Friday, December 16, 2011

Beautiful letdown

Many have been addressing the issues of failure, rejection, and seeing God’s plan through the fog of disappointment. Thought I’d add my two pennies, for whatever they’re worth.

What happens when we hinge our hopes, dreams, and worth on something that falls through? Having been so sure we were walking in God’s plan and His favor, only to find out that something went terribly wrong. Or did it?

Like me, many of you might find the bitter pill is best swallowed on a stomach full of ice cream. Maybe brownies. Both if it’s a doozie, for sure. Very therapeutic, let me assure you.

So there you are. That unsuspecting dreamer. Hopes high, heart full, blissfully ignorant of the boxing ring you’ve just entered. The right hook of criticism comes so fast you didn’t have time to react and BAM, lands right in that weak spot. And often that’s just the beginning. The hits keep coming.

Limping away, having done everything you could to hold on to that confidence, your dreams are clobbered, but not broken. That is until you inspect the damage. Bumps, bruises, a wicked gash, some broken bones. You’d have to have some crazy lizard skin to walk away from that fight unscathed. And those are just the defensive wounds on the outside.

Most often our hearts are so synced to that one goal, we stumble out of the wreckage of failure alive, but crushed and jaded. Confused. Why, God? Doesn’t Your word say that You want to give us the desires of our hearts? And why do I keep seeing others, even unbelievers, dream come true’s in hand, and not me?

The answer is a simple-starchy staple, though not easily digested and most often, not a super sweet indulgence for your ego.

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.

Bottom line: Gods ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher. And his promises true. You can’t rationalize the ways and will of God. All you need to know is that He has your back in that ring. No matter what the outcome of the fight.

Sometimes we learn and grow the most when we fail. Refiner’s fire is not a cozy place to be.

And I find, like the nice red-blooded American/country girl I am that a country song say’s it best.

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.

Can you even imagine if God gave us the reigns? Do you remember some of those things you wanted so desperately years ago? Those things you labored over in prayed and could have almost wished them into existence as your glorious future laid out before your very eyes.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to not say yes when I asked for fruitless things. I certainly wouldn’t be a happy woman had you let me marry my high school boyfriend who couldn’t quite seem to love me for who I was. And I definitely wouldn’t have two of the world’s cutest baby boys. –Sorry, mom’s, can’t argue with the cold, hard truth. J

And had I made it in music—my life’s dream since I was old enough to belt out Sleeping Beauty’s “Once Upon a Dream” from my car seat—I never would have gone to college and met my husband. The one man who—miraculously—seems to get me. Or even if I had met him some other way, most musicians tour and travel constantly to make a living, and I wouldn’t likely be able to be a stay at home mom. The one dream that was worth more than all the beautiful music never made and all the fame I never really wanted.

We know that hindsight is 20/20. Maybe it was never God’s intention for you to turn that hobby into a career. Maybe you wouldn’t love it as much. Or maybe you are not ready YET.

But the most beautiful thing about that letdown is that no matter what, God is always there to comfort you, to prophesy into those broken dreams or birth a new one. He is waiting for your surrender into His open arms.

And much like the title for my first book, he promises to give us Beauty for Ashes.

Thank you, Jesus!