We all have dreams. At some point. About something, some place, and/or some one. Life and dreams come together. Some dream to move to a different place. While others dream of who they will marry, if they will marry, when they’ll get married, etc. And for others, the dream is just that they aren’t in the same place next year that they are in this year. Some dream of winning the lottery and/or being financially free while others dream about just getting out of debt. Some dream big while others dream small. Some stop dreaming while others continue dreaming. Dreams. We’ve all had them. At some point.
But what if the dreams you have for your life don’t work out? What if everything that you thought you wanted for your life gets interrupted? What if the response to the prayers you’ve been praying is…no? Then what? What do you do when life doesn’t go the way you planned it?
“Man plans, God laughs.”-Yiddish Proverb
I’ve seen evidence of this in my own life and in the lives of others:
- My brother and sister-in-law planned on having baby #2 but instead were given baby #2 AND #3 at the same time!
- I planned on getting married at 25. I didn’t even meet my now-husband till I was 27. We got married when I was 30.
- Jaleel White was only supposed to portray the infamous Steve Urkel character for one episode of “Family Matters” and ended up being one of its main characters for all nine seasons!
- Will Smith only agreed to star in the show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” because he was in serious debt with the IRS. It ended up catapulting his career.
- Katie Davis was in highschool when everything changed. She grew up in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Tennessee. She had a cute boyfriend, was class president, homecoming queen, wore designer jeans, drove a cute convertible, and had the opportunity to go to any university of her choice. She lived the life that most dream about- the one that t.v. says is the epitome of life. But that radically changed upon her second visit to Uganda where she felt God burn a passion in her for His people there. She gave up everything to follow His calling. She quit college. She quit her convertible. She quit her boyfriend. She quit the life that so many consider as THE life. (Read Katie’s response when someone asked her, “really? is it really as great as you make it sound? i could never do that! are you really happy?” Her response is raw, honest, and game changing!)
- Grace Thornton had a dream of getting married, having kids, a house, and a wad of other plans for her life…only they never happened. Instead she found herself in the midst of a life of broken dreams, unmet expectations, and questions….lots of questions.
“What if I told you that the place where your dreams got broken is the place where the most amazing things can happen if you’ll just let it? Believe it, because it’s true.”-Grace Thornton
Prior to this, I had never heard of Grace Thornton before. As I began reading her book “I Don’t Wait Anymore”, I met a lady who articulated in words what many of us have experienced: shattered dreams. Plans that did not pan out. Journeys that took detours.
“Money and a good latte protect us from a lot of things. It is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives. And before we know it, God’s gifts have replaced God Himself.-Jennie Allen
We in North America, are so blessed yet so bitter. We have an abundance of food yet are malnourished. We are fed yet ungrateful. We have endless opportunities in front of us yet more often than not, we prostitute ourselves for a paycheque. We appear physically strong but are emotionally broken. We are blinded by what we see. We are mute for the things that matter. We strive but find ourselves stuck. We compare hoping to find contentment but we find chaos instead. We chase after the next thing to satisfy us but the only thing that will satisfy us is the One who chases us.
Grace’s story is one that speaks to our souls. If we never achieve the dreams we have for ourselves, is our life any less significant? Should we consider ourselves utter failures when those around us seem to be living THE life while we look around at all the things that have not worked out in ours? What Grace has learned and continues to learn through her journey is that broken dreams can lead to a better life when we place our life in the hands of an amazing God. While many of us dream about things, God’s ultimate dream is for us to know Him (when we really consider this notion, it is utterly amazing. The God who created the universe wants us to know Him! Seriously?!?). So many of us pursue careers, relationships, houses, vacations, certain lifestyles, etc. And while these things are not bad in themselves, what if they were the very things keeping us from God’s best? Would you and I be willing to exchange what we’ve been holding on to (for years) for what He has planned? Grace encourages us to take the plunge because what God has in store for us is always far better, far more amazing than the greatest dreams we have for ourselves.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
“I Don’t Wait Anymore” like The Amazing Race, is an invite to live bigger, love deeper, and experience the presence of God on an even greater level. And that my friends is beyond anything you and I can think, dream, or imagine.
What are YOU waiting for?
To learn more about Grace, please visit : https://gracefortheroad.com
Special shout out to the wonderful team at HarperCollins for their partnership in today’s post:)