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 When the answer is no—or at least, not yet.

When the answer is no—or at least, not yet.

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Megan Buchholz

Do you remember being a little kid, getting peppered with the questions of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “If you could go anywhere or do anything, what would it be?” They got us thinking and dreaming BIG—about the big house, the dream job, the fancy cars, the fun vacations, the latest in everything, what life would be like outside of work. Fill in the blanks with whatever you dreamed.

As we grew, reality started to crash into the dreams, started to alter them. We figured out our actual likes and dislikes, things we wanted to pursue, to learn. We ran into the path of adulthood and started down it, sometimes taking detours, hitting roadblocks or wide open spaces, and settled into life. Some of those childhood dreams came true, some changed, some went away.

Some are still sitting there—unrealized and unrelenting.

I think I had a different answer each week for what I wanted to be when I grew up. But no matter the job, there was always one constant in my dreams: I’ve always wanted a family of my own, to be the kind of wife and mom that my own mom was and still is. And here I sit, in my early 30’s, in a job I absolutely love, with an amazing family, friends who are like family, and the freedom and ability to do the things I love, like travel the world. But all this without a family of my own. It’s the dream that’s always there, never changing, always pressing in on me. The dream I’ve given to God a thousand times over. Change the details of that dream to your own, and many of you can relate. So, now what? What do you do with an unrelenting dream that hasn't come to fruition?

Be Honest

Guess what? That dream, whether you’ve shared it with others or have never uttered the words out loud, is not a surprise to God! He knows you, He created you, He has great plans for your life. Those dream and hope are something that we carry inside ourselves, part of who we are—but without them being realized, we sometimes wonder if it’s something we should be hoping for in the first place. I know I’ve felt that way. But we have to be honest. We have to say the words to God. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Pray about everything. Tell God what you need. We have to be willing to honestly say the words to Him and ask for His help, even if the help is being ok with an answer of “not yet” or “no.”

Look Around You

Paul goes on in the very next verse to say, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Look around you. What is in your life that is a bigger blessing than you realized? What do you get to be thankful for while in the season of “not yet” or “no”? In my life, this has played out by constantly pausing to look around myself. To see what God has given me, even while my biggest dream sits on the sideline. I may not have a family of my own, but the family and friends in my life are so much more fulfilling than I could have imagined. I may not have kids of my own, but I love the kids in my life as if they were my own, and I melt every time one of them runs up to hug me or tells me they love me. These reminders—these are how God’s peace shows up for me.

Trust

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” No matter the dream, the season of life you’re in, the daily occurrences you live through, remember that God is at work. He knows our hopes and dreams, He wants us to prayerfully ask Him for what we need. And then, He wants us to trust. Trust that Heis working in our lives. Trust that no matter what, He loves us. As hard as it is to be willing to be ok with the answer of “not yet” or “no,” some of the most amazing things in life can happen when we’re willing to trust Him with the answer.

And just in case you’re wondering, this trust piece is the hardest for me, just as it is for many of you. It’s scary to give up control, to be ok with the unknown, to know the answer might end up being “no.” It’s something I have to give to God almost daily. But when I do, God never fails to show up with a reminder of all that He has given me, all that He continues to surprise me with. And I wouldn’t trade the people and relationships, experiences and opportunities, the crazy amount of peace and love from Christ, for anything else in this world.

Yep, even that never-changing, always-there, deeply rooted dream of mine.

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