When Dreams Hurt

Revelation 21:5  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

I’m 56 years old. To a 6 year old, I’m ancient.  To God, I’m brand new, always evolving into a new creation, if I am doing what He wants me to do.   So no, I don’t feel old. I feel like a student of life, of our faith.  I feel like I’m chronically in kindergarten with God.  I used to think I was in high school.   Here’s the irony.  The closer you get to HIm, the bigger He becomes and the greater your understanding of your smallness is.  He’s like the sun.  Objects may appear smaller in your rear view mirror but the closer you get to them, the larger they become.   There is so much to learn, so much to comprehend, so much I either don’t understand or understand wrongly.   I need fine tuning and expect that I will until the day that I die.   So don’t ever take my word for it.  Ask God.  He’s never wrong.

But here’s one thing I have learned, about which I feel pretty darn sure.   The things that cause us the most pain in life, and the things that bring us the most hope are one in the same.   They are dreams.   God says we will have them and truly, there are times they can keep us alive.  There are also times they can cause us to slowly stop breathing unless we are willing to let them go.

The immeasurable pain of the woman abandoned by her husband, who made a vow to always be there, is more about the dream she had for her marriage than it is the man himself.  After all, if he would abandon, he’s not Prince Charming.

The immeasurable pain of the man whose wife leaves him for another man isn’t mostly about the woman who would do such a thing.  It’s about letting go of the dream he had for his marriage and his children.

The immeasurable pain of the child whose daddy abandoned him, pain that can control even throughout his adulthood if not addressed, is not really about the actual man. It’s about letting go of the dream of who the son longs for his daddy to be.

The immeasurable pain of the mom who longs to have a close, deeply bonded relationship with her child when the child is no longer a child, but the grown man/woman doesn’t have the same priorities, is about letting go of the dream she has of a mother/daughter or son bond for which she longed and into which she invested decades of her life.   This is also a difficult letting go.  It’s a dream that can dismember the heart if never addressed.  (I believe this one to be near and dear to Christ’s heart because He deals with rejecting children all the time.)

The immeasurable pain of the young woman who longs for just the right man to show up and adore her for a lifetime but he doesn’t show, is more about the dream of having such a relationship than it is about wanting any particular man.

The immeasurable pain of a young man who has worked his whole life to become a professional athlete and doesn’t make the team-  the team is not the issue, the dream is the issue.  Letting go of that dream is a tough thing to do.

The deeper the desire is for the dream, the greater the pain is of that dream being unfulfilled.    Now, some dreams aren’t fulfilled that should be fulfilled- but alas are not because someone has sinned.   That’s an even tougher dream to abandon.  And we can often mess things up big time by creating actual scenarios and relationships and try to stuff them into our dream.  Oh heaven help us.

You get the point.    It seems as though it is easier to let go of the reality of a circumstance than it is to let go of the dreams we have about those realities.   Letting go of dreams hurts.

If you are grieving your life in any capacity, take a hard look at the dream behind the grief.   Surrender the dream to the Lord and allow Him to replace it with a new dream or vision.   Or surrender it because it may be an idol and watch Him then create its unfolding before your eyes because it’s no longer an idol.   Either way, grieve but grieve with hope.    He has new dreams.  He has new visions.   He will light the way as a lamp unto our feet.  Lamps are not flashlights.  They don’t allow us to see much other than the step in front of us.    And it’s ok.   He is with us, even until the end of time.

Take away:  Letting go of the dream we have for a circumstance in our life is generally much harder than letting go of the actual circumstance.  We must acknowledge our dreams, know that dreams are vital to hope, and surrender those that God has to fine tune or remold into something better.    We must grieve this letting go- but not grieve as hopeless people.  Grieve, allowing the tidal wave of emotion to wash over.  Don’t fight it.  Allow it.   And then seek new dreams and visions.  And forgive.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, please help me to let go of the dreams that You no longer want me to carry deep inside of me. Father, please comfort me. Help me to identify them and release them to Your loving arms.   Lord, please replace my old dreams with a new thing and give me hope to pursue it according to Your will.  Your ways are not our ways.   Please show me Your ways.   

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