Pursing the Dream Can Be Costly

I just returned from a celebratory weekend with my oldest daughter and her family. She graduated from seminary with a Master of Arts, Marriage & Family Therapy and Counseling. It’s been a challenging three years. My daughter is an organized planner, and little of the past three years went according to plan.


After a relocation, enrollment, and the start of her 2-year program, she was surprised – very surprised – to find she was pregnant. The first semester, always the roughest, had barely begun when she also faced morning sickness, afternoon sickness, and evening sickness. During the last trimester, she had gestational hypertension and had to be induced two weeks early. As a brand new mom, the first six months were filled with every post-delivery issue known to man. 

Getting back on track took supreme effort and focus … and the support of her husband, who stepped up as the single daddy four evenings a week while she fulfilled 500 required clinical hours. With only 50 hours remaining and her diploma (folder) in hand, her dream – since 9th grade – is almost in hand.

Nothing went as planned. Her 2-year plan became a 3-year plan and she was forced to overcome pregnancy sickness and new mom exhaustion as she struggled through a full-time course load. She never anticipated the huge obstacles she would need to overcome … and she never lost sight of her goal. 

While I am immensely proud of her, I didn’t write this “just” to brag. It occurred to me as I was watching the tears of joy, accomplishment, and relief as her name was called and she accepted her diploma…

–just how tough it is to stay focused and not let the stuff of life derail our dreams, and 

–how few of us can really say we are pursuing or living our dream.

We spend a lot of our lives working. It feels a lot less like working and much more like living when we get to use gifts and talents that are aligned with our passions and values. 

I feel very blessed that I can say, heartily, that I am living my dream. Are you? Or, have you settled or given up because the road to your dream has been too hard, too great a sacrifice, or things didn’t go as you planned?