When Dreams Die
[Monthly Columnist – Jaimie Bowman – I appreciate her honesty each month to write on something close to her heart. This post is for anyone who’s waited months and months for their dream only to watch it die. May you be encouraged to see a miracle and the resurrection of your dream or even for new dreams!]
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” (The Beatles)
That was me in my early 20’s–the visionary, the dreamer, the idealist. I could sketch a dream on a napkin and have the zeal and fervor to actually carry it out. It’s what propelled me to graduate college, then work full-time while simultaneously obtaining my Master’s Degree, all while newly married.
It’s what fueled my fire to start a youth ministry from one eleven-year-old girl in my church and slowly, but steadily grow it until I moved on.
As a dreamer from an early age, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how it would get done.
Then everything came to a screeching halt.
After I got married, all of the doors opened for my husband, but not for me. We moved away from my comfort zone, and suddenly nobody knew me, and I was alone, just me and my dreams.
I longed for a close-knit community where life would be shared, but I was alone in my house, just me and my dreams. I craved ministry opportunities, but doors seemed to close everywhere I turned.
I became depressed, alone in my house, just me and my dreams.
I yearned to make a difference in the world, traveling and speaking and inspiring other people, but I was holding two babies, alone in my house, just me and my dreams.
Months turned into years, and that’s when dreams die.
I turned angry and bitter. I yelled at God. I didn’t speak to Him for months. I didn’t even want to call myself a Christian anymore. Me, the pastor’s wife.
Had God forgotten me?
Was this it?
What about my dreams?
Had I gotten it all wrong?
I loved my husband and I loved my babies, more than I had ever loved anything or anyone before. But everything was so different than what I had pictured.
Somewhere in the loneliness, in the dark, in the wandering, when I just about lost my faith in God and everyone else, a small seed began to grow.
A new dream was taking place. A dream to write.
As I lay in my bed late at night, crying out to God, I finally heard Him whisper for the first time in years: “Just Write.”
And I did.
It was therapy.
The words poured out of me like water from a broken cistern, and I wrote and I wrote. A new dream was being formed.
My story doesn’t have a picture-perfect ending. I still wonder about those dreams I had. But I do know that God can take what was broken and make beautiful things out of it. He can make new dreams.
Every great dream has to die at least once, for that is when the dream becomes less about us and more about Him.
When the dream dies, we realize we can’t make anything happen on our own. I’m pretty sure my dreams died multiple deaths before they were dealt their final blow. And even this dream I have now, it dies a daily death every time I get rejected, or criticized, or lose motivation.
What I’m coming to realize is that my dream should never become more important than the Dream Giver.
It can happen so easily, and it can happen so quietly.
This time, I understand that the death of my dream may come again and again, yet I know it will bring a greater dependence on God. I also know that it will not be the end of all dreams, but the beginning of new ones.
What dreams of yours have died, and what new dreams began?
Jaimie Bowman is a minister, speaker and writer who lives in Southern California. She loves speaking truth into women’s lives and helping them find their unique purpose. Together with her husband and two sons (ages 5 and 7), you can often find them stuck in traffic on the 405, trying to find new places to explore. Jaimie blogs regularly at The Wonder Years and you can find out more about her at JaimieBowman.com.