Author’s Note: I wrote this a few weeks after everything I thought I cared for in my life shattered, and I found myself alone, starting over, and hurting so much I didn’t know how to go on. I wrote it by faith then, for I could not see the beauty of new dreams, or hope of joy returned, or that the ache in my heart would ever lessen and the sting fade, but then, I chose to sing, to hold on, because He promised that sorrow would turn to joy…someday. Today, I look back, and it was a long and dark journey, and I may always carry a few little scars in my heart, but He did not fail. He brought more joy, more beauty, more than I ever could have hoped for and I see His hand.

It wasn’t His plan that I have a broken heart, but He knew what was best in the end. He gave me strength to let go, to face the shatteredness that was a result of my own choice, yes, but worked His plan over the mistakes, and made something beautiful from what seemed like brokenness. And it gives me hope to keep trusting the outworking of His will in my life. It may take time, but I’ll keep singing, keep trusting, keep believing that His way is perfect. Always perfect.

I saw my dearest dreams crumble, broken into a thousand pieces, and fall to the ground. They were worthless that way, and with trembling heart, I bent to try to gather the pieces back up and make sense of the emptiness that closed in around me.

For one small moment, I thought I was alone. No one knew that what I lived for, what I had hoped for so long would be a reality, was now but a pile of rubbish. But my tears, falling to the ground in the private of my own quiet room, were not unseen by Him. He knew my grief, He saw my broken dreams, and He cared.

The dreams that we hold close to our hearts, the fragile things that we long for, the things that we wait for all our lives: these things do shatter sometimes. All of us have tasted of the bitter sorrow that clutches the heart as those beautiful things we loved slip from our hands. All of us know what it is to be left with nothing but a pile of broken pieces.  Yet, there has not one tiniest of disappointments pained our hearts, but that Our Jesus has seen it with His watchful eye . He has put all of our tears into His bottle. He knows. He cares.

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows?
Are you tired of spinning round and round?
Wrap up all those shattered dreams of your life
And at the feet of Jesus, lay them down.

When I first looked up from my pile of broken dreams, and saw the road ahead of me, I did not think I could face the disappointment. I could not see Him that day. It was all too dark to know anything but the echos of hurtful words and the bitterness of loss. I couldn’t feel Him there, but He was holding out His hand, and taking mine. I did not know if I could give up my dreams, even though they were broken. They seemed like such a part of who I was, and what I thought I was meant to be. But He was waiting to take them, and even to give me the courage strength to let go.God is no arbitrary breaker of dreams. He sees each one of our hearts and desires. He knows our dreams better than we do, and He wants to give us the very best, much better than what we thought we wanted most of all. We cannot see His plan, but if we can learn to understand His purpose in pain, we have gained a rare blessing. Sometimes He allows what we think we want to crumble, so that we can have something better.

When our dreams break, He wants to take us yet another step higher. He desires for us to trust Him with our hearts, but we hold on so tightly. We are afraid to let go, and let Him have what is dearest and nearest us. And He knows that unless we are broken first, we may never realize we need to let go.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken joys.
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
And He will turn your sorrows into joy.

God is a Master at transformation. It is He who “healeth the broken in heart” (Psalms 147:3- KJV) And He is able to turn sorrow into joy.When we give Him our dreams, He doesn’t just take away the broken pieces.  He does much more than that.

When at last, I let go of the pieces I was holding on to so tightly and when I finally gave Him my dreams, my hope, my everything… He gathered them all up, and began to rebuild them into something more beautiful than I could ever imagine. If He had not allowed them to be shattered, I would never have learned to let Him be the one to make my dreams what they should be.

And so will He build for each one. We may not know or understand it at first, or even for a long while, but the day that He opens our eyes to see His working, it will all be clear. Then, we will understand the meaning of the blessing of pain.

He never said you only see sunshine,
He never said there would be no rain.
He only promised a heart full of singing
About the very thing that once brought pain.

It is not the promise of an easy pathway, nor of constant ‘sunshine’ that will bring us the contentment and happiness to wait on Him to fulfill our dreams. It is the choice that we make, to see beyond the pain, and to trust His purpose. He has promised us strength to sing, even during the darkest moments, and this is the key to joy that is stronger, even than all our shattered dreams.I do not know if the dreams I gave to God not long ago will ever be mine again. I cannot see ahead to know what the future holds. There are still tears in my eyes, and yet I can sing. I choose to sing, and to go on my journey, trusting that in His perfect time, my dreams- beyond my highest of expectations- will come true, someday.

My friend, He will build your dreams too, if you’ll let Him.

(Indented lyrics from Give Them All, (c)1975, BMG Songs, Inc. Words and Music by Phil Johnson and Bob Benson, Sr.)

9 Comments

  1. Tammy Skinner says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I am going through this right now, and this is a huge help to me.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! What a beautiful message of hope and healing. I just wanted to say that I absolutely love the song you quoted! My daddy used to sing it to me all the time when I was a little girl. It has also helped me through times of hurting as a young woman.
    Blessings!

  3. Princess0479 says:

    Hi Chantel this entry was so beautiful, i haven't read YLCF for about a week or two so i have lots of catching up to do =))
    but yours was the first article i read, somewhere long ago when i was just a child i had so many dreams i thought i'd be married, with a child, with a college degree, and maybe with a nice job all by the age of 28 or 30..well dear sister, I"m almost 30 will be 30 this April, and even though my dreams didn't happen the way i dreamed, it happened better than i could ever plan, i when i was a child was Jewish, and now i'm a daughter of the KING most high, and that in itself is a better dream i could have ever fathomed…and there have been times that he tried to remold me in the last years, it's with brokenness and with broken relationships with men and friends that he refined me like pure fire..YET it was all worth it in the end.
    I was engaged about 1 1/2 years ago, and that relationship came to an abrupt end, and i thought i couldn't go on i couldn't move on, NOW after this time and even after the first few months of sadness and depression i realized that God had his hand in all this, and that without this man i'm better off..I am better being single and God's daughter for now, and if someday God graces me with a Godly wonderful man than that will be in HIS timing and HIS alone…i just gotta be patient and joyful in my waiting..=))
    Sorry for the recount of some of my experiences, i just put them down just in case it may help someone, I want to say to the brokenhearted who may be reading this..THAT there is that rainbow at the end of the tunnel, there is a light at the end of the road..Take this Road, GIVE your whole heart to God, hold nothing back from HIM, and he will make you ANEW he will just scoop you up and rebuild your heart like a potter and he will just give you new dreams, new joy, new happiness..and YOU whoever you are YOU will sing again you will even dance again, not right away, but after time passes..BUT first RAISE your hands to God and Praise HIM =))
    YOU all can pull through these dark pathways and God is always there carrying you =))

    I hope this comforts someone today..=))

    thank you thank you so much for this article, Chantel it was very timely for me and very helpful!

    Thanks so much!

    Blessings & HUGS to all!

    To God be all glory!

    In Him, Jane.

  4. Thanks so much for putting it all so perfectly. . . I went through shattered dreams and all those broken pieces not long ago. . . God’s grace is always there though. He holds us in the palm of His hand, and none can take us out of it.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Thank you. I’m in the midst of this right now so I was blessed in your sharing your experiences. God bless you, Chantel!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I wrote a story once called “The glass heart” that was written during my time of being shattered. I wouldn’t trade the joy that I found through that pain for anything; although, I did truly think that I was going to simply die of pain at the time.
    God is good!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you! I’m going through this for the second time. I do have to say that the first experience prepared me a little and made it not such a shock this time, although this is one area in which I’m not exactly looking for experience!

    Sometimes it feels like absolutely nothing is left, and I think, well, here is the empty vessel that I tried to be all those years. And the only comfort is that finally there is nothing standing between me and God.

  8. Clare Marie-Therese Duroc says:

    Thank you, Chantel.

    Since this summer I’ve been going through a rebuilding process, and for the first time I’m beginning to have a glimmering of understanding of the beauty that can be brought out from pain. For the first time I’m beginning to see how the suffering has blessed me, matured me, refined me. For the first time I’ve been able to move just a little past the cry to God: “Help me,” to the words: “Thank You.” I don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand the suffering and why it came until I meet God face to face and He reveals all of His plan, but for the first time I have the faintest glimmering.

  9. Wow. I am going through this right now. It hurts more than I can say, but He is right there through it all. Thank you for this. It was very, very encouraging!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *