The dream. Go to college. Write a novel. Get married. Travel the world. Own a home. Find a career. Be a rockstar. Save your marriage. Have a baby. Homeschool your kids. Reconcile with your family. Retire.
Dreams come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, and we all have different tastes. I love hearing people's stories and dreams, hopes for the future, and starry-eyed plans. But what happens when your dreams don't seem to come true? Granted, we dream until we die, and I believe that it's never too late to see a dream achieved. However, what of the athlete who gets into a car accident and can never play ball again? What of the 39-year-old single friend? What of the betrayed and abandoned lover? What of the barren wife?
What happens when our dreams seem shattered and altogether unachievable? What do we do when there is no plan B? How do we keep calm and carry on in the face of hopelessness?
Honestly, I don't know.
Scripture has a lot to say about hopelessness, and I take comfort in God's Word and in the knowledge that He is faithful and the most understanding of our trials.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
And yet, practically speaking, what do we do when the first dream "dies"? I know that "give up" is the wrong answer here. So, do we pursue a new dream? Do we relentlessly continue to pursue the first dream? Prayer, community, and studying the Scriptures are musts for me. But what else? How then should we live?
Again, I'm not entirely sure.
One thing I do know, though. It's a phrase that I've held onto for the last handful of years, one that my husband and I repeat to each other as encouraging reminders:
"One faithful moment at a time."
That's all that we're sure of. This moment in time. Jesus could return or take us home at any time.
We have now. Let's be as faithful as we can be with it.
It's definitely not a satisfying answer to all of the hopelessnesses of life. But, it's one that I cling to.
Here's to many faithful moments to come.
One Faithful Moment At A Time is a Ferial Shmerial art print and available for purchase here.