At 28, I had everything I thought I was supposed to want in life ~ a job as a drama teacher at the top Performing Arts School in the state and a seriously beautiful wife, but I was deeply unhappy and I didn't know why. Not long after that realisation I lost them both, in quick succession, and the bottom fell out of my world. I lost everything I thought I could rely on.
Families are amazing things. When functioning properly, children grow up with guidance and support, knowing who they are, their place in the world & how to go about functioning successfully in it. However, as I am sure you're well aware, many families don't function quite as they're supposed to. As a result, we can grow up with a skewed view of the world, ourselves, and our place in it. We have God-given dreams, talents, and desires but we don't always have permission to go after them.
My father dreamed of joining the air force. He studied hard and earned a scholarship to become a pilot. All that was required was his parent's signatures, but his mother had just lost three brothers in the war and there was no way on this green earth that she was going to lose her beloved only son as well. She refused point blank and his father didn't stand for him. Dad lived his parent's dream instead of his going to university. He was the first in his family to do so and excelled in it, gaining a Ph.D. in Mathematics from perhaps of the most prestigious university in the world for this subject, Cambridge University.
When it came to my living my dream of becoming a comic actor, Dad did what came naturally to him and he put a stop to it. He insisted I go to teacher's college instead, and I also did what came naturally, I followed his example. I complied. I don't recommend it. It had become a family trait, father to son. So when I found myself miserable in a job I was supposed to want, and a marriage for which we were both unsuited, it took a lot to work out. On top of that, my wife was pregnant. I found a counselor gracious enough to walk me through it. No small job.
It was during this time that I met God in a personal way. I discovered He was not at all the angry dictator I had grown up believing Him to be, but rather, as I suspected, the most generous, forgiving, fun Father and friend that anyone might wish for. I met God, or rather He met with me. It was a deeply healing experience, facilitated by Nicky Gumble's 'Alpha' course.
Slowly I've been put back together and am living life (for the most part) the way I'm made to. My former wife and I found a way to raise our wonderful son. Naturally, I'm very passionate about people living their dreams. Our son is living his. I am again pursuing mine. When he turned 21 I lived in Bali for a year. I just loved that! :)
It turns out I am a born healer (INFP in Myers Briggs). I just love coaching and I'm really rather good at it if I don't say so myself. I am extremely well-versed, from very painful experience, in the intricacies of moving from broken to prospering. For the first time in my life, I'm doing work I love AND am good at. I pray your God-given dreams will be your story. It is your Destiny!
How do you know your God-given dreams from those imposed on you? Book a time with me if you like (top right - 'Bookings') and we'll talk. :)
In the meantime, check out 'Runaway Bride' for a terrific case study.