We sat down one evening, a few weeks ago, to have what has become our traditional “Dream Talk.” Over the years it’s been fun to see what dreams have been birthed through these conversations and how the One who gave us the dreams brought them to fruition.
When we arrived in Austin to rest, it seemed like we were at a cross roads. After three years of traveling and converting our bus, the bus was finished (although, there is always more to do). At the same time, our daughter began turning a corner towards adulthood and much attention was and is still being given to that process.
We floundered for a bit, wondering if we were going to move forward as “The Hollands!” or was there a new vision or dream? We tried to be open, paying attention to anything we might be holding to tightly, as we explored an inkling of desire to travel globally. Then there were stirrings in our hearts to continue to offer our merrymaking, in whatever form, to those who would listen. We were especially drawn towards stories of those who have lost everything and wandered through foreign lands as refugees. We spent a bit of our practical time in Austin sharing our music and selves with the homeless, as well as, young adults who we would meet out and about, who had homes but longed for a deeper sense of community.
Our minds stirred with ideas of starting a new musical project, a community, new business, and there was even talk, well maybe whispers, of potentially staying even longer. The closer the new year came, the more restless we became, as we still had no clarity or direction for our future. And, the calendar was certainly empty. However, as we moved into the mystery of the unknown, our conversation shifted from our future to remembering. We started at the beginning. Remembering the betrayal and reconciliation that God brought us through and how the freedom that came through that process led us to the vision to bring that reconciliation and joy to those we’d meet along the way. We remembered the launch in our bus and how we had no idea what was to lie ahead, only that we must continue to move forward. We remember how God wove us together as a family, healing many wounds and giving us a new song. We remembered how our needs practically were always met whether through a friend offering a helping hand, or a stranger blessing us at just the right time.
I once heard that if you have been giving a task, vision or direction, that you continue on in that until you hear something different. We realized that although somethings seem to be shifting, that our call and our vision was still the same. “We are The Hollands! We are a Mother, Father, Sister and Brother. Bound by blood and vision to travel about this earth, spreading a message of reconciliation through LOVE. We make our way sharing the gifts and talents given us; Music, Craftsmanship, Mentorship and Instruction, Merrymaking and Community building. Our desire is still to connect with those we find along the way and encourage community and growth in relationship.”
We did some practical dreaming, like where did we feel a leading to go after Austin, but the reality of this season was more about moving deeper past the dreams and desires to the core of our faith. After three years on the road, we see that this rest was needed to offer our bodies a chance to recharge, as well as, put emotions and memories back into working order and heal in areas we didn’t even know were wounds.
And then, our friend, Billy Hollis, gave us these words of encouragement. He said, “you guys are like a river – a river that flows from a great source (ocean – God’s love) and as the river flows it changes the ecosystem of everything around it – it changes the land… a metaphor for your travels together, but now it’s time to make a damn and let the river fill up so you can enjoy it and just rest.” He said that he saw a deep lake that was created for the purpose of drawing from. (We just happened to be resting on Lake Austin, which is on the Colorado River!) He said, that as we began to travel again, we would have these waters to tend to us during difficult times and drought. Then he shared these beautiful words from Hosea about a place where the Lords speaks tenderly and restores.
But once she has nothing, I’ll be able to get through to her.
I’ll entice her and lead her out into the wilderness where we can be alone,
and I’ll speak right to her heart and try to win her back.
We’re beginning to rouse from our rest in Austin, TX. It feels like the early morning hours of waking, as we stretch our limbs, and slowly open our eyes to the twinkling of dimly lit lights. We reflect and remember. Knowing that the Lord is faithful and knows the plans waiting for us. There is hope on the horizon. There is purpose. And in that remembrance, when the time is right, we will move forward with this promise from the ancient text of Isaiah.
The Eternal One will never leave you;
He will lead you in the way that you should go.
When you feel dried up and worthless,
God will nourish you and give you strength.
And you will grow like a garden lovingly tended;
you will be like a spring whose water never runs out.