What do you do when life knocks the dreams out of you?
This is what I’m walking through right now. I’ve caught a vision for where my life and career could go – a dream of international travel, respect in my field, and impacting many lives. However, it seems that life is not cooperating.
I have slowly been working towards this dream for the past seven years, but I accelerated my efforts last year. As a result, I’e experienced many disappointments and at times questioned my decision.
Today, it looks like I’m right back where I started, working in a job very similar to the one I had 15 years ago! Is the dream dead? Or is it, in fact, hibernating?
The truth is only you can kill your dream!
To Kill a Dream
Dreams are especially easy to kill when they are hibernating, seemingly dead but simply waiting for the springtime, a new season of growth. In his book, John Maxwell lists five reasons people don’t dream, but I would like to present them as “weapons of dream destruction”:
- lack of imagination – this “weapon” has the power to kill dreams before they are even conceived, this can also kill dreams when you hit a barrier or obstacle.
- lack of confidence – this “weapon” kills baby dreams, preventing you from taking action, but it can also kill teenaged dreams when you realize you do not yet have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve your dream
- settling for average – this “weapon” kicks in when things get difficult; depending on the dream, this could be earlier or later in the process, but the power of a “comfort zone” is deadly to dreams
- disappointment – this “weapon” may be the most powerful; when you’ve experienced enough challenges and (temporary) failures, the pain of disappointment can be acute
- discouragement – this final “weapon” is particularly insidious when it is used not internally, your own thoughts, but externally, from friends and family who love you and don’t want to see you struggle
In the past several months, I have examined each of these weapons, but each time I have set it back down and given my dream the time it needs to rest, regroup, and come back stronger. The only way my dream can die is if I myself kill it. If I don’t, it has a chance to come out of hibernation and finally grow to maturity.
Have you been tempted to kill your dream? Have you actually murdered it in its sleep?
The purposes of God in our lives and in our generation are not served when we kill our dreams. But take heart – God is in the business of resurrecting dreams! “God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone.” (Romans 11:29)
Today can be the day you bring your dreams back to life!