In 2014, I sat in a Christian Counseling conference (CCEF) and heard something I never had before. I was floored by the thought that it was healthy to grieve the loss of a dream. God was not only big enough to handle this pain. He actually wanted and intended us to draw near with these raw places in our hearts.
At the time, I immediately resonated with this. The heartbreak of secondary infertility and loss from miscarriage, loneliness of ministry and the harshness of others’ expectations left me feeling broken. My dream was for life to feel easy, for friendships to abound, perfectly spaced pregnancies to fill our family and ministry to be full of relationship and encouragement. It was easy to look at the way others appeared and find my own broken dreams magnified.
Fast forward seven years and I would say some of my broken dreams come from painful disappointments and others from the same traps of comparison. I don’t want life to be hard. There still are times when I have wished we could fill our family easily with biological babies or ministry would only bear fruit and friendships would only leave me feeling fulfilled. It wasn’t my dream to pursue children who have lived through unspeakable trauma or minister out of my own brokenness or feel the deep loneliness of ministry at times or lose friendships in different seasons.
God has brought beautiful redemption. Not just through the loss and heartache, but as I lament these broken dreams to Him. He binds our wounds, multiples our joy and deepens our Hope as we grieve something we never had. This is the kind of Father He is.
These broken dreams have led to some of my deepest blessings. They have not been and will not be without pain or sacrifice or heartache. Choosing to to bring these broken dreams to Jesus and to grieve them allows me to move forward with hope. It is sometimes a battle, but always produces a joy that snuffs out bitterness and despair.
“Occasionally, weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that he’s given you.” John Piper #rhythmwriting2021