Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How to Deal with Unfulfilled Dreams


My second year in college was frustrating: I couldn’t pursue my dream of being a CNN anchor. My accent was my weakness: people couldn’t understand me when I read the news. I was told that a career on TV wasn’t for me, so I had a good cry and moved on.

That was my introduction to unfulfilled dreams. I was used to succeeding. I knew how to mix faith with hard work, yet, my dream of being in broadcast journalism was dead.

Unfulfilled dreams give us the chance to dwell in the land of failure or we can choose to explore the land of expectation. It took a while but I learned that God’s eyes were on me: He had a plan. I was just missing the details.

When I think about God watching me, Psalm 32:8 comes to mind. It says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

This verse is so personal. When God guides me with His eye, He is assuring me that He is attentive to every detail of my life. Nothing is too small for His guiding eye.

Both the Old and New Testament are filled with verses about God’s eye. You and I don’t have to wonder if God is ever missing an important event in our lives (or in the world). His eyes are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3). God’s eye sees our ways and He sees all our steps (Job 34:21).

Recently, at a Christian counseling session, I was reminded that God saw the racism done to me 20 years ago. It brought me a lot of comfort to know that God was there with me at that low moment. In Revelation 1:14, God’s eyes are described as a flame of fire. I very much like that visual. The intensity of God’s eyes are watching my every step. I find security and joy in this thought.

God’s eyes are active. There is nothing passive about Him. In 2 Chronicles 16:9a we read, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

My friend, I choose to believe that in the midst of unfulfilled dreams and the pain they bring, God will show Himself strong on our behalf. If we can trust His plan, we will be okay.

I know that sometimes, dreams don’t come true as fast as we want - if at all. The way to deal with that is to know that God sees you and God has a plan.

My friend, let me make something clear: it’s okay to have a personal plan. I heard someone say that "if you don't have a target you will hit it every time." Plans are important. I also hear that “plans are the links in the chain that connect activity to accomplishment.” Plans give us direction, keep us focused and accountable.

The Bible says God will establish our plans if we include Him in the process. "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans," Proverbs 16:3. God will also direct us. "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps," Proverbs 16:9.

It's good to know that God is not against plans. Yet, if you are breathing, you probably experienced plans not going your way. How do you deal with it?

You realize that God has a plan and it must be better than yours.

Although I’m not a CNN anchor, my unfulfilled dream in college led me to earn two degrees instead of one. God’s plan paved my way to a wonderful career in print journalism and marketing. God has opened doors for me to do things I couldn’t imagine that day I was crying because someone didn’t like my accent. Once the tears stop, it’s time to focus on God’s plan for your life.

Another natural question is, how do you know when to persist and when to give up on your dreams? The answer is, God will establish your plans and He will direct your steps.

God wants us to be in a relationship with Him. He will guide us, He will establish us and He will forever watch us with His eye.

More in this Series:
How to Deal with those who Mistreat You
How to Deal with Shallow Friendships

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