Putting Back the Pieces of Shattered Dreams for Kingdom-minded Moms
Shattered dreams can be one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through, leaving them feeling lost, alone, and without hope. And, if you have lived on earth for any amount of time, you have experienced them.
Having your dreams crushed, annihilated, and no longer relevant is a traumatic experience. For many Kingdom-minded moms, there is also the factor of guilt.
We SHOULD be hopeful...
We SHOULD fix our eyes on Jesus...
We SHOULD believe harder, better, or pray more...
In fact, maybe the SHATTERED DREAM is a result of our own sin, unbelief, or we just missed God.
Like any other trauma, it may not be within the realm of self-help and articles on the internet to fix.
So, before moving on, trying to put a bandaid on a gaping wound, that is possible oozing with the infection of guilt, I'd encourage you to reach out for professional help if you feel like you are fighting a losing battle of despair.
**Contact me for a list of local professionals if you don't know where to start. Or reach out to Better Help Therapy, Get matched with a licensed, accredited, and experienced therapist, and meet with them online.
Having led a ministry for single mothers, I have heard countless stories of shattered dreams, and
I’ve had my own.
In certain periods of my life, I have experienced multiple waves of trouble, similar to a tsunami season. These waves have caused destruction in every area of life. I've had moments where I've felt like surrendering and letting the waves consume me entirely; I had no more strength to fight.
There have been seasons of rage where the storm was within. Times when I wanted to hurt those who had hurt, betrayed, and violated me.
I’ve experienced sorrow, sadness, and grief beyond comprehension. I’ve sat wondering what I did wrong, why something so horrible was happening, thinking I surely must be the cause of my own shattered dreams.
And I have felt all of these feelings in a matter of moments. The exhaustion of managing the BIGNESS of these emotions would make me want to go to bed to escape the tormenting throughts, hopeful that I would wake up from the horrible nightmare.
My Lovely Lead-Her,
If you're going through a similar situation right now, you might be wondering if you'll ever be able to hope or dream again. It's a dark night of the soul, and it can feel like your heart is irreparably broken. However, know that you're not alone.
The good news is that there are ways to move forward. It won't be easy, and it may take time, but healing is possible. While you may long for normalcy and wish you could turn back time, going back means missing out on opportunities for growth, change, and transformation.
So, if you're feeling the weight of shattered dreams, remember there is hope. I'm here to support you every step of the way.
I'd like to take some time with you right now to share some simple ways to help you navigate your way through the storm of your shattered dreams.
ACCEPT THE CURRENT REALITY
I know you are thinking, "Really, Misty? I have no choice but TO ACCEPT IT."
But, let me ask you, do you spend time asking the what-if questions?
Are you struggling with looking to the future with hope?
Do you want to go to bed in hopes that it will all go away?
These might be signs that you are finding it hard to accept the reality that your life has taken a turn.
Can you look inward, or look at yourself in the mirror and say, "THIS is the reality of my life now"?
Go ahead, take a deep breath, it's a hard one to swallow. But my dear friend, without accepting the reality, you will not be able to move forward, and you might find yourself slipping downward even more.
leads to DISCOURAGEMENT
leads to DESPAIR
leads to DEPRESSION
It’s a slippery slope and sometimes we don’t even realize where we are on the downward spiral until we are at the bottom.
No matter where you find yourself, acknowledging that place and accepting the reality allows you to begin the journey back to yourself. (and a better you because of what you have learned along the way)
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS
The simple act of labeling what you’re feeling (without judgment...that's right, you can't say "I shouldn't feel this way...this is a NO SHAME ZONE) can help regulate your emotions. Emotions come and go like waves, if we let them. The idea here is to ride the wave of emotion instead of trying to stop a giant wave and trying to suppress your emotions.
Are you feeling a little 'pushback' here?
Maybe you are coming up with excuses as to WHY you can't feel your feelings.
you work in a professional setting,
you don't want to be a burden to others,
you don't want your kids to see you falling apart,
you just aren't emotional,
you fill in the blank with your own excuse.
Consider the outcomes of suppressing your emotions:
Hanan Parvez, explains in his article Emotional Suppression, Causes and Consequences that suppressed emotions are simply emotions you choose not to acknowledge, thereby failing to act on them or express them. Emotions can never really be suppressed and have to leak out in one way or the other. And, unfortunately, they typically leak out on those we are closest to, our families and close friends.
He goes on to quote research from the Journal of psychosomatic research, that shows: "Emotions that are bottled up intensify over time and express themselves as anger or aggression outbursts. Suppressing negative emotions may lead to depression, low self-esteem, and even physical illness in extreme cases."
In other words, there is NO GOOD OUTCOME of trying to suppress emotions.
So, if you are struggling with feeling your feelings, try journaling, work with a coach who can help you connect to your heart, hire a spiritual director, join a grief-share group, or find the right counselor.
In the midst of the shattered dreams - MAKE YOUR BED
That got your attention, didn't it?
Setting yourself up for accomplishment each day helps improve your self-esteem and gives you a feeling of accomplishment, especially in a season of uncertainty. Doing one small thing each morning, like making your bed, sets your mind in a positive direction. YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING.
It’s about setting your intention to do the little things that bring about an orderly, thoughtful, responsible, balanced, or successful life.
Find something that will provide a quick sense of daily accomplishment.
GIVE YOUR MIND A BREAK
We can become fixated on the negative experience, the missed opportunity, or the trauma that has occurred. UGH, the torment, the fixation, and the recordings can drive you crazy. You wonder, "Will it ever stop?" We learn to 'check out,' cope, or find ways to escape. What if there is a more healthy way to dis-engage from the torment?
Bedtime was the WORST for me. In the silence of the night, my thoughts would race uncontrollably. To cope, I would frequently turn on the TV and watch a movie until I drifted off to sleep. Unfortunately, this habit hindered my ability to be fully present for my children the following day.
Eventually, I decided to create a nighttime routine. I started reading something light for 20 minutes before going to bed. This helped me relax and shift my focus, and reading usually made me feel sleepy. With time, this ritual helped me calm down and improved my sleep quality and my ability to parent.
The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to ‘destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.’
He also encourages us "to keep our minds on things above." Colossians 3:2
And Jesus exhorts us to "look to the birds of the air and observe how trusting they are. Matthew 6:26
These ‘mind exercises’ that we are encouraged to do in the Word of God, can prove to be exhausting.
It’s ok to give your mind a break from time to time.
Get outside and actually look to the birds of the air.
BREATHE and consider where they get their food and how they find their shelter.
Other ideas to give your mind a break include:
Unplug (right, you heard me…taking a break does not mean scrolling through social media)
Listen to music
Call a friend
Meet someone for coffee
Read a book
Do something creative (color, paint, doodle, do a puzzle)
Go to bed at a decent time
Explore what works for you to shut your mind off from the fixation on the event or loss.
BORROW SOMEONE ELSE'S STORY while yours is being written.
This might be a new concept for you, but it can help increase your hope for a better tomorrow.
You see, I’ve experienced my share of shattered dreams;
The first time I entered into that valley of the shadow of death was the worst because I had no life experience to hold onto.
I didn’t have a history of rebuilding and overcoming. I didn’t have a story of God’s Goodness to cling to.
So, I borrowed the story of others.
I read about how God delivered Israel time and time again (even when they misbehaved)
I witnessed as I read how a Loving Father spoke to the broken and oppressed.
I saw how He brought beauty from ashes.
I imagined how the wayward, argumentative fishermen, tax collectors, and averge Joe's were hand chosen to do great things.
I spent a lot of time identifying with Naomi, Ruth's Mother-in-law. She was a bitter woman, and God in his kindness, redeemed her story.
And then, you know what I did?
I chose to believe that God is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER...
I looked to my Father and said, “You have been faithful ALL OF THESE TIMES before; even when your children rebelled, YOU remained faithful. I am going to put my trust in YOU and choose to believe that you are who you say you are.”
Oh, my Lovely Lead-Her, storm-tossed and not comforted...
My circumstances didn't change, but hope began to break out of the hard surfaces of my heart. Hope grew, and my own testimony blossomed.
He really became the One who brings beauty from ashes.
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to encourage you again to seek help. Find a coach or a therapist, particularly if you feel despondent and lost. They can help you put the pieces back together, process the emotions, and create a new dream for yourself.
And remember, God has a plan.
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 The Message