Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dealing with Deferred Dreams without Losing Hope

Or maybe it's Dealing with Deferred Hopes without Losing Your Dream. Something like that.

I've been thinking lately about how different my life is from what I expected it to be even five years ago. Ryan and I married and within just a few months were convicted about using the Pill. That's another post, but although we would have told you at the time that we didn't know what God was going to do, we did expect that we'd have children fairly soon after that. Every month my heart became more sad and broken when it became evident that this month, too, my womb was empty. I think it was then that my heart began to harden a little bit. Didn't God know His own Word?

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.


Psalm 37:4-5
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.

Of course, that's not all there is to it. So many people (including myself, I think, at times) emphasize the "desires of your heart" part without qualifying it with the first part of the sentence in the latter scripture. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

When you truly delight yourself in God--meditating on His Word, coming to know what He's like--what were the desires of your heart change from what they were before you knew Him. You become more like Him, loving what He loves and desiring what He desires.

But I was different. My desire (to have children and be home with them) was (is) a godly one. Wasn't it put there by God? Won't He grant it?

It's still the desire of my heart, and yes, I believe it's a godly one. And honestly, I do think He will grant it. But it may not be--it has not been--in my timing. My life has not turned out as I thought and hoped it would so far...but I must remember that GOD is the lifter of my head; He orders my steps; He's the one with a plan. Not me. I don't know anything; I can't even make a hair on my head white or black. I am not in charge. I don't weave the tapestry.

The solution to a dream deferred--the way out of a disappointed heart--is to look to God and not to myself. My own godly dreams can either be simple hopes, or they can become idols. Sometimes we don't get what we want, even if what we want is okay, even glorious and God-designed.

It's not either/or; it's not crushed dreams or fulfilled ones. It's finding my dreams in what God reveals for me day by day.

As I said, I do think God will make me a mother, somehow, someday. But if He doesn't, my trust and hope is in Him, and I know He knows what He's doing with my life. I am not falling through the cracks, and I have a responsibility to live every day to the fullest in Him, looking for what He's doing TODAY, and not living and feeling as though my life "won't really start" until there's a new life growing in me.

Romans 6:17-18
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.