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When Dreams Are Deferred: Holding onto Hope

Now that we have spent some time together, you all understand more about what goes on in my mind. You will come to realize that most of my posts are about things I am currently learning, going through, or overcoming.

Have you ever had a dream so big that you honestly did not understand how it would come true? Or do you believe in something impossible to come true? I have been there so many times. I would look at my current situation, circumstances, and issues as reasons why things couldn't come true. I would talk myself out of believing this dream could come true.

I'll never forget at the end of 6th grade, we were able to try out for our middle school cheerleading squad. I remember admiring the cheerleaders so much and wanting to be a part of the team. I practiced so hard and during the tryouts, I gave it my all. My mom always taught me to think "worst-case scenario" so that I wouldn't be disappointed by whatever the outcome. I found that by doing this I was not truly affected by the disappointment.

They posted the cheerleading list on the gym bulletin board. And guess what... I didn't make the team! I was bummed! I knew that I had worked hard and felt so defeated. It hurt so bad, and it didn't help to see some of the girls jumping for joy. Even though I prepared for the worst-case scenario, it didn't stop the pain. But I was determined to be a part of this team. I asked the coach if I could be the team manager/water girl. I saw this as an opportunity to learn everything I could about being a part of the team. I realized the young ladies who made the team were all spectacular cheerleaders who competed on cheer teams outside of school. They were the best of the best and they embraced me so that I could learn from the best! I would attend practices, competitions, and even cheer camps with them. I absorbed all that I could from them.

A middle school cheerleader
My Middle School Cheerleading Days!

So much so that it was time for the next year's cheerleading team tryouts. I was focused this year and more prepared. I gave it my all times 1000 this time! And now we wait for the results to be posted... I MADE THE TEAM! I was crying with tears of joy! I knew my hard work and effort had paid off. The cheerleaders who made the team previously embraced me because they were so proud of me! We had an amazing dynamic year full of great performances and cheer competitions. It was probably one of my greatest memories of believing in a dream to come true and not giving up on that dream because it was deferred.

This lesson I learned reminds me of the story of Hannah in the Bible (1 Samuel 1&2). Hannah was one of Elkanah's two wives. She was deeply distressed because she had no children, while Elkanah's other wife, Peninnah, did. Despite her anguish and being provoked by Peninnah, Hannah prayed earnestly to God, promising that if He gave her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord. God heard her plea, and she gave birth to Samuel, whom she later dedicated to God. God blessed Hannah further with more children, demonstrating His faithfulness and abundance.

Hannah's story speaks to so many of our dreams that haven't come true yet. She is a true example of how we should wait on the Lord for our dreams to come true. No matter how impossible some situations may seem, we know God can do miracles in our lives.

I encourage you today to trust that God hears your cries for your dreams and to wait for him to make them come true. And just like Hannah not only will he bless you with your dream he will give you even more than you can ask for - "Now to him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20 NIV.

Now to him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20 NIV.

Seasons of Lack Do Not Determine Your Destiny

Do not look at your season of lack as God's final answer for you. God will show you his favor even in your season of lack. When you read the story of Hannah, you will see that in her barren season, she received a double portion of meat because her husband loved her and because the Lord closed her womb. You are still favored by God even when it does not feel like it.

Do Not Be Discouraged by the Enemy

Do not be discouraged by the enemy's provoking of you in an area of insecurity in your life. Just like when I didn't make the cheerleading squad the first time or when Hannah was provoked by her rival for not having children, do not let the enemy discourage you. Keep believing for your dream to come true!

Pray to God with ALL your heart

When you are feeling great anguish and grief for your dreams to come true, cry out to the Lord and make your requests known to him. Ask the Lord for your desires and promise to honor and glorify God with those desires. As you pray with true faith and belief, you will go away with peace and no more hopelessness. Always worship the Lord.

The Lord Remembers You

The Lord always remembers His children and hears our cries. Just like when I didn't make the team, I was patient, practiced while learning all that I could, and waited for my turn. The Lord will bless us with our dreams in His timing. We just have to be faithful in our worship.

Remember What You Promised the Lord

When the Lord blesses you with your dream, remember what you promised Him. Continue to pray and worship the Lord with that dream. Always remain faithful because the Lord will bless you with even more than you can ask for. Hannah only prayed for one son and received three sons and two daughters! The Lord was gracious to His faithful servant!

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