What have you abandoned?

Categories:Spiritual Growth

I got a question for you. What promise have you abandoned that God has spoken over you? Stay with me; I know that sounds like a kooky question.

There are three specific things I believe that the Lord has spoken over my life; one of which has been fulfilled. I knew that I was to be part of a church start in Florence, and that has come to fruition.

In my early thirties, I received the first – in a time when its fulfillment seemed pretty likely. On my thirty-third birthday, I sensed a boldness to ask for it. I remember the room; I remember the freedom of saying, “God, I want what you have for me!” After that, a lot in my life fell apart, and the possibility of my dream seemed to slip away. It’s reality seemed quite improbable. Now, three years later – as I approach my thirty-sixth birthday – it seems almost impossible.

In September of last year – even unbeknownst to me – I gave up on it. I ditched it. I heard wrong. I made it up. Do you know how many other people dream the same thing? All I do know about that time, right after my grandmother’s death, is that a vacuum cleaner was attached to my mouth and it removed every ounce of joy from the recesses of my soul. I thought it was grief. Then I thought it was the busyness of school starting again. But only very recently have I understood that it was the death of my hope in His promise. It left me joyless.

I kept coming back to the poem by Langston Hughes – “A Dream Deferred.”

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore– And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Mine was a sagging heavy load.
And I kept remembering Proverbs 13:12, which says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
So, I began to persist in my plea that He take the heavy load that was constricting my breath, and that He make my heart well – even if the promise had been a fake. He has so graciously done so. Just one day this month, I realized that it was gone. I don’t know when it departed, but good riddance!
He has also reaffirmed the promise in several ways, so Stella’s got her groove back. In all truth, I might be seventy before I can blog about its completion, but I can graze on hope for a long time. My God uses a wait. And my God specializes in the impossible. My words now are to persist and prepare.
So, what have you abandoned?
He is ever a “man” of His Word!
And if you don’t feel like He’s shared any plans for you, ask Him.
He’s quite the conversationalist (just don’t stand too near to any bushes as they may ignite without advance warning 🙂
Slumber Party


  1. Tiffany
    January 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    thanks i needed that

  2. robinrane
    January 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Great question~ I’ll share if you will 🙂 You made me think and the answer came immediately. Thanks~

  3. Jenn in GA
    January 22, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    this was an excellent post; i’m going to give it some thought. thanks for sharing from your heart.

  4. Cookie Cawthon
    January 23, 2009 at 4:11 am

    My dream is a teaching ministry for women. I have no idea what that will look like; I thought I knew what it might look like and how it might happen. I was wrong about that. Don’t know why that feels so intensely personal to share…

    Now it’s your turn 🙂

  5. Melanie Turner
    January 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I’m so glad that is your dream! I’ve been wanting to be involved in a women’s ministry “thing” with you since the first time I heard you teach YEARS ago. I hope you’re not 70 before you get to do it…if you get to do it…cause I’ll be 70, too!! I’ll be the first to sign up if that’s what God has in store for ya!

  6. Scarlett
    February 2, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Cookie, the dreams He has for you are so much finer, so much bigger than you can even imagine……This is true for all of us, in many ways!…….You are a gifted teacher and writer….SOOOOO much God can and WILL do with that. You know Women’s Ministy is, and always will be close to my heart….so I wait anxiously to see how God opens door of opportunity for His service via the gifts He has given you! Thanks for being vulnerable with us….it helps us know how to pray for you!

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