Some Dreams Don’t Come True

Sometimes dreams don’t come true.

Now all of the optimists and encouragers shake in their seats, wanting desperately to tell me there is still time, that my dreams might come true, that I should not give up.

And they are right. All of you are right.


All dreams don’t come true. Some dreams die. Some dreams look like destinations and turn out to be pathways to new dreams.

I’d be lying if I said I’m okay with any of this. I’m not. I’m frustrated and sad and scared and pinging back and forth between cuss words and tears on any given day. Regardless, the truth lays bare with every rejection I receive, with every day I clock in as a preschool teacher instead of hopping a plane for my book tour.


When I returned from Honduras and started my job teaching threes and fours at a local church program, there was one song I played on repeat. I sang it loud, alone in my car, every single morning, over and over, until I had to turn off the engine and put on my teacher face.

Lauren Daigle begins her song, “Trust in You,” with this line:

“Letting go of every single dream, I lay each one down at Your feet.”

Again and again, I picture myself spreading my dreams out at the foot of a throne, at the base of a cross, in the sands of a desert where the tempter lurks.



It hasn’t gotten any easier, and I don’t think it ever will.

Sometimes dreams crash and burn and you have to start over, choose a new dream, chart a new path, try not to give up and smolder alongside the ruins.

I’m yielding to my future, or trying to. I’m not really good at yielding. I never learned to do it as a kid. If confronted with my guilt, caught red-handed smacking my little sister, I denied it and never changed my story.

Give me a red light or a green light, but I don’t know what the heck to do with this yellow caution sign. Go? Stop?


I don’t know what tomorrow holds, friends. I’m guessing you don’t either. It occurs to me we are always yielding to the morning, always giving up the night.

Some dreams linger, but others disappear when you wake up.

I’m in a strange place now, trying to discern between the two.

How do you know when a dream has died?


*originally published on Middle Places


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