Are you a dreamer or do you find it hard to dream? Is it easier to dream for your husband or kids than it is to dream for yourself?
Before we go forward into finding our dreams I want to go back a little bit. I want to look at your broken dreams. It is really hard to go forward into new dreams if we are carrying around baggage from old buried dreams.
Did you know we were created to dream? That there are certain dreams God has saved just for us? That He planted those dreams deep inside us before we were created and strategically places us where we can accomplish those dreams.
Guess what?? I didn’t know that. I think I thought dreams were optional and probably even selfish and I might even go on to say sinful. You know, you need to be grateful for what you have. God has much bigger things to take care of than your dreams. If I have food and clothes and shelter I need to be content with what I’ve been given. Anyone else has these kinds of beliefs?
I think there are a lot of women who have NO clue what their dreams even are, that they are buried so deep inside them and are a little hopeful and a lot afraid to look at them. I also believe that God is sitting on the edge of his throne thrilled that we are getting ready to look at these dreams. He can’t wait! He wants to give us MORE!
I want to talk to those of you who have had your dreams beat to a pulp and it feels too painful to ever dream again.
- Maybe you lost a child or husband
- Maybe your business failed
- Maybe you knew this was God’s plan for you and you stepped out in faith and wham, anything but what you thought would happen, happened.
- You had a friend betray you
- You experienced some rejection
- Your husband walked out the door
- You have a prodigal and it’s crushing your heart.
When we’ve had a lot of broken dreams we can lose hope and give up and say it’s too hard to dream.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled it is the tree of life”. Proverbs 13:12 AMP
When things in life that we have been dreaming about keep getting smashed it creates hope deferred and it can make us spiritually sick. They are even finding out in the research that hopes deferred is also making us physically sick.
Here is the definition of deferred.
- postponed or delayed.
- suspended or withheld for or until a certain time or event:
- to put off action; delay.
Synonyms: Defer, delay, postpone imply keeping something from occurring until a future time. To defer is to decide to do something later on: to defer making a payment. To delay is sometimes equivalent to defer, but usually, it is to actin a dilatory manner and thus lay something aside: to delay one’s departure. To postpone a thing is to put it off to (usually) some particular time in the future, with the intention of beginning or resuming it then: to postpone an election. 3. Procrastinate.
Have any of you ladies ever experienced broken dreams that have caused you to live with hope deferred?
If you’re not sure check out this
Here’s a likely progression of how hope deferred shows up in your life:
- Discouragement starts
- Confusion sets in. We begin to question whether or not we heard God correctly, we begin questioning ourselves, our dreams and God’s promises. 1Cor. 14:33 says confusion is not from God so let confusion be a red flag that you are thinking wrong.
- Unbelief- we lose hope and say yeah those dreams are great for her but God doesn’t answer my prayers. We stop expecting God to answer our prayers.
- Disillusionment- we begin questioning the character of God.
- Bitterness- we carry around deep feelings of resentment and begin blaming God, others, and ourselves.
- Cynicism- a complete loss of hope
A Biblical example of someone who experienced all these hope deferred steps is Abraham and Sarah.
God came to Abraham and created a covenant with him promising him that he would be the father of a great nation. The problem was he didn’t have any of his own children. 10 years after the covenant ceremony Sara got the idea to use her maidservant and have Abraham sleep with her and have a child and he would be the heir that God had promised. That didn’t work so well. Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born. When Abraham was 99 God came to him again and told him that he would have a child within the next year. This was Abraham and Sarah’s response:
Genesis 17:17-18 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
Genesis 18: 10-12 10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
I don’t think their laughter was good laughter, I think it was cynical laughter. Yeah right God, you expect me to believe you now after all this time. They had been waiting 23 years for this promise to take place. They were pretty cynical at this point.
But the beauty of grace is we can have a do-over if we repent.
Look at what the New Testament says about Abraham & Sarah:
Romans 4:18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be. ESV
Hebrews 11:11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[a] considered him faithful who had made the promise. NIV
They had broken dreams. But God resurrected those broken dreams for them and blessed them in incredible ways.
I believe God wants to resurrect our broken dreams. Just like He raised Lazareth from the dead He wants to raise our dead buried dreams. I will also say from my experience that the dreams may come back to life looking a whole lot different than when they were buried but that’s because when He raises those broken dreams they are HIS dreams new and improved.
Here is an example of this from my life. In 2006 for a period of time, I was living FULLY ALIVE. I was growing and setting goals and dreams and I was moving out of my comfort zone. My one big dream was I wanted to be a life coach. I feel like that dream fit my skill set really well. I have had a lot of life experiences that allowed me to relate well to other women. I LOVE learning and I set about to go to school to be a certified life coach. I was so excited about finishing but didn’t have a clear plan or direction after I finished. I had a girlfriend who wanted to combine my gift of coaching and her gift of decorating and we started a business. I didn’t use my gift in the way I really wanted to. I compromised on my dream and went a different direction than my heart really wanted to go. I didn’t wait for God to lead me and I guess you could say I pulled an Ishmael. I took matters into my own hands. I felt trapped and eventually, it became easier to shut down the whole dream than to dig myself out of the mess I had gotten myself into. Obviously, I was living as an extremely self-sufficient person at that point in my life or I would’ve asked God to lead and guide me through all steps. Nope, I just took off on my own.
I shut down my dream, I buried that dream alive. I made a vow that I would NEVER think about life coaching or even talk about it. For years that vow was true. It’s only been the last couple of years that I have even spoken it out loud to anyone. To be honest I haven’t fully looked at it completely. Did you know when we bury things we are shutting down parts of our soul? We are blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit. I went through each and every step of the hope deferred progression listed above. I became discouraged all the way to cynical and I experienced a complete loss of hope. I was in a deep dark prison and I sat there for 3 long years.
But Jesus wouldn’t let me sit there. One day in church I was singing. I was going through the motions and I was watching this girl sing. She was totally and completely praising God. And I remember saying to God I want that. I want to be able to utterly and completely praise you but right now I can’t even pray.
Fast forward a week or two and I was again singing in church and I had this picture in my mind and the picture was of me sitting in a dark dirty prison cell and I had dirty, tattered clothes on. I was dirty and sitting huddled in the corner. I looked down at my feet and I saw that the shackles weren’t on my feet that they were just lying there on the ground and I heard God say to my spirit, Barb you don’t have to sit here in this prison you are FREE! Now get up and go out and live like a FREE person.
It was shortly after that that I began my descent out of the pit.
Are any of you ladies in a pit, a prison cell from the choices that you’ve made in life or just quitting life and you feel hopeless and you want the guts to stand up and walk out of the cell. Satan will lie to you and tell you, you aren’t worth anything, you’ll never change. If you feel like you’re at the cynical stage please tell someone. Secrets are Satan’s playground and he will keep you spinning like a crazy woman on that merry go round. I plead with you to tell someone who is safe.
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zech. 9:12
He wants us to live victoriously and he has given us everything we need to live a victorious life.
For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3
Do you hear the chains rattling? Jesus is standing over you as you sit in the corner calling you to stand up and come out and live. Now let’s rise up and walk out of here like the mighty warriors that we are.
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 Eph. 3:20
Remember when I said that when the dreams get resurrected they may look different than how they were buried. I had defined my life coaching dream as meeting one on one with ladies or even small groups of ladies to help them engage in life and live fully alive. Now He has me teaching 100 women on Monday mornings and sharing those lessons to you to rise up and be all He’s created us to be and live His dreams. Hmmmmm….I think that, that might qualify as MORE than I could think or imagine. I haven’t always taken on this roll of teaching graciously either, there was a lot of fighting there as well but thank God for His grace and mercy he’s taken me step by step.
- We can’t change our belief system until we know what we really believe. What is your belief about dreaming? Yep, God created me to dream and NEEDS me to dream, or nope it’s a sin to dream, or dreaming means I am being selfish and greedy and I’m never satisfied. If your answer is that it’s a sin to dream or you’re being selfish confess that to God and ask Him to break that lie in your life.
I renounce the lie that _______________________________________ and I choose to believe the truth that God created me to dream big dreams.
- Can you identify a dream that you had one time in your life but it was smashed to pieces? Did you deal with the pain or stuff it? Take that broken dream to Jesus and share with Him your hurt, your disappointment, your anger, whatever you’re feeling. Don’t hold anything back from Him. We can approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence. Heb. 4:16
- Look at the steps that happen when we are living with hope deferred. Ask God to show you if you are living in any of these steps. Write down what He shows you and confess it as sin ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him to help you have hope again. Share it with someone, a friend, or your husband.
- Look in a concordance and find 3 -5 scriptures on the hope that minister to you.
- Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zech. 9:12 Share with Jesus what you need him to restore to you? He doesn’t just give you enough, he gives back twice as much. MORE!
- Look at the second part of this scripture “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled it is the tree of life”. Proverbs 13:12 AMP Ask God to start giving you His desires for you. His desires will help us live fully alive. Write down what he shows you.
Let me know if something was stirred up in you during this lesson. If you have questions, please let me know as well.