What About That Dead Dream?

Photo Credit: cyanocorax (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit: cyanocorax (Creative Commons)

What do you do when your dream changes? When it just withers and dies unexpectedly upon the vine of life?

For twenty years, I ‘knew’ I was called to full time pastoral ministry. I went to school to gain the training to support this dream. I got an internship in my senior year as a first step. I was even offered a full time position at the end of the internship.

Something felt wrong, so I rejected the offer. So glad I did. I found out later the youth pastor I would be replacing had caused great wounding to his young followers. I didn’t have the maturity to lead a church through this terrible event. But I assumed another job would come along.

It never did. Twenty years later, I find myself no closer to full-time ministry. For many years, I struggled mightily with this disconnect between my vocation and my calling. As i have started writing over the past few months, something unexpected has happened.

The dream of full time church ministry has melted away. Like ice on the sidewalk on a hot Phoenix day, it is just gone. I have no passion for the idea of full-time pastoral ministry anymore. Don’t get me wrong.

I still want to be engaged in serving in my church. I love my church, and I am committed to being involved in the ministry to our community and the world abroad. Just no longing to work full time as a pastor at a church.

I am finding the same passion that was filled by the idea of pastoring now presently filled by writing. By loving others and serving them with my words. So there is no lack of dreams. The dream is just changed.

I feel both an emptiness and a peace as I come to grips with this new reality. There is life birthing in the remnants of this newly dead dream.

Have you ever found a long-time dream suddenly dead in your heart?


8 thoughts on “What About That Dead Dream?

  1. Pearson Sharp

    I’ve never found a dream that’s died, but I’m glad to see that yours has matured and grown and changed with you into something that you can relate to and realise in a new way. We are always changing, and perhaps this is what you were always meant to do. I wish you the best of luck!

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      That’s a good point. Maybe this is a maturing of a dream, not a death of a dream. They feel very distinct to me, but perhaps they are not. I certainly feel more at home writing, and I have received so much encouragement over a fairly short period of time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Robin

    Maybe your original dream isn’t dead, but just sleeping for now . . . . perhaps in God’s timing, you will be in a full time ministry as you visualize. And yes, most definitely, your writing is a great ministry, and one I richly benefit from!

  3. gabrielgadfly

    I don’t think I ever let my dream die, but I certainly clarified and reevaluated it often. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it took me many years before I realized that I needed to stop trying to make myself into a novelist when poetry was what called to and fulfilled me. And I needed to realize that achieving that dream the traditional way would mean doing something that had been tried and shown not to work for so many others — but the alternative was blazing my own trail and trying things few other people were trying, and that was frightening and isolated and full of floundering. I’m glad I did, though.

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      This is why I love the blogging community. All three responses (so far) to this thought of mine have caused me to re-evaluate my words. Perhaps I am just in a better place to evaluate where and how to share truth in a loving way with others. For so long, I assumed this would be from behind a pulpit. Maybe it’s behind a keyboard?

      Gabriel, your journey is inspiring to me. It encourages me to push through the fear of doing something non-traditional and pursue that which brings fulfillment to me, and (more importantly) hope and courage to others. Thanks!

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      Thanks Audrey — I am learning through the class we are taking together that the calling to write is no less meaningful than my original dream. Thanks to people who are encouraging me to take risks with my writing, like you.


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