Failure and dreaming big: Words we needed to hear

Categories:Story, Theology
Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Only one week to go to our May 27 deadline for raising $20,000. It’s way more money than we’ve ever raised before as an organization for a huge building that will take years and millions of dollars to renovate. We’ve already acknowledged that we’re crazy (but hopefully in a good, faithful crazy kind of way).
In the spirit of confession, let me tell you: it’s an emotional roller coaster right now. One moment we are encouraged by a friend in China who’s donating $20. The next, we are looking at the loooong way we have yet to go and feeling like we’ll never get there, even as we feel more encouraged and excited about the potential for Huss School.
In the midst of this anxious doing and waiting, a friend who’s been involved in starting (and ending) several such big projects as this before sent us some words worth sharing (and for me, repeating):

I am so proud of what you are doing and the way you are imagining and hoping. The older I get, the more I have less and less patience for small dreamers who are proud of their predictable but I think petty imaginings. If I fail, I want to fail at something really good, really true and really beautiful in purpose, in hope and in courage. I see that in you.

And in a follow-up note:

You embody Delight-filled determination to make their lives and those around you count. Failure is not really possible in that framework, only plan changes and learning new ways perhaps to move forward with new people and renewed energies in grace. Take heart, feel the hope of glory in the rising potential in your midst. Life is way too short, this side of the banquet to live small and restrict the flow of transforming love.

Thank God for this friend and for all of you who have been walking with us, chipping in your prayers, dollars, cautions, advice, encouragement and ideas.
And now we wait. And do some things that need doing. And wait some more.

Author:
Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.