Friday, July 6, 2018

Do Dreams Have Expiration Dates?

Something uncanny happened on the last day of February. I've waited too long to write about it.
As I drove to school on that barely-light Wednesday, I asked aloud, “What about my dreams? Can any of them be salvaged?” I don’t know if I was asking God or myself. I don’t know if a song on the radio prompted my question. I don’t know if I was thinking of my friend Tracy who had recently written a blog post about a dream that was delayed for thirty years and finally fulfilled. 
I do know the emotion behind the question was more intense than my usual morning disquiet of it’s-cold-and-dark-and-I-need-more-coffee. But once I entered the school, responsibilities jostled the dream questions to the end of the line.
After homeroom, I shooed my students to the church sanctuary for our weekly chapel service.
After a few songs led by our worship team, Seth, our seventeen-year-old student chaplain, began his message. His first PowerPoint slide revealed his topic, “From Dreams to Destiny.”
THAT got my attention.
Following the narratives in Genesis about Joseph, Seth made some really good points, which I jotted down while blotting my tears. He bravely shared some of his own dreams, such as wanting to someday have a family and own a minivan, not a dream you expect to hear from a high school senior.
I want to see Masada.
As he concluded his message, Seth said, “Even older people have dreams. Mrs. Brosius still has dreams. She wants to go to Israel.”
At that point, I came completely undone. After chapel, I spent much of my free period crying, trying to stop crying, and trying to make my face look like I hadn’t been crying.
I didn’t know on February 28, and still don’t know, if this message from God was specifically about going to Israel. Maybe it was God’s way of answering publicly the question I had voiced privately not much more than an hour earlier in my car: Yes, my dreams can be salvaged. Even the dreams I can’t share with anyone but God.
I do know I had not talked recently about wanting to go to Israel to Seth or any of my students. I don’t know why it was on his mind.
When I was more composed, I asked Seth if he had planned to call me out, or if it just came to him at that moment. He said he had planned it, and his parents had advised him not to. They thought I might find the age reference insulting. I’m not usually glad when my students ignore their parents, but in this case I sure was.
"Joseph Receives his Coat of Many Colors"
by Shoshannah Brombacher; pastel and ink. "
Last month at a writers conference, my friend Jim Watkins, shared a message called “Keeping Your Dreams Alive.” I scribbled these points Jim made as he guided us through Joseph’s life:
  • The dream is received.
  • The dreamer is refined.
  • The dream is resized.
  • The dream is revealed.

He told us “how to keep your dream alive when they steal your coat,” and quoted author Neva Coyle, “God is a refiner, not an arsonist [of dreams].”
Do you think God is trying to tell me something?
If you believe God is speaking to you about your dreams, feel free to comment and share.

Read about Tracy's dream here:
Follow her blog here:
Follow Jim Watkins here:


  1. This post is especially meaningful to me since I remember reading Tracy's blog, and I have heard Jim's message on "Keeping Your Dreams Alive." May I also say that Seth sounds like someone I'd like to hear speak? I believe that he was listening to the Holy Spirit when he included you in his talk.

    Because I spend a great deal of time and energy supporting the dreams of my children, I occasionally get to playing the tiny violin at my pity party and wonder about my dreams. When will it be MY turn? I also wonder whether my dreams are worthy of pursuing - maybe my sole purpose in life is to encourage others with their dreams, and maybe that should be good enough.

    Sometimes I even question the dreams of others whom I support. If I don't agree with their dreams, should I encourage them? As a mom, that's a tough one to answer! Yet, it seems that the message, "Don't be a dream killer" is spoken to my heart on more than one occasion. After all, I did not give the dream - what right do I have to kill it? Does God speak to ME about what dreams He's give to others?

  2. A beautiful and inspiring story, Roberta. How wonderful that God still cares about our dreams, still speaks to us about them--even when time and circumstance have put those dreams on hold. How blessed we are that God is both author and finisher of our faith--and our dreams.