I’ve always been a dreamer. Ever since I could remember, I have dreamed of impossible things. As a small child, I believed I was Cinderella and that Prince Charming would rescue me from the drama that consumed my life and family. As I got older, I dreamed of a life different from what I had seen. A life where I would see the world, and be successful. A life where I didn’t live in a trailer and depend on food stamps and welfare to survive. A life where I could marry someone who wouldn’t abuse me and that I might actually enjoy being married to.
And then life happened. I was abused and neglected as a child. I was exposed to way too many things that a child should never see. Life beat the dreamer out of me. My goal became simply to survive and to not feel the depth of what was happening to me or around me.
And then everything changed. I walked into a church in the middle of nowhere Missouri as a tore up from the floor up a sixteen-year-old girl and tried to argue with the youth pastor. Instead of engaging in those arguments, he introduced me to Jesus and a whole myriad of other characters in my story. Those characters and the Holy Spirit taught me how to walk in the rhythms of God’s grace. In those rhythms, Jesus helped me to forgive, brought me healing, and revealed to me that He had a plan and a purpose for my life.
I would love to tell you that this is where the story ends. That I found Jesus and my life was awesome from this point on. But that is not how it works with Jesus. Walking with the Father doesn’t mean all the hard things go away. It just means we have someone to walk through difficult circumstances with us. We now have someone to give us what we need in the middle of trials.
So let’s fast forward fourteen years to where I am now. I am struggling to dream again. Life has been hard for a season. By a season I mean three years. There has been a lot of trial, loss, grief, and heartache. I’ve lost friendships, walked away from my first big girl job and a team I loved, had my heart broken by a boy, gave away an opportunity for platform and influence, and lost the man that raised me. Oh, yea. My car was flooded too. It has been rough friends. Devastating and dark in many moments.
I’ve struggled with dreaming about the future because I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to endure one more loss. So the easy road to take is to stop dreaming again. Where there are no dreams, there is no disappointment, and where there is no disappointment, there is no heartache.
The scriptures however point us to something different. Check out this verse below and see what I mean.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.”
The way that trial translates in my mind is this… Life is hard, it’s hard some more, and it keeps getting hard. I start thinking it is never going to get easier, the disappointment takes over, the despair sets in, and I give up hope because my life absolutely does not look the way I thought it would. And that is where the dreaming stops.
This is how the scriptures translate trial… Life is hard, the trial is making you stronger, and it’s making you look more like Jesus. It’s teaching you about abundant life and the sweetness of salvation, and all of this creates hope. Why? Because you are only being prepared for the better things to come. If there was nothing coming your way, you wouldn’t need to be strengthened for it, sanctified for it, or given perspective to receive it. So really our trial is a promise of things to come. Whatever it is that God blesses us with will not disappoint because He is good.
I want to be careful with talking about the good things to come because I don’t want to sell you something that isn’t real. The truth is we have very little understanding about what is actually good. Only The Father knows what is good. When I talk about the things to come, it could mean a number of things. It could mean getting your dream job, finally finding that significant other, the fulfillment of a promise given long ago, or simply just growing closer to Jesus. But whatever it is, whatever God is bringing your way, it will not disappoint. That is where the hope is. His good gifts do not disappoint.
So maybe you are like me. Maybe you are still in a very long and hard season full of lots of disappointment. Maybe you’ve stopped dreaming too. While we are still sitting in the letdown of much loss and many setbacks, we must cling to the truth that we must not be done with this season because hope can not disappoint, and God cannot withhold a promise from His children. He will not and cannot leave us here.
Let’s take deep comfort from the words of Romans 5. Whatever God is bringing to us does not disappoint. Let’s take back our hope, walk in the truth of who God is and what He does, and let’s dream on dreamers.
In Reckless Pursuit,