When Dreams Delay

earth 2When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be a missionary. I dreamed about reaching the nations with the good news that God loves us. When I was in high school and college, my missionary dreams continued to grow. I read every mission’s report I could find—I KNEW God was calling me to service. As I prayed, I felt sure God was telling me that someday I’d be traveling the globe sharing His peace and love. I was certain the promises I’d heard God whispering to my heart were going to come true.

Then I became ill.

worried girlQuarantine was a difficult time for me. Not only because of the physical pain, but also because it made me doubt the things I’d heard in prayer. I felt sure that God had said He was going to send me to the nations, but how could I travel the globe when I couldn’t even enter a grocery store? I began to doubt God’s voice, and as disappointment crept into my soul, I began to doubt God’s existence.

As my quarantine stretched on, I gradually put away my disillusionment and began reestablishing my relationship with God. I reexamined my faith and decided that despite heartache and pain, God is real, God is good, God is intimately interested in every moment of my life, Jesus must be kept in the center of my faith, and God is trustworthy in spite of tragedy. With my faith restored, I began learning how to give my dreams into God’s keeping. One by one, I relinquished my desires into His care.

Time passed. The years came and went.

Woman on bankMy life felt like it was at a standstill, but curiously, I was no longer resentful of that fact. I had stopped struggling, and instead, I was basking in the Lord’s peace. I figured that God had a good plan for my life, and even though I didn’t understand what it was, I knew He would bring it forth in His good timing. Ceasing to struggle was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was also the best and most fulfilling thing I’ve done. There’s something incredibly beautiful about peace. There’s something wonderful about trust.

More years came and went.

I began writing The Time Counselor Chronicles, and eventually, I received a contract from Prism Book Group for Time Tsunami, the first book in the series. Prism recommended that I start a blog, but the thought terrified me. After all, what did I have to blog about? What could I possibly say? Would anyone even read what I wrote? Would I make an idiot of myself? Could I even do it?

As I pondered the swirling questions, once again, I felt God’s peace surrounding me. It was almost as if I could feel Him smile. Feeling totally out of my depth, I decided to start even though I had no idea what I was doing. I named my blog dragonflydanele after the dragonfly incident that let me know God loved me—an incident described on my blog’s welcome page. After prayer, I decided to use my blog as a platform to tell people that God loved them. I wanted my readers to know that even though bad things happen, God is still real, life is still good, and the future is still bright. I wanted to bring hope.

earth 5When I started blogging, I wasn’t sure that anyone would read what I had written, but chronicling the lessons I’d learned during quarantine felt right. Giving praise to God for His never-ending love brought me a sense of peace. As the months passed, something amazing began happening. People began sharing my posts with their friends, and their friends shared my posts with their friends. WordPress has a feature that tells you how many people view your articles, and I was amazed to see the number growing. Although readers’ identities are kept secret, WordPress has a feature that tells you what countries your readers are from. I was astonished when I realized that my articles were being read in places other than the United States. Every time I saw a new country listed, I would squeal and tell my family. It simply amazed me.

earth 4As more time passed, my amazement turned into reverent awe as I remembered God’s promise to send me to the nations. My old dreams of spreading God’s love around the globe were coming to pass in a way I hadn’t expected. I thought I would be a missionary—God planned on making me a blogger, and through my computer, I’m reaching more people than I ever could’ve imagined. Each time I read my WordPress statistics and see the map of the nations where my articles are being read, I feel a sense of wonder. All I can say is that God is AWESOME!

Friends, hold onto your God-given dreams. And if your dreams seem to be delaying, don’t despair. God has a way of making things happen in His own timing and in His own way. God’s promises ALWAYS hold true. Even if you can’t see how it can happen, God can make your impossible dreams a reality.

LIST OF NATIONS WHERE dragonflydanele IS BEING READ:

Albania

Angola

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Bangladesh

Barbados

Belgium

Brunei

Botswana

Brazil

Cambodia

Canada

Chech Republic

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cote d’Ivoire

Croatia

Curacuo

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Egypt

El Salvador

Estonia

European Union

Finland

France

Germany

Ghana

Greece

Grenada

Grenadines

Guatemala

Hong Kong SAR China

Hungary

India

Indonesia

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Japan

Jersey

Kenya

Kuwait

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Madagascar

Malaysia

Mexico

Moldova

Mongolia

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nigeria

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Saudi Arabia

Serbia

Singapore

Slovakia

South Africa

South Korea

Spain

St. Vincent

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Tanzania

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad & Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

US Virgin Islands

Venezuela

Vietnam

 

pink beach“Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Habakkuk 2:3b

“What a God He is! How perfect in every way! All His promises hold true!” Psalm 18:30a

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36 thoughts on “When Dreams Delay

  1. Thank you for inspiring me to press on in my obedience to Christ. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord. Thank you for showing us that faithfulness is all that the Lord requires. Thank you for your transparency. Just….THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Petra, you’re so welcome! God is so awesome! I never would have made it through my illness without Him. There were so many times that I wanted to give up–praise God that He held me close and brought me through. I hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks for being such an encouraging voice in my life! ❤

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  2. Wonderful post Danele that shows how God is not a God of our time but of His timing. He knew you would be a missionary, but also knew that your ‘going out’ would be a ‘going in’ into a digital world that would be so much more fruitful. How awesome God is and how wonderful hindsight is to map God’s gold thread through our lives. Thanking God for your faithfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Margaret, thank you so much for your lovely comment! Hindsight is so wonderful. When I was ill and quarantined, I really thought that my life was over. I never imagined that God would be able to use what I had been through to be an encouragement to others. God is so awesome! He is so wise and so kind. Romans 8:28 really is true–God can turn EVERYTHING–even illness, heartache, and pain–into something good. ❤

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  3. What a delight! My dad used to talk about the power of the printed word (and he would probably include the virtual printed word if he were here today). You have such a one-of-a-kind story and witness to God’s faithfulness, and He gave you a gift of articulating those. And to top it off you got the gift of encouragement in triplicate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Anita, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the article. 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement and support! If anyone has the gift of encouragement in triplicate, it’s you!!! You’re terrific!! 🙂 ❤

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  4. Janice

    Love your blog. Such a inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing. We all have our dreams and our own health problems. I hope to retire next year to be able to do something different than doing now
    .more meaningful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Janice, isn’t it amazing how God helps each of us find a way to our dreams? My life hasn’t turned out AT ALL like I expected. But I’m slowly finding that the things that hurt me the most are gradually turning into doorways of hope. I think a lot about Joseph and the years he spent in prison. It had to be incredibly hard for him. But if he hadn’t been sold into slavery, falsely accused, and tossed into jail, he never would have had the opportunity to go before Pharaoh–he never would have been given a job or been able to save his family. I love the phrase that Joseph speaks in Genesis 50:20, “As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil.” It reminds me that God can take EVERYTHING that happens and transform it into a doorway of hope. Janice, you are such a beautiful person, and you are a blessing to so many. I will be praying with you that as you retire–and even before–God will open up breathtaking new doors in your life. I hope you have a wonderful day! Thank you so much for commenting, and thank you for being my friend. ❤

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  5. I have been discouraged beyond measure for a while now and have not shared my feelings with anyone. The years are ticking by so rapidly and I feel I have not fulfilled any of the tasks God has lain it upon my heart to accomplish. Your post has brought me hope. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Patti, I think waiting is the hardest thing anyone can do. I can remember sitting in quarantine hearing about friends who were getting married, friends who were having babies, friends who were getting promotions or going on trips, friends who were taking off for the mission field–and even though I was very happy for them, a small part of my heart hurt every time more news was brought to me. It was like I was trapped in quicksand–stuck in one place while the world whirled past me. I thought my life was meaningless. I thought it was over. I thought no one would even miss me if I suddenly disappeared. I felt worthless. Feelings like that are incredibly painful. I think the key for me was when I stopped wishing for my life to be different. I wanted desperately to “be normal.” I wanted desperately to get out and tackle the world and make my dreams come true. I didn’t understand why my dreams were delaying. It just didn’t make ANY sense. I can see now that the years of waiting were beautiful and necessary. I’m not the same person that I was before quarantine. My faith isn’t the same either. I’ve heard that a caterpillar’s body slowly dissolves in its isolated cocoon. I’ve heard that in that dark, lonely, painful place its body is slowly transformed into that of a butterfly. I don’t understand why things happen the way that they do, but one thing I truly believe is that long periods of waiting are the starting places for something breathtakingly beautiful. Something wonderful is up ahead for you, Patti. Something glorious. Keep on trusting God, just as you are. Keep on looking for that spot of peace as you bask in His presence. I will be praying for you. Please keep me in your prayers too.

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  6. Renette

    GOD is so awesome!
    We dream and plan and even skeem, but He takes us down paths we never could have imagined and fulfills our dreams in ways we can not fathum,all to bless us more then all we could ever imagine. Your experience is proof. GOD knows best in all matters.
    Thank my dear missionary. Friend for loving GOD to the fullest and being obedient in sharing that love with us. GOD not only is blessing you but He is blessing me through you.
    THANK YOU!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Renette, God is blessing me through you too! I have appreciated your prayers so much! There have been times when I have scrolled through our old conversations and let your prayers bring me fresh encouragement. ❤ You are a beautiful person and a wonderful friend! I'm so glad that as we journey through this life, we are able to pray for each other and support each other! I hope you have a beautiful day! ❤

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    1. Dear Amy, you are right–God’s timetable isn’t ours, and it IS better. 🙂 I’m so glad that God doesn’t do things the way we WANT them. I’m so glad that He does things the way we NEED them. 🙂 Love you, Amy!!!! ❤ Thanks so much for commenting! And thank you so much for all the support you gave me during those long, lonely years in quarantine! You are TERRIFIC!! ❤

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  7. Times of quarantine come in varied packages–health, grief, financial, family–the list goes on and on. You consistently point us to the fact that God never leaves us during those difficult times and, in fact, He uses those times, when we allow Him to, for our good and His glory–just like He promises in Romans 8:28-29.

    Thank you, Danele, and may God continue to bless you as you bless His name and bless and encourage others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, DiAne! Isn’t God AWESOME!! I am constantly amazed at how God can turn everything into something good. I can remember that day, so very long ago, when I felt God telling me to sing. I snarled at Him, asking Him what I had to sing about. Deep down in my spirit, I felt Him telling me not to sing out of “sight” but to sing out of “faith.” Seasons come and go. Bad things gradually transform into spots of beauty. Today, as I look out my window at the tulips dancing in the breeze, I’m reminded of that. Winter may be hard–but spring always comes. Thank you so much for commenting, DiAne. I hope you have a wonderful day! ❤

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    1. 🙂 Wow!! Thank you!!! 🙂 Your lovely comment just made me smile!!! Thank you for being a voice of encouragement to me today!! God is so awesome! I’m really looking forward the amazing life He has prepared! 🙂 I hope you have a truly terrific day! 🙂 Thanks again for commenting! 🙂

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  8. joyceheartwings

    Danele – you always speak to my heart in such a lovely way. God always had plans for you to serve Him – just not in the way that you originally saw in your dreams.

    He walked beside you during your ordeal and watched over your broken heart as you struggled. When He finally brought you out of that long dark tunnel, greeted you with the beauty and freedom of that dragonfly, He set you free to shine your light for Him.

    I love you as my friend and sister in Christ in our fellowship. I can feel He is lifting you even higher, as if on the wings of eagles, as He stretches you to serve Him in ways you cannot even imagine yet. Continue in your love and obedience to His divine will for your life. j

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joyce, thank you so much for your lovely comment! Your precious words mean so much to me! ❤ I will do my best to continue in obedience to God's will. Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, and your support. You are such an incredible blessing. I'm so glad that we became friends! ❤

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    1. Dear Ann, isn’t it wonderful when we look back over a hardship and see how God used it for our ultimate good? It is such a blessing! Thank you so much for commenting! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post! ❤ I hope you have a really wonderful day! 🙂

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  9. sandymauck

    That so inspires me. And I can relate. God has spoken a lot of things to me, I didn’t quite interpret correctly. And I can laugh with you at the irony and the victory! All those places! Amen. Isn’t it cool that we can minister from our desk to the world! Our trials only make us ready for the victories to come! You bless me, sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sandy, you bless me too! I’m so glad that we met! And you are right, I am amazed at the wonderful ways that God works. I never would have thought that I could talk to people around the world without leaving my home. It is mind boggling! I hope you have a wonderful day! Thank you so much for commenting! 🙂

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    2. Caryl McAdoo

      It’s always so funny how “we” interpret what He tells us and then see what He meant after the fact! I love it that His Ways are for far above our own! And it’s so much fun how His purposes are always so much more wonderful than we ever imagined!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Misty, you are so welcome!!! I’m glad that you enjoyed this article. I will admit that I was struggling to keep back tears as I wrote it. I’m so amazed at how things turned out. I can remember being SO UPSET at God because of my illness. I felt SO betrayed by Him. I couldn’t see how ANY good could come out of my quarantine. I’m so glad that God helped me through that difficult time. I’m glad that He helped me not to give up. I love the fact that God stays close to us during times of trial–even when we can’t feel His presence or see how things are going to work out. I hope you have a wonderful day, Misty! Thank you so much for commenting! ❤

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    1. Oh, Susan, mine too!!! When I sat down and wrote that list of nations, I just couldn’t believe it! God is so incredibly awesome!!! His wonderful ways constantly amaze me and fill me with joy!!! I love how God can take impossible circumstances and turn them around. God is so AWESOME!!!!!!!

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  10. Caryl McAdoo

    What a great, glory-bumps giving post, Danele 🙂 That is truly amazing. Disney talked about “wishing on a star” and “dreams coming true”, but I prefer praying to wishing and ‘desires of our hearts’ to dreams (when outside the context of our sleeping dreams). I’m still trying to take “wish” out of my vocabulary, as I have ‘luck’ because ALL good things are from Him, and He gives us the desires of our hearts! Anyway…thank you SO MUCH for sharing this post! It’s a true blessing and testimony of His love and faithfulness! It shows how He can bring something GOOD out of something that seemed so terrible (seven years of isolation in quarantine). He is indeed an AWESOME God! Hallelujah! May He continue to bless your efforts and send His favor ahead of every post into the world! Love and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Caryl, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post! God really is an AWESOME God! He really does bring good things out of bad ones. 🙂 I’m constantly amazed by Him! 🙂 Thank you for your lovely blessing, and thank you for your continued prayers. I hope you have a wonderful day!! Thank you so much for commenting! ❤

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  11. Pingback: Time Search! Book Launch & 20-Stop Blog Tour! – dragonflydanele

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