Friday, January 25, 2013

How to not lose hope in your dream.

Sometimes I get super-mad at my body for behaving like it's about 85 years old.
Ok, make that 95.
My grandmother is 85, and I think she could jitter-bug circles around me.

Confession: Sometimes I have cried (literally) over my fear that this crummy stuff will cost me my dream.

For six years, we've been circling around adoption.
We've done precisely 3 home studies and zero adoptions.

In that time, we had a closed door to an infant adoption of twin boys, one more biological child and adopted-in-our-hearts a boy we've loved for 3 years now who lives in Ukraine (but couldn't be adopted because of government red tape).

We've also welcomed into our family an 8-member family who we met when we went to see our guy in Ukriane.  This big family moved to the States as refugees and now live literally 3 houses away from me.

I've worried many times (I know I'm not supposed to worry, but I'm keeping it real) that trying to deal with pain and fatigue like I've been having will throw my hopes for adoption into the scrap-heap.

Is there something you feel is threatening your dream?

Yesterday we chatted about how not to lose our sparkle in hard times.

Today I want to share with you what I've been learning about how not to lose hope in our dreams.
Maybe there is something here for you, too, my friend. 

If a dream is from the Lord, it is always safe

All of our dreams go through a process of refining, so the stuff that is just from us burns off, and the stuff that is really God's heart for us is all that remains. 

The refining process is not fun sometimes. 

It's important to hand every dream of our hearts back to the Lord. 
He will give us back is truly His best story for our lives.

If God asks us to give up a good dream, it's because there is something even better He wants us to have in its place. 

Sometimes I hang on to the wrong dream and miss the God-story happening right in front of my eyes. 

I want to pick apart the last item from that list.
It's something I have been hovering over in my heart recently.

I clung with faith for years to what I have believed was a promise from the Lord that He had a child for us to adopt.

What I'm willing now to consider:  Is it possible that I was interpreting "adoption" as a legal process more than a relational process?  Was I hanging on to the wrong dream?  Was I defining it in my own terms?  Could I have too narrowly defined God's heart for the orphan in my life?

I cannot for one second deny the presence of God in the story of my life in recent years. 

Sometimes I remind myself of a clueless little kid on Christmas.
You know, the kid who wants the one specific gift and rips through all the presents that are not that one certain thing, failing to see how super-cool and highly valuable each of the things carefully chosen for her are.  
That kid.

So I'm asking God to give me His eyes to see my life.  
I'm handing back my dream. Again.
(I told you I can be a slow learner, right?)

And I think we should be encouraged, friend.  
Because God has good plans for us. 

His dreams are bigger than we can fathom.
And nothing in the whole wide world can threaten them.

If you have a hurt or a weariness or a circumstance that is weighing on you, please know that I am praying for you. 

Before I hit "publish" on this post, I will sit and pray that each of you reading this today will see your lives as God sees them, that you will be willing to let go of dreams that are less than the Lord's best, and that He would bring to fulfillment the dreams He's written on your heart.  I'm praying that you will sparkle despite the hard stuff, and I'm believing with all confidence that "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." (Phil. 1:6)

If you have a specific prayer request or a God-dream you would like to share, I'd love to read about it in the comments!  


  1. I am loving following your blog! I am currently holding an answered dream in my arms giving me nose kisses.

    1. You are SO right, Jen! You have some for-real, God-sized dream-come-true stories!

  2. I must say that you have an very inspirational blog Shannon. As you know, I met with Aunt Marion, Ron And your mother yesterday and I can see where your inspiration comes from. Not only does the Lord help you every second of your life, but when you have a "back-up" family such as yours, it truly gives you fulfillment and inspiration. Heck, just from the hour we spent together having breakfast, I felt inspired and above all genuinely loved. (Now don't you dare go telling anyone I saying such things, hahahaha). You are a great writer by the way and believe it or not(without having met you even) I can tell you have a heart as deep as your grandmother, uncle and mother. Love them all and love to you and your family.