A secret, a superpower, and the beauty of a dream unfolding in the final hour.

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As a woman, you have one superpower that is yours alone. And that is, the unapologetic luxury to change your mind. Changing your mind can look like a lot of things. Choosing a different outfit. Cutting your hair. Moving across town. Moving out. Outgrowing a career that is too safe. Walking away from a relationship first. Taking the first shaky step toward love. Airing your flaws on the internet. Crying in public. Agreeing with your strengths.  

There are many ways a woman can change. Some changes are hard won and others are as simple as flipping a switch.  

I begin something this September I’ve dreamt about for over 10 years— Michaelmas Term at the University of Oxford.

Dreams you have to wait for and work for are sometimes maddening. It seems like they will never happen to you. It seems like they belong to someone else.

I know the feeling. Maybe studying at Oxford isn’t your dream—it’s selling your art, publishing a book, seeing your dream on paper, or falling in love. I know just how dire these things can feel when we have to wait for them a long time.

But one piece of advice that was passed down to me is this:

The right thing for us often transpires in the final hour.

In the moments when you’re down for the count. The times when you swear you can’t wait another day. The process is doing something beautiful to you. Shaping you. Yielding your will to patience, to love, and the long road of grinding away all of our selfishness and hard edges.

Sometimes we don’t know how much we are actually loved until we feel like the most unlovable, the most unreachable thing. Like our dreams will never come true. Like it doesn’t matter. The moments when all the stuffing of our souls falls out, and we see what is really holding our lives together.

I’d love to tell you that it was some magical footpath that led me to the doorstep of Oxford, but in reality, it was a lot of waiting and wondering, a lot of dog-eared pages and living vicariously through other people’s stories. A lot of prayers that felt unheard. Frustrating dead ends in relationships and timing. And much more death and loss and ugly parts of myself than I was prepared to face.

“Single with a Happy Heart” (my former blog project) was a journey that was for me equal parts delight and struggle. I’m blessed for every connection, shared coffee, and text message over the online dialogue I hosted on heartbreak and relationships. If you are one of my blog subscribers you may have noticed that it disappeared overnight, and I'd like to share why. Thank you for growing alongside me with such tenderness and risk. There came a point this year when I felt like the tension of all the things I had to say about love just vanished into the wind. It wasn’t just a dry spell creatively or even a new relationship, but a subtle sense that it was time to set that topic aside.

I hope you can understand why I felt it necessary to give myself space on this journey of studying theology at Oxford. 

My heart is still very much invested in encouraging women to grow into new parts of themselves but instead of just talking about it, I guess I’m taking a brave step out to live it.

If I could wish one thing for your life, or dream, it is to trust the subtle movements of grace in your own lives. The ones that other people would miss or explain away because they do not know it. The secret is to follow what you know. Especially when to you, it’s loud and clear, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

Whim and intuition are more often than not, how God speaks. You will enjoy the process much more of getting to know Him if you start listening to these subtle movements and seeing what happens. Wishing you sweetness in the waiting and hoping for things that make your heartbeat again. Please stay in contact here or by email at Lmruef@gmail.com if you’re interested in following my journey at Oxford. I will be sharing much of my experiences here. 

Always love,

Lauren

Lauren Ruef1 Comment