near me, of course. Thank you, friend. 

Renee Ronika Klug said...

Woo! I'm so glad the posts are resonating and bringing you back to Source--the Lord, His will, His perfect timing. I love you, Jenn! 

Leslie said...

I love you, Renee. You are God's kindness to me, and such a blessing.

eliz said...

Wow- you found the words I wanted to say to my friend... and also what I needed to hear...

Renee Ronika Klug said...

That God can reflect kindness to you through me leaves me speechless, and so, so grateful.


I love you, too, Les. Thank you for being so honest with me that I am compelled to be just as honest back.

Renee Ronika Klug said...

Thank you, Eliz. I needed to hear them again, too.

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