This morning I awoke, filled with anxiety about my trip. When I dug just a little deeper, I realized that today I am going back to the place where one of my biggest dreams…failed.

The stuff that I am going to reclaim today is much more than luggage, clothing, shoes, books and calendars. They are the pieces of something that I thought was going to long-term. I truly, in the deepest part of my being, believed that I was being sent to New England to effect change throughout the region. I thought that I would make a life up there, find a church and be in the place that I love.

I knew that it was not going to be easy. I knew that New England is a really rough place, especially for outsiders. But, I thought that God and I would conquer all of that.

Through tears, I told God all of this. Do you want to know what He told me?

Deneen, I sent you up to Massachusetts with the belief that you were going to change the world because you never would have agreed to go if you knew that it was you I was going to work on. It’s not that you are not willing to do the work. It is that you are so focused on others that you forget about yourself. But, Deneen, I’ve not forgotten about you. You are always on my mind. I wanted to heal you and change you and rebuild you so that you could be where you are right now. You returned to NJ at just the right time, even though the timing seems off. You returned ready to enter the church, ready to begin trusting again. I took you into a land of distrust so that you would learn to trust.

I don’t know if I should put this on my blog. I put it here to encourage anyone who has had a dream that appeared to fail. Sometimes God sends us on the journey to pursue our dreams, not for the dream’s sake, but for our own sake. Or…that is what He did for me. And perhaps that is what He has done for you.

So, it is with bittersweet emotions that I return to the land that I love. The first time my feet touched the soil of New England, 14 years ago, I knew that it was a place where my heart would remain. I don’t know how my teenage mind knew that, but it did. I can’t wait to share Boston with my mother. I can’t wait to get my shoes back so that I can walk a few inches taller. I can’t wait to see Boston through my new eyes. I can’t wait to come back to NJ to begin my life once again.

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