Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.
Proverbs 13:12 (Living Bible)
I was recently working on a fall painting/woodworking project and it caused me to think A LOT about hopes, dreams, and waiting.
Throughout my life I’ve had lots of hopes, lots of dreams, but even MORE waiting than I care to admit.
Ever since I was a little girl I had hoped to fall in love at a fairly young age and marry the MOST amazing man and someday have a cozy little house FULL of little ones running around.
Instead of becoming a young bride of about 18, I spent many years waiting…and waiting… and waiting….and married that AMAZING man when I was 29 years and 11 months. God was teaching me how to trust…and to appreciate…and to see Him at work in my life. He had been at work ALL of those years…there were just things that needed to happen first…and I had to wait.
Once we were married I looked so forward to that house full of little ones running around, filling our lives with great joy.
However, after a miscarriage the first year of our marriage and several more through the years while waiting on this dream…. I began to wonder if I would ever become a mom.
Those were very difficult and defining years for me. I learned so much about myself and even more about the goodness of God. Even though I was learning once again what it meant to have my “hope deferred”, I tied a knot in my HOPE and held on for dear life.
The dictionary says deferred means 1. to put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone. 2. To suspend or withhold until a certain time or event.
Unfortunately, waiting can cause these things to happen if we aren’t careful and diligent in guarding our hearts…
~ we become frustrated, disappointed, and hurt
~ we allow bitterness to grow
~ we become cynical
~ we let our dreams die and our faith fall apart
Hopes deferred can bring decay and ruin, much like the old discarded wood I was working with in my fall project. I found this wood out on a junk pile of brush and broken tree limbs awaiting trash pick up and I wondered how many of us have our own pile of broken dreams out back that we hardly even glance at anymore?
One thing I can tell you from my own experiences in waiting on dreams… is IF YOU ALLOW, it can also be a time of healing, learning, growth, and strength! God removes that which is causing our pain and replaces it with wholeness and joy.
Remember at some point the waiting will end!! Don’t forget that Proverbs 13:12 also says, BUT when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.
After about 7 years of waiting we welcomed sweet Symphony into our family. She has brought more joy and laughter into our home than I ever hoped for. I don’t know why we had to wait so long and I don’t know why it was so difficult for us to conceive. I can tell you the day we delivered her at the hospital we knew the true meaning of …”But when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy!” She was so worth the long wait!
Last night as I put Symphony to bed she prayed the most amazing prayer. She is 6 years old now. She thanked God that He had actually answered her prayers for brothers/sisters. (She knows about my miscarriages.) She said that even though right now we can’t be with them because they are in Heaven, she couldn’t wait to see them and hug them and play with them one day! I sat there listening with such a grateful heart and I realized that waiting is NOT necessarily a bad thing.
Joy will come!
It always does when God is involved. It is His promise to us!
I’m so grateful that God wants us to dream and dream BIG! He wants to fulfill those desires and hopes. He wants us to continue to believe, and learn from Him in our journey of waiting.
Maybe you have something you have been believing for or dreaming about for years. Maybe you dream of a new career, a spouse, or children. Maybe your hope is for yourself or someone you dearly love. I want to encourage you today to hold on tight, dust those dreams off, and begin to build your faith daily in a God who turns dreams into reality!
Some dreams ARE much like the old broken pieces of wood I was working with last week. Though at times they are scarred and weathered…there is still life in them! There is something beautiful inside waiting to be seen. Don’t lose hope and give up too soon! You don’t want to miss what God has for you!