How Shattered Dreams Actually Make You Stronger

How Shattered Dreams Actually Make You Stronger

Finding the beauty and joy in the brokenness
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We have all heard the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

It is viewed as an old cliché that everyone and their mother tells you when things aren’t going great for you. But there is a reason why any statement such as this one is a cliché, because it can be true. Just like everyone else on Earth, your dreams and aspirations are bound to be shattered.

As difficult as that is to hear, one of the things you have always dreamed of might not work out the way you wished it would. But, when the dreams you have shatter, do they make you weaker as a person or stronger? Does being broken leave cracks that can be filled with something stronger and more meaningful to you in the future? Is there a higher power at work when your dreams are shattered?

We have all been at places or points in our lives that something doesn’t turn out the way we wanted or someone or something we always thought would be there left us. This can often feel like the waves are crashing down on us as we are stuck in the undertow of the water. We feel as though we are slowly drowning in the circumstances life throws at us. So, when we feel this way, how are we supposed to respond? Do we give up hope and give up on creating future dreams because of the expectation that they will fail to pan out the way we wished they would?

If you view shattered dreams like breaking a bone, then what we see can happen is rather remarkable. When you fracture or break a bone, the healing process begins by strengthening the part of the bone where the fracture took place. Usually this creates a thicker layer of calcium build up that will prevent your bone from being broken in the same spot.

We can view our hearts the same way. If life throws you a curveball and you feel as though your heart is broken, maybe that is right where you need to be. The idea of self-improvement now becomes a forethought of your mind and energy. The cracks that are left in your heart can now be calcified to make it stronger and build character to establish who you are as a person.

When you fill the cracks in your heart you learn from the past which makes it more difficult for it to break in the same way as before. Just like the fractured bone, every heart break and shattered expectation you face can lead to a better understanding of what and how you can deal with it the next time it arrives. But what do we have to help fill the breaches of our hearts?

The intention of being broken is that the Holy Spirit can use it to make our desire and need for God more evident in our lives. Shattered dreams will always be necessary in our walk with the Lord. But in every situation, that we face, we often fight with God and ask huge and important questions that either liquify or solidify our faith in Him.

But God, if you could have fulfilled this dream for me, why didn’t you?”

“I prayed and was faithful to you and you let my hopes and aspirations become shattered.”

If you truly are a loving and mighty God why did you allow this to happen?”

And the truth is that deep pain is meant to draw us back to Him and for us to see that we can’t do life on our own.

Often, we are left feeling cold and have lost our desire to create new dreams. If we have expectations for our life than how can we achieve them if God does not allow it to happen? But ask yourself this question, if the hopes that you have for your life always don’t turn out the way you wanted them to, are your ambitions in line with His will for my life? If you are living apart from God, this may be an important question to ask from time to time.

God never does anything or lets anything happen to us for no reason. And when you think you are clinging to God by just a thin rope, He will always have you in the palm of His hand. You are a child of the living God and He promises to never leave you or forsake you.

6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

In the end, all our shattered dreams will always leave us with something beautiful if we seek and desire Him. The Holy Spirit will begin to fill the cracks of our hearts and there will be a creation of a new heart and one that desires to be in a closer relationship with God. Visualize your heart as pieces of a stained-glass mosaic and realize that all the pieces from every dream that was shattered left something magnificent behind.

All the pieces of your heart give birth to a new creation and work of art. Every piece in the right place, filled in with the strength you gained in your faith in Him. A gorgeous canvas of all different colors and designs, that when the light shines through, it illuminates and fills the room around you. This will always be God’s intention for heartbreak and suffering, a work of art that only He could meld and mold to fit His purpose and calling for you.

Sunset at Trillium Lake - Mt Hood, Oregon by Kasia Polkowska

“No matter what happens in life, a wonderful dream is available always, that if pursued will generate an unfamiliar, radically new internal experience. That experience, strange at first, will eventually be recognized as joy.” -Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams (2001)

Cover Image Credit: Michelle Carlson

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As A Female Christian Millennial, I Fully Support Alabama's Abortion Ban Because I Know God Would, Too

A life always has worth, no matter the circumstances.

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Alabama's state legislature passed a bill on May 14, 2019 that makes it illegal for abortions to be performed past six weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who are caught violating the law could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison. The bill is the strictest anti-abortion bill to date this year as states try to pass laws to challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

While the law does allow an exception to women whose lives are at risks, it does not allow for abortions in the event of rape or incest. I support Alabama's new law, and I applaud them for their efforts to protect the rights of unborn children.

As a Christian, I believe that life is a precious gift from God and should be treated with care.

The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill," and Jesus said the second greatest rule was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40). I believe this applies to every person born and unborn. But, even from a secular perspective, there are reasons that support an unborn child's right to life. Let's break down two of the most important components of the bill: abortion itself and the case of rape and incest.

A big argument in the debate is whether a baby is alive before it is born or only after it is born.

I believe can be explained and answered with simple medical science. In the medical profession, a person is pronounced dead when there is no more activity in the brain, known as brain-dead.

At that point, they consider there to be no more life in the body.

The opposite of death is life, so if you have electrical signals still coursing through your brain, then you are alive. A fetus begins to have electrical activity in its brain at six weeks. Most women do not find out they are pregnant until around that time, so by the time they decide to have an abortion, the baby, by all medical accounts, is alive.

Another indicator of whether a person is dead or dying is their pulse.

The pulse is how many times a person's heart beats per minute. If a person does not have a pulse, they will more than likely die if their heart cannot be resuscitated because no oxygen is getting to their brain.

Medical personnel does everything they can to start a person's heart back because they know that the heart is key to life.

A baby's heart begins to beat at five weeks old, again before the mother knows she is pregnant and can choose to have an abortion. Since the United States' justice system upholds that killing a person is wrong, then shouldn't killing a baby, who is alive, be wrong too? I think this is plenty of proof that aborting a baby is killing a living person and is therefore wrong.

Rape and incest are two horrible acts that should be punished. It is never the victim's or conceived a child's fault in the situation.

Given the reasons above for why abortion is wrong, I also believe, while both crimes are horrendous, that abortion is still not the answer to this problem. I do understand, however, that women, because of the traumatic experience or other reasons, may not be able to care for the child.

As such, I am an advocate for adoption.

There are many couples out there who cannot have children on their own who would love to adopt. In order, for this to be a viable option, though, Congress needs to make amendments to adoption laws.

Adoption is outrageously expensive, much more costly than an abortion, and is a long and tedious process.

Though the laws are in place so that not just anybody can adopt a child, the government still could stand to relax laws a little. Another option could be to offer aid to those who wish to adopt specifically to cover adoption expenses or to only those who meet certain requirements. If we want to protect unborn children, we must give women and families more viable options.

I know that my views are not popular, but God did not call us to be popular, He called us to be His disciples.

I will not compromise my convictions because I am in the minority. I support the women who have to face this dilemma, and I pray that they and our government officials make the right decisions and aid these women and families in need of help.

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The Truth About Politics In Religion And How It Affects Our Relationship With God

They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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It's evident that religion can and has been used in politics from the values of voters and leaders. However, to use your religion or your relationship with God for making political decisions doesn't share the same meaning.

I've always loved finding all the best facts and research for argumentative work but I couldn't pursue that approach for this topic. Why? Because I've experienced the pattern in my relationship with God of how God defies logic.

God can't be contained to a definition or explanation. I liked the way I've heard one leader express that, "If you hear someone trying to explain to God as if he knows then he's a fool before he starts talking". That's a paradox within itself.

I've learned more recently to identify that the two sides of the paradox that you might wrestle with in understanding God are both true. That, yes, His hands are big and He knows exactly what to do to make you surrender but you'll also find no greater love than with Him because He has the biggest heart and knows what you need better than you do.

I think that accepting this paradox will differentiate between those that view politics religiously versus those that view it from 'what is God trying to do here'? The one that focuses on seeking 'what is God trying to do here?' would represent those with a relationship with God. This doesn't mean that referencing the laws of God exempts you from having a relationship but the love of God is the strength that sustains the relationship over the law. This is also a bit of a paradox because they're both important in Christianity.

There's the difference from seeing God as one-sided which is very prideful, limiting and incorrect compared to recognizing that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I believe that what we believe and how we see God will bring limitations or provision on how we can be used in God's plan for His kingdom on earth when it comes to the way the world is run.

God, our relationship with God and the law of God all have to be considered in the things we do as Christians.

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