All around me I look at pictures, items, things that remind me of dreams I once had that are now broken, shattered or obliterated.
When Tim first told me of his affair I turned down all our wedding pictures. Thankfully I didn’t go totally crazy and destroy them all…because I could have! A counselor told me that was God working right there in those very first moments, not letting me do something I would really regret later.
As I sit in Caleb’s room and rock him while we read books and pray before he goes to sleep I look at a picture of him on the wall that I just adore from his one year pictures. And I think about what was happening when he was a year old. We had survived a pregnancy, his first year of life. We had just started the church. There were so many wonderful dreams and possibilities ahead. So many dreams.
As I walk down the stairs there are more pictures of his one year old family “photo shoot”. We had a wonderful photo shoot done last September for his two year pictures. But we never got around to having them printed. And then when all this came out I found out that Tim’s affair started just before those pictures were taken and I have not been able to bring myself to print any of them. So his one year pictures are a reminder of loss. Dreams lost.
We went to the park today right on Lake Michigan. Tim would walk that beach when he took time to pray and clear his head and enjoy his hobby of hunting for sea glass. Last Christmas we couldn’t afford presents so we made each other gifts. He made me a necklace and a ring out of the sea glass he had hunted for on those beaches. But he also made “her” jewelry from the sea glass and gave it to her just after Thanksgiving. Dreams of sentimentality, fidelity shattered.
I have a beautiful small silver jewelry box on my dresser engraved with the words “We thank God for you” on it and in it it holds a beautiful silver heart necklace with “Veritas” engraved on it. This was the gift given to me on our last day of Veritas. A thank you gift. All the dreams I had of that church and what God was going to do with it, with me, in them, in this community – obliterated.
People all around me getting pregnant. Caleb’s baby toys, clothes, items sitting in bags and boxes in the basement each time I go to do laundry. All reminders that I don’t have another child. I don’t have a baby coming. Caleb is not going to be a big brother soon. Dreams of having a second child broken.
So much has been broken, shattered, obliterated. So many dreams snatched from my heart. They have not yet been replaced with anything. I feel very empty. So hollow. Just a shell sometimes.
But then God gently reminds me that this is how so many others probably felt.
Joseph probably had dreams of growing up with his brothers and dad who loved him, learning the family trade, working his family’s land, marrying and one day passing that land and those skills down to his children. But those dreams were shattered the day his brothers beat him, threw him in a hole to die, then sold him into slavery and told their father he was eaten by wild animals. His dreams were killed. Then he rose to power because he didn’t let that get him down. But just as life was turning around he is falsely accused of rape. Thrown in prison for something he didn’t do. More dreams annihilated. Then he finally gets out of prison and rises to second in command. Was he afraid to dream again? I think he may have been. Maybe he was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Did he dare dream of better days? But God reunited him with his family and when he could have punished them to the utmost, he showed grace and mercy and embraced his brothers and family.
Joseph probably would never had dreamed of working for Pharaoh and being used by God to teach so many people forgiveness and grace and love when he was a boy in his father’s home. God’s “dreams”/plan was bigger than Joseph could have dreamed. But to get there, his own dreams had to be shattered.
Or Job. He had everything. He had wealth, family, animals, land, servants. He had it all. And he lived his life to honor and obey God. He probably had dreams of sitting back and enjoying his life. His wife. His children. His grandchildren. And one day passing all that he had down to them. But those dreams were obliterated when God allowed Satan to take all of that. All his animals, his children were all killed, his servants were killed, everything was taken from him, even his health. What was left to dream for now? He wanted to die and curse the day he was born. But he got to have an intense conversation with God Himself. And he didn’t lose his faith. And God gave him back all that he had plus tons more. More kids. More wealth. More animals. More servants. God had more for him, but first he had to lose everything to get all that God wanted to give him.
I don’t know that God will give me more than I had before.
But I hope that by all these dreams getting broken, shattered, obliterated, or in some cases maybe just delayed, that God is making room to give me HIS dreams. That he had to crush the tiny, puny dreams I had for myself to make room for me to seek after and see HIS dreams for me. For us.
I hope so.
But even if that isn’t the case. I need to see how my relationship with Him is different because of this. All that I have learned (and SO much yet to learn!) because of all this pain and loss. And I need to be joyful and thankful for that. That needs to be my dream.
At least for now anyway. Until God gives me a dream for something else.
I’m trying. I really am.