Dreaming is one of my favorite things to do. Dreams allow us to see ourselves a couple of steps ahead or even years from now where we wish we could be. Dreams may be the fuel that gets you out of bed every morning or that calms you to sleep.
For the creative and hopeful folks, dreaming is like breathing in and out, but for others, dreaming can be seen as a luxury. Sometimes a dream, whether spoken aloud or kept quiet in the deep recess of our soul, is all we have to cling to. And when that dream is destroyed, it can be devastating.
Although dreams are often the spark that fans the flames of progress, they don’t always come into fruition in the time and sequence that we’d wish for. There are two questions that come to my mind when a dream is not coming true:
· Are my personal dreams always God’s will for my life?
· Is God still considered a faithful and loving God if my dream does not come to fruition?
These are all questions that circle round and round in my mind and in the conversations I have with friends in different seasons of their lives. I ask that you walk with me as I delve further into these questions we have when it seems that our dreams may not come true.
I used to have a mental list of things I prayed for as a child. I went through them pretty rigidly, always wanting to make sure I didn’t leave anything off just in case God didn’t remember from the night before. It’s amazing to see how my understanding of God and prayer has changed as my relationship with the Lord has grown. I no longer have the rigidity of a checklist but I find that I still ask for specific dreams to come into fruition…over and over again.
We are to make our requests known to God but also with the overarching prayer that His will ultimately be done. Jesus tells us to pray with praise to the Lord declaring “…Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” and then we are to submit to His sovereignty “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6: 9-10)
Everything I ask from God cannot possibly happen, and often because of my limited view and human desires, I’m glad it didn’t. In fact, it is in the heartache of unseen dreams that I am closer to Him and comforted by His grace and love. Our dreams also may come true, but at a later time than we “expect.”
My dreams may also be self-serving. I must humble myself and remember that although it could be a good thing, it may not be necessary to do His will. We have free will to work towards our dreams but we must remember to continue to pray for His will to be done because He knows the big picture, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I truly believe that things don’t always come to us when we want them but when God knows that we are ready for them! When a dream of mine feels distant I remember Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”He can work all things that happen to us, good or bad, for our good and His purpose for our lives.
Is there is a dream in your heart that you feel is being delayed? If you look hard enough, you may see another blessing in disguise. Some dreams of mine include being a wife and mother. I am single but I am grateful to God that He has been able to fulfill the emotional longings I have in unexpected ways.
If you are longing for children, find a child that you can love on and give your attention to them right now. There are so many that need us. If you are longing for a spouse, find a widow or fellow single to who you can give the gift of companionship. Find trusted family and friends that will pray with you and help you stay faithful to God! Press on and continue your walk with the Lord in hopeful expectation of what God has in store for you just around the corner.
I understand the heart numbing pain of a dream that has not come into fruition. It’s hard to consider a “wait” or a “no” to be loving, isn’t it? We can often feel neglected, lonely, heartbroken, tired, or hopeless.
In this society of social media overload, there are things that can pop up on a newsfeed that can cut deeper than any sharp-edged sword. Seeing someone receive a blessing you have cried, worked for, prayed for, and dreamed of while you are still in the “waiting room” is ridiculously hard. We are called to be joyful with our brothers and sisters in Christ, “Rejoice with those who rejoice;” but we are also called to“mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
Many times, when we receive a “dream come true” we talk about the faithfulness of God, and rightly so. But, being honest, I always come back to this next thought: “If my dream does not come true, if I never receive what I’ve knocked on heaven’s door for year after year, does that mean God is not faithful?” I hope you know what the answer is, but just in case, let me remind you and myself of this single truth:
God is faithful to us at all times whether our dreams come true, or not.
His faithfulness to me is saving me from an eternity apart from Him. When I look back at things I’ve gone through I also see a bigger picture of His faithfulness and His guiding hand in my life. He is faithful to complete His work in us but not to complete our dream to-do list. “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
God is still good. God is still omnipotent. God is still faithful to us because He is God and I am not.
May you be comforted by the assurance that staying rooted in the Lord is the most assured way to live a full, joyful, and “dream come true” kind of life: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”(Jeremiah 17:7-8)
The only way we can have a content heart and a joyful life is letting Him love us, pursue us, and fill the heart numbing ache we have with His grace. That doesn’t always make it easy to let go of a dream or to let it sit still for a season, and I know God recognizes that. Don’t forget that we are what He dreams of and desires and He loves us so much. His will and dreams for us are more than we can even imagine…and that’s more than ok.
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Mandy Smith is a joyful 30-something single living in GA. She is a full-time Speech-Language Pathologist. Her loves include Jesus, her family and friends, creativity, playing guitar and singing, coffee, laughing, and of course, writing! You can read more of her writing on her website www.myjoyousheart.com and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.