Search This Blog

Monday, February 20, 2017

When Dreams Must Die

 This world tells us to dream...and to dream big. I don't see anything wrong with doing so as goal-setting and aspiring to high things is a noble endeavor. So many historic and prolific achievements would never have come to pass had somebody not had a dream to begin with...
 If the founding fathers of our country never dreamt of liberty, the United States never would've become a nation.
 If William Wilberforce had never dreamt of a world where people of all colors could be treated equally, the abolition of the slave trade never would've taken place.
 If Thomas Edison had never dreamt of the lightbulb, we never would've had the gift of electricity.
 If Alexander Graham Bell had never dreamt of a device whereby people could hear one another's voice, we never would've gotten the telephone and means to span distance through conversation.
 In short, dreaming has changed our world in so many ways. In and of itself, dreaming big isn't a bad thing.
 But here's the thing...we don't know how to let dreams die. Because sometimes, God asks us to give up what we love most in order to receive His best.
 When I was younger, I had a dream. I had a certain field of volunteer effort and study that I was passionate about, and I had devoted nearly ten years already to it, starting in my teens. All of the paths seem to line up that I would walk through the right door at the right time and begin doing the thing I cared about so much. I loved it. I loved the people involved in it. I saw so much that could be done.
 But...God's plans intervened. And He asked me about two years ago, to put that dream to rest. It was by far the hardest thing I'd ever done. I never thought God would ask me to let go of what I'd been working so much toward for so long. It was death of sorts. And it hurt. Many tears were shed as I had to keep aligning my aching heart with God's will. Saying "yes" to Him when everything in me screamed out "no" was so difficult. I thought there was no way I could come to love anything else I did as much as I did my previous work.
 And yet...God eventually did something within me that I never would've expected. He replaced that dream with a new one. And I realized something profound: sometimes dreams have to die for new ones to come alive. Most likely, I never would've ended up with the job I have or the people I have met in the last couple of years had I held out hope that the dreams of the past would still come to be. If I hadn't been willing to give up my own plans in exchange for His, I would've missed out on blessings that have since changed my life.
 I still have dreams. Some of them haven't yet come to fruition, but God's delays in these matters don't necessarily mean they're His denials. And so I wait patiently and accept what He has given...not allowing His not-given at this point to spoil the amazing life I have.
 I don't know what your dreams are...maybe it's a job or a big promotion; maybe it's a future spouse; maybe it's having children; maybe it's a better place to live, or a better education for your kids. Whatever your dreams are, I want to encourage you to trust God with your future. Dream big, and dare greatly. But live life with an open hand and don't make the fulfillment of your goals and dreams the be-all end-all of your existence. Life is about so much more than getting places and accomplishing stuff.
 And realize too that, in some cases, the death of our dreams isn't the end of us but is actually the beginning of our true purpose. God may ask you to give up something or someone that is incredibly dear to you in order to receive a bigger and better blessing. In that moment, don't be afraid. Rather, let your faith in the goodness of His plans override your doubts, your questions, your heartaches. The end of one thing may, in reality, be the start of a heart-miracle you didn't even know you needed!