I’m walking such a different road than I thought. I’m 27 years old and I’ve yet to achieve a dream job, husband, or children. At this point, I thought I would have one or two of those things, however, God has other plans and I’m slowly learning to trust. I like how Paul David Tripp put it: “God will take you where you haven’t intended to go in order to produce in you what you couldn’t achieve on your own-it’s called uncomfortable grace.” It’s not about what I want, but what He wants to make me. Below are my broken dreams that God has redeemed:
A Year in Africa
I went to Uganda for a year and it was good, but it was hard. I thought, “God you called me here didn’t you? Why is this so hard and so lonely?” Yet, now I see he took me there to grow me and show me so many things. He taught me that he provided every little thing I needed at just the right time. He made Ugandans and my lovely German friend, and Aussie friends God’s hands and feet of love to let me know I wasn’t forgotten. Was Uganda uncomfortable? A lot of the time it was terribly uncomfortable, but now I have friends I’ll never forget, a friend here that I can talk about Uganda with, a passion to adopt from Africa one day, and a gratefulness for all I have and the conveniences of American life.
A Dream Teaching Job
I came home to start teaching and have the ideal classroom in the U.S. only be to disillusioned, stressed out, and nearly sick from stress and fear. I didn’t intend to quit teaching, but I did. I was a failure. A broken, angry mess questioning why God gave me my dream and it was a horrible mess. Yet, now I can sympathize with struggling teachers and friends and praise God that I’m not living in that anymore.
Dead End Relationships
I’ve gone on a few dates in the past few years thinking finally I found a guy. Alas, things never panned out there either. Though God taught me lessons about what I do want and don’t want.
Do broken dreams mean that God is not good, because he isn’t giving me what I think I deserve? I served overseas, I try to love and serve my co-workers, family, and church family, and I love Jesus. Isn’t all this enough for God to give me what I want? Don’t I have a right to be bitter and angry that He hasn’t given me what I want and fulfilled the dreams he has put in my heart? Honestly, I don’t have that right. He doesn’t mind me asking questions, but living in anger and bitterness will get me nowhere but down in the pit of darkness, anger, depression, and anxiety. The only right I have is to be punished as sinner, but thankfully Jesus took that for me and gave me rights as a child of God. However, being a child doesn’t mean I get what I want all the time. Hebrews 12:7-11 explains that God disciplines his children for their good and we’re true sons and daughters if he does. He uses hard times make us holy. So, if you are following him and things are hard, chin up! Hard times and discipline mean you belong to Him (minus consequences for your own sinful choices, however he can redeem that too).
Fixing My Eyes
So when your dreams, even the vision God has given you come crashing down, what are you going to choose? I want to be the one who chooses to focus on him instead of my bitterness.
Hebrews 3:1, “fix your thoughts on Jesus who we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.”
Hebrews 12:2, “fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So, my big idea is: I need to “fix my eyes on Jesus”! I’ve got a great deal of learning in that area yet! When I learn to fix my eyes, I think, “the things of this earth will grow strangely dim”.
Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli