The Death of My Dream

For a really long time, I wanted to be a magazine editor. Or rather, I wanted to start my own magazine and then declare myself “editor.” It was my life-long dream. Everyone who knew me, knew I would one day be an Editor-in-Chief.

Then something happened. I guess you could just call it “life.”

Life happened, as it tends to do and I was sidetracked from my dream.

The trouble is, that dream had been with me for so long that I almost didn’t know who I was–or who I was supposed to be–without it. For as long as I could remember, I had envisioned myself living in New York City, scraping by, but wildly in love and passionate about my fledgling, yet growing political magazine.

So, when the reality that this little dream would probably never actually become reality itself set in, I was shaken. I suppose it goes hand-in-hand with growing up, figuring out who you, asking God where He wants you and where He is taking you.

I suppose it also goes hand-in-hand with me feeling like just being a mom wasn’t enough. I quickly grew tired and annoyed by women saying to me, “So, you don’t work, right? You just stay home?” Yes. That’s entirely correct. No work involved. My three children were born completely self-sufficient. They are miracles of nature actually, more like cyborgs than children.

The worst part too, was also knowing that I never intended on being a stay home mom. I never wanted this job, but now I have it and funny thing is, I wouldn’t trade it.

And before too long, I watched and felt my dream of being a magazine editor fade into yesterday. It became a part of another life. A life before Christ. A life before my husband and children. A life dreamed up by me, not by God.

Like most things dreamed up by us, God’s new vision is so much grander and more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. Our Heavenly Father isn’t a God of mediocrity, nor is He out-of-touch.

He is intimate. He knows us better than we know ourselves (this always seemed like such a cliche to me, but over time, I have come to believe this as truth). His dreams and plans are far superior to our own–we need only ask.

My original dream was a broken dream from the start because it was not what God intended for me. It could never have been repaired. It would have always been broken, I suspect.

But it was God, in fact, who knew that starting Modern Reject would be a sort of life-changing, uber-rewarding, ridiculously inspiring pursuit for me. It was God who nudged me forward when I wanted to sit on my hands. He knew that Modern Reject, would be in its own way, an answer to prayer.

It was God who reminded me that He had more for than motherhood for me and that it was okay to ask for “more.” This silly little blog was the answer and has become a part of my new vision and my new dream. It has encouraged me in unfathomable ways. You have encouraged me.

There is still so much more I want to do–so much more I hope to accomplish, but I thank God for showing me a new way. And for all its ups and downs, including the days I just want to quit, I couldn’t imagine my life now without this community.

I’m thankful to have let one dream die, so that another might take root and sprout up–a dream not planted by me, but by the Lord. A dream not susceptible to the world’s fickle nature, but a dream set forth by my Father. A new dream. A better dream.

What dream(s) did you, or God, allow to die? What dream(s) sprouted up in its place? If you knew you could not fail, what would attempt? Have you asked God about it?

14 thoughts on “The Death of My Dream”

  1. Like you, I had dreams that have since died because life happened. But God brought some of them back when I began blogging. It’s interesting that the dream of writing again came to fruition just as I had to lay some friendships down.

    On the other hand, blogging has become so very important because of the connections I’ve made, I fear I’m making enemies of those closest to me–putting them at odds with my dreams–by being so invested.

    Balance is hard to come by. Pray for me, please.

  2. Amen to all that, Nicole. I think our 20s is all about our childish dreams crashing into reality. It can be painful. But if we are open to seeing God’s providence, it’s there. My Dad told me I could be President. Nah, not going to happen – ever. Every kid has to realize they won’t be a pro ball player or whatever it is they wanted. But God’s usually got better plans. :)

  3. I say it’s good you weren’t a magazine editor. That medium is dying and you would be unemployed or stressed as hell.

    I am reminded of “my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways your ways” when thinking about this.

    But to be sure, you are an editor of this fantastic blog and that has more Hmmphhh than anything a magazine can do. I say you got the best of both worlds, super mom and online blog.

  4. Nicole,

    You said:
    “The worst part too, was also knowing that I never intended on being a stay home mom. I never wanted this job, but now I have it and funny thing is, I wouldn’t trade it.”

    Just an observation, and not an accusation, but how will you explain these words to your children should they happen upon them as they grow older? To say, “I never wanted this job”, knowing that your children are that job, could easily be read as you saying you never wanted children.


    Again, an observation, and nothing more. Words matter.

    1. Donald,
      Fair question. I would tell them that like many things in life, there is a difference between what you think you want and what you really need. It’s not to say that I never wanted children or I didn’t want them, but rather I didn’t want the “job” of staying home.

      I hope it serves as a testimony to my kids that God changes hearts and minds not because He is being unkind, but quite the opposite.

      As a side note, I also never wanted to be married. Jonathan knew this, but he didn’t take offense. He watched God change my heart over time.

      1. A wonderful response, and accurately handled. Thank you for clarifying without thinking I was here to attack you or demean you.

        I find it funny that Jonathan pursued you. I mean, didn’t you see right away what an awesome catch he would be? :) I’m a guy and I’m in love with him. What does that say? Ha! Kidding, kidding.

  5. The death of a dream is something to grieve and I’m sure this post is part of that process (or maybe the end of it) for you. But, I celebrate that you are allowing God to shape your identity in Christ, not finding your sense of self in something else.

    Maybe God will bring it back, maybe He won’t, but there is now less between you and more fully knowing Christ. Thank you for your vulnerability.

  6. I used to dream of being a professional contemporary dancer. When it came time to decide which career path to take, although I was ready to start a dance career, I chose something more “practical”: engineering (which is also a passion of mine). It was hard to say goodbye to that dance dream, but in retrospect, I see that it was a good choice, and one that God obviously had his hand in.
    I wanted to be a dancer to be famous, to be beautiful, to be successful, to say “look what I’ve done!”, to make my parents proud of me. I know that my dream was all about me. I wasn’t aiming to glorify God.

    Now that I’ve started my career in engineering, God is challenging me, growing me and using me in ways that are specific to my field. I’m so thankful that even though I wanted my own glory, he was in control. :)

  7. All of my dreams are dead and God has resurrected nothing. I’ve been praying and seeking and praying some more and God tells me nothing. So I struggle to get through every day feeling like I’m made for something more and nothing appearing. It sucks. And if I could do anything without failing I’d form an elite A-Team like team of special forces dudes who look like Liam Neeson to go save every child trapped in human trafficking around the world.

  8. Nicole, I love who you are becoming each day!! You are a fabulous mother who embraced motherhood, and I completely understand how you never dreamed of being a stay at home mom, because I never was the one who said “I want a baby!!” But, how God changed my heart and made me love being a mother, just like He has done with you. And how could you not love being with those amazing little cherubs of yours?
    I have found I’m almost afraid to dream because of the risks it would take to pursue them. I so admire you for your blogging and the risks you take with each post. You inspire me, and have opened my eyes once again to the opportunities I may be missing because I’m not asking. I think I’ll spend some time before the Lord again asking Him for the next steps. I want to always be useful for His kingdom work!!

  9. Since the 4th grade, I wanted to be a chemist (I’m a nerd, ok?). All through high school, college scholarship, internships, and then being a lab chemist for almost 10 years.

    And then I was asked to join my church staff. It took 14 months of wrestling and counseling to say “yes.” But I figured if/when I was done with that, I’d just go back to chemistry.

    But in 2010 I was transitioning off of the church staff, and I pursued going back into chemistry, and God very obviously closed those doors. For the first time, God made me see that not only might I be done with chemistry, but He changed my heart so that if I never went back to it, I would be perfectly content.

    Now, here we are living in the 10th poorest county in the USA, working with at-risk kids and their families.

    God is gracious.

  10. I was the punk rock kid in my high school and I dreamed of touring DIY as punk as possible.

    And then I grew up. Then I discovered it is exhausting to stay that angry…that disaffected.

    Then Christ won my heart with His love that was bigger than life, bigger than my rage. Now I write, still DIY, still under the radar. The painful part is gone, now it’s just the artistic expression of words.

    1. David,
      I so love this and I can so relate. Angry is exhausting. I remember the day God told me that it wasn’t cool to be the “mean girl” anymore. It’s as if I needed someone’s permission to be kind. It came in His freedom.

      I LOVE you saying that His love was bigger than your rage. It brings tears to my ears and joy to my soul.

  11. Ahhh,yes.Door closed for the second time.this is an important post for me.I acknowledge it is closed.Now I await HIS instructions on what is next.

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