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Today’s Truth

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Friend to Friend

Beth is one of my dearest friends. She had been married for 24 years when her husband walked away from their marriage. Beth is a very strong Christian and for five years put on a happy face telling everyone, including herself, “That’s OK. Jesus is enough.” She has two absolutely incredible children who love the Lord and both serve in some facet of ministry. And yet, I wondered if she had been the first person I had ever known who had skipped the grieving process that follows the devastation of divorce.

She was not.

Five years after the divorce, Beth and I were talking about some struggles she was facing in a new relationship.

“Beth, I don’t think you ever allowed yourself to grieve over your loss. I know your first husband betrayed you at the very core of what a marriage is supposed to be, but there is still a loss. There is grieving the loss that your children do not have the father they deserve, the loss of investing twenty-four years with a man who betrayed you, and the loss of the dream of what marriage could and should be like—what God intended from the beginning of time.”

Beth is just now beginning to grieve the many losses that accompanied her divorce and her two grown children, are in the process of grieving as well.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her book, On Death and Dying, notes five stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. But for us who have the hope of Jesus Christ, there is a sixth stage: RESURRECTION!

There is the assurance that God will take the death of a dream and resurrect it for a new purpose: His purpose. But we have to cooperate and place the shattered dream in His hand.

Grief is part of the healing process. I grieved that I did not grow up being the apple of my daddy’s eye, that I was not unconditionally loved, and that I did not get to hold my second child in my arms. Grieving the loss helped me to let it go. But after a time, I had to stop lamenting what was not, and rejoice in the blessing of what is. God had new plans for my life!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV).

Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, He can raise our broken dreams from the dust. Acceptance is not the end of the grieving process for those of us who know Jesus Christ. Resurrection is the end of grief and the beginning of a new dream, a new life, and a glorious future.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank you that for me, as a Christian, I don’t have to stop at mere acceptance when it comes to grief. There is more than acceptance…there is resurrection. You take the broken pieces of our lives and make a beautiful mosaic. Thank You for resurrecting my hopes and dreams and making my life much better than I had ever imagine

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Is there any area of your life where you have settled for acceptance?

What are your next steps for resurrection of a dream that died? Using it to help someone else? Making you stronger? Making you wiser? Drawing you closer to Jesus?

Compare the Moses who lost his dream when he was 40 (Exodus 2) and Moses whose dream was restored when he was 80 (Exodus 3). What made the difference? Who was in control in chapter 2? Who was in control in chapter 3?

More from the Girlfriends

I know talking about RESURRECTION as the final stage of grief sounds good, but I also know it’s hard. That’s why I wrote the book Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. The subtitle says it all: Let go, Move Forward, Live Bold. If you feel stuck in your faith or in your life, this book is for you. It’s time to let go of everything that holds you back and take hold of everything that God has already given you and put in you through Jesus Christ. It also includes a Bible study guide which is great for group study.

And for you married or hope to be married, check out the new The Praying Wives Club! Join women all around the world as we pray for our husbands.

7 Responses to “Living Beyond Broken Dreams”

  1. Patricia says:

    This sounds silly, but I am grieving the loss of a job for my son. He has been working away from home for 7 years! He applied for the “perfect job”, we thought, here at home for good pay. I was so sure he would be hired. He was not chosen and my heart broke for him. I am still heartbroken and depressed. It is so hard to wait. He has been disappointed so many times..,,,

  2. Cyndie says:

    Grieve for your son briefly but move on quickly to Praising God for the much better job he has in store for him. Praying Eph.3:20 for you and your son.

  3. Amy says:

    I am grieving the loss of the husband I knew. He is in remission from Stage III brain cancer, which is a miracle. My prayers of thanks are daily because he was here to celebrate the marriage of our youngest son. The first to be married. Our youngest son was married last weekend to an amazing woman. To see and talk with my husband you wouldn’t know he’d had cancer, except the six inch long scar on his right temple. BUT I know he’s changed. His anger and depression has taken such a strong seat in his life. So, I pray. I pray with thanksgiving for his being here and I pray for his healing in the Lord. There are days when I get so tired though and it’s devotionals like these that help see me through. So it is with a smile that I give thanks for the GIG community.

  4. Karen says:

    Big hugs, it is not easy caring for those with brain cancer. Bouts of anger is a common symptom of brain cancer. It is the mean disease and not them. My ex husband had it and it could get ugly at the drop of the hat.

    Staying in the Word and seeking God and trying to see through the lens view of God sure helps.

    We serve a mighty God, who lavishes us with perfect timing of encouragement through His servants. Hallelujah.

    I came on to offer up thanks and praise our wonderful Father!!! I needed this message too!!

  5. Lillian says:

    I grieved my youngest daughter when she moved out to be in a relationship of the same sex. Oh how I grieved to the point of losing so much weight and lack of sleep because I would stay up nights looking out the window thinking she would come through the door to say it was a mistake. That was 11 years ago and if I give myself the time to think about it my heart gets overwhelmed again and the pain comes back, not like before but it is still painful. I also felt a lot of anger towards her because I thought she knew better being raised in a Christian home and going to a Christian school but that did not matter to her. She allowed the enemy to come in and she entertained those thoughts that were wrong and as she got deeper into that relationship it got harder for her to listen to anyone about how she was being taken advantage of by the enemy and now you can’t say anything that will change her mind about how she’s living. Our prayers continue for her but I feel I lost a piece of myself when this happened. Some days are harder than other’s but I push on and try to hold on to my faith that God will eventually turn things around. Any advice or words of encouragement from anyone?

  6. Lora says:

    My grief is the loss of another job for my husband. He has had this happen several times in the last 5 years! His faith has disappeared, he was hospitalized earlier this year for thoughts of suicide. I’ve managed to bnb keep us afloat for the last year, but am tired of the up and down of our lives. God has gotten us through so much and I know without Him we wouldn’t be where we are. I latched on to this devotion today and know that God has a plan for us. I am just praying He comes through BIG so it can show my husband that God is bigger than any negative thought or problem and that it helps to restore his faith. I also am praying selfishly for myself for His direction as thoughts of having my husband leave to go figure out his life have been in my mind; and I’m struggling as I don’t know if that is from God or not. I don’t believe it is…I think Satan feels he has gotten my husband to his lowest point in life and wants to add our marriage to the checklist. I am so ready to be out of this valley.

  7. Jenny says:

    As I look and read each of these responses this morning, I take courage that EACH of you have the Almighty God in your heart to keep you moving forward. I have been reading the story of Hannah and am so inspired by this woman of God who endured much grief yet always looked to her God – Adonai to hold her up. You are all strong, beautiful, warrior women who God has in the palm of his hand. Lift your eyes each day and every night and tell your Heavenly Father of your troubles and tears. He loves you so dearly.
    You are still standing in faith and that is so so amazing! Trust and you WILL rise up like eagles wings and renew your strength. YOU ARE LOVED, YOU ARE PRECIOUS, AND YOU ARE part of a wonderful faithful sisterhood that is praying for you everyday.

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