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Faith Forward Future: Moving Past Your Disappointments, Delays, and Destructive Thinking
by Chad Veach
Learn More | Meet Chad Veach
When Life Doesn't Work out
My Phone was screaming at me from the middle console of my car, shouting that it was time to pull the trigger and make "the call".
It was the reason I had driven out to the middle of nowhere. I had escaped the noise of friends, family, and my world. I had committed that I would finally do the thing I had been avoiding doing for months.
I would end the relationship with the girl I should've broken up with a long time ago.
It wasn't because she was a bad person or that she was ruining my life, but, quite simply, it was a relationship I knew I wasn't supposed to be in. From the start, it had felt like I was pushing against the world and even God himself to make things work. I was ignoring the signs that popped up at every turn. My work was hurting, my vitiality was zapped, my friendships were crumbling arpund me, and a booming voice was telling me to stop before things got worse.
The phone screamed at me again.
Even though it was silently there. No phone calls coming in. No one waiting for me on the other line.
But I couldn't reach for it yet and dial those numbers. Because to end things meant to end my dream. It would mean the death of a futre me, standing in a suit, looking on as she walked down the aisle in a white dress. The death of the futre I had been set on from day one--the romance and the life I had drawn up for myself. I know what you're thinking, But you're married to Julia Veach! How could life get any better than that? Don't worry, people.I'm beyond grateful God's better plan prevailed in the end, but in that mo ment, I could see felt incredibly painful.
It was this original, flawed dream that had helped me drown out those resounding alarm bells all along the way. I had been clinging to it like a toddler clings to a toy he's been told not to play with. When God clearly communicated his no, I either ignored him or tried to convince myself that he was telling me something else.
The phone shouted again.
This time, instead of recalling the dream, I recalled the nightmare. The nightmare my disobedience had led me to: the crumbling ministry, the disappointed family, the rejected frieinds. The plan I had laid oout for myself had failed miserably.
So I finally picked up the phone and made the call. I listend to confused crying on the other end and tried to hide my own similar emotions. With one conversation, I broke two hearts.
That day I began to learn that sometimes you have to lay to rest your dream to give life to God's dream.
I live in Las Angeles, a place that many have named the "City of Broken Dreams." Each year thousands of people move here, hoping to make it as a director, actor, musician, or reality TV star. Because the industry is highly comptetetive and there's only room for so many to be the next big thing, many fail at achieving their dreams.
With an estimated 254,000 men, women, and children sleeping on the streets each night and also twenty of the world's small number of billionairs in residence here, the city is a paradox. It's a picture of how society views both success and failure, achievement and heartbreak, arriving and losing. But this city is only a microcosm of the state of the world.
The reality is that we don't always accomplish all that we set out to do. Our lives don't always turn out the way we hoped they would. We dream of a relationship with a certain person, or a career path, or a perfect family. And when those dreams don't work out, like my own relationship didn't, we'er left to wonder...Where do I go from here?
What do I dream of now?
SHould I throw in the towel?
Because GOd gives us free will, we get to experience what it looks like to mess up and destroy our lives. And mess up our lives we often do.
While working as a youth pastor and dating long-distance, I refused to listen to the advice of others and even the voice of God about ending my relationship. I had my dream, and I was set on making it happen. Because of this, I was ignoring people I should have been more focused on, the youth ministry I was running was shrinking, and I started failing at what God had called me to do. I could barely look poeple in the eye.
Eventually, Icame out on the other side of the heartbreak with an understanding of God's better plan. But my decisions delayed my destiny, and it took a while to truly move past the pain of the whole experience.
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