I remember back in my early twenties when life held so much promise and I was filled with hopes and dreams about the future. I also remember being a young mom and having so many hopes and dreams for my children.
Well, there were many wonderful years filled with great memories and so many of those dreams were realized but life certainly didn’t turn out how I hoped and dreamed it would.
Chances are life hasn’t turned out the way you hoped it would either.
At this point in my life, I realize that most of us can relate to the fact that life has dealt each one of us lots of disappointments and heartaches.
If you haven’t experienced this yet, I hate to be the one to tell you to prepare for it…it is coming. I hope it isn’t and I hope your life will be spared from shattered hopes and dreams but the sad truth is that life can be hard sometimes. Savor the good times and appreciate every minute of them but hold all the things dear and precious to you in an open hand.
I wish I would have had a more realistic view when I was younger and life seemed “perfect.” It might have prepared me for what was to come and it would have definitely given me more compassion and understanding towards others who weren’t experiencing their dream life at the time.
It has taken me years to work through the heartache of losing our 19-year-old son to suicide and the trauma that mental health issues bestowed upon our family. The loss of our son felt like the final death blow that was going to tear our family apart and lead each one of us down a path of destruction, but thankfully we have an amazing God who loves us and cares too much about us to let that happen.
So you may be wondering how we have survived the heartache and loss and how we have moved forward in spite of all our shattered hopes and dreams. If you want to learn more about our story, you can find it here on My About Page. This page also includes some of the “happiness hacks” that have helped me get through the hard times.
I want to tell you that whatever life deals you and however your hopes and dreams have crumbled to dust, there is hope.
A Message of Encouragement
I recently was blessed to attend an event called The Word Alive with Lysa Terkuerst sponsored by LifeWay Women’s Ministries. It was an incredible conference held over two days in Athens, Georgia. I have always loved Lysa Terkuerst and I have read many of her books and gone through her bible studies so I knew this conference was going to be awesome. However, what made this conference so unique was the experiential elements they interwove throughout all the teaching times. In between each teaching session, we were given hands-on activities while Ellie Holcomb sang beautiful worship music weaving together God’s word and Lysa’s message with a worshipful moving experience I won’t ever forget.
One of my favorite lessons was about Dust.
Lysa talked about times in our lives when we feel like everything has crumbled to dust and we think nothing good can come from it. But Lysa says that dust is one of God’s very favorite ingredients. She reminded us that God created man out of the dust of the earth, to begin with. She says dust doesn’t signify the end. If you have “dust places” in your life it doesn’t mean the end is here. Dust must be present though for the new to begin. Lysa calls these “dust moments” the dark night of the soul and reminded us that Jesus light can shine into our darkest “dust places.”
After the lesson, we were told to take out a small container we were given of dust and to rub it all over the designated pages in our journal and then to write on top of the dust, all the things that God says about us and promises us. We did this while Ellie Holcomb sang the song “You Make Beautiful Things Out of Dust.”
The whole lesson was so powerful and meaningful. I wanted to share this experience so I knew I wanted to write a post about it and encourage you to take the time to experience this lesson for yourself.
Now it’s your turn
- Read these verses: Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 64:8, Lamentations 3:21-24, Isaiah 43:19, Ecclesiastes 3:11, and Ecclesiastes 3:11
- Read a post Lysa wrote on her blog which says it all better than the summary I was able to make from my notes. It is called Shattered Beyond Repair.
- Go outside and get a few spoonfuls of dirt and rub it all over a fresh piece of printer paper or cardstock if you have it.
- Then listen to the song You Make Beautiful Things Out of Dust by Gungor and write all over the dust on the paper everything that comes to mind of what God says about you and the promises He has for you.
- Then place this somewhere where you can be reminded on the days you are feeling the weight of your disappointments and discouragements.
I highly recommend this Word Alive Event. If you have a chance to go to one you will be richly blessed. There is another one coming in January in Fort Lauderdale. Click this link to find out more. Or click this link to find out other dates and even about an opportunity to go to Israel with Lysa in 2019.
One of the things I love about Lysa is that she is so real and transparent and she knows first hand what it is like to experience shattered hopes and dreams. She is so good about writing through her struggles and finding hope in God’s word and then being able to share profound truths that stick with you in her books. She has a new one coming out on November 13th called “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered.” I have already preordered on Amazon and can’t wait to read it.
You can order your own copy here:
Here is a video with Lysa sharing her heart and why she wrote this book.
If you decide to order the book, make sure you go to this page and put in your order # so you can get an instant download of the first 3 Chapters and to gain access to Lysa’s exclusive Behind the Pages Facebook Community.
I hope this encourages you and gives you hope that God makes beautiful things out of our “dust places.” He will give you new hopes and dreams dear one.
Wishing you Joy in your journey,
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