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When you close your eyes and dream of your future, what do you imagine it will hold? Does dreaming fill you with pleasure and excitement?
I follow a group of young female small business owners on social media, and I’ve noticed a common theme in their posts: Dare to dream! Your dreams matter! Go after your goals! Embrace your passions! Take chances! Make it happen!
Their enthusiasm is sweet and their success is inspiring, but when I read their motivational slogans I actually feel the opposite of encouraged. I feel cynical and sad. Though I should feel charged up and ready to take on the world, I feel depressed and alone.
My greatest dream in life is to be a mother, and when I got pregnant two years ago it seemed as though everything in my life was falling into place. I daydreamed about my baby and what it would be like to hold him or her. I daydreamed about the nursery, about first holidays, about traveling the world with my little one. Then, at 34 weeks, my baby stopped breathing. I delivered a baby boy, and I held him — my dream, dead — in my arms.
After losing my son I strived to have hope that I could have another baby. I spent the following months grieving and begging God to heal my heart and surprise us with something good. God, bless us with a healthy baby, I prayed. I got pregnant, and I was overjoyed. I was determined to claim victory over my pregnancy and not allow the loss of my son to overwhelm me with fear and worry. I began to allow myself to dream again… to imagine my baby, and what our life would look like once the baby arrived. But at my 21-week appointment the doctors told me my baby had severe growth issues and likely had a heart defect and spina bifida. The very next day, my baby stopped breathing.
At this point in my life, a year and a half after losing my son and seven months after losing my daughter, I am scared to dream.
I still have dreams — things I want to do with my life — but I don’t have the expectation that those things will actually take place one day. Now when I dream I hear a voice in my head saying that probably won’t happen or if it does happen it will be years from now.
It feels too risky to dream.
It frustrates me when people tell me, “you WILL have a baby one day.” Maybe I will, and I hope I do, but losing two babies has taught me a lot of things and one of them is that we are not in control.
I understand the message in James 4:13-17 now more than ever: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”
I’m scared to dream because I trusted God with my two babies and they were taken from me. I’m scared to attach myself to happy, exciting things, because I don’t know if those things will last. It is human to feel this way. Even Christ asked for God to take away the burden of the cross. But as believers, we have access to a sovereign God and His perfect truths.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7
If you’re in a place where trusting God with your dreams seems scary, I hope you know you are not alone. I hope that while your head might be tempted to think otherwise, deep down in your heart you know God is good, and His plans are good. Though it may be painful and scary, I hope you will join me in approaching God with the desires of our heart.
Here are two other passages that have provided me Truth and encouragement during my times of trouble:
“My soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, ‘My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the Lord.’
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
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My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
“Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!” Psalm 119:116
Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband and constantly shedding dog. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend.