When I was a teenager, I dreamed of being so beautiful. Yes. I. Did. I would say to myself, “I got some things I can work with here, but need to lose weight, change my hair, get rid of this acne and definitely get new teeth…then, THEN I would be sooooo pretty! Oh how I dreamed of being perfect in every way. I had my teen magazines and all the drenched media to help me realize I can somehow desperately grasp at this type of beauty. I tried and tried. I begged and begged. I worked on this and tried to change that…but eventually I got even uglier. I failed this dream.
He had a better dream.
Through my life journey, God has chiseled and molded and picked and pruned. He has dug in deep and pulled some serious ugly out. I have fallen and fallen and risen and risen. I keep stumbling along the path of growth and transformation.
His dream of INNER beauty was the better dream.
When I was in my twenties living in Chicago, I dreamed of my music being played on the radio. Oh how I dreamed that my songs would make it BIG and I would have an impact on many. I wrote and played my songs with a guttural passion as my soul beckoned for stardom. I wrote and played and wrote and sang and wrote some more. I tried to market myself through venues only to be rejected in some way or another. My passion and purpose was not heard and became invalid. I was just too weak to fight for it, so I gave up on this dream.
He had a better dream.
I used this gift of music through twenty years of my life, as I became a Music Therapist and a Music Educator and Composer for a beautiful home school ministry and their magnificent theater performances. I had a treasured career that was both worthy and fulfilling through each and every turn. Music had an impact in a different way…
His dream of touching people’s hearts and lives through the power of music was the better dream.
I dreamed of the perfect wedding day on the anniversary of the very day my love and I met. I dreamed for my music and words to fill the air and bring beauty to the most important day of my life. Oh, how I dreamed of this day! I planned and planned and worked tirelessly for months picking all the details out with the angst and horror and pressure and stress of the bride to be… yes it was going to be great! As the day drew near, it started to crumble. I bought the wrong hair highlights that turned my hair orange. I fought endlessly with my Step Mother regarding finances and flowers, photographers and videographers. I crumbled under pressure, and failed to pick the right bridesmaids for my party. I got sick and was miserable the week of my wedding and struggled to keep it together. Oh how I dreamed it would be easier. I dreamed it would be perfect. It wasn’t at all.
He had a better dream.
I never knew almost twelve years later, that my favorite memory from that significant day would be when I first saw my man right before the wedding. It was our “photo op” and we were in a small room off of the sanctuary of the church. When I saw him, I cried. But the moments after that are the ones that I hold so dear… My husband handing me tissue after tissue (as my snot poured out from my sinus infection- I mean the tissues FILLED up the trash can!), stroking my back and telling me how beautiful I was. This was my favorite part of the entire wedding day. It had nothing to do with the flowers, the photographer, and the songs. It had everything to do with him. And how beautifully he cared for me in my time of need, and how beautifully he still cares for me in my time of need.
Our beautiful marriage was the better dream.
I dreamed of having such perfect children and of course I dreamed and believed I would be the perfect mom, having so much experience with kids throughout my career. Oh what a big wonderful dream it was! And yet, from the moment of conception, it started to crumble. Pregnancy was hard. I didn’t do it well. And the birth was terrifying and intense with complications from the beginning, and every day after for the last nine years. I didn’t know I would have chronically sick children. I didn’t know about sickness at all. All the pain. I crumbled over and over again. I fretted and cried and freaked and fell to my knees over and over and over again. Oh, so far from the perfect mom to the perfect children. I was living a nightmare, not a dream.
He had a better dream.
Through the fears and the daily struggles. Through the pain and the tears… we triumphed. Each and every turn was difficult. Each and every moment spent suffering served its purpose. It was the foundation of our faith being laid out for us. This excruciating season built roots into our ground and grew strength in its survival. My children know God , because they found His love deep inside the walls of the weary. And in those long nights of wondering and wavering…He found us. Through those awful tests and procedures…He held us. In those screaming fits and crying jags… of letting go and falling hard. He caught us.
Building of our faith was the better dream.
And now here I am with another big dream. This is my season of renewal and liberation, as my kids are both now in school and getting stronger every day. I dream for my writing to touch many women out there who need encouragement and inspiration. This is my dream. I will do my best and trust that in the end, it will be good.
For His dream is always better.
Have your dreams failed? Did He have a better dream for you? Maybe you are in a failing dream now…
Hold on dear friend. He will make it better.
Tammy Owens says
So true Chris! I was just talking to my 16 year old today saying that I will never be happy with how I look but true beauty is on the inside and is forever growing by His grace! I look at my many mucky circumstances and often buckle under the weight of them but I know that He has a better plan! I needed the reminder to look forward to it unfolding : )
OH yes dear friend! OH YES!!! His dreams are always better even when we have no idea what they are!! 🙂 And just think of all your past dreams turned better! Stay true, sweet love stay true! Persevere and pray on His promise!!
Not a Perfect Mom says
God truly is great…and yet, it’s so hard to put our faith in Him and know that He has it all planned out…
I do love this post…and the story of your wedding day…
I knew you would understand in probably more ways than I know…how great God is and how His plan is always better! Thank you so much for reading this and sharing!
I always say my hubby and kids were a dream I never knew I had (because we got pregnant young). But I am soo thankful that God’s plans for my life were far better than my own plans. It’s funny the way things turn out. 🙂 Another great read, thanks! 🙂
Oh thank you sooo much Heather!!!! Yes- it’s amazing isn’t it?? Oh how God poured His love all over you, with your amazing husband and precious children! His plan ROCKS!!! Ours…not so much sometimes. 😉
His plans are almost never the plans we could have conjured up for ourselves! I think most would say they are not easier but they are sweeter (at least in my opnion). My life now is nowhere near what I would have envisioned. While I can’t honestly say that I am thrilled with EVERY turn, the journey has not been boring, I have to say that I have to believe HIS plan is the perfect plan for me. Thank you for sharing!
Yes. Yes. and Yes. 🙂 I thought about you when I was writing this. (And so many women because how can this NOT apply?) Broken dreams…are God’s favorite to use for His purpose. Oh He lifts us higher at every “turn”!! He knows our REAL needs. And He will meet us exactly where we are, to fulfill His purpose.
We seem to always think we know our needs, yet every time we think we are in control, God will show us that He is in control and actually only wants us to rely and trust Him. So much of our suffering or perception of failure is self-induced. The problems in life that are outside our control, God intricately uses as tools to draw us nearer to Him.
I read a quote recently that really means a lot to me and I think speaks to this theme.
“Internal vows lead to self-centered striving. Vows made to the Lord lead to Christ-centered peace.”
How much of our ‘dreams’ are from self vs. ‘dreaming’ of what our Lord wants for us? My only dream as I age is that my life be less about ‘me’ and more what He wants to use me for with the short span of time we have in this life. Wish I had been this wise at 10 or 15 or 20 years old…but…He knows I never would have made the ‘journey’ toward Him without those years to stumble and struggle. Remember, we are preparing for ‘forever’ down here, so God’s grace and patience with us is not measured in years or failures or unfulfilled dreams. Thank God!
Love that quote!!! And love your message in this comment!!! So beautifully said dear sister. Yes, our walks on this earth should be more about Him than us. Such a hard journey sometime,s when we struggle with our humanity!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! 🙂
Sometimes it is so hard to sit back and just let it all go and KNOW that everything is happening for a reason, even if you don’t know what that means right now. Thank you for this today. I needed it. 🙂
Oh yes dear friend! I need this reminder all the time! It’s so hard to trust that His plan is better…especially when we are swimming in the muck. Hold on and have faith that whatever your struggles, failures, dissapointments are now- they will unfold into better dreams later. 🙂
Melissa Charlton says
Yes…oh yes…my life today is completely different than what I had planned or even dreamed!! Somedays, I would say nightmare, but yea…It is weird to sit and reflect on it at times, isn’t it. Love you!!
I thought of you too, when writing this. How different your life turned out…for the BETTER!!! Oh God is good! Looking back, it’s amazing how He lifts the course of our lives to a higher ground. YAY for God! 😉
Great post Chris! There is no greater feeling than going through the successes and failures in your life, to finally get to the point where you’re finally living out your(His) dream for your life…more than likely totally different than what you could have ever imagined. Psalm 37:4 is so true. When we get into Him, we accept/take on His desires for our lives. Thanks for the reminder and for sharing Chris!;-)
YES! It takes a lifetime of letting go…surrenduring…failing…faltering…and giving it all to Him to realize His plan is always and forever a better plan. There is no greater journey! Thank you so much for reading and sharing Michell!!!
Paula @ Simply Sandwich says
I am so very thankful that God’s plans and dreams are in the lead because if left up to me, I would surely mess it up! Thanks for the beautiful reminder! 🙂
Oh yes…I have actually really REALLY messed up when I tried to plan and dream without Him!! It’s sometimes so easy to just go it “alone” isn’t it? Then…the aftermath ensues. But He is so good to us! God always uses my mistakes for His purpose. And He sure has a lot to work with! 😉
BTW- thanks so much Paula for reading and sharing!!! 🙂
Mothering From Scratch says
Oh I love this post, Chris!! It is the story of my life … I had a “dream” that was crushed and then God replaced it with something very different but infinitely better for my character and usefulness to Him.
Like Paula, I am so glad He didn’t leave me to my own devices! 🙂
What a wonderful testimony you must have dear friend!!! His purpose and plan go way beyond anything we can imagine!! So grateful He led you to higher ground and planted you in deep rich soil to grow!!! 🙂
Thank you Chris, for reminding us that His dream is always better. His plans are not our plans, and while we try hard to follow His plan, it’s not always easy. My friend and I were just discussing this yesterday. You are an inspiration to many. If you have 10 readers or 100,000, you’ve made an impact in my life, and that makes you special. LOVE YOU!!!
God. Bless. You. 🙂 Your encouragement means the WORLD to me!!!! How blessed we are to see His dreams unfold before our eyes! It’s never easy, but the isn’t the victory so sweet?!! Indeed it is!!
Thanks for the kind words Chrissy
It comes easy with you… 😉
another jennifer says
Beautiful post. I’ve learned to be patient and wait for those dreams to play out the way they are supposed to. It’s not always easy, but the end result is worth waiting for!
Thank you Jennifer! Yes, so worth the wait and difficult challenges and changes through our lives, isn’t it? Lets keep dreaming!! 🙂
Beautiful post. Thanks for lifting me up today. I needed the reminder that He is always present.
So glad my words lifted you up Andrea! It blesses me GREATLY to know they did. Yes, He is present. It’s so hard sometimes to really truly believe that though isn’t it? It always helps me to look back at His “record” and in doing so, my faith is restored. 🙂 This was a good spiritual exercise for me.
What a beautiful post! His ways are always better than ours!
Thanks Michelle! Yes they are!!! Sometimes I fight the good fight to make mine happen instead of His…and the lesson is always learned. His ways are better…always.
Sarah Carletti says
I love your post. God has done so much more with my life than I ever imagined. And yes, when I was 17 I wanted to be a model too. I look back and think what a better job He has done.
Thanks Sarah!! Yes, so glad to know there was another teen with the “supermodel” dream!!!! I have a feeling there were a few more! So glad you have been blessed with so much more than you ever imagined!! 🙂
Beautiful post! My life is always better when I follow His path and trust His direction. When I think I have to have things my way, they are just never quite right or satisfying. But everything fits when I let Him bless me.
Happy Sharefest. Thanks for sharing.
Funny, I was JUST thinking about you this morning!! I thought, “I need to check on Miss Robin and see how she’s doing.”…and here you are! I knew you would appreciate this post and understand about trusting in His direction! I knew you would get it. 😉
Hope Reid says
Oh.My.Goodness! What a beautiful post. my eyes teared up. we do think alike. our post are definitely similar. Because God’s dream for you is better, your dream for writing to touch women who need encouragement and inspiration will be more far reaching than you can ever imagine. God Bless you.
Oh how encouraging your words are! Thank you so much Hope! Our mission is the same, and as you believe in me- I believe in you. 🙂 God is so good!
Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting, and leaving the link to this post. I see your point. His way is always best. 🙂
I am blessed to live His dreams and not mine! Thanks for checking out my post, I so appreciate you taking the time to do that. I will definately be following your blog. Enjoyed it tremendously!! 🙂
Can’t say it any better than all those who posted comments … I absolutely LOVE this post!
Thanks SO MUCH!! I love the comments more than the post! I love when we all share our ideas and encourage one another. THIS is what it’s all about. 🙂