Shattered Glass and Dreams; when things look different than you thought they would look

For months I had been looking for a patio table. Finally, one popped up for sale. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted… but close enough. I got it home, unloaded from the truck, and I walked away. 


I heard the glass top of the table shatter from inside the house. There was no wondering if it was ok — I could tell it was ruined just by the noise. 


As I set about to clean the glass up I admitted to myself, the table wasn’t the only thing that felt shattered in my life right now. My dreams felt shattered. 


Have you ever had a dream that you lived with for years and years? And then it fell apart? I had a dream to publish a book with a real publisher. For nearly six years this was my dream and driving force. I wrote for nearly six years, learning, practicing, and working toward this goal. 


Then I had a publisher appointment with the EXACT publisher I dreamed of. 


As I prepared for that appointment I felt God saying this was the end of the dream. Like He said as soon as this meeting was done it was time to lay aside the dream to publish.


Lay it down when I had worked so hard to get so close!! What?!


It was if He hit the pause button on the dreams of writing for a real publisher. And oddly enough I was not mad. Oddly enough it felt right. I was peaceful. {Kinda.}


But I felt a part of me had shattered. I felt a bit like that shattered glass… Part of me felt broken and not sure what my purpose was. Not sure why I went to the effort of writing for all those years. 


For weeks I folondered around. 

How do you live when the big thing you were working towards is not there anymore?! 


Like I said, I was peaceful about it. But still things seemed shattered. I hadn’t lost anything but my vision. But losing my vision was plenty. I could no longer see where I was going. I didn’t know why I was working so hard anymore. I had no reason to make goals or keep deadlines. I questioned the purpose of the last six years, that I had spent pouring into my writing. 


I looked ahead and wondered what to do next. What goals do you make when you don’t know where you are going? What deadlines do you set for yourself when you have no place to be?


In fact, my biggest question was… who was I apart from this dream? 

There was this temptation to think I was worthless? Seems silly really. But it felt like it. 


I wondered if I had heard God right. I wondered why He would bring me this far to the very publisher I dreamed of, just to tell me the dream was now on pause. I thought it was time, I thought it was all falling into place. 


But God said to lay that aside and serve the people right in front of me. I had no idea what it would look like. As I submitted I found myself in a very different season. I never could have imagined all the things we did as a family during that different season.  As I look back, now nine months later, I realize there would have been no time for me to finish a manuscript. 


Had I had been under a strict deadline from a publisher I would have been stressed beyond when my siblings needed our help as they added babies to their families. I would not have been free to take a nursing job during a pandemic. I’m sure I wouldnt have been enjoying life with my girls, the simple routine days. I would not have had the capacity to help a homeschool ministry, which in turn opened the door for speaking engagements. 


I would have missed out on so much that God had for me to learn.

Looking back it all makes sense why God said to pause the dream.


Which reminds me of my broken table again. It was broken that same night brought it home, less than 10 minutes after getting it off the truck. A while it felt a whole lot like having a publisher appointment and just days before the appointment God said to pause the dream of a book. It kind of feels like a table I never got to use on my patio. 


Yet something else is similar about my broken table. As I cleaned up the broken, shattered glass from the table I realized it was beautiful. The pieces of glass shimmered creating crystals as the light bounced off of it. The table was certainly more beautiful when shattered. 


While this writing dream being on pause has felt like a shattered piece of glass, it has indeed become one of the most beautiful seasons. I’ve been given the opportunity to do some of the coolest things. 


I can see now that:


  • God knew I didn’t have time for fulfilled dreams. He saw the future and He knew I had more important things to do. There were real live people — People I love and know right in front of me that needed my help. They needed stuff that God had created and given me the ability to help. Had I gotten a book contract like I thought I really wanted… I would have not been able to stop life and serve the people around me. 


  • When I was called to serve in hard ways during this season I saw God show up. The things He taught me during this “dream on hold time” has blown my mind. I have SO many real life lessons tucked in my journals. Had my dream come true in August, I would not hold these lessons in my heart today. 


You know something I realized … My dream was never on pause, I just had no idea that my dream would look like this. And I never thought I’d be able to admit that it looks more beautiful than a book contract would have been. But it does. 


Whew! I need to write that again. The last nine months have been much more beautiful without a signed publishing contract beside me. 


Funny thing is a couple weeks after the last of those broken glass table pieces went out in the trash the exact table I was dreaming about landed in my lap. The exact one I wanted. Rectangle with six chairs. Exactly what I was wanting the first place. It is a perfect set. Had I just waited. Had I just even patient, I wouldn’t have had to experience shattered. 


Friend, I imagine you don’t have the same dreams as me. What is your dream? What is on your heart? Does something seem impossible and shattered in your life? 


Maybe it’s small in the whole scheme of things, like my dream for a patio table, maybe it’s big like a business idea, new house, degree, job, or dream of being on a mission field. Perhaps it’s simply getting through the toddler years alive. (That’s a worthwhile dream! ?) What is on your heart?  Do you trust that God has your best interest in mind? Do you believe He is for you when it seems like the path doesn’t look like what you thought it would?


When it seems like that thing you long for would solve all your problems… do you realize that He knows what He is doing? Do you know that each step He leads you on is to fulfill your purpose? To teach you, to prepare you… each thing He brings in your life is to draw you closer to Him! So that you might reach out and find Jesus. 


There is purpose in shattered. There are good things in the waiting. And someday those dreams God Himself put inside our hearts will come to be. Someday, somehow. But until then…Let’s just keep learning the little lessons along the way. 



{Article first published in the Titus2 Newsletter, Summer 2021}

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