Distant Dreams but Closer Realities
Perfect Bound Softcover
Dreams … everyone has them. A man dreams of becoming a CEO of a big corporation, a famous athlete, a hero, or the president of the United States of America. Basically, men dream about all things rich and powerful. For women, dreams are more sentimental. Women dream of having a successful career, the perfect marriage, children, and financial freedom to live like a queen. But what if you’re a Christian? Do you still have the same dreams? Is it okay to dream about wealth, power, and success?
Is there any truth that as a Christian, you can still obtain your dream job, dream house, and dream mate (i.e., soul mate) without compromising your integrity? Can you have morals in a world where if you want to be successful, you’re told you must be willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead? Do dreams really come true, or should you just leave your dreams buried in your childhood memories? Or is the reality of life, as a child’s nursery rhyme concludes, that “life is but a dream”?
Distant Dreams but Closer Realities is a story about Lisha Dillard, a successful African American career woman who decides, against her family’s wishes, to move from Louisiana to Los Angeles on a journey of discovering God’s will for her life. During her first year, she faces many challenges in her quest. She has her first dose of reality, after finding her dream home, with learning the difference between southerners and westerners.
Her next task is finding a job that will provide an adequate salary as well as accommodate her aspiring acting career. She finds what she thinks is a dream job in corporate America. She believes she’s working for a company that is not concerned with only making money but also with helping people … is she wrong?
Her next task is finding a church. She prays and then uses an uncommon practice for finding her dream church. The one type of church she doesn’t want to join is a mega-church … but why?
Next on her to-do list is pursuing her acting career. Since she’s naïve to the entertainment industry, she believes her manager’s assurances that she’s well connected in the business … but is it the truth? Eventually, she finds her way to an acting coach who gives her a reality check—unless she has a Hollywood connection and is amoral and skinny, being talented just is not enough. She becomes painfully aware that unless she’s willing to compromise her morals and integrity, she will never achieve her dream … so does she?
Since she believes another reason why God told her to move to Los Angeles is to meet her “God-ordained husband,” she wonders if and when that’ll happen. Then, one day she accidently runs into her neighbor, a handsome single man. They have a two-day whirlwind romance, but his mysterious job suddenly interrupts them, and now she must wait for his return. Is he her dream mate or just a dream?
Lisha desperately needs to know God’s will for her life. She begins questioning whether or not she actually heard from God regarding moving to Los Angeles, because of all the struggles and challenges she’s had to face. After spending one weekend alone with God, she suddenly receives all the answers she been longing to know, but then she gets a phone call that could change everything.
Distant Dreams but Closer Realities is entertaining but also will minister to women, as they will identify with this fictional character’s struggles and challenges in living life as a godly woman. It addresses some important issues, such as faith, trust, dating, career choices, and family. It’s through this one woman’s life journey that many women also may learn how to discover their purpose and find their destiny.
Lisha loved life. She felt so blessed and excited about the endless possibilities of her “new life.” God had been present with her ever since she could remember. Even though church wasn’t a part of her early childhood, her mother made sure that Lisha knew who God was. Her family always said blessings before eating, and Lisha prayed before going to sleep. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. Bless Mommy, Daddy, Doug, Grandma, Grandpa, and all the people in the whole world. Amen!”—this was the prayer she always would say, even after she became an adult, until the Holy Spirit taught her how to pray to the Father.
Lisha wasn’t sure what awaited her in her future, but she was certain that whatever it was, God was behind it. He orchestrated her every move, just like His Word said He did. No matter what lay ahead, Lisha knew she had no choice but to trust the Lord above all her circumstances. How else could she explain why God put the desire in her heart to pack up everything she owned and move to Los Angeles, without a job or a place to live? This was something her parents didn’t understand, nor did anybody else who knew how responsible she was. Everyone thought it was quite irresponsible of her to completely give up everything she had achieved in her career and move, just because she believed God told her to do so.
Lisha had dreamed of living in Los Angeles—it was a city close in her heart, although there was no particular reason. Perhaps it had something to do with her childhood fascination with Hollywood, movies, actors, Beverly Hills, and the glamorous lifestyle. She remembered the first play in which she had a part when she was in the fourth grade. She was the main character, and everyone laughed and enjoyed her portrayal of a lion. Her parents were extremely proud of her performance and her ability to memorize all of her lines. Yes, she was destined to become an actress, and now her dream was finally coming true. But first, she needed to find a place to live.
After a few days of apartment hunting and lots of prayer, Lisha found a large one-bedroom apartment in Inglewood—not too bad and within her budget. She’d managed to save twelve thousand dollars, which she assumed would be enough to sustain her until she found a job. The apartment was in a medium-sized complex, but she hoped she wouldn’t have to contend with noisy neighbors. She scheduled the delivery of her furniture, which unfortunately wouldn’t arrive for another two days. She had better luck, however, with her utilities—they would be turned on the next day. Then she decided to walk to the corner store, which happened to be on a main street, and pick up the local newspaper to begin her job search. Sure, she could have secured a job prior to moving to Los Angeles, but that’s what the old Lisha would have done. The new Lisha was going to experience life as it came, rather than always having things perfectly planned out, with no room for spontaneity. When she got home, as she reviewed the paper, she thought there was still something she had forgotten to do—something important, but she just couldn’t remember what it was. Then her cell phone rang, and when she answered, she heard, “Lisha, where are you?”
That was it—she’d forgotten to call her parents; she knew she should have, especially with the way her mother worried. She hadn’t spoken to her since a week earlier, when she called to tell her she had arrived in Los Angeles. “Hi, Mom, I’m sorry I forgot to call you. I guess I was just so excited about finally finding an apartment.”
“Girl, I’ve been sitting here worried to death, thinking something happened to you. I called your father to see if he had heard from you, and I was just about to call the Los Angeles Police Department if you didn’t answer your phone.”
Lisha’s parents were divorced, so the only time her mother spoke to her father was when it had something to do with the kids. Lisha chuckled. “Mom, don’t you know that no news is good news? Besides, God says we’re not supposed to worry.”
“Well, God doesn’t have a daughter who just decides to give up a good career and move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, now does He?” her mother, Jean, snapped.
Lisha just laughed. “Well, God is the One who sent me on this journey, so I think He knows what He’s doing.”
Jean was unmoved. “Well, I’m not so sure He told you that, because it just doesn’t make any sense for you to have a master’s degree and a successful career and then give it all up for something that is almost impossible to achieve. Do you know how many people move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, only to end up back at home?”
Lisha, with a sense of purpose and calmness, replied. “Mom, we’ve already been through this. I’ve done what you and Dad wanted me to do all of my life. I went to college and got a degree in the field you wanted, and I even got my master’s degree at your request. I pursued a career that you and Dad wanted. I’ve done everything you guys have asked me to do, so now it’s time for me to do what I want to do with my life.”
“Well, that’s true,” Jean said, calm now. “You have done what we’ve asked, and I’m thankful for that. But you just make sure you call me every day, and don’t be out there starving to death and not telling anybody, you hear?
Ronya Henderson is a licensed ordained minister residing in Southern California. This God-fearing and gifted woman’s purpose is to inspire those in need of deliverance, encouragement, healing, and strengthening. She enjoys spreading the Gospel of the Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as the abundant love of a faithful God.
As a Christian woman struggling to maintain her spirituality in a world of self-absorption and indulgence, she felt compelled to write inspirational books in an effort to help other Christians through life’s journey. The core conflict of stepping out on faith, and trusting and believing in God’s Word above your circumstances and other people’s opinions is something that every Christian, in general, must overcome. In spite of life’s challenges, however, we must also remember that laughter is good for the soul. Therefore, her philosophy is always to find something to smile about and to give thanks, regardless of the experience, and to keep it moving in Jesus’s name, amen.
Having grown up as a “military brat” and subsequently being a former commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, she’s lived and traveled abroad extensively and has received numerous military awards and decorations.
Ronya has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Grambling State University and a master of public administration (MPA) degree from Troy State University – European region.
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