Beneath his brave mask bittersweet emotions welled-up and brimmed over when he surrendered his dream. Anger and inadequacey shouted at his heart convincingly on the long ride home in the dark. Cloaked with disappointment, his feet dipped in despair, he fell into bed defeated with no dream.
All words fell empty to the floor. Nothing offered seemed enough to pull off the cloak or wash the feet. Silence fell between the covers and he turned away--away from me, away from dreams, away from God--but I drew close. My small arms over his broad shoulders wrapped love around and held him tight.
There I laid between hope and despair waging war against the Dream Stealer. I prayed Jesus strength in weakness--Spirit truth in lies--God life in dream's death.
Days later God's breath resurrects hope in every treetop where he sits. He marvels at nature--how it lives and moves and breathes to the sound of God's voice. He gathers courage to pray for a new dream. God's dream. Not his.
What do we do when we find ourselves standing in the gap between hope and despair for our loved ones? What are the best things we might offer them?
- Listening. When wounds are fresh, the best thing we can do is listen. Allow them to process their raw emotions without applying a bandaid to their wounds.
- Unconditional love. Reassure them that nothing they say in their anger or disappointment will change your love for them. We all say things we don't mean when we've been wounded or disappointed. Try to see beyond their words to the core of their heart.
- Truth. Our enemy, Satan is the author of all lies and he's pretty convincing when we're emotionally low. Recognize the lies and gently, lovingly counter the lies by speaking God's words of truth.
- Encouragement. Continually offer words of encouragement that feed their self worth, their God dreams, and keep their hearts soft and pliable in God's hands.
- Prayer. Prayer is our greatest weapon forged against spiritual warfare. The stealing of God-dreams is one of Satan's schemes. Prayer is the last thing our loved one wants to do in the midst of the battle. Stand between hope and despair through prayer. Pray aloud so the Enemy can hear you. The Bible says, resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13