Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why Good Dreams {Don't} Always Come True

I want More. I am afraid of More. I trust the One who gives me More than I’ve ever asked for. But is it enough to make my dreams come true?

Several months ago, I
blogged about how I’d moved from living in the less of life—seeking anonymity, hoping for no recognition, wishing for less of me in me. And how in the becoming less, I yearned for more. More faith. More amazing things. More of God.

I said that I was moving toward something big, but wasn’t ready to share what it was. I’d hoped to let you know about my idea, with good news of success, or at least a successful first step. But success hasn’t come, at least not in the way I thought it would.

Here it is. I want to adopt. It was the thing I’d kind of wanted for years, but was starting to really want, even as I feared it. I yearned to give an orphan a forever home, convinced that my family would be a good fit—good marriage, healthy kids, cultural sensitivity, etc.

Even as I wanted it--now this seems silly in print--but I was scared. Of the orphans. Of their problems that would hurt. Of their diseases that I couldn’t fix on my tiny island. Of wanting something that could risk this other dream of ours to live and work overseas.

What if we pursued adoption, spent tens of thousands of dollars on the process and failed to bring home a child? Or…what if we were successful, but the child we brought home had bigger struggles than we could handle living here in this remote place? What if I failed at being a mom to one who had lost everything else?

So, I kept my dream a secret.

But is living life out of fear really living?--my husband reminded me. Are choices made when I’m afraid, ones worth keeping? Am I missing bigger lessons, more amazing miracles, more incredible life because I hide?

And so I leaped. I chose the Dream.

So, what happened?

I researched and researched adoption options that would fit with an overseas American couple our age, with our existing biological children, preferably in Asia, and came up with an option. It seemed perfect. A great fit—as great as the uncertainty and expense of trying to adopt from a developing country can be. And for months, we tried to apply. And we waited for the program to be ready to accept applications.

But delays and delays. And then the news. The country had stopped accepting applications for a while, and the program is on hold. It is, for now anyway, a dead end.

I know I’m not alone in this story of wanting something, something good—really good—and not getting it.

So, why does this happen? Why don’t good dreams come true?

1. There is much wrong in this world.

All kinds of problems turn children into orphans, and countries don’t always have enough resources to change their lives. And other bad problems like human trafficking make the process slow and expensive.

Maybe your dream has been disappointed by bad people or wrong systems or failed attempts. Maybe it’s been thwarted by layoffs or sickness or divorce. It’s hard and it’s not fair, but it’s life.

2. There are many distractions in our lives.

We begin our 20s with adult-sized dreams and even bigger debts and responsibilities that soon distract and seem to dictate our lives. Maybe we even try, but fail initially.

Then we finally succeed at something that is nice, but not our original dream.
And we listen to the lies. Forget the dream. It’s too risky. We should want money. Or success. Or comfort. Besides, we’re just too busy with this life to let ourselves want something more.

3. We are afraid.

The truth is we use our responsibilities to hide our fears. We’re afraid we’ll fail, or that we’ll look like a fool, or that we will succeed—at great cost—and realize that the dream wasn’t worth all that we gave up for it.

Do you trust God with your dream? Afraid he will say no? Afraid he can’t help you. Afraid he doesn’t care? Afraid his idea for your life doesn’t match with yours? Afraid he’ll ask for a compromise?

I can think of lots of other reasons. We tried but it was too hard. It made us tired. Life gets in the way. We think we wouldn’t be any good at it anyway. Someone hurt us. We’re just trying to survive.

But whatever the reason is, I’m learning that it doesn’t have to end this way. We don’t have to believe what we believe. Dreams don’t have to be stuffed in the bottom of the closet with other things that don't fit anymore.

Check back here this week as I share more of my story. We’ll look at what we can learn when our dreams don’t come true, and look at what choices we still have.

If you want to join in the discussion, leave a comment or email me at

photo credit, Muddy Funkster


  1. On thing I love & embrace about God is that you can't see around the corner with Him...what His hand is molding and sculpting in the future...but it's only because I really do trust Him.
    It's so hard in the-- now. We've been there.
    We did adopt. And lost that child.
    And none if it made sense.
    But now I see--
    His hand in all that.
    Doesn't remove the pain or the echoes of confusion, but--
    Our new little one.
    The JOY of our lives...
    I see He was weaving a pattern and that it touched lives and made sense to certain hearts and I'm willing to take in the pain with the joy...for all that...for Him.
    This post hit close to home for me (wandered in here through some link of Joy's).
    But--love your heart for adoption...but more importantly...for whatever He has in store for you and your family. were an encouragement tonight :)

  2. Kara--Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing your story. I am touched beyond words with all you've experienced, and with your amazing faith in things unseen. Thank you for sharing the joy and hope that so permeates your words.


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