To Those in the Hallway of Delayed Dreams

Author: Jenna Anderson | @mrsjenna_anderson

I know this hallway well. Despite its familiarity, I’d rather pass on through. As dreams old and new flutter with wonder in my heart I begin to look around. Strolling the creaky floorboards of this hall doors of opportunity take their place in my peripheral. Doors to a life-long relationship, new seasons of life, and the alignment of purpose and passion. Doors that begin to silently mock my deepest dreams. For these doors lay unopened. Locked. Unfriendly in their ways. I gaze down the hall unsure of how I got here and even more unsure of when and where this hallway will end.

Days, weeks, months pass by with those dreams beating steady and sure. I choose hope and anticipation as doors crack open letting shafts of brilliant light change the face of the landscape. Time passes and once again those same doors mysteriously close. The dim familiarity of this shadowy hallway reappears and with it the sinking feeling of my achy heart. Then there are years. The years in this locale grow stuffy and disheartening. I look for distractions and hide away my dreams behind invisible walls.  Heartsickness from hope deferred now replaces my dreaming beats.

I hear whispers of others whose doors have opened. Doors majestically swung wide as their dreams were revealed. Their exit from this hallway leaves me weary and alone. As much as I choose to celebrate alongside them, dreams hang heavy in the pit in my heart. When will the waiting cease? When will a door open for me? Time floats on and I find myself left with a choice, stop dreaming and make my home in this hallway or press in with hope letting the anticipation of the unknown build.

I know this hallway well.

I’ve found myself in the hall of delayed dreams in more than one season in my life. I’ve walked this ground begrudgingly, hope-filled, defeated, optimistic, and every which way in between. No matter the dream my soul longed for, the hallway was and is the same. The messy middle of transition found me here. Here I waited. What I’ve discovered between these walls is that the choice of how I’ve walked this hallway is what has mattered most.

Yes, this hall is steeped with challenges and potential heartache. But there’s beauty here too. Strength found in the artful craft of leaning in when your heart wants to cut and run. Remain, my friend. Though the years at times demand it, make your own choice to remain here for the purpose of learning and growing and readying yourself for what’s beyond. Linger in the waiting with a heart set on remaining soft. 

Invite Jesus into these sacred spaces of the not-yet and learn His heart. Choose with all of the grit you’ve got to repeatedly awaken hope. The God who is with you in this waiting is depositing the deepest treasure in you. Treasure that will be called upon and withdrawn on the other side of these doors. Deposits that will be the very things you need most for when dreams are revealed. Choose to let Jesus do this work in you. Choose to Remain.

Oh Dreamers, I see you. For I’m a dreamer too.

Maybe it’s falling in love. The longing of your heart to be more fully known. Safe in the strength of belonging. Surrendered to a new name in a love you were born to nurture.

Surrender that dream to Jesus. Be soft and open, hopeful and patient.

Perhaps your arms ache to hold the chubby goodness of a child. To create life and carefully, beautifully tend to it. To see the world set ablaze with wonder as you see it through the eyes of your child.

Lay this dream before Jesus too. Believe that the God outside of time and space sees all things and IS working. He holds this dream tenderly.

Maybe you dream of stepping effortlessly into a role you were born to play. To gather your gifts and talents into an offering for the waiting world to take in. Songs composed. Words spoken. Businesses thriving. Graphics inspiring. You were made for this. And yet, where is that door? You knock and no one answers.

Steady yourself with humble confidence in who you were created to be. There is a door for you. Relinquish your demands on what it might look like and see what surprises God might be holding.

No matter your dream, measure your steps here.

With a soft heart, 

Choose to K E E P  D R E A M I N G.

Hold your dreams loosely as you lay them down. Surrendered here as a sweet offering to the only One who truly understands the purpose in this hallway. Listen for Jesus’ whispers of peace as adventure takes root in you.

Choose to T R U S T.

Lay aside circumstances that mock your dreams and believe anyway. Lean in when your heart and mind and soul want to draw back. Savor Jesus and invite Him into your questions and pain. Let Him be enough when your heart weighs heavy.

Choose to B U I L D.

Set your heart and mind to the purposes that are in your hands today. Where has God placed you? Thrive there. What has God given you? Steward it with enthusiasm.

Let today be brimming with joy and purpose. Shed the threatening weight of unknowns for a heart building with thankfulness. Let gratitude flavor your mean time with peace.

Hope and stay open.

Build and trust.

Dream and give thanks.

I know this hallway well. It is not for the faint of heart. But this hallway is for the faithful. For the ones who courageously invite Jesus into the intimate, exposed spaces between these waiting walls. Through the wondering of it all, in this mysterious place of waiting, we can be changed by His nearness. Choose to walk this hall well. When doors open and dreams are revealed in their time, you’ll be overwhelmingly grateful that you did.

Whitney ParnellComment