When it Doesn't All Pan Out
Have you ever found yourself wondering how you got to where you are? Or questioned why things didn't pan out the way you wanted and expected them to? I think those things are pretty much universal. Whether it's our big dreams for the way we want our lives to go or smaller dreams for a specific project, goal, or season of our lives, things don't always go the way we want them to.
Despite our best efforts, we can't always force things to do our way and reach the goals we set or create the end products we work so hard for.
And when they don't, we feel like we failed.
Our failure brings shame along with it. We hide because we don't want anyone else to know we failed. It seems from the outside that everyone else has it together, so we avoid showing them our brokenness for fear of not measuring up.
And going forward, we try even harder then to prevent any future failure and disappointment. We set the bar lower and dream smaller dreams if we dare to dream at all. Our fear tells us that if we aim lower, we're more likely to avoid any more failure, and we long for that above all else, so we choose to play it safe.
But I don't think making ourselves and our dreams smaller is the answer. I don't think that worrying about how to fix our situations and earn our way back into others' and God's good graces should consume us.
"Worry and fear are simply the belief that I have gotten myself into a place where God is not. And so that brings us to the truth, that God, through His determination to share His heart with me, was willing to go to my ungracious place to be with me. He would rather die than live without me, even if it means ungracious places." -Presten Gillham
Unfulfilled dreams, failures, and redirections aren't the end of the road for us. Our stories aren't finished yet, but we know how the story ends. We know who wins in the end (spoiler alert: it's not the one who infects our lives with fear, shame, and defeat). Sometimes we just need to let go of one thing in order to move on to another one.
Even when things don't go our way, even when we stumble or fail, we're not too far gone. We're certainly not without hope. There's nowhere we can go that we're out of reach. Things will work out in the end, even when we can't see it or believe it when we're stuck in the mess of the middle.
Keep dreaming, friend, and if your dreams don't pan out the way you expected, keep dreaming still.