A Letter to the Heartbroken Dreamers…..

Dear Dreamer,HeartbrokenDreamers

It was 2002. I was sitting in Starbucks with my team. Before I knew it, words came out of the “leader’s” mouth that struck me hard. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was in that instance that I knew, I was done. My time at this “job” was over. I could no longer “work” and minister with someone whose focus was on something that deep down inside, I was so against.

It was 2003. I was crying buckets of tears as my “boss” shared information that left me heartbroken. No, I wasn’t laid off or fired, I was just deeply saddened with the way things were going. I was working all the time, giving my all, and here I was left in tears. I was left thinking, is this really what business is all about?

It was 2007. I was the new “face.” I quickly became known as the “hard” teacher. I actually made my students work. I actually made them read, write papers, complete their assignments. Before I knew it, I had parents coming against me, telling me I worked their children too hard, that I was being unfair, I ruined their child’s opportunity for a scholarship, I didn’t like the students, etc. I was left wondering, “What are we teaching children if they don’t learn now that they have to work at things? What are we teaching them if we always give them the easy way out? How will they ever survive in the real world?

It was 2012. I disagreed with someone. Because I disagreed, I was immediately labeled as a “religious pharisee.” I was cast out.

It was 2013. Harsh words were spoken. I was surprised, hurt and angry. I gave them my all. I gave them my best.

Time after time, year after year, I questioned God. What happened to the 24-year old who was at seminary because she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was calling her to full-time ministry? What happened to the dreams I once held? The mission trips? The speaking engagements? All I ever wanted to do was reach a world with the love of God and yet, year after year, not only was I hurt by the people I thought I could trust, I was deeply saddened by the way these people treated me and others. “God, where are you? This isn’t the life I had envisioned for myself.”

In my quest to find answers, to hear from God about why my life looked so different from the one I envisioned for myself 14-years ago, I came across some timeless truths that have encouraged my heart at times of despair, confusion, hurt, and anger. With eyes wide open and a heart longing for peace, I came to realize that God has always had my dreams in mind and that the reality is,  He is using them in ways I never imagined; in ways that are greater and bigger than what my little mind could have ever imagined.

Here’s what I’ve learned through my times of hurt, confusion, and broken dreams:

1) Follow the call of God, even if you are standing alone. I can’t help but to think of the countless examples in the Bible of men and women who did just this. Take Noah for instance. God called him and the world thought he was crazy. But yet, he continued to push forward, even when the world was against him. He was willing to stand alone in order to complete the calling on his life.

2) Don’t be afraid to face your giants. Every single one of us have giants that try to keep us away from our God-Sized Dreams. Giants that try to intimidate us with their words, their “bigness”, their following. Personally, I want to be like David, someone who regardless of how big that Giant is, I will go after it and slay it! Nothing will hold me back from the calling of God on my life!

3) Get back up after failure. Far too many times, we let failure get the best of us but the reality is, God can and wants to use us after we have fallen. Much like Peter, God is ready and waiting to take us back when we have fallen flat on our face.

4) Keep moving forward, even when life doesn’t turn out how you had planned. One of my all-time favorite Bible stories is that of Joseph. Here was a young man who had some big dreams. But before he knew it, his life was turned upside down. His brothers wanted nothing to do with him. He was accused of something he never did. His life looked like it was getting worse by the day. But, in all of this, he continued praising the ONE he loved. And in the end, God brought his dreams to fruition. All along, Joseph couldn’t see that God was preparing him for what He had and that all along, He was faithful to the calling He had on Joseph’s life.

5) Trust God, even when you don’t have all the answers. “By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents” (Hebrews 11:8). God-Sized Dreamers don’t trust their own voice and ideas, instead, they trust the voice and ideas of God.

You see, despite the hurt, confusion and anger, God has been leading me all along. Every experience I have been through has prepared me for where He has me right now! The dreams I had of being in ministry full-time, reaching people around the world, speaking and encouraging the hearts of God, He has brought about! In my current role as a social media specialist, I have the opportunity to be a part of everything I had dreamed of when I was in seminary. Every hurtful word that was spoken to me, has prepared me for where I am right now.

Are you feeling depressed? Wondering where your dreams went? Tired of being hurt by those you thought you could trust? Feel like you’ve been waiting forever? Let me encourage you, stay the course! Trust God! Trust His timing!  This world needs you, your story, your dreams! Remember, seek God with every fiber of your being, continue being faithful to Him, and He will open doors of opportunity that no man could ever do! Opportunity will seek YOU and before you realize it, your dreams will come about in ways you could have never of imagined!

“You don’t have to seek opportunity. All you have to do is seek God. And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you.”

~Mark Batterson

Hang in there!

Jen

 

 

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Social Media/Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.

Comments

  1. Great message Jen! It can be so difficult when you feel like you are on the right path and then things change and you are left wondering where your purpose is. Great reminder that it all comes back to seeking God – thanks!

  2. Wonderful and encouraging words!!!! So much of this resonated with me…the hurts, discouragements and the lost feelings. Thank you for the reminder to seek God even when you don’t see the doors open!

  3. I related a great deal with this message with respect to the pain caused by those you thought were on your side especially within the church. I can remember when I was cast out because of the illness I was diagnosed with in 2000, when It was thought I had a mental disorder and it turned out to be the wrong medications which also caused me to attempt suicide. A church member didn’t want to associate with me or my daughter. It caused me so much pain , I was so angry with god and the people in the church, but God didn’t give up on me. We can be so hurt by others and broken. Such an important lesson that we must continue to seek GOD.

    • Oh Maggie! Isn’t it great that even though people may give up on us, our God never does! He continues to seek us, love us and provide the best for us! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I can SO relate to this. Thank you so much, Jen.

  5. Dear Jen:

    Thank you for sharing your heart in these words. I can relate so much to the hurt, disappointment, and discouragement. I also know fully the promise of God to see us through! This post is why I love and enjoy iBloom so much!

    • Thank you so much Lynnae for sharing! I’m continually amazed at how God takes our hurts and experiences and turns them into God. In the end, He always has the best for us!

  6. Anne-Marie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and your encouragement. I can surely relate!

  7. Very well stated Jen! God Bless you! 🙂 Susie

  8. Thank you for these words. I am so in that place right now. I know God’s best will come.

  9. If that was an infographic- I hang it on my wall in my office. Great stuff.

  10. I am very happy to be in contact with you, however, I am African and I stay Rep.Dem.du Congo. knowing I am spastic. I agree that you’re my friend meilluer me. and I need your personal email.
    if you have any questions for me not to miss you write me please ma’am.

  11. Oh! This is an amazing testimony thank you for sharing God’s goodness. Jenn God bless you so much, and yes indeed your work has taught me so much! It has not been in vain.

  12. Carrie Jeffries says:

    Thank you Jen! You have really spoken to my heart where I am. Thank you.

  13. Failure is no longer failure, with hindsight. Maybe that’s how God views us, with hindsight?!

  14. I so needed to read this today! I’ve been feeling frustrated lately. Thanks for the Christ-centered reminder!

  15. I sooooo needed this Jen! Thank you! I’m going to save this and go back to remind myself to just keep pushing through!
    God bless <3

  16. Dolores Gomez says:

    Really good article Jenni, something we can all relate to. Who hasn’t had their dreams shattered, or been betrayed by those who are called the love you? It’s a sad world we live in, filled with broken bitter people. Thankfully, we have an advocate who is closer than a brother. One we can trust at all times in every circumstance!

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