For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
When I was a young child, my girl friends loved to play Barbie dolls. I hated those dolls then and I hate them now. But I played because I wanted to be with my friends. I listened as they dreamed out loud about their future homes, husband and children. Yes, the white picket fence was part of their plan. They would share the names they would give their children and I remember wondering what if your husband doesn’t like those names? Or white picket fences? I never asked these questions out loud, I mean, who am I to burst someone’s bubble?
They all probably know by now, as I do, that dreams don’t always play out like we plan. Bubbles burst. Somewhere between once upon a time and they lived happily ever after things can go horribly awry. Having worked with families for over forty years, one thing I have learned is that broken dreams are a reality.
So what do we do when our dreams are broken and life is nothing like we had hoped it would be? I don’t know about you but over the years I have received from others and offered to others so many Bible verses with the hope of them providing comfort and peace and I have discovered that during the times of the crash of dreams and the loss of hope that accompanies that crash, that all too often, these words are not received as comforting or peaceful but more like platitudes.
Perhaps the problem isn’t with the words that are offered, perhaps it’s deeper.
I have experienced during these times a disconnect from God. His words brought no comfort or peace. People’s words although well intended did not address the deeper problem.
I was angry at God, disappointed with God and I questioned His goodness. I mean, after all, He could have stopped this or changed it somehow. What good is it to know He is with me if I need Him to do something and He does not? That was the bigger problem.
I envisioned Him standing nearby with His arms crossed over His chest when in reality I was the one with arms crossed. I was waiting for Him to do something all the while He was waiting for me to do something. I stopped reading the Bible but His words didn’t change. I pulled back from Him but He didn’t pull back from me. I quit looking to Him but He never took His eyes off me. I wasn’t exercising His authority and yet, He had given it to me.
He was standing there all the time with His arms outstretched towards me and with love in His eyes. And patiently waiting for me to see Him and to allow Him to embrace me.
I believe He was also waiting for my prayer to change from my will be done to Your will be done. Perhaps He was waiting for me to surrender my dreams and choose His for me. Maybe He never saw me enclosed in a white picket fence and who knows, perhaps He had other names in mind for my children. To run into His arms, I needed to surrender my plan and allow Him to lead me into His.
This season of disconnect has come to an end. I’m coming home!
Broken dreams happen, disconnect doesn’t have to happen.
If this resonates with you, I would love to hear from you.
Father, I am sorry for the disconnect. I know I am the one who pulled away, You never did. Thank You for the grace to allow me to come back to You. Help me to surrender my plans and my dreams and willingly pursue Yours for me. In Jesus’s name, amen.
pic credit: this old house