How do we forgive lost dreams?
I have been asking the Lord how it is we are called to forgive but it still hurts. What do we do with the hurt? We know that scripture says that if we don't forgive... God won't forgive us. Forgiveness is necessary to walk with God. Forgiveness is supernatural and it is the work of the spirit that helps us to forgive. But... what do we do with the hurt?
I will give you an example. I love ministering with my husband when he was a pastor. I loved the people in the church, I loved seeing people grow in their faith. I loved being apart of a movement where everyone was marching forward and courageously walking with the Lord. I loved listening to my husband preach and I grew in my relationship with Christ in every sermon. I also loved going on long walks with my husband and hearing how God was changing his heart before he could stand up at the pulpit and preach.
Six in a half years into our ministry we were asked to leave. We left without a fight but left quietly so as we thought if God did not want to protect us we did not want to be there. We left brokenhearted and it has taken us, so far, eight years to heal. We are moving forward and my husband loves the ministry God has given him and I love the doors God has opened up for me. Except... we have now received apologies (from elders and staff) and have forgiven but I am faced with a new kind the hurt. I realized that the new kind of hurt is produced by looking honestly at our lost dreams.
What are some of my lost dreams? A loss of a dream that was rooted in me from the time I was a little girl. I always wanted to be a pastor's wife. Finally, after 45 years I became what I always wanted to be. So, I guess, it is a loss of identity. A loss of something that I once loved to be and now I will no longer be that PW (pastor's wife) as I call it.
I am going through the loss of what was and will never be. It has become a loss of a old dream. I will never be at that church again. I will never be apart of that church family. I will never be with my own family, kids, and my parents plus my brothers and his family. I will never enjoy the inspirational worship or minister in VBS at that location. I will never lead the women's Bible Study on Tuesday morning. I will never go on youth retreats for the week at Priest Lake. The dream is gone and has produced a new kind of hurt.
As I was pondering the hurt while riding in our truck from town to our cabin, I realized that Joseph in the Old Testament was hurt by betrayal and lost dreams. He had to forgive the people that betrayed him. In the end he told his brothers, "what man meant for evil, God meant for good," even tho he was betrayed and had three specific lost dreams.
Three Lost Dreams
1. Josephs' brothers betrayed him and stuck him into a pit left to die. - Lost dream was living with his family. - Betrayal was by his brothers.
2. Joseph was found and sold to Potiphar and worked his way up into Potiphar's household to the point he was ahead of the whole household. Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him into sexual activity and Joseph fled from her and was put in prison.
- Lost dream is running Potiphar's household and being trusted.
- Betrayal was by Potiphar's wife.
- Joseph went to prison.
3. Joseph moved up in the prison pecking order to be in charge. Pharaoh's cupbearer and chief baker (thrown into prison) were as- signed to Joseph. One morning the cupbearer and the chief baker were discouraged and Joseph helped them work through their dis- couragement by interpreting their dreams. Joseph had ask the cup bearer that when he saw the king and all would go well with him would the cupbearer remember him with the king so Joseph could get out of prison. The cupbearer did not tell the king.
- Lost dream is to get out of prison.
- Betrayed by the cupbearer.
Joseph through all his betrayal and lost dreams remained righteous and seemed to forgive. In every situation he used his gifts and talents to rise to the top and do the best he could with God leading and giving him the strength and wisdom for every situation. Joseph gave God the recognition and glory God deserved. Joseph forgave and moved forward.
Through Joseph's life I am learning to forgive the people that betrayed me but also forgive the lost dreams that came with the betrayal. I am learning that any lost dreams are ultimately designed by God. God knows what is best for me to become like Christ and to totally by used for his kingdom. My time on this earth is to be a bright light shining for him and it is through me that they will see Christ. My responsibility is to completely submit my will over to God. Submit lost dreams, forgive the people who betrayed me and then follow the Lord to show me what he wants me to do for his kingdom.
I hope I can get to the point to say, like Joseph, "what man meant for evil, God meant for good."