Recently, I had a ‘dream’ that I wanted to pursue. Not the kind of dream that one has at night while you sleep but the kind of dream that you have ‘a strongly desired goal or purpose’ (Merriam-Webster) to complete. I had prayed about this dream and ‘knew’ it had God’s approval so I thought that it would have the resolution that I expected. I had shared this dream with a few friends and asked them to pray for God’s Will and that Dave and I would have a unified decision. I would get excited as more details came to light and it appeared that this could likely happen. As time went on, it came down to the day of the big decision. As Dave and I discussed the dream, it became apparent that the current economy was a big factor in whether this dream could be accomplished or not. While going through this process and finding out it wouldn’t be a reality, I figured out that I was going through the Kübler-Ross model of the 5 stages of grief (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model ). The 5 stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The stages of grief were originally meant for those going through terminal illness but then the model was expanded ” to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss” (same resource). My area of denial — I did NOT believe that the economic part of this decision would prevent me from achieving the dream. I was doing everything to figure out a way to make this happen! I don’t remember doing any bargaining with God on this decision other than not understanding why He wouldn’t grant me the dream since I knew this was something He would approve of. However, it was not to be. I was angry! I was definitely grieving the loss of this dream becoming a reality. I asked my friends to pray for acceptance and I am very close to accepting this loss. But in the midst of this loss and the stages of grief, I am hopeful. Why? Because I have a hope that is eternal and all the disappointments of this life are “momentary troubles [that] achieve us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”. (2 Corin. 4:17). Another scripture passage that has meant a lot during this ‘death of a dream’, is this:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but wealso rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:1-5)
It is possible that some day this dream will happen and it is not really dead. It is just put on hold for now and if God will allow the dream to come true, He will open all the doors. Until then, I need to be at peace with this decision and I should rejoice in these sufferings which ultimately lead to hope – a hope that does not disappoint.