When Your Dreams Fade Away
Addiction robbed me of my character. Lack of integrity, compromised morals, along with spiritual rebellion disqualified my God-given desire to teach and preach. Behind the mask of deception, I presented a false persona and shape shifted into a raging drug addict. From behind closed doors, I watched my dreams fade right out the window. Addiction almost robbed our family of our calling. We nearly gave up on ever living the dream until, with faith planted in His presence, God restored us.
Intentionally ignored or willfully dismissed, there’s a heaven sized hurdle with dreaming. Just as we can’t control the shapes of clouds, we can’t control the shapes of our dreams. Though we may work towards manifesting our desires, God throws us periodic curveballs. Like gusts of wind distorting perceptions of cloud figurines, sometimes our dreams take new forms. As we float through life, what we initially perceive as “living the dream,” either matures or fades away.
Sometimes we settle for less.
Sometimes we press on, and sometimes we get close.
Sometimes we give up because the odds are stacked against us.
Some of us go all in, wagering years of investment in time and money alike. While others are dismayed by the slightest complication. Some people seem to hit the jackpot, while others hustle hard. Regardless of what it looks like, how we got it, what we risked, or if we never touched it - at one point - didn’t we all have a dream? Whether it was to parent a loving family, perform before sold out shows, own and operate our own businesses, or whatever else anyone could possibly dream of - there was a time when were drawn to picturesque lifestyles.
In our minds, we’d fantasize about what life would look like; how much money we could make, how much influence we could have had, how much our family would be filled with joy - how much differently our lives would look! In the darkness of night, or in the light of day, dreams caused us to become preoccupied with non-existent things; things and realities that aren’t yet real. Caught up in future versions of ourselves, we tripped daily. Don’t get me wrong, I love to dream. With dreams the size of a thousand lifetimes, I am resoundingly a self proclaimed dreamer!
From one dreamer to another, I ask this question delicately, what happens when we keep our heads in the clouds without keeping our feet on the ground?
Without being planted, we live in a state of disconnect. Instead of working towards our goals, we float away in the clouds. And as time passes us by, we become disillusioned and frustrated by our lack of achievement. Drained by deferred hope, we resolve to resenting anyone and anything we perceive as holding us back. “If only,” emerges as our anthem as we justify our failures and missed opportunities. Skirting responsibility and placing blame, we give up. Instead of allowing our dreams to grow, we narrow mindedly focus on picturesque portraits of what we wanted. Because our dream was about ourselves, self serving and self fulfilling - we can’t shift our eyes away from it. Overnight, the dream we once imagined becomes the failure we never had.
If dreams are like clouds, they both pose a similar problem; they unknowingly shift. Right now, that’s me. I’m standing somewhere between transformation and letting go. Either the dream grows and shifts with maturity, or like clouds, I watch figures turn to vapor. Typically, I’ve been able to trace the form of my desires and plot ways of which to make them happen. But like the end of maps, I don’t know where to go, or what to do. In many ways, I am riding waves of uncertainty into the deep unknown. Though my passion has long been to make a living from speaking Gospel Truth and the creative arts, creativity doesn’t always afford the dream. So either the dream stretches to grow, or the dream shrinks and goes? Luckily, I get to choose. Shoot, we all get to choose! Satan isn’t taking me out today, -sucka!
Just because we may not be able to pursue our desires full-time, doesn’t mean we can’t still chase after the clouds. The truth is, it takes money to build the life we want. More importantly, it takes a steadfast commitment to trusting in God; trusting He knows what is best for us and when it is best for us! Working for “The Man” doesn’t mean we’ve sold out. In fact, with a heart planted in the Lord’s presence, it means we’ve bought in. No matter what our environment is comprised of, we can always work for the main man, “God.” As contributing members of the Kingdom, we can bless those around us. It may be with financial resources, a kind smile, a helping hand or your presence in the workplace alone! Either way, when we place our hope in the Lord, the circumstances of our dreams are surrendered at His feet. Though it may not look like what we thought, He always fulfills the desires of our hearts when we are planted in His presence!
But those who wait for the Lord[who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired.
(Isaiah 40:31 AMP)
Langston Hughes once said, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” True as that may feel, when our dream is to fulfil God’s purposes, we will raise up like eagles and fly. Our hope cannot be deferred when placed into the arms of our Savior! In my experience, the biggest “dreamers,” are “feelers.” The depth of our feelings enable us to imagine the most impossible of dreams. However, they can also lead us astray in moments of defeat. When we couple our feelings with Gospel Truth, we are empowered to achieve dreams bigger than our imagination.
When our dreams are inflated by ego, our dreams succumb to self-worth or lack thereof. Deflated by failure, we wallow in self pity. When Christ is the foundation of which we build our desires, we ride the coattails of success and wildly surpass our brain sized visions. Though we tend to make our struggles about us, it’s about those on the other side of our breakthroughs, our hardships, our pain and our suffering. May our dreams not be about us, but about impacting the world around us for the glory of God! May our dreams be filled with His purpose!
20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 AMP)