Should You Give up Your Dreams for A Better Plan?

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I first wrote this post in mid 2011, never imagining the progress my adopted children would make in their search for attachment. I was just clinging to God and hoping the pain wouldn’t last forever.
 
Even with all this progress, recent days have brought more heart wrenching revelations in our parenting journey, and I am transported back to the days I wrote so painfully about in 2011. 
 
To each of you moms who hurts today I pray this may somehow be balm to your sweet spirit.
 
Should You Give Up Your Dreams for a Better Plan? - Marty's Musings
 
I hear and read about so many adoptive and foster moms struggling with the loss of their “dreams”. 
 
Dreams
 
dreams of a happy, healthy family
 
dreams of siblings enjoying each other’s company
 
dreams of restful sleep and peaceful nights
 
dreams of financial security
 
 
dreams of safety
 
dreams of “normal”
 
 
The Reality
 
constant hypervigilance
 
PTSD symptoms
 
years in therapy
 
homeschooling failures
 
abandonment by friends
 
alarms on doors
 
loss of freedom, both yours and theirs
 
financial devastation
 
CPS investigations
 
forsaken by the church
 
 
If this is your life, I want to encourage you to give up your dreams for another plan.
 
I know what I’m talking about.
 
My life is nothing like I pictured it. I was going to be an actor, perform around the country and on cruise ships, sing my way through life.
 
I was done after two kids. We couldn’t afford any more and I only had patience for the two I had. We even made sure that was a reality.
 
I never dreamed of being a stay at home mom. Homeschooling? Never heard of it. I loved public school. My children would, too.
 
Living on love? Heck, no. I wanted financial security because I sure didn’t grow up with any.
 
Losing my sister at age 53? No way. She and I were tight. Yard sale buddies, babysitters, caretakers of our parents. Couldn’t live without her. Yet she died anyway.
 
Adoption? Yeah, right. Two was enough, remember? And don’t tell me that it will cause more heartache than I knew was possible. Rose colored glasses are my favorite.
 
I don’t tell everything of our journey. But I tell enough. Enough for you to know that I’ve been in that all encompassing, dark, desperate pit.
 
No hope.
No light.
No dreams.
 
Every time I talk to another mom who is hurting and disillusioned I feel their pain. 
 
Yet through all the trials and heartaches God has impressed one thing upon my heart.
 
It is about dying to MYSELF.
My dreams.
My desires.
My perfectly planned out life.
 
Want to make God laugh? Tell Him about your plans.
 
 
Bitter.
Lonely.
Faithless.
 
Replacing those dreams with a heart for God’s best will bring you freedom.
 
Absolutely not.
Will it hurt?
Maybe every day.
 
Take time to grieve. It hurts but it’s necessary.
Take time to be angry. No one deserves this.
Give God all your pain. Why did you allow this to happen?
 
 
His best is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
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Comments

  1. Siggie says:

    Your post resonated with me today. Maybe it’s an age thing…about having dreams and giving them up finally to surrender to God’s plan for us? I turned 50 last year and somehow I thought I had to have it all figured out by then, be mega successful and so on, ha! All the while God is making other plans for me. The only thing that truly gives me peace is knowing that God is present whatever I’m doing and I should be listening to Him every day anew. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, Siggie. Thank you so much for commenting on my post. I think turning 50 is definitely something that starts you thinking about the brevity of life and how none of it is really in our control. We just do the best we can do at being obedient to God each day. Have a blessed day!

  2. Kirby says:

    I thought my plans were “best-laid”, too. Still not sure what I’m supposed to be doing, but in the meantime I’m just trying to make my own little corner of the world better for others.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, Kirby. You know we all love your take on life and none of us have this thing all figured out! You just keep writing and shining on!

  3. Ann C says:

    Your comment: holding onto your dreams can make you resentful, is so true. I had plans for retirement. Things changed. I won’t go into it here, but every time I thought about my plans I would end up feeling resentful toward those who love me but have changed my plans. I’m getting better at relying on Gods plan and timing, and believing there’s a reason.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Oh, Ann. I’m so sorry. I know what it feels like to know what I wanted isn’t meant to be, but letting it go can be so hard. Just know you’re not alone in this struggle. Blessings to you!

  4. Deborah says:

    Oh Sister. As you know, I can soooooooooooooo relate! Our adoption experience is quite similar. I too had those rose colored glasses! Oh if we could have coffee/tea together, would we have a lot to talk about!

    • Marty Walden says:

      I know that you can totally relate, Deborah. It’s been a hard walk and has gotten even harder recently. We definitely need to get together! Having someone else that understands how hard it is can be such a blessing. Where do you live?

  5. Aimee says:

    This post is for me and my husband. We can relate to that pit you describe…clinging to God, and trying to not lose hope. Thank you for this gentle reminded that we are to let it all go and let Him have his way…His ways are higher.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, Aimee. “Trying not to lose hope.” I know that place so well and as lonely and difficult as it is, it’s also the place where God meets me in my vulnerability. Letting Him mold me in those dark days is a struggle and a spiritual battle, but I know who has overcome the world! Blessings to you!

  6. I don’t know what you are going through, but I have a child with Down Syndrome so I do know about heartache, grief, and feeling alone. Other people just have no idea what it is like to walk in my shoes or yours. I am so sorry you are dealing with whatever you are dealing with. I understand that you can’t discuss it fully here. I wish I could do something to fix it, but I know I can’t. It must be very painful. Life is difficult, and messy and complicated. Just know I’m thinking of you and praying for you.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Anita. I know you understand how difficult it is to raise a child that doesn’t have an easy life, no matter the reason. For us, it’s the toil adoption has taken on us but along with the pain comes great blessings. I know you understand that as well. Broken hearts do mend and families continue to strengthen. Thank you so much for your prayers!

  7. Thank you for this powerful post. When raising children from hard places, we have to create new dreams. Sometimes those dreams are completely different than our ‘happy perfect family’. They can be dreams like ‘an hour without a meltdown’ or ‘apologizing once’ or ‘a hug’. You know what I’m talking about. Every adoptive family I have ever counseled goes through a JOB Syndrome, myself included. Tough for others to understand, huh? I feel your pain. I’ve lived it. I live it. Dreams of a child ‘going to college’ can become ‘an adult who can manage money and a job’. I hear you, sister.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thanks so much for commenting, Kathleen. I checked out your blog and you and I do indeed walk similar paths. I’m so glad to meet a sister who has walked these same paths and understands without a word being spoken. God can indeed replace those early dreams with new ones that are just as sweet when they are reached. Bless you, and know you have a safe place in me.

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