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Dreaming In The Darkest of Winters – Learning How to Imagine A Better Future In The Midst of Life’s Heartache

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

It’s easy to settle for the average, the mundane, and what comes easy, especially when life is full of pain and suffering. Why risk adding the heartache of failed dreams to the mix? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to just wait this thing out to begin hoping and dreaming again?

These past couple years have been seasons of transition, which is painful for even the bravest of souls. I’m not included in that category. Change is often accompanied by much pain, fear, and confusion in my life. Maybe I’m not a coward, but I’m certainly not Braveheart.

I’m learning to dream again, but that takes faith in God, patience, and a willingness not to get comfortable in my current circumstances. It’s easy for me to get comfortable and complacent, even though I may feel very empty within the comfort. It’s odd, but sometimes emptiness within the familiar is more preferable than fullness in the unknown. Patience is becoming one of my strengths, but it’s been a process, not an overnight improvement. Trusting God is still a work in progress.

You know what I’m talking about:

The job that pays the bills and you can do in your sleep, but it leaves your days feeling hollow and empty…

The dreams on your heart that you just won’t attempt for fear of failure…

The belief that God doesn’t have good things in store for you, so you play it safe in mediocrity for your own survival…

It’s hard to dream when you’re in pain. It’s hard to awaken the soul when the spirit is hurting. It’s incredibly hard to trust your life to a God who seems incredibly distant.

I’m good at dreaming, but I’m completely miserable at stepping out on faith that God has something great ahead, even in the darkness. I’m good at having potential, but I’m terrible at converting that potential into reality.

The great news I must continue to remind myself is that I have this moment – today – to begin moving forward. Yesterday is beyond my ability to change, but this very moment is within my grasp. The choices I make now can begin a new story and a new journey. No matter the pain or the heartache during my current season, I am still invited to dream, to create, and to move forward.

As hard as it will be, I’m choosing to trust that God hasn’t forgotten what He’s doing. Despite the great odds in a world of heartache, I’m going to stop settling for a life of mediocrity. I’d rather fail at chasing a life that’s lived fully alive, rather than get to the end of my life to find that I merely existed.