Dreams are full of hope and hope is what keeps us going when our world turns upside down? You’re the Dreamer…the dream belongs to you. Suddenly you find yourself face to face with a dream crusher, whatever form that takes. Individual? Circumstantial? Life? God? When life’s door bursts, open and hell rushes in to steal your dream…what to do when your world, turns against you? A dream worthy of dreaming is a dream that has the potential to be pulverized into fine powder, blown away by a deep sigh of pain, and/or washed away by the torrent of tears that flood the soul taking any vestige of lingering hope, and leaving you with empty hands! And more importantly, a broken and bleeding heart. How do you forgive the one who slams your dream to the ground, and stomps on it, whether intentionally or not? What do you do when your dream goes up in smoke, and disintegrates right before your eyes? You know it has been in the throes of death for a while, as you struggle to do many different resuscitation efforts (much like Sarah and Abraham). Unwilling to acknowledge these death throes you dragged it around until the weight was more than you could carry. It finally breathed its last and you rolled over with your heart in your stomach acknowledging…It’s Gone! Your dream
succumbed to death, taking a part of you with it. Hopelessness rises up within you, passion for life dies, heart shatters, lights go out, and depression moves in. There is a palpable numbness about picking your head up off the pillow, and putting one foot in front of the other each day. How does one keep from succumbing to the numbness in the deepest part of our being? Or perhaps you were caught suddenly in a tsunami, the doors of your life burst open and your dream suddenly disintegrated right before your eyes. In either case, you have to deal with a crushed, and shattered dream that has suddenly gone up in smoke, right before your very eyes.
If an individual crushed it, what is your response? Could you possibly look past your own hurt and their behavior to see a broken heart that maybe, just maybe their dream at some point was crushed by another as well? Is their broken heart a result of the loss of their dreams and the overwhelming pain in their broken and wounded heart, thus they end up acting out of their own hurt? Can you look past your hurt and their sin to see the heart of a sinner…not much different from your own? Moreover, God offered you forgiveness, right? God extending forgiveness does not mean he overlooks your sin. He paid for it with his blood, hanging on a cross, left alone and abandoned by Father, so you could experience Father’s love. Forgiving your dream crusher doesn’t minimize the pain or overlook their actions. It simply says you are willing to extend to the dream crusher the same grace you received from the Dream Maker. I know…you want to stomp away…get out, or somehow make them pay…but wait!
Rather than doing that, can we ponder some thoughts about your dying dream? When you cry, “But it isn’t fair!” Don’t you hear a parent’s voice?
“The sooner you learn life isn’t fair, the better off you will be?”
Alas, we want so desperately for life to be fair, don’t we? We have always wanted life to be fair! Maybe that’s the problem.
Dead dreams bring on grief and grieving requires work…hard work. Grieving is loud…very loud. Sometimes screaming loud. Been there…done that! I can think of several stories in the Bible where dreams catapulted into the abyss of nothingness. I was reading in I Samuel 30, of which I have read numerous times. However, this time the words jumped off the page and grabbed me. After Achish dismissed David and his men from fighting with them, he and his men returned home, only to discover the Amalekites ransacked and burned the village, carrying off their wives and children. Verse 4 tells us when they returned and this disaster was discovered, “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” Suddenly these words jumped off the page into my heart. After the passing of my husband, and a shattered dream, and a broken heart, there were many times, I experienced this: “I wept aloud until I had no strength left to weep.” I bet you have too.
Then think of the many others. Take Joseph for example. He earned the title: “The Dreamer!” His brothers made fun of him because he told them about his dreams. One day they stripped him of his robe, dropped him in a hole, and then sold him to an Ishmaelite caravan on their way to Egypt. Joseph ends up being the “Big Cheese,” in Potiphar’s house, for awhile only to be falsely accused by his wife and spends over 2 years in prison. You think maybe he experienced a shattered dream and wept a time or two, until he had no more strength to weep. I could name plenty of others, Ruth, Abraham and Sarah, the Disciples; now there’s one for you. They believed Jesus was Israel’s deliverer from Rome’s oppression. Can you imagine the grief they experienced when they watched their dream crucified and nailed to a cross?
What do we do with a broken heart when we realize the dream is dead? Can you still trust God, or do you at some point blame Him since he seemingly has the power to stop the pain, stop the circumstances that created the pain, and give you your dream back with a nice neat little bow tied around it. Where is God when your dream is shattered? What now?
We are quite adept at seeking relief at all costs. Just stop the pain we scream! Indeed, we humans have created innumerable ways of stopping the pain. This is the sin of “self-concern” at its finest. “What?” you say? Yes, we are very good at finding a way to anesthetize the pain. We are more concerned about stopping the pain than looking at the bigger picture of what God might be attempting to teach us through this journey because blaming some thing or someone is much easier than taking a look inside. Some take drugs or alcohol and drink themselves into oblivion or find an escape into other forms of addiction like sex and pornography. Some choose a more respectable journey. We work, then we work some more, we exercise, we shop, we eat. Some, or a lot of us, fall into self-pity and depression. We just want to get through it any way we can. Some call a doctor and get anti-depressants or anxiety medication. Some commit suicide while all of us are on a quest to find a way to numb our hurt feelings and emotions by hiding. Adam and Eve hid in the Garden and we have been doing it ever since. We hide in all the aforementioned exercises; and in doing so, we hide from one another vowing never to expose our hearts to another possibility of getting hurt.
Is it possible to look beyond the broken dream, beyond my broken heart, and find a different pathway than down? I’m in the process of doing just that. After so long the dream becomes much heavier than I can carry. I can no longer prop it up, and I must go to the Isaac Alter and lay it there. When we lay the dream down, we open the door for God to enter and do something new, exciting and different in our life. What might that be you ask? I’m so glad you did. I’ve been doing a little water-walking the past few months and I’d love to share my walk with you. However…that will be for another blog…stay tuned.