The #DreamChaser series features inspiring personal stories and lessons I learned as I bravely chase the dream God laid on my heart of being a writer.
Then it happened again.
Another letter of rejection.
I had spent years toiling over my novel, a story that wasn’t just close to my heart – it WAS my heart. And my heart was shattered.
Word after stinging word of rejection biting into my soul and scarring what was once smooth.
That was two years ago, almost to the day.
But now? Now things are different.
I let the pain of rejection be the grief it was, and allowed myself the grace and time to trudge through it. But always, despite how bad it hurt, despite feeling like a puddle – like a failure – I clung to the fervent hope that lovely lives in the broken.
I allowed that hope to pick me up, to lift up my eyes. Lift my eyes high.
Now things are different.
I have a completely new draft – one that landed me a contract with an agent. This is the place hope brought me.
As I reflect on the last two years, I can say with the confidence and assuredness only experience can birth that loveliness lives in broken dreams.
1. Broken dreams teach us to take a punch. I found this to be true. I had to toughen up. If I had gotten what I wanted without a fight, I never would have learned just how badly I wanted to pursue it in the first place. A win is not a win without a worthy opponent. It’s easy to say we want something; it’s entirely different to prove it by submitting to the punches so that in the end, bruised and battered, we can raise our hands in true victory.
2. Broken dreams show us where to go instead. Where I was two years ago, quite simply, was not the right place. I needed to move. To soar to the dream laid on my heart, I first had to find the right launch pad. Sometimes gentle nudges are enough to get us to go. In my case, a painful, fall-flat-on-my-face shove was needed. Both tactics work toward the same goal: my good.
3. Broken dreams teach us to dream bigger. My initial vision for my novel was much smaller than it should have been. It was a million-dollar idea I shelved in a dime store. That painful shove I received also pushed me to rethink, re-strategize, and PRAY with more focused intent.
4. Broken dreams need not break the dreamer. Never believe a break is the same as death. Dreams may not progress the way we have always wanted them to, but that doesn’t mean they have died. It simply means they (and we) need to mature. Like a fine wine.
5. Broken dreams make us pliable. On some level, it wasn’t my dream that broke; it was my pride. Pride is easy to hang onto when nothing tries to take it. Broken dreams break our outer shell, revealing the tender matter, and make us able to bend into something else, something greater. Often what God has in mind is far better than we could come up with ourselves. Through persistent, faithful prayer, God will begin to show us what He sees.
Let the pain of broken dreams be what it is – grief – and work through it. Because, whether you are ready to believe it or not, lovely lives in the broken.
In two years, may you see it as clearly as the sun in the blue sky.
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