When Dreams Are Shattered

When Dreams Are Shattered

Hi Friend,

Can I be honest with you? Last week was tough. Really tough.

I wanted to write but couldn’t muster up the words. Everything fell flat on the page so I decided to wait.

You see, I’ve been tenderly holding on to a couple dreams that I was praying would come to fruition. Circumstances that I’d been hoping for and believing in. Great opportunities I wanted to experience.

Both of those dreams ended last week – not in a way I had hoped for.

Tears fell easily and my heart ached in the worst way.  I tried to distract myself with other things, but the distractions not working. So it was time to face up by facing God with some honest questions.

Even though I didn’t get all the answers, just having an opportunity to ask was therapeutic.

Over the weekend, I prayed and pondered whether or not to share these things with you. I always like to be upbeat in my weekly posts, but sometimes life has a way of taking us on a detour and it’s not always along Upbeat Lane.

I’m sharing because maybe you too have experienced an end to a dream recently.   Maybe you’re feeling the way I did last week: deflated, discouraged and doubtful.

Here’s what I’m learning from this not-so-fun experience:

I can mope around and feel sorry for myself … for days. Or, I can attempt to see my situation from God’s perspective.

I’m not saying it’s easy or that the process feels great. It doesn’t, but making the right choice in the midst of hard circumstances is extremely important. The choices we make today will inevitably determine the direction of our tomorrow.

Choosing to Focus

Instead of focusing of what appears to be a failure – I’m choosing to focus on the fact that in Christ I am an overcomer. {1 John 4:4}

Instead of questioning why God withheld these opportunities – I’m choosing to focus on the fact that God withholds no good thing from His children. {Psalm 84:11}

Instead of wondering what I could have done differently  – I’m choosing to focus on the fact that when I trust and commit my plans to the Lord then His best plans for me will succeed. {Proverbs 16:3}

Do the thoughts of my shattered dreams pop into my mind throughout the day? Absolutely! But, when they do, I choose again and keep choosing as I shift my eyes towards God and trust Him no matter what my circumstances are screaming. And when I do, the ache in my heart begins to subside.  My optimism slowly returns and I become hope-filled again.

2014ShatteredDreams

What dream of yours has shattered lately? Has a door of opportunity suddenly closed? Are you feeling deflated, discouraged or doubtful today?

I understand and want to help. So let me ask you …

What will you choose? Who will you trust? Where will your focus be?

How can I be praying for you today?

Leah

Comments

  1. Leah,
    Thank you for your honesty and complete transparency! I completely felt like your post was written out of my thoughts and heart. I was feeling this way not too long ago and reading the post was so encouraging and refreshing to say the least! THANK YOU for sharing and for the reminder to focus and choose wisely on how we deal with shattered dreams:) God’s plans are far greater than any dream we may have ourselves and that is where I choose to put my hope. God’s dreams for my life are what I want to desire rather than my own:) God Bless you with His wonderful dreams for your life Leah! :))

  2. All my life I have dreamed of experiencing marriage and having family. In my mid-30’s I surrendered my desire to God, and I have spent the past decade focusing on deepening my relationship with Christ while still hoping and praying for marriage to one day come. This past spring, it looked like God had finally brought my husband! I was elated but now it all seems to be falling apart and I’m so, very, very sad and confused. My heart feels shattered and I’m left asking Lord, why? Why bring the man I thought was my husband only to take him away? Please pray that I would know God’s will for the situation and if I’m to let go of the relationship. And if I am to let go, that I would not sink into despair and hopelessness.

    • Mandy, I’m praying that your situation turns around and your sadness turns to joy once again … very soon. I’m sorry you’re going through such a difficult time. You’re in my prayers.

      • Thank you! That means the world. And please know what a blessing you are..your blogs are amazing and full of such love and truth. Grateful for you!

  3. Hi Leah,

    i would like to ask for your prayers for my daughters final exams, praying that she passes; she is going through a rough patch, having lost the drive and initiative to study, confused; feeling lost with her future; praying that she does well and goes into university; i would also like to ask for prayers in our finances, restructure at work means i might lose my job and theres just too much bills to be paid, i feel angry, bitter and health hasnt been that good. i pray for the Lords guidance andwisdom and strength. thank you Leah, God bless

    • Maria, I’m praying for your daughter today as she prepares for her exams and pushes through to finish school. Also for your finances and job situation. Believing God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He loves you both.

  4. Leah,

    Thanks so much for sharing. I am a single Mom of four. After 5 years of being single I thought I’d finally found the one to help me raise my family & be my partner. He abruptly broke it off & needless to say I am dealing with the deflation of a big dream. I am trying to cling to God’s promises but am quite honestly weary. The task of raising a family was not intended to be done alone. I need prayer to heal my broken & wounded heart. Being alone can at times be overwhelming. I need strength to pick up & move forward albeit painful to take each step. Thank you for sharing in such a transparent way!

    • Liz, as you know, broken relationships can sometimes leave us broken. As mom’s we’re always trying to fix things. You’ve been through so much and trying to fix a dream with a shattered heart can be near impossible. Instead, I want to encourage you to rest in God’s embrace, trust in His sovereignty and allow Him to repair the broken pieces of your heart. I’m praying for you and your 4 children today.

  5. My 8 year old son woke up today in a terrible mood, I tried to encourage his horrible choices for this morning as “You can have a do-over, you don’t have to continue down this path and ruin your entire day, just ask the Lord for a do-over” Thinking about it more after I dropped him and his brothers off at school, that’s how I’m feeling with my life, so disappointed and discouraged in myself as a wife, and a mom ……I just want a do-over, why do I feel that he can have one, but I can’t? Reading your devotional and everyone’s posts reminds me that I need to open God’s word and read his promises. He is faithful and true in all that He says, I need to trust Him for my life too.

    • Benda,
      I just finished Sheila Walsh’s book The Storm Inside, I would highly recommend you read it. You are a woman of God, not a disappointment, He loves you just the way you are. Sheila’s book is amazing, I think you would find guidance, courage and insight within its pages. Praying for you, I raised two boys, days can be hard! But oh so rewarding, hold close to the love, the good, the amazing things your days are filled with. Praying for you.

  6. I ask for prayer that my actions line up with the word of God and that I may be surround ed by people who Love for God is clear.

  7. I want to encourage all of you going through difficult times. This year was extreemely challenging on all levels of my life. So painful at times, I can’t even begin to write about it. Some days I felt like I couldn’t even breathe and there were days I wanted to disappear and never look back. In a way only God can do, He sent me encouragement in some way. Whether it was through His word, a devotion, a smile from a baby at the grocery store, or just a moment of silence. Through a lot of tears and disappointments, I realized God wanted me to bloom where I was planted. It didn’t change my circumstances, but it did change me. I can see the blessings though it all. I will pray that you will bloom where you are planted in your circumstances and that you will experience joy. I’ve learned God never forsakes us.

    • Denise, thank you for taking the time to encourage other women who have shared their difficult stories on my blog this week. There is no doubt you have blessed many of them by your words, including me. 🙂

  8. Leah,
    I have been praying for God to change my heart and make my desires His desires in my marriage. My 24 yr marriage is in crisis after being dysfunctional for most of those years. We are both getting weary but I am trusting that God wants our marriage to be healed. Please pray that I will be able to continue to trust that His timing is perfect and that my heart will be open to his prodding.

    • Kathy, I’m praying for your marriage today. You may want to seek out help through a local christian marriage counselor or from your church family. When trauma or long term dysfunctional behavior has been part of a marriage, getting professional help could be extremely beneficial. I too, believe God wants your marriage healed.

  9. Please pray for my son. He is in a cult so we are not allowed any contact with him. He is so confused and it appears his brain has been rewired. Pray that he will see the truth of the Lord and will return to Him and be reconciled with all of his family and friends. Its been four years and we long to see him and talk with him so much.

    • Valerie, I’m so very sorry to hear about your son and I’m praying for him today. Asking God to provide an escape of him to leave the cult, return home and get the professional help he needs to be restored. May God bless your family richly with His armor of protection.

  10. Please pray that my two adult children will return to the Lord. They have been let down by so many “Christians” . They have lost their focus on Jesus.My prayer is that the return to Him with whole hearted devotion

    • Laura, people will always disappoint us and let us down ~ even Christian people. I’m praying for your children today, asking God to give them a greater awareness of His presence and to be drawn to His love for them. God is able!

  11. Peyton heitman :

    Thank you for these words. My marriage is struggling and appears on the brink of ending. I am completely devastated. We have 3 beautiful children that will be affected immensely if we aren’t able to reconcile. I am praying for reconciliation. Please pray for me and my family.

    • Peyton, I’m praying for your marriage today ~ asking God to restore what has been broken and heal the wounded places of your heart. A friend once told me “the grass is NOT always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water, care for and fertilize.” I believe we can apply those principles to our marriages so that our relationship can be healthy and our children can have the security they need.

  12. Leah,
    You message this morning was very moving to me and spoke straight to my heart and circumstances. My oldest son, who turns 21 today, he has not been going down the right path lately. He moved in with his dad over 2 years ago. Since then he dropped out of college loosing a full year scholarship to Lee University, been in jail a few times. I raised him as a single mom since he was 10 with the help of a wonderful significant other who steped in and has been a wonderful male role model. I know God is still in control but as your message talks why not in our timing . I hold firm to God’s Promises. I have given it all to God, but the devil does try to still my joy. I just start proclaiming the blood over my son and command the devil to flee that he can not have this child because he is a child of God’s. So everytime my son comes to my mind for ANY reason I stop and pray for him. He needs to find a job and start being a productive young adult the way I have trained him up to be. I know and trust that God is putting the right people in his path and removing the stumbling blocks.

    I know is this longer than others but it is my first time and this such a desperate cry to save him form the drugs and alcohol. Thank you for your sincere heart and message. Sharon

    • Sharon, I’m sorry to hear about your son and the difficult path he’s been on the past two years. I can tell that you have a strong faith and I’m reminded of James 5:16b that says, The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Trust that your prayers are being heard by our loving God who has the power to change your son.

  13. Hello Leah
    Thank you so much for your encouraging words today. God richly bless you and continue to guide you. I just wanted to request a prayer for my parents. I was faced with almost being sacked from college last semester because my mother was unable to come up with my fees. God miraculously came through for me, after putting in all my savings, a few friends decided to contribute and helped clear the outstanding amount. We are still facing serious financial crisis and I have been praying to God to remove this cup from us and help me finish school. I just wanted to ask if could please remember my family in prayers. Thank you so much.

    • Nana, I’m praying for your family today, trusting that God will continue to provide for all your needs, including the tuition for your college. One day, you’ll look back and be amazed at how He provided and came through. Above all else, trust Him.

  14. Hi Leah,
    Our dreams of buying a bigger house were shattered in June. we need to have a bigger place as we’ve just had a baby. We honestly believed God was wanting us to have a second child and to trust Him to provide for a bigger home. In the end we wasted 6 months trying to sell our current place and buy a bigger home. Everything came crashing down a month before baby was born sadly! Please pray for wisdom and guidance as to what to do now- and to keep believing that God will provide! Thank you for your encouraging post.

    • Nisha, congratulations on your new baby … how exciting! I know what it’s like to have a dream home slip through your fingers. My husband and I went through a similar situation and I was sad for weeks when I knew we didn’t get the house. We kept trusting God and within 3 months He bought us another place (with a lake view) that was so much better than the house. When God closes a door it’s because He has something else better in store for you. Keep the faith. The waiting is worth it.

  15. Leah, thank you for offering me encouragement today. I have been working through a very difficult season for the past nine months. Some days I DO wait with hope and expectancy while other days (the really hard days), are filled with discouragement and hopelessness. Every morning before rolling out of bed and placing my feet on the floor, I ask God to empower me for the day and to help me reach deep inside my heart and find His peace – the peace He already gave me! Please pray for my continual Trust in God!

    • Tracie, I still experience those moments of discouragement too. I’ve learned that when it happens my discouragement is a great indicator that I need to shift my focus off my circumstances and go to God in prayer. When I do He restores my hope. My circumstances may not have changed by the way I see them does. Praying for you, sweet friend!

  16. Leah, thank you for your encouraging words and for your obedience to our Lord in ministering to others. You are such a blessing!

    I have a lot going on right now and would love prayer… I have Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed 5 years ago) and I’ve been going through a 6-month relapse which has affected my walking. I spent 10 days in the hospital last month, receiving treatment. I’m now able to wiggle my toes on my left foot but am still struggling to walk without difficulty.
    Also, we moved to North Carolina last year as we felt the Lord calling us here, however we feel He is calling us back to our hometown in California, and we are moving back in 3 weeks. I would love prayer for a job for my husband with his former employer in CA, and for an affordable home for us to rent.
    Two months ago I had to stop working because of my disability so times are tight, but we know ultimately God has this all worked out.
    This post along with “The Waiting Game” have really encouraged me and I am digging into God’s word. Thank you and God bless you!

    • Eden, I’m sorry to hear about your recent relapse with MS and I’m praying that God would restore all of your movement so that you can walk freely again. Also, for the BIG move to California. Trusting God will give your husband great favor with his former boss.

  17. Please pray for my daughter and her husband to sell their house. They are expecting a miracle baby and need to move to a bigger place that is closer to me so that I can help them more. Her name is Angela. The house has been on the market about 2 months and no one has shown any interest in it. I do not know what God is doing or whether He wants them to stay right now because he can see ahead and we cannot. Pray for guidance and peace with either yes, no or not now. Thanks

    • Bev, congratulations on your soon-to-be grandchild! I’m praying for your daughter and son-in-law today as they wait for their bundle of joy and dream about their new home.

  18. I feel the exact way you wrote you did. Lost our buisness and our roof over our head as well, been looking for new place to rent, what I thought was the perfect place was a no. Struggling with trying to have faith in what I ask for, and feeling like a failure. Sadness, bitterness worry and emotions ruling my days. Why do cate so much? Why cant I just live in today? Worst part, is I was always the strong one, full of faith, the glue that held the family together, and now I am so weak. I need prayer please. I will read some more of your blogs. Thank you!

    • Shawna, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your business and home. Life can sometimes serve up a tragic dish that leaves us holding despair and discouragement. I’m praying for you today ~ asking God to bless you in a very special way, so that you know He sees you and will take care of you and your family.

  19. I’m having one of those weeks struggling to pray the same prayers over and over as I wait on God and desperately try to remain hopeful.

    • Denise, I’m praying for you today. I know how hard it can be to wait on God and stay hopeful when answers seem too distance and discouragement feels too close. I’m praying these verses over you today knowing that God will keep His promises and lift you up.

      Psalm 145:13b-14, ” The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”

      • Thank you so much for your prayers. Today is a big day for us and I feel a little seed of hope. Standing on the promise that those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Many Blessings!

  20. Leah, Please pray with me for eyes to see and ears to hear God while discouraged and downtrodden. In Jesus’ name and to His glory, Amen.

  21. Oh my God, I had the same week, I thought that God turned away from me. I get up depressed not wanting to go on, praying to God to bring me peace ,love, joy and happiness. It helps for awhile, but as the day goes on worry,stress and unhappiness comes. Please pray for me

  22. I am so sorry to hear that things have not gone well for you. I pray that God will give you something 100 times better, and that He will bless you in a special way as only HE can. Have a blessed day. I will be praying for you.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing your personal hard stuff. I am grateful bc I kept thinking my hard stuff unimportant,small and not worthy of even a good cry. In this moment, your openness led me straight to my hopes that seem in the last year, to fall apart. Then I cried out to my Maker, that I don’t understand and I heard Him remind me that He makes ALL things beautiful in His time (Eccles 3) and there is a new thing He is doing (Isaiah 43). I pray to keep my heart focused on Him. I choose to trust Him. I’m so glad I paused to read this as I had just felt the sting of a pushed-back dream. Thank you.

  24. Thanks Leah for sharing so openly!
    I have been struggling to focus on Jesus. I feel like Peter when he is walking on the water and he shifts he focus to the wind and waves instead of Jesus and starts to sink. It seems like the wind and waves are so big.

    • Heather, I completely understand. The world has so many distractions that we have to be intentionally and make a choice daily to “glance” at our circumstances and “gaze” at Jesus. Otherwise, we can so easily become overwhelmed or discouraged. Praying for you today! Leah

  25. I ask that you pray my strength in the Lord, enduring power as I go these trying time in my walk with Lord as my my faith is being tested, strength to make and take everything that is coming up against me that I will be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power and that I will keep my eyes on Jesus with a fixed focus. Thanks

    • Candace, I’m praying for you today and thinking of God’s promise that says, “The joy of the LORD is your strength”. {Nehemiah 8:10} Difficult seasons in our lives are no fun and having our faith stretched can be painful at times. I’m praying that God will give you a few special “joy” moments in the midst of this season to strengthen and uphold you. Leah

  26. I would ask Leah that you pray for my niece Jessica and her fiance Frank. They recently found out that Frank has cancer (age 28), so young. I do not know what God has in store for them going forward. I only hope and pray that God would strengthen them both for what lies ahead and lay His tender hands of healing on Frank.

    • Rosemarie, I’m so sorry to hear about Frank’s recent diagnosis. I’m praying for him and Jessica today – asking God to help them find the right doctors, treatment and professional care. It’s times like this when family and friends are so important. I’m sure you are a tremendous blessing to both of them. Leah

  27. Thank you Leah for being so open and honest I have felt so discouraged and defeated lately. I am trying to see things through Gods perspective I needed this today. Sweet blessings to you.

    • Darlene, I’m praying for you today. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life was perfect and we had no trials. 🙂 I’m asking God to fill you with His peace and to show you His perspective today. He promises to work everything together for your good (Romans 8:28). Let’s hold onto that promise today! Leah

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