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Last night, I had a “what if” dream. What if I had accepted that much-coveted job offer ten years ago? What if I had stayed in Dallas? What if I had ignored the Voices telling me that this was not home? Last night’s dream was a partial answer. There I was, walking in and out of an office with my name on it, energetic as ever but in an oddly small, seductively safe, predictable world. Ah, tempting to think about a replay even now, to renege on my leap of faith, to ignore the costs. Yes, yes, I know: there is no going back. And more to the point, fearful disobedience means living death for a thirsting soul.

Like a Wilderness experience, Texas was a land of exile and growth opportunity for me. I embraced two life missions there: parenting children and teaching students for 25 years. Even so, the big, open sky, an explosion of purple, pink, orange and yellow at sunset, and the sun-blasted landscape made me long for cloudy days with life-giving rains and miles of lush, green forests. No matter where I searched and how many ways I rewrote the script, Texas refused to bend to my will in dream and reality. In so many ways, it was the place where I grew up, but Dallas was never home.

Moving back East felt like walking out of the Wilderness, but instead, the experience continued and the “what if” choices, too. I guess that’s the way it is for someone who knows that she is not in control but feels the pull; who knows that servant work is her life but is less than dutiful. “What if” dreams persist.

Which “what if” decisions do you ponder?

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