Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When You Have to Give Up A Dream

Sometimes, giving up a dream is the best decision you could make. And you won't regret it.

I am sure that today's title is a little depressing-sounding, but don't worry, today's post will not be. Giving up dreams always suck, but for the case of today's post, it is not the worst thing, nor is it the end of the world. 

Recently, I had to give up one of the longest dreams I've ever had in life--to attend a Bible school that I discovered when I was a freshman in high school and study music (or to be specific, worship). 

Although it is not a main focus in my life anymore, one of my biggest passions I've always had was to sing. As I got older, I wanted to focus on singing in the church as a ministry instead of performing in front of crowds in an effort to become the next star. In the time of my life that I found Hillsong College, I was just starting to get involved in my church at the time and I had discovered the band Hillsong United just a couple years beforehand. Even though you should technically not be getting fanatical about a church worship team, I didn't realize that at the time and so the idea of attending a school and learning from all these amazing worship leaders sounded amazing to me. 

Unfortunately, I encountered a few issues with this: 

1. At the time, the school did not offer a bachelor's degree like a traditional college/university (although they do now), and getting a degree was a big deal to me. 

2. Tying into number one, Hillsong church is done differently than what my family is familiar with. And if I were to have gone to a school on the other side of the world to study music that is intended for church and not even get a full college degree for it, I knew that I wouldn't hear the end of it. My family pushed my sister and I very hard to get college degrees before doing anything else, especially because so many of my family members, including my mom, were not able to get them themselves. 

Long story short, I would've studied music and I wouldn't have gotten a degree, and quite frankly I did not want to deal with any backlash I would've gotten for it (and I'm actually glad I didn't go right out of high school), so I decided that I would go the traditional university route first then see from there. 

As I went through high school, although I thought about Hillsong College every now and then, it just didn't seem like a realistic dream for me, not because I couldn't do it, but it just wasn't a priority in my head anymore. Darell and I would talk about how awesome it would be to get married after university then someday go there, but we weren't being too serious when we said those things. 

However, in university, the dream started creeping back into my life. 

First, it was finding out my home church's head worship leader at the time had graduated from the school. When we attended Hillsong's first conference in LA that year, the college came up again. Then I had a friend decide to leave university for Hillsong College the year after (she's still going there and since then I've had another friend from high school go as well!). 

Of course, these all could've been coincidences, but then Darell took the leap and went for it. 

I didn't believe him in the beginning but then he went for it. It was hard on our relationship at first because I had known of so many people who went into long distance relationships expecting it to work, only for it not to work. But we made it work, and I moved to Sydney a few months later. 

So close, but so far

For the past year I have been so close, but so far. Having my boyfriend-then-fiance-then-husband as a student at my dream school surrounded me with the people and the culture without actually being a student and paying for it. I got to know a bit about the program I wanted to do and even attended the year-end showcase that first year students do, which got me really excited to go back to school! I had already gone to school for the "stable" job and now wanted to do something just for myself, something that had been on my heart for 9 years. I even applied & gotten into the school and was one day from starting my enrollment!

But then I had to give it up. 

See, we had two options: 

  • Dive in head first with blind faith that God would provide and attend the school of my dreams while also being in debt and both of us working very limited hours due to our packed school schedules. 
  • I give up the dream and potentially regret it for the rest of my life but not be in a hole of debt and for the first time in two years finally give myself an extended period of time to rest and not overwork/burn myself out. 
The day before we had to make a decision, we attended church and I went down to an altar call for the first time in who knows when. I prayed and cried out to God because we honestly had no idea what to do. We could see our lives going either way. 

That night, I didn't receive a clear answer, but instead I received peace in knowing that regardless of the decision, we would be taken care of. 

The next day, Darell & I talked to admissions to see if there was anything that could've been done for us, but there was nothing. We talked out all of the pros and cons and talked to a couple people close to us about it, and it wasn't until we talked to one of our married friends that the answer finally became clear. 

He said that he & his wife had been in a situation similar to us before where they chose the debt over the "safe" route. Of course for them it was worth it and God had provided for them every step of the way but the burden they had to carry as a result put a strain on them individually and as a couple. He said although he knew God would somehow provide a way if we both chose to go to school, he also said God would honor our choices to be good stewards with the little that we did have. 

What I took away from that conversation is that God is faithful, but it's also good to be wise. We've been on edge financially for the last year so we decided it was time to go the safe route and be wise with what we had. And honestly, I feel perfectly fine. It really sucked to have to come to the reality to give up a dream I'd had for as long as I could remember, but I am at peace with my decision. I don't feel any anxiety about it.

Many times we hear of the stories of people who took the leap of faith, having nothing and everything working out in the end. And those stories are great; I don't want to minimize the greatness and faithfulness it takes to live like that... because I often live that way too.

But, I think that it is also important to recognize that going the safe route, if well thought out and not done simply out of fear, is also just as brave to do. I remember a sermon in my old youth group about sacrificing something you really want and giving it up to God and how He will see your sacrifice and honor it. He blesses those people as well.

If you are in a crossroads and are unsure of what to do next in your life but are scared of regretting your decision, I urge you to pray hard and seek deeply for the pros and cons of both decisions and also seeking why you, deep down in your heart, may want to make those decisions. I hope that you are encouraged and if you ever need to talk to someone, my inbox is always open. Until next week xx

love always, Kriselle

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