Do dreams come true?

Would this be the year that everything changes? Would I be put into the class with the cute boy I liked?  Would everything be different this year?  Would I suddenly become popular?
Before the first day of school, I eagerly anticipated the possibilities.  
I had a very vivid imagination and I would spend the night before dreaming about all the things that could possibly happen.  I would suddenly have the courage to stand up to bullies, I would have the guts to talk to my crush.  Perhaps this year I would find that best friend. (You know the one that acts like your house is their house, the one that you can say so much to with a look.)
However, things never seemed to pan out the way we imagine they would.
Life isn’t the romantic comedy that we thought we were starring in or a sitcom with a laugh track. 
As we get older we face the harsh reality everyday.  We experiencedisappointments, failed hopes, and desires unmet. We encounter hard things, impossible things, and failures.
If you are anything like me over time after years of disappointments, you stop dreaming, and stop hoping.  You jump on the cynical and bitter train.  You start to fear the first days, you start to fear what will happen next. You are waiting for the other hammer to drop.
None of your hopes and dreams have come true and you begin to fear that they never will. 
As I write this, I am struck by the fact that this perspective is contrary to the what God says about our hopes and dreams.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and none of this, none of our heartaches are lost on him. 
So if you are sitting on the disappointed bandwagon like me, let me give you a new anthem for your soul.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Even in our suffering and disappointment God has a purpose in it. 
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,  for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
Though failures happen, he isn’t done with us yet.  He has not given up on us, and even our dashed hopes are known by him. 
You, the beautiful soul reading this, were stitched together by our Father the creator.  He made you with a plan in mind.
He isn’t like us with good intentions and no follow through.  His plans will come to fruition in his own perfect timing.
As you work through those disappointments and long lived desires of your heart, remember that you have not been left on this earth to bear these things alone or lightly.  Delight in him and allow him to shape new dreams.  
What are your new dreams? What disappointments do you need to let go of?
photo credit: cobalt123 via photopin cc 

When did it become about other people?

 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant<sup class="footnote" value="[b]”>[b] of Christ.” Gal. 1:10

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about helping and serving other people.  I am a teacher, I live my life to serve and love my students.  I want to love and serve my community as well.  I want to be a good person.

However, somewhere along the line in the last year, things shifted in my brain.

See, I started on this journey to change my physical body, discovered it was just as much about my soul and lots of things changed.  My self-view changed.  I had more confidence and joy.  I enjoyed meeting people because I was confident and comfortable in my own skin.  I saw myself more than the in the background person.  I began to shine, enjoy life and was excited about the future.

But something happened……. 

disappointment turned into heartbreak and I didn’t even realize it.

I tried to ignore it and cover it up.  I went back to living my life to please other people, seek satisfaction in what they thought of me, in whether I was doing it right.  Even living healthy and running became about other people and competition.

It was an exhausting year.  I fought to keep my head above water and still have hard days. Slowly, the fog is beginning to lift as I take one more step toward the only ONE who can satisfy, who is already please with me, and rejoices in me big or small. 

As I ran this morning, I began to think about my beginning motivations for losing weight and living healthy.  It was first because I was tired of living in the impossible.  It was about proving to my 7th grade self that I could do what I never thought possible.

This last year it became about proving to other people I could do it, it became about reaching goals others set for me, it became about becoming skinny enough to get a date (I know totally lie, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a motivation.)   Somewhere in the midst of busyness and stress, I let my motivations begin and end with other people. 

Not that things will change overnight, they didn’t the first time, but it only takes a moment to make up your mind.

Why is it that we make things about other people and what they think?  Why do we want to prove to other people that we can do it and not fail?

You see, I think, we want approval, we are born with that need.  However, we misplace it in people.  People cannot give us what we ultimately need.  They cannot give us the everlasting approval.  

Until I can get it through my thick skull and deep into my heart that He has already called me worthy and already approved of me, that I don’t have to go after it in other people.  When I fully understand that, the disappointments, the stress and the hard things in life, will not derail me.

With that, I have made up my mind that my journey will not be about other people.  I will do this for myself.  All those miles I run will be fore me, all the sweat will be for me, all those crunches will be for me. 

Who are you living for?  Whose approval are you looking for?  What does it take for you to change that?

Crushing Disappointment

People keep telling me this:

Disappointment just means that God has something better for you.

I hate that.  It frustrates me.  It makes me want to throw something.  However, my anger is not at God or at the person saying it to me, but at myself. (If I was angry at God, he could probably take it.  I imagine me being angry at God is like throwing rocks into the ocean….not going to hurt it.)

I am angry that I let myself start holding tight to this expectation that was not yet real or had come to fruition.  I am angry that I am weak and choose to rely on the words the world and not on God’s Truth.
I am angry that I am so impatient that I let myself get to this point.
I am angry at my little faith that I have in God’s promises. He has good things planned, why can’t I just trust that.

Disappointment might mean that God has something better for me, but right now it doesn’t feel like that.  It feels hard and lonely.  It feels raw and vulnerable.  It is scary and unknown. 

Disappointment makes me want to build a fortress around myself, my heart, my life.  It makes me want to crawl in a hole, not interact with anyone and be alone.  It makes me more afraid.

HOWEVER….I know that, hiding is not the answer.  I know that in the end that hiding is not what God wants for me nor is it what I really want either. 

What do you do when you are disappointed?  What are some ways you come back from it?