“Dream furniture is the only kind on which you never stub your toes or bang your knee.”- C.S. Lewis
I can certainly remember all the dreams I have stubbed my toes on. I can recall countless times when I was driven to my knees by the loss of something I wanted. Sometimes it was by the Master’s hand, and rightly so, for whatever it was was not what my heart, in its right state, truly wanted. This pain eventually gave way to gratitude. And just as often, that which I treasured has been removed from my life without rhyme or reason. Leaving me crushed. Leaving me to question. Leaving me with scars.
There is something very precious about pain. Even Jesus ached in the garden on the eve of his crucifixion. He saw the end result. He knew truth. And yet, death, so devastating, had to come first. I mention this to remind you how important our hurt is to our Creator. He cares. He does not pass by us in our time of need, but reaches right down, His right hand quick to save, His spirit a constant comfort.
The death of a dream can be so devastating. But if we can keep our eyes fixed on the One that made us, we can remember that He redeems all. He brings life out of the ashes. And so, from the smoke rises remnants of hope.
I think of my friends who recently moved to Hawaii. As long as I have known them, they have dreamed of doing so, but there was life and commitments and a mortgage. When the economy crashed, they lost the home they thought was the fulfillment of their dreams. To be sure, God understood that pain. But now I can see that He was whispering the entire time, “I have something better.”
Now, their messages and photos come from a beach in the Pacific. God gave life their bigger dreams.
I think of the first time my heart was truly broken. Oh, how I grieved that loss. It took seven months for me to heal, but oh my, how free I felt when I embraced that healing. When I opened my eyes and saw clearly (not through the fog of tears), and realized that path had not been what I wanted at all. I had been blind, and God removed that person from my life as an act of mercy! My mom told me that my time would come when I least expected it, and how true it was. I didn’t even see Nick Ristow coming, but once he was there, I saw my future, the one that God chose for me! And it has been so much better than I could have ever imagined!
Because I have hinds site now, I can tell you that I would have gone through as much heartbreak as it took to get to Nick. I would have waited for him, no matter how long the wait would have been, because my life with him, the fulfillment of this dream, has been worth everything!
But for those of you who are still experiencing the death of a dream, it can be so hard to remember truth.
And I can easily recall how difficult the last 9 years have been for Nick and I. Losing jobs, having to move over and over again, having opportunities given to us only to have them snatched out of our hands in the most unkind of ways. But I would walk that road again just to be with him. Because the joy and delight of being his wife outshines every single bit of hardship we’ve ever experienced.
Oh how good God is!
This living life thing is messy. Oh how it hurts sometimes, and I’m not talking about toes anymore. But when we trust in the Master’s hand, and through the hard times, keep focused on Him, it is easier to see the sun rising after our dark night.
The moments when I tuck my sweet babies into bed at night and kiss their soft cheeks, and when my husband holds me tight and tells me he loves me, and when God reminds me again and again of His great devotion to me, all else fades away.
The sorrow may last for the night . . . but joy comes in the morning!