The Disappointment of Shattered Dreams

Sharon Jaynes Expectant Living, Never Less Than, When You Don't Like Your Story 38 Comments

Did you have dreams about what your adult life would be like? I had a dream of having a house full of giggling little girls and boisterous rowdy boys. After my son, Steven, was born, I felt that we were well on our way to making that dream a reality.

I loved being a mom! With Bambi-length eyelashes, chubby cheeks, and a shock of black hair (which later turned white), Steven had my heart in his tiny little fist the first time I laid eyes on him.

Eighteen months later, I was ready to plan for baby number two. We had conceived Steven with no trouble whatsoever, so I thought giving him a sibling would be just as easy.

We told Steven, “Mommy and Daddy are asking God to give you a little brother or sister!” At the end of our family prayer each night, Steven would add, “And God, please give mommy and daddy another Jaynes baby.”

But the next month there was no news of another Jaynes baby. Or the next…or the next. Months turned into years, and Steven continued to pray, “And God, please give mommy and daddy another Jaynes baby. Amen.”

Doctor visits, infertility treatment, and monthly heartbreak consumed my thinking. This is not how the story was supposed to go. The disappointment was crushing. The discouragement was visceral.

Steven was just about to turn five . . . and still praying the prayer for a brother or sister every night. It looked like we were not going to have more children, but I didn’t know what to tell this little tow-headed boy so full of faith. How do you tell a kid that he doesn’t need to pray a certain prayer anymore? Should I even do that? Was this seemingly unanswered prayer going to damage his faith?

“God, if this is Your will for our family,” I sighed, “You’ve got to take care of this prayer situation with Steven.”

We had a miniature table and chairs in the kitchen where Steven and I ate lunch together each day. One day while sharing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Steven looked up, and in his sweet little voice said, “Mommy, have you ever thought that maybe God only wants you to have one Jaynes baby?”

“Yes, I have thought that. And if that’s what He wants, I’m so thankful He has given me all I have ever hoped for wrapped up in one package, YOU!”

Then he cocked his little head and stated a prayer plan. “Well, what I think we ought to do is keep praying until you’re too old to have one. Then we’ll know that’s His answer!”

What a great idea. The truth is, I had been worried about Steven’s faith, but all the while, it was my own that was suffering. I was so discouraged that I was having trouble believing that God loved me.         

Steven didn’t know how old too old was, but with a child-like faith, he did know God could do anything. If His answer was no, he didn’t have a problem with that. I told him no many times and he understood that no did not mean, I don’t love you. No just meant no because I am your parent and I know what’s best for you.

Everyone will experience disappointment at some point in life. It will look as different and unique as the fingerprints on your hand, but disappointments will come.

  • Dropping your son off at a rehab center instead of college.
  • Signing divorce papers instead of planning an anniversary party.
  • Looking for a job rather than getting a raise.
  • Cuddling up with a good book rather than cozying up with a good husband.
  • Planning a funeral instead of planning a future.
  • Counting out food stamps instead of writing a check.
  • Moving up in your career rather than rocking a baby in your arms.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I do know this: God has a plan. I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases Jeremiah 29:11: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

God was talking to the Israelites in this verse, but it applies to us as well. God knows what He’s doing.

Shattered dreams open doors to better dreams…dreams we never even thought to imagine. They become fertilizer in which God’s best for us can grow. And that’s a promise.

Lord, today, I am giving You the broken pieces of my shattered dreams. I pray You will use them to create something more beautiful than I ever imagined. I pray You will turn my hurt into hope, my pain into purpose, and my mess into a beautiful masterpiece. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is one shattered dream in your life that turned into a better dream? Leave a comment and let’s share.

Consider memorizing today’s truth and repeating it every time discouragement or disappointment creep into your heart.

When You Don't Like Your Story

We’ve all got parts of our stories that we’d like to tear out or mark out of the narrative. I’ve got them. You’ve got them. But what if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? What if the worst parts could become the most powerful tools that God uses in the life of others? I know that they can. Check out my book, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories, and let’s learn how together!

 

Also, November 2, is the last day for the free gift of the book, The 5 Dreams of Every Woman…and How God Longs to Fulfill Them, with every purchase of any amount.

 

 

© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 38

  1. I longed for a child and God gave me a precious son. At two he started speech therapy and occupational therapy for sensory issues. It is very likely he will have a delayed autism diagnosis. I have wrestled with God over this, all the while dreaming of having another child, which hasn’t been possible. I realize the dreams I had might not have been God’s plan for my life and I am yet to entirely accept that. I keep praying for patience and peace amidst the uncertainty of what my child and our family’s future will look like.

    1. Hey Sandy, sorry to hear on the autism diagnosis … I have a 14 y/o autie and i still struggle most days since my prayer as a labor nurse knowing the pitfalls had been steadfastly for a healthy baby …. give yourself grace …. my prayer changed to … ok so this is the child that You have given me please help me identify therapies or people that will help me help him …. this ammended prayer has been answered 100 fold!
      I pray you are blessed with another baby … a neurotypical one in the future. Till then may you abound in grace and peace ….

      1. Thanks for replying and please pray that I may accept God’s will and stop fighting His plans and purpose. I did pray before his birth for a healthy baby and I have been struggling with my faith and belief ever since I started the whole diagnosis and therapy journey. I want to remain a believer but sometime’s it’s hard. I guess He doesn’t guarantee everything will be a bed of roses but still, it’s a hard pill to swallow to know other kids are developing properly while mine has to work three times as hard to do things.

  2. Loved the story ,
    We have to keep on looking up and ,
    Keeping our faith , and
    Accept even though it may not be what I want ,God has the big picture , so thankful for Gods guidance .

    1. After 33 years of a good marriage and my husband was a pastor, he had a major stroke and lost his right side but still walks with a brace on his leg . The sad part is he was so funny and animated and such a deep person . He got aphasia and apraxia and doesn’t speak in sentences unless he practices the answers . I was 58 and he was 59. Sometimes I feel like my life is over and sometimes I feel likeGod had a plan and He knows what he’s doing . I have loved God for over 43 years and want to do His will . Sometimes it’s really hard that I have to do everything myself now

      1. Wow! You are truly a warrior. I pray God gives you the strength you need as well as a shoulder to cry on when you’re tired and lonely. May His hand support you always.

  3. Your story blessed me today. This can be a variety of dreams!
    We all just have to apply it to our own shattered dream.

    Ever since I was a kid one of my favourite songs has been give them all …. Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys … give them all to Jesus and He will turn your sorrows into joy.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to child like faith!

  4. I have had many dreams shattered- a divorce after 39 years of marriage, my daughter leaving home and coming back at 18 expecting a baby, my moms 13 year journey with Alzheimer’s, the deaths of my 4 closest friends within 3 years and hardest of all, my younger son leaving his wife and children and a successful career for drugs and now living in the streets for the past 3 years despite what felt like moving heaven and earth to help him find a path back. But God…..
    I will soon celebrate my 2nd wedding anniversary to a wonderful man who loves the Lord with all his heart. My daughters little baby is now 17 and she is the treasure of my heart. My daughters wonderful husband and their twin girls who adore their big sister. My 7 grandchildren! And we are now planning a move that will initiate our semi- retirement plan. Most of all the way God has carried me, encouraged me, taught me and led me to a place where I no longer see myself as collateral damage but as His beloved conqueror. I have learned to see the everyday joys even when travelling a hard hard path filled with disappointment. Amen and amen.He is faithful.

    1. Thank you for sharing! Wow, what trauma you’ve suffered and trusted God with it all! Beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness! Thanks 😊

  5. When working in a Christian College and having your children attending for 5 years. Loving your work but experiencing and seeing many attacks on staff, students and parents over a number of years. When my family was effected I prayed and asked God to use me in this situation. Within 3 weeks of asking I had confirmation which I followed through.. As I addressed the issue with the an appropriate person I was abused which led to many years of pain, tears, humiliation, isolation, lies, rejection along with many nasty attacks. My family has definitely grown through the suffering and we are still loving Jesus as He is our Rock. He has never left us and we have never blamed Him as He know the plans He has for us.
    We thank God for All He has done to bring us through 7 years of trials. Finally coming to the understanding that someone you thought knew something but didn’t, someone you trusted, coming to understand they were listening and operating from a false spirit. Healing has begun as I believe they did not know what they were dining. As Jesus said “They know not what they do” when He himself was being .persecuted. I love Jesus and thank Him every day for loving me/us and keeping us safe. Many blessings with many more to come I know as I/we continue to put all our trust in Him and thank Him. Thank you Jesus for souls won for you through All that has happened. Jesus is real today and continues to open doors as we continue to forgive and love those who have hurt us.

  6. I gain so much insight and faith from you that inspires me toward stronger convictions in our Lord. Thank you and God bless you.

  7. “Signing divorce papers instead of planning an anniversary party.” This was my shattered dream. We almost made it 20 years. But…God has shown myself and my 3 kids in AMAZING ways how much He loves us. I just told my grandma yesterday that my kids would never have seen the miracles of the Lord if I hadn’t gone through that divorce. They wouldn’t know what it’s like to truly rely on the Lord and wait for Him. All of our faith has grown so much and God is still surprising us daily with things that are much more measurable that we could ask for. Just two days ago a family in church slipped a check in my Bible for $5,000 for my kids to attend church camp this next summer. WOW! I was in shock. Things like this have happened multiple times since my husband left. I wish my husband would’ve stayed in the marriage, but I’m thankful that my kids have seen God provide time and time again. He is faithful!

  8. This book changed my life. Sharon has fast become one of my very favorite authors. I just ordered 4 more and am already doing the Bible study “never less than” that I started through my church.
    POWERFUL words that can change the mind of a willing heart.
    THANK YOU for following God’s will for your life.

  9. My shattered dream hasn’t turned into a better dream yet. My daughter who was raised up in a relationship with Jesus and was once a missionary has publicly denounced her faith in Jesus and walked away. She now worships what she calls Mother Earth. After reading your post I’ve been encouraged to pray for her.

  10. AS a young woman growing up in the 1960’s i had dreams of changing the world . As a nurse I wanted to run a .medical clinic for the poor and heal everyone. Now at age 70 and thinking about retirement, I instead look back on 3 abortions, a .mediocre. marriage, a 40 year old rebellious son who refuses mental health help, and a nursing career that never blossomed. Still God is with me and working, but life certainly didn’t turn out as I dreamed!

  11. I started crying when I read , dropped your son at rehab instead of college “.
    We dropped my son at college only for him to flunk out due to substance use disorder. Eight years later we are still struggling with the revolving door of rehab.
    I love your prayer of turning shattered dreams into a masterpiece.
    I have never given up hope for my son.
    Thank you for todays sharing.
    Alice O

  12. I have a shattered dream of a perfect family. My husband is an alcoholic who also cheated on me 12 years ago and my son is bipolar and my daughter has anxiety. I care for my mom who has Alzheimer’s and is dying of stage 4 lung cancer and I’m with her away from my family 55+ hours a week. Buy yet I know the Lord loves me and is here for me. An ever present help in times of trouble. I want to encourage women not to give up! I have an extremely full plate but I still make time on most days to read a devotion and pray. This is essential to take of myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If I don’t have Jesus I have nothing. With Jesus I have everything. Full access to my savior and Heavenly Father who desires to come along side of me and lift me up with love, peace, hope and encouragement. He is the answer. Some days are so hard for me but it’s nothing he cannot handle. He guides me and gives me strength. He can do all these things and more for you as well. ❤️❤️❤️

  13. My dreams of ever having a baby were shattered when my doctor encouraged a hysterectomy. That same year I tried to commit suicide by overdose. I heard God’s voice ask me to pray one more time. I did. The Holy Spirit filled my room with hope and joy. Two months later, my husband and I adopted a 8 day old baby boy. Now, three adoptions later, I know my purpose. He turned that heartbreak into the greatest joy. I still wish I could’ve birthed my own children, but my kids tell me I did. Our God is the greatest.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  14. I never dreamed at 70 years old, I would visit my husband in the nursing home. Due to not taking care of his body, my strong, athletic husband had a leg totally removed due to diabetes. He has totally given up and never leaves the bed no matter how many times I tell him I want him home, if he’ll work to build his upper body so that he can transfer to the wheelchair. He continues to do nothing, which breaks my heart. I’ve done all I can do, and until he changes his mindset, he will remain there. My life is on hold. I love him dearly, but I’m tired and broken.

  15. GOD answered your prayer Sharon to take care of Steven’s faith. It seems like you had a momemt with the Holy Spirit when Steven told you..” Mommy have you ever thought that maybe GOD only wants you to have one Jaynes baby?”. I believe so because the secrets of the LORD are in those who fear GOD …as what was said in Psalm 25. Through Steven, GOD revealed His answer to you. And just hear again the second statement of Steven…” Well, what i think I ought to do is KEEP PRAYING until you’re too old to have one. Then you’ll know that is His answer.” See! That is from Luke 18…Don’t lose heart. Keep on praying.

  16. Thank you Sharon for this beautiful tribute to God’s faithfulness amidst our brokenness! I can “ditto” much of what I’m reading here today. I’m grateful for God’s all sufficient grace with provision of my daily needs; emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually! Through the trials of life, I choose to surrender myself to Jesus, over and over again. He has been and is faithful to me. I’m thankful for a Savior who lets me be me in his presence and sometimes, I’m like a “brute beast before Him” as King David expressed in Psalms. He always brings me through the deep waters to the other side by his tender voice, beckoning me to cast all my cares onto Him! Thanks for being transparent with your own struggles and encouraging us to press forward as you have and do. I would love to read your autobiography someday. God bless you!

  17. My God is a maker of miracles. I never thought that I wuld live to see the day my husband of 13 years stop drinking. He has been on the road to recovery for over a year. Over a year ago I was ready to give up and kick him out. My amazing sister sheep (ladies Bible study) never gave up on praying and supporting me. I can tell you today that me and husband are back on the road to recovery in our marriage. I never thought that was possible. Our life verse Jeremiah 29:11 is from our true God. Thankyou Sharon for your amazing ministry to reach women and give them hope.

  18. How do we get it so wrong? I left high school wanting to get married, have 4 kids then a job down the track. I got married, no kids, & then the marriage ended due to him not wanting to be married anymore. I hit rock bottom but found my faith in God one hundred fold. I met & married a wonderful man & while it took a little while to falling pregnant (5th & last attempt with IVF) we were blessed with a beautiful healthy daughter. Had a surprised pregnancy at 40 which ended as quick as finding out in a miscarriage. That was nearly 8 years ago. Doctor told us we just fall into that unexplained group to why we cannot fall pregnant. After all these years of thinking & feeling God was going to bless us with more children, I feel like that door is slowing closing the older I get. Like your son Sharon, my daughter would pray for a sister or brother, & it breaks my heart that, that prayer may not be answered for her too. Life is a journey & God does work through our disappointment. I just have to keep trusting God & seeking Him through this. Your story & books have blessed my life. Thank you.

  19. “Planning a funeral instead of a future”.
    That’s my most recent shattered dream. My husband passed away from Covid 19 eighteen months ago. We were married for 24yrs but together for 28yrs. Gone was our dream of being ’empty nesters’, as we were looking forward to being alone at home, now that the children are adults and living on their own, and spoiling our grandchildren. Gone was our plan to have a second honeymoon for our 25th wedding anniversary. Gone was our dream of walking our daughter down the aisle at her wedding planned months before his death.

    But God…. continues to give my family grace and strength to go on. He is faithful. I continue to wait on Him, to show me His purpose for my life in this season and the future. He continues to remind me that He has the plan, so I wait… trusting Him to fulfil it.

  20. I’ve had several very hard dreams shattered. 2 years ago my youngest son died from brain cancer at age 7 after a 2 year battle… I grieve all of the “what might have been’s!” Knowing he’s fully healed in Heaven and I will see him again but missing the moments I “should’ve had” with him here on Earth.
    And more recently our church choosing to discontinue the ministry my husband and I were leading that was actually growing and flourishing and helping so many people because they said “it just doesn’t fit with the vision we have going forward for our church.” So we are just processing and trusting that when God allows one door to close He will open another!

  21. Thank you for your story. I so needed to hear this! I have a dream for which at 61 am still believing. I have been giving up and now feel renewed belief in God’s promises.

  22. God blessed me with the most wonderful man. 10 days after we were married, he was officially diagnosed with ALS. I believe in miracles, but as more symptoms come, my faith is really being tested, especially since my beloved is having a hard time believing in his healing. I want to have faith enough for both of us, and I will continue to believe until God says differently. But some days, it is so hard and heartbreaking. I wanted 20 years with this amazing man. But when days get hard, I think of the Mercy Me song “Even If”. I resolve to have joy in every moment and be so very grateful for what I’ve been given.

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