September 13th, 2008


Here I sit on a rock, in the middle of a grassy field boasting an abundance of brightly colored wildflowers.  All is peaceful, as the sweet aroma of fresh grass fills my nostrils and my ears tune in to the mating call of a distant bird.  The warm sun kisses my face and a fresh breeze cools my skin.  Without a care in the world, the taste of life is sweet indeed.


As I lean back and breathe in the wonder of it all, I hold onto the vision, not wanting to ever have to leave that place.  But I know that at any second, reality will bring me back to that painful place in my soul, where my dreams have been shattered and my life appears to be hanging in the balance.  Once again, heartache grips me and my countenance falls.


What do I do, now that my dreams are shattered?  How can I make sense of it all?  Whatever happened to all the arrangements I made and brought about by my actions?  All was set into perfect order; how could it have all fallen apart so quickly?  What went wrong – should I have foreseen this train wreck?  And now what do I do with all the pain?  I see my heart strewn in a million pieces at my feet, and I do not have the emotional strength to even pick them up.  Maybe they will be swept away by the wind and I can move on, destined to live a heartless life.   


Oh God, when all my remedies fail, I come to You for help.  (When will I learn to come to You first?)  Yes, I do admit these are my own well-thought-out plans spread all around me, and not necessarily Your plans.  In my defense, I point out that only recently have I begun to understand Your desire to be the center of every part of my life.  Only now do I see that you long to be brought into the core of every plan and operation of my life.  No doubt, as I look around, I must admit that my own will formed the foundation of my plans. I settled in my heart to have my way, as they say, by hook or by crook.  I sit on the ground, arms crossed, and assess the wreckage.


My heartfelt prayer, Lord, is a plea that You would set my plans back into place and restore my shattered dreams.  But as I cry out to You, in pain too deep for words, I find that the heavens are brass. I stand up, beat my breast, and cry out in anguish.  You don’t appear to be responding, and no amount of waiting mixed with crying seems to get Your attention.  God, have You abandoned me?  Can you not see how desperately I need Your help?  Are my worst fears coming to pass, and I am indeed all alone in this place?  Oh, God! I cry out as my knees sink to the floor.   I am as good as dead.  Without You, I know I am as good as dead.  Bitter grief engulfs me as I hide my face and sob until there are no tears left.


Suddenly the room seems very still.  Did I say, “Dead”?  Wait a minute, could that word have opened the heavens?  I begin to sense a stirring in my spirit.  I lie on the ground, face down, my entire body quiet.   My soul is anxious as I lie still, waiting for revelation.  And as I lie there barely breathing, I sense a moving of the Holy Spirit, covering me like a warm blanket.


Like a home movie, memories of events leading up to this moment rush through my mind.  Suddenly I am aware of the shallowness, and the dangers, of my hopes and plans and dreams, all of which lie in ruin.  For the first time, I begin to understand the truth about the train I had fashioned.  I hold my breath as the train rushes at breakneck speed, heading toward certain disaster.  But seconds before it crashes into the side of a mountain, suddenly the tracks are pulled up.  My train stops abruptly, with cars tipping over on either side of the tracks.  I hold my breath while all my dreams appear to shatter as they hit the ground.


As I peek out from under my blanket, I hear what sounds like cheering from heaven, as if a victory has just been won.  Rather than crying out in frustration, something in my spirit longs to jump up and cheer with them.  However, the blanket over me is warm and much too cozy to abandon, so I continue to lie still.  It is in this place where revelation comes:  a life run on self-will can only come to ruin.  I must die to my own self-centered and self-destructive plans if I want to live a victorious life.  What felt like the shattering of my dreams was actually God protecting me from myself, as my plans and His plans for me came to a showdown.  No doubt He could have let my plans come to pass without interruption, but would a loving Daddy allow his girl to run headlong into disaster without giving her an opportunity for a second chance?  At this point, I can choose to call the track repair team to set the track back in working order, bring in a winch to set the train back on the track, and proceed toward the mountain looming ahead – after all, I have been given a free will.  Or, I can choose to put my life and my plans in God’s hands, and ask Him for direction and guidance.   After all, He knows the end from the beginning.  He sees the entire picture while I only see a tiny portion.  He knows what is best for me much more than I do.  And, He has all the resources to offer me an abundant life.  When I acknowledge that He loves me with a passion deeper than I will ever fathom, in response to that love, my heart truly longs to glorify Him.  (He placed that longing in me when He formed me in His likeness.)


So, you know what happens next!  I roll over onto my back, lift my hands toward heaven, and offer to God all my shattered dreams, my high praises, and my heart.  I crawl to the foot of the Cross where Jesus paid for all my mistakes and transgressions.  I heave wracking sobs of repentant grief, mixed with wondrous joy in the knowledge that His mercies are new every morning.  I rest in the assurance that His dreams for me will never be shattered.  He said He has plans for me, plans for a hope and a future. I surrender my life to Him, and set my course according to His perfect plan for me.



Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.


Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

 Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.   “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”


Jeremiah 33:3

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and might things which you do not know.


Isaiah 5:21

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!


Lamentations 3:22-23

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.


I Chronicles 16:34

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.


  1. Christa Says:

    Karen this looks great.

  2. Anne Says:

    I enjoyed the flow of the piece and especially, the message. Keep up the good work!

  3. Kathy Says:

    I loved reading this message Karen. Keep it up.

  4. Pat Says:

    I really enjoyed reading When Dreams Are Shattered. Great message. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Deb Says:

    Trainwreck,huh?….how often i use that term regarding my life….i have been sitting in the puddle of my tears this week..actually that is not true….most of the tears have dried up and it is more like a silent scream that comes up from the depths of me…tearless…but wrenching it comes..tears would be better…if there was only one train wreck in sight it would be better…many wrecks converging at one terrible sight…piled on top of each other they seem to cover the landscape…i have lost sight of anything vital or living or fruitful in my life as the train wrecks are so close they fill up my senses….my vision is blurred by the smoke billowing up…yes, i can still crawl to the foot of the cross…funny how it becomes a soft lap and only there against Abba’s chest can i cry…am i loved, yes….can this wreckage be carted away..maybe…i wait in silence…still the screams comes but with tears now falling …the vision of the wreckages seems more real than the arms that hold me…i pray for new eyes to see…a heart to preceive what is true…if this is all there is, then let the grace cover me…if this is all there will be, then let His love carry me all the way to the end….love,deb

  6. Kitty Says:

    Dear Karen,

    Your parables are wonderful, they urge me to do some long overdue soul searching. Moving, absolutely moving. You have a real talent and I look forward to enjoying your website frequently.

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Shawn Weed Says:

    I really liked your peom. It spoke volumes to my soul. I feel like that now. I actually googled, “Lord it feels as if my dreams are shattered. What do I do now?” and this is how I found your peom. I can see a little more clearly now following in the footsteps you have trodden. I need to go the foot of the cross and rest for a while.

  8. gmina Says:

    I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the point where my visits are almost daily now!

  9. Yuonne Stovel Says:

    I want to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book-marked to check out new stuff you post

  10. Benny Kinkade Says:

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!

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