Shattered Dreams

The book SURRENDERING TO HOPE is a compendium of chapters by several different authors, each identifying how a relationship with God helped them through the worst of circumstances. If you think that sounds trite or easy, read through some of my posts as I have blogged through this book. I am truly stunned at the experiences of these authors and how they managed to hang on to faith when there was nothing less. When all their dreams were shattered, they still knew that God was with them.

Shattered Dreams is a chapter written by my friend Bobby Valentine. He begins his chapter by relating with enthusiasm the time he met his wife and the beautiful daughters that they enjoyed. They moved to Arizona to work with a church. They moved into a house that they had built. His wife took a class at the local college that Fall. It all seemed so perfect.

One Sunday morning in December, my wife and I went to church early so that she could email her final assignment from the office computer. Between Bible class and the worship assembly, she left. … I discovered on my computer her unclosed email to her professor with whom she had run off.

As Bobby writes, “The dream was over.” He shares vividly the painful feelings and consequences of his wife’s departure. “Shattered dreams hurt like hell. They are, in fact, hell.” Those who have suffered through the hurt of divorce can relate, I’m certain of that.

In a search for God’s wisdom grace in all of this painful experience, Bobby found that through ‘glimpses of God’ he could see the ‘gifts of grace’ that would help him move forward. These included the church.

When I literally had no place to stay, God reached out through Christ’s body to pick up my broken pieces.

Other gifts from God included Solitude and silence, friends, and the fellowship of tears.

God has not chosen to reveal to me why hell invaded my family. I have not discovered secret insights from church, solitude, or friends. What I have found is the communion of broken¬†hearts and the fellowship of tears. My own tears are reflected in God’s pain, suffering, and tears.

Scattered throughout Bobby’s chapter are somber but helpful Scriptures that remind us that God suffers as we suffer. In many ways he discovers that after Shattered Dreams, “God raises up new dreams.”

I invite you to get a copy of Surrendering to Hope and read in much greater detail Bobby’s journey through the pain of divorce. Especially if you have been left behind by someone you once loved, I believe it will bless you.

Bobby Valentine is the minister for the Eastside Church of Christ in Anitoch, California. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow his blog Stoned-Campbell Disciple. 

Surrendering to Hope is published by Leafwood Books and is edited by John Mark Hicks, Christine Fox Parker, and Bobby Valentine.