Life Happens, Yet We Dream
BY JOSH UTTER | July 6, 2020
On June 24, 2020, the New York Times podcast, “The Daily,” featured the story of Nakitta Long. Displaying tremendous resiliency, Nakitta told her story of losing her job due to the pandemic. A single mother of two children, she has a master’s degree in criminal justice and had dreams to go to law school. But, as Nakitta put it, “because life happens,” she had to make adjustments in her career in order to support her family. Her last job working in an automotive manufacturing facility was terminated in March without much notice.
Now with bills to pay and children to care for, Nakitta still maintains hope, as she wrote in an email to the reporter, “I know I’ll be able to bounce back. I’m just not sure how long it will take or what sacrifices I will have to make.”
When so much seems hidden and uncertain, the hope shining through Nakitta’s words reveals resolute faith.
I know so many of us are struggling to know what’s next, especially those who are unemployed or underemployed. We have our plans and schemes. We want to see all that we worked towards fulfilled—our time spent studying, practicing, creating—but life currently does not seem to leave much room for our plans to expand.
I think back to when I was a child. My world was definitely small and guarded by my parents, yet it was my imagination that made this world much bigger. Possibilities seemed endless in the world I made inside my dreams.
Is this what Jesus meant, when he said, “you have revealed them [these hidden things] to the little ones?” Is it that we [both young and old] have lost our imagination? Do we still have our dreams?
St. Ignatius prayed the Suscipe:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
Yes, take, Lord. But may we have the wisdom to know that you aren’t depriving us of our dreams, rather you are shaping them into what they are meant to be. May we have the grace to let go, in order to receive.
Josh Utter is originally from Madison, WI, and a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, IA. Based in Phoenix, AZ, Josh is the outreach officer for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.
This reflection is gorgeous … I so believe in my dreams – always feel that God speaks to us through our dreams and desires. Yet, I know I need to be more open and trusting to follow God’s ways … not always mine … Your love and your grace are enough for me!
Josh, this is a nicely expressed message/reflection of reality and hope. We aren’t in control and we have become, with COVID-19, acutely aware of this on a day by day basis. But we have hope and trust which cannot be taken away from us. There has been a great sense of peace in wiping out much of the “baloney” that tempted us to think contrary to “your life is not about you.” So much, so many have/had gotten “off track” but none of that can wipe out hope and trust. You are where you are and we are where we are and by God’s plan and our surrender to His will everything will workout perfectly. Gratias.
God is a mighty force inviting all tiny mortals to dream big.