I have asked before what to do when a dream dies. This week in my Sunday school class I gained some insight into the answer. It seems fairly straight forward, but still I had obviously missed it.
What do you do when anything you love or is important to you dies or is taken away? You grieve. See that was obvious. So the dream is dead and I’m sad, mad, and confused. Perhaps in moving on, trying to be positive and grateful the grieving process gets cut short. Unfinished grief leaves little room for new dreams. A dead dream raises so many questions. Why didn’t it work? What do I do now? Who am I? I thought I knew but it didn’t work out. Where was God? I thought I was pursuing a dream, an assignment from God, was I wrong? I thought I knew His voice, don’t I?
I saw in class this week that I have many dead dreams, too many of them not fully processed.
Borrowing from the analogy in class, dead things stink. Trust me on that one if you have no first-hand experience. I don’t mean like freshly harvested meat, I mean it died and was left to rot. When our dream dies we know it and we hurt, we are aware like we are aware of the stink of something rotting.
If we’re not careful we can stink to those around us, too.
After a time the rotting thing dries up and doesn’t smell anymore. Our dead dream stops hurting so much and we forget about it. It’s still there. Satan knows about our dead dreams and he uses them to speak to us. “You can’t do that. Remember last time you tried?”, “God wouldn’t ask you to risk that.”, “Who do you think you are?”, “Why would God ask a failure like you to do that?” I’m not sure but I think a properly grieved and processed dead dream won’t give Satan any ammo.
I have many dead dreams, as I’ve said. One is a child. A child I never held alive in my arms. For a time Satan had a heyday with me over my loss. Over the years I grieved and processed the loss of my son. I still miss him. I still can be overcome with longing and sadness. I no longer question who I am or my purpose in life because my son died.
I have other dreams that have died that have left me in a tailspin about who I am and what I am supposed to be doing. Those are the ones not fully grieved and processed. Having realized this I am in the process re-established God’s truth in my soul about those dreams.