Do you ever feel like your life is less than you dreamed? Are there some dreams you had for this time of your life that are just not a reality right now? Can you remember a time in your life—and maybe that time is now—where the dreams you had and the reality of life ran into each other and they hated each other? Maybe you are swimming in the reality that being a mom isn’t what you thought it would be. Maybe you never dreamed you would be single and 38. Maybe you had a dream years ago but are still waiting. In those moments, life hurts. There just isn’t another way of saying it. I think the times in life when we experience hurt are those times—when we realize life is less than we dreamed it would be.
And the truth is that sometimes life hurts because we bring the pain on ourselves because of our poor choices, but sometimes life hurts just because we live in this fallen world. A world where unfortunate things happen leaving us with hurt, pain and disappointment when all we really wanted was peace and love.
I want to talk about dealing with that pain and dealing with our sadness. I am a firm believer that there is power in believing that God’s word is true and that it is alive and active in our lives as believers. So if you are in a season where life is less than you dreamed, I want you to write this down somewhere and put it where you can see it often.
“…giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.” Isaiah 61:3
This is only part of the verse so to give a little context, the writer is prophesying about the coming Messiah, Jesus. And Jesus was to bring the favorable year of the Lord. A year in which captives were set free, the brokenhearted were bandaged, and those who mourned were comforted. Since having kids, I have struggled to find joy—joy in the small and mundane things. I have found that when life squeezes me so tight that I can barely breathe, what exhales out of me isn’t too pretty most of the time. I also thought of myself as an easy-going type person until I had kids. I just realized that I had never been really pushed or stretched before which is why I believed I was easy-going. However, I believe that Jesus is here to let me exchange my mourning for gladness and my spirit of fainting for praise.
In those moments when life looks different… a spouse lost their job; a pregnancy abruptly ends; the house contract fell through; another single, dateless month; a child that pushes you past your breaking point… Jesus offers a great exchange.
Psalm 45:7 says, “Thou hast loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of JOY above thy fellows.”
This is huge for those of us whose life is less than we dreamed. God can give us joy in the small things and anoint us with an oil of JOY. Part of believing is knowing that God will do what He has promised He will do. You can bank on the fact that God will do what His word says. His word is unchanging and His promises are YES. So when life is less than you dreamed, start putting His truth in your mind and heart. Even when my feelings scream something different, there is something happens in the obedience of mind renewal to His truth. Circumstances may not change. You child will still be 3 tomorrow and completely dependent on you, but the more you change your perspective the less pain you feel. You may not meet Mr. Right tomorrow, but God can give you a mantle of praise in this season. We can have victory here. My best friend and I tend to struggle with some of the same things. So we have a pack that whenever I struggle, I in turn lift her up and she does the same for me. There is something powerful in taking your eyes off yourself and lifting up someone else in prayer. Can we do that here? How can I lift you up when I begin to struggle? When I feel like life is less than I dreamed, I will pray for you and you for me. Deal?