Do Dreams Die?

As years cycle on and seasons turn to winter, sometimes we find our selves asking this question. Perhaps its a mid-life crisis or a young life in burnout or an aging one looking back with a twinge of regret. Are our dreams always attainable? Or can they die?

Why Might a Dream Die?

I am a person with a hope that never seems to flag. I see not done as not yet. For most dreams, I say- No. They do not die. Nor should you let them. Never stand with the nay-sayers on the sidelines doing nothing when you know in the depths of your soul what you were made for.

Yet, with a churning heaviness in my stomach, I admit dreams can die. Sometimes, we realize they weren’t the best fit for us or for the life God has placed inside of us. We grieve them, yet rejoice in the freedom from them, as they were not made for us.

Yet, sometimes, dreams die from our own lackadaisical approach to them or life. Sometimes they die as a result of our own rebellion against our Father. Other times they die, no fault of our own, as a result of the sin of another.

When you dig up secrets profound enough to lay dreams to rest.

When you receive a prognosis severe enough to stay the incline of ambition, barring a miracle.

When sin (your own or that of another) like moths has eaten holes in the fabric of possibility.

Then you, like me, might realize your dreams are entombed.

Perhaps, like our Lord, the Father will choose to resurrect them.

A Resurrected Dream

The promise of the Messiah, the Anointed One, was not just a dream. It was a promise. It was a surety. Yet, when, after fulfilling hundreds of prophesies about how the Messiah would come, Jesus was laid in the tomb, the quandary and grief over a dead dream was heavy.

On resurrection morn, the rejoicing must have been profound. The joy was deeper than a life reborn. It was deeper than the reality that He was back. It delved into the deepest core- a dream, a promise, a surety made certain in the fabric of a divine yet human face linked to two scar holed hands. He was a the dream of life and a healed relationship with God made certain.

My Foundation Stones

My biggest dreams are not a mist- frail hopes like dew that flees at the first ray of sunshine upon the change of day. Rather, they are like the colossal field stones upon which the ancient barn stands on my parents farm where I lived nearly 20 years of my life. No foundation was poured upon which to stabilize 4X4’s and 2X4’s into a frame for this barn. No.

Unwieldy hunks of hand hewn rock were stationed, immovably set beneath the ancient trees over 60 feet tall hand hewn to 15X15’s that stretched the height and length of the grand barn. Noble feat. To wrench out one of those stones would be impossible. If done, however, the entire stately structure, would inevitably collapse.

My dreams were thus. Like the unmovable stones stationed to support the arching frame of the whole. They were not so much a dream as they were the foundation, the calling, the God-given purpose of my life. These dreams sculpted the path I chose- until they couldn’t anymore. I realized last summer to my chagrin that these dreams were completely out of my hands. I couldn’t choose the path to them. For all practical purposes, they were indeed deceased.

Dreams Redesigned

As I have grieved, I have sought the best outworking of my passionate, purpose-driven heart. Who I am and the desires God has placed on my heart is still secure. There must be ways to live that. There must be a reality to the foundation of my dreams somehow. Perhaps the original will be reborn. Perhaps its outworking will be different than I sensed God’s purpose to be for so long.

I will actively wait and someday I will see. Until then, I must choose to dream still. To continue to dream in line with who I am and the passions God has put in my soul.


Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Dream Sketch

I was recently with a small gathering of ladies. We were asked to sketch out our dreams. My spirit flagged and my eyes drooped as I looked at the pencils, markers, and sketch paper spread out between us. I glanced around at eager faces bending over the drawings emerging from their delight. Inwardly, I was looking back on the coffin of my long-held dreams and all the damage and destruction that they were surrounded by. The flag was momentary.

I grabbed some colored pencils, and here was what I sketched out in those 15 minutes (Sometimes I feel I sketch better with words):

Never wanting, I can be

Fully self

And fully free

God relying; His pain embraced

Healed and altered

A new life traced.

Gratitude, joy, my life to see

Free at last to be wholly me.


To write and sing and dance

To tell the stories recently past

To listen well

And then retell

To breathe in mountains

Inhale trees

Arms spread embracing

The edge of seas.


How can I leave

The confused mystery

And embrace

This part of my history?

Where can I place

All of this pain

To grasp the knowledge of Him

As my gain?


When can I be free to dream again?

And when, O when

Can these dreams begin?

If I in this dungeon tarry

In Him only can I be merry.

Life embraced to give, to take

In hope again

I shall begin.

The actual image of what this could look like is etched in my soul. What about yours?

Sketch Your Dreams

Perhaps its time for you to dream for the first time. Perhaps it’s time to resurrect dreams you thought long dead. Perhaps it’s time to grieve dead dreams and then, take out some colored pencils and re-dream dreams that fit the passion of your soul. Either way, etch out some quiet moments today, seat yourself to gaze at a fresh sheet of paper, finger your favorite writing device, and get at it. Dream.

Draw, write, compose, create an image in line with the bent that God has designed for your soul.

More Like This

If you’ve found this encouraging, perhaps you might enjoy others like it. This blog was designed to be a journey toward a life fully engaged in what matters most. It was designed to compel us to embrace life with our whole selves rather than fragmented pieces, and to do so with delight.

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Cover Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash


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