It was 2007. We were living in Columbus, Ohio. I remember getting the phone call from my mom around eleven o’clock that night. My grandmother had gone in for outpatient surgery that day. It was supposed to be a quick in and out scenario, but something went wrong. She passed away that night and we didn’t get back home in time to say good bye. I remember going through so many emotions–numbness…shock…anger…deep sadness…grief. As my husband and I made the two hour drive to where she lived, I couldn’t process what had happened. The days ahead were full of sorrow and grieving, but also of celebrating the life of a feisty Italian woman who always spoke her mind. I will never forget walking through her house after she died and seeing her reading glasses sitting on the end table next to her chair. She was supposed to come home.
She was supposed to come home.
Death is always hard. Whether it’s the death of a friendship or a job or a family member or a dream, it’s hard because death means it’s over. It’s final. It’s natural for all of us to think of how we would like something to turn out and then be filled with lots of emotions when it doesn’t turn out that way. We feel helpless. We grieve. We hurt. We question.
The death of a dream can be as devastating as the death of a loved one. Have you ever been so passionate about something that it is all you can think about, but then it doesn’t work out? Have you ever gone after something with all your heart, but the unexpected happens? Perhaps someone told you that your dream will never come true. Or someone said you aren’t good enough. Have you heard words like, “What makes you think you’re able to do something like that?”
Maybe no one said anything, but you ran after a dream with everything in you and it failed. It just didn’t work out and since it didn’t, you reconciled that maybe it wasn’t supposed to. Maybe it wasn’t really your dream. Maybe it was a fantasy. Maybe you were unrealistic, and it’s your fault the dream never happened.
There are many reasons a dream can die and that death can produce emotions as real and raw as the emotions I felt when I lost my grandmother. Our dreams are very personal and have a way of seeping into our hearts and becoming part of our heartbeat. Watching a dream slip through our fingers can be devastating and make us feel like a failure–like we’re not good enough.
How does a person deal with such loss? Often times we want to shrug it off and place the dream somewhere in the pocket of our heart. We want to hide it, ignore it, and pretend like it was never there. Hiding and ignoring always seems easier than dealing with loss. Then life can go on with the forgotten dream neatly tucked away.
The problem comes when we let the pain of the loss cause us to forget how to dream altogether.
I am a dreamer. I always have been. When I was younger, I was always coming up with crazy ideas or talking about things I wanted to accomplish in life. I admit, some of my dreams were God-sized dreams. Dreams that I knew I couldn’t accomplish without Him. Sadly, there were people who would try to shut my dreams down. They would tell me I was crazy or not being smart and that I needed to realize I didn’t need all of that to live a happy life.
But, I want to tell you something. God is BIG. He is the master of big dreams. As our creator, He is also our dream giver. He places the dreams and the desires in our heart so that He can fulfill them. The ideas, dreams, and passions that you have inside of you are not there for selfish reasons or for you to ignore. In fact, it’s just the opposite. God wants you to bring all of those dreams and passions to life. You are your only limit and God will take you as far as you want to go.
Take a minute to think about a dream that you might have let go or felt disappointed that it didn’t or couldn’t happen. Maybe you felt like you did everything right and it still didn’t work. As a result, you have disappointed faith. Disappointed faith is like a bruise. It becomes sensitive to the touch so you protect it. You don’t want anyone to see it; you keep it covered like a Band-Aid covering a wound. You are hurt and disappointed that God didn’t come through.
We have all been there.
I recently walked out a dream that God placed in the heart of my husband and me years ago. Even when we started to see the dream come to life, it was still another 15 months before we saw movement on it. It was almost six years of waiting for this dream to actually happen. In the process I learned a few valuable things.
Disappointed faith comes from letting go of the miracle before it’s manifested.
Chew on that for a minute. I remember the Lord speaking that to my heart almost a year ago when we were sitting in the waiting. We felt God speak something to us so clearly, but we didn’t see anything happening. In that moment, God starting speaking to me about time tables. He wanted me to see that when He told us to start stepping out, He never gave us a time frame. Sometimes we put our own time frame on things and then when God doesn’t move within that time frame, we think He has failed. But the truth is, we let go of the miracle before it’s manifested. We think, well, if it hasn’t happened yet, then it probably won’t happen. We kill the dream and we blame it on God.
God’s timing is different than our timing, and His timing is PERFECT. If there’s one thing I have seen so clearly over the last 15 months, is He is right on time. A year ago I didn’t even know how this dream would happen, but here I am a year later watching God move pieces around like a puzzle, and everything is falling into place. If I had let go in the waiting, I would not be watching this dream come to life. And I would have felt like God let me down.
I want to challenge you to search your heart. Have you let go of a dream? Have you experienced the death of a dream? Have you blamed God for things not coming to pass? Look in the pockets of your heart and pull that dream back out. Write it down and give it to God.
Maybe you don’t know how to dream. Maybe you need to spend time thinking about the things that make your heart beat. Things that you feel you have to accomplish during your lifetime. Write them down. Ask God for it. Partner with Him and HIS timing and watch what only HE can do!
There is power in the written word.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (Message) says “And then God answered: Write this. What you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. The vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”
This scripture means so much to me and is something I cling to in the moments where my faith is tested.
Several years ago God spoke to my husband and me about being specific with our prayers and to write down the things we were believing and trusting God for. So we did just that. We got out a journal and started writing the specifics of what was in our heart. Even though God places dreams in our heart, we still have to walk out what He lays before us. We have to trust Him when we are unsure of our next step. Writing our dreams down is an action that says we are believing God can make this happen. It’s as if we are speaking it in partnership with God. We are making our vision clear to ourselves and to God. There is power in writing it and putting it before the Lord.
I want to leave you with this final thought. The Bible says you have not because you ask not. Sometimes we are too afraid to ask because we don’t think that God will do it. Step out in faith, be bold in your ask, and watch God move in ways you have never seen before!
Kendra is the owner of Wonder Management in Nashville, TN and loves to dream big and push boundaries. She is a foodie, loves traveling, and enjoys quality time with her husband and friends.
Follow Kendra on Instagram @kendraflack