Is There Room for Dreams in a Grown-Up Life?

Written by Karen Schenk

soulcravingsdreamI remember summer afternoons as a child, laying on the grass and watching the clouds. I could see the mansion I would move into when I grew up.  I imagined what my life would be like.  It was absolutely glorious.   Then I grew up and dreaming developed a different perspective.  I no longer took time to dream.

As I thought about why, I realized that I didn’t want to face the disappointment of  dreams that did not become reality.  Dreams are a risk.  To dream you have to admit to what you really want, and that can be scary.  But if we hold ourselves to just our current reality, if we chose to stop dreaming, that can be a lot scarier.

Read more about dreaming: Awaken

Dreaming stretches my thinking.  It gives me the hope of things unseen. It lets me  imagine the impossible.  Dreaming makes me take a step in a direction I might not take otherwise.  Dreams change my thinking.  How do dreams change your thinking ? Is there still room for dreams in a grown-up life?

If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you.  Use this form to  be matched with one of our mentors. Mentors are trained volunteers with real life experience.  They can answer questions, point you to other resources or just listen when you have something to say.

Your mentor will email you using our secure system, The Mentor Center (TMC).  TMC ensures your privacy by protecting your information.  If you want to keep talking, just hit reply.  The conversation is free, confidential and non-judgmental.   You can keep talking to your mentor as long as you like and there is never a fee.   If you’re curious, start a conversation.  We’re ready when you are.

See the complete list of questions
Comments are also welcome!

Email Print

23 Responses to “Is There Room for Dreams in a Grown-Up Life?”

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Tulsi, that’s really quite something to have a mirror break the day before a relative’s death! To me, those two events might or might not be linked. It is difficult to say whether that was just quo-incidence. Now, when you say “Gods photo burned on its own….” Could it be that God is trying to get your attention? HE is really not one to be afraid of, but someone who is looking to have you as an intimate friend. Do you read the Bible sometimes? I like what is said in Psalm 23. The Lord God is our Good Shepherd, loving us and providing all our needs.
    On the other hand, when I had let go of God, and was just doing “what I thought was best”, and my life was in trouble on every front, I looked at horoscopes, just wanting to see what my potential would be for that day. Soon I realized that evil spirits were starting to cater to me! That sent shivers down my back, which led me to ask God to show me where I was. Then, in a vivid dream, I was on my way to hell, and I knew why!!! Coming home from work, I knelt by my bed and wept, praying that Jesus would wash me clean. After 5 days of that, I felt refreshed and asked God what my next step was to be. A friend invited me to a meeting where a Christian person tolled us how God had rescued him, and invited us to come forward to find new hope and joy in life. There I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. God drew me closer to Him than I’d ever been before! That was in 1988, and I’ve never lost that joy. Might this be what your heart is longing for? It is through Jesus that we can come to the Father. Let me encourage you to ask Jesus right now to show you what to do. The devil caused us to fear and tries to stop us from praying, but Jesus has conquered the devil. We read in the Bible that we can come boldly to the throne of grace, and receive mercy. Just ask Jesus to come into your life and give you forgiveness. Then you will feel real peace and joy in your heart. I’m praying for you!

  • Trisha says:

    Thomas, your openness is so refreshing! Listen, God’s timing is not like ours as you know! HE is a Spirit who lives by the “clock” of Eternity! HE’s the ONE directing the traffic in our lives IF we let HIM. HE once gave me a most prophetic dream where i was sitting on the head of an eagle fying through the heavens. It brought me over a huge body of water and i was SO scared(because i do have a fear of water from almost drowning twice in my life time!) Well, i heard GOD’s voice say,”Hold on tight.” So i did. The voice told me to look down, well, i certainly did NOT want to look down from the height i was flying at! I heard, “I haven’t given you a sprit of fear…” so i eventually, by faith, looked down. i saw little children bobbing up and down in the waves and my heart was broken over seeing this and i was filled with a need to save them. Ok, so, years went by and this dream would show itself from time to time. What fianlly came from it was i was asked to teach children’s church at the church i was guided to at the time. Do you see it Thomas? i did a study on the the eagle, the flying, the water, the drowning children….the LORD was preparing me for this purpose. i taught this class for 3 years and it was one of the popular classes they had. Now THIS is a “dream”. i didn’t even know i had it in me to ‘teach’. Would you believe this ‘teaching’ took me to other destinations over the next 15 years! My classrooms were the most wanted ones by parents of difficult children. i tell you all this for HIS Glory, my friend. PLEASE, be patient. What ever this “craving” is inside of you. it’s called a “hunger” and a “thrist” for the Spirit of the Living God! What ever the direction, “hold on tight”….He’ll get you there!

  • Thomas says:

    Much thanks both Jamie and Trisha; that does indeed all make good sense. Yet, at the same time, there is something about my personality and interests that I feel certain will result in something- but something meaningful and a joy without end (somehow a sort of eternal finale!). I realise a true christian should give himself over to God and I agree. I pray, go to church etc. and it does add a lot of meaning to my existence: yet it also truly sparks a desire in me to know what it is that God is directing me to when I am drawn back,in my the heart, to dreams and hopes I came to me in childhood…I do not think the dreams themselves are what He intends as a completion unto themselves (they are incomplete and flawed)but, though they might at first appear silly and infantile to our unimaginative mortal minds, they point in some far more ‘godly’ direction of His to me. Hope this makes sense! It’s all very complex- either that or unimaginably simple!

  • Trisha says:

    To Thomas, you put to words exactly what it is…”Problem is, it’s driving me around the bend that I cannot pinpoint the nature of my want! No verse in scripture or book on Heaven (I have read both) has given me a, “yes, that’s it, that’s in the direction of what it is I’m chasing…” This is why i say i live my life one moment at a time. i let the Holy Spirit lead and guide me to where it is He wants me. Even His word tells us how we can make the plans but He will direct the steps. Like you, i have wanted things and would start doing things to make them happen and God stepped in and everything changed.i suppose too many times i’ve wanted things that weren’t in His Will for me(even though they were my “dreams”) i admit i get somewhat envious when i hear people tell me “God is calling me to start a ministry in Africa” or “God showed me He wants me to move back to my home town and take care of my mother” or “I got a vision to start a business up in the mountains where the poor people really need me.” The list is endless. What i have to share is the experience of being totally ’emptied out’ of ‘myself’; meaning…He is stripping me of every “dream” i’ve ever had. As we come to the “end of ourselves”, Jesus will start filling us with His desires, His goals,His plans, His dreams.(After all, our purpose here is for “HIS good pleasure”) This “dreaming” aspect(to me) is a waste of my mental time. i take one thing at a time at that’s it. i don’t believe in “chasing rainbows” just like someone more wiser than me once said and the words carry on…”it’s all vanity.” The LORD bless us all with HIS purposes for our lives.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Ok Thomas, that helps. Let me know if this makes sense. One of the authors of the Bible said that God has place ‘eternity’ into the hearts of humanity (Ecclesiastes 3:11) which is to say that every human has this sense that there is something more than just our mere existence. Some people have suggested that it is the desire for Heaven but I think you get the sense that it is more than an eternal existence in Paradise. Jesus once described eternal life or eternity as knowing God (John 17:3) The word He used for knowing was an intensely intimate word, not just knowing of God like I know of Queen Elizabeth. It was a personal, relational, intimate knowing that exists in the present but also is continuing to grow into the future.

    That totally fits with how the Bible talks about humanity and the reason that God has created us. We are extremely unique beings because we are the ones that God has chosen to bear His Image. When God created humans He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) By being made in the Image of God humanity was being welcomed into a unique way of relating to God that no other creature–including angels–is able to have. So a huge part of our purpose in life is to be in a very personal intimate relationship with God.

    So when the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, “He has planted eternity into the hearts of humanity” he was talking about how there is within each one of us this propensity toward being in deep intimate relationship with God. But the problem is that because of the choices that humanity has made, we are also fiercely independent of God, wanting to be our own authority rather than to submit to His authority as our Creator. So that deep intimate relationship with God has been broken by our rebellion against Him. If we continue on that path of rebellion our destiny is complete separation from God for all of eternity which in the Bible is called Hell.

    But there is Good News in all of this because our rebellion against God has not destroyed God’s love for us and His desire to be in deep intimate relationship with us. The only way for that relationship to be restored is for God to pay the penalty Himself for our rebellion and re-establish connection with us. And that is where Jesus fits in. Jesus came to Earth as the visible form of the invisible God, becoming a human just like us so that He could represent who God is to us, and so that He could take, on Himself, the punishment we deserve for our rebellion against Him. He died so that we could live, and then He rose from the dead so that we could have new life in Him, knowing God fully and intimately just as He had intended from the beginning. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to all its fullness.” (John 10:10)

    And that is what you have been craving Thomas: to know God deeply and intimately. That is the purpose for which you were created and yet you have never experienced it because you have inherited this spirit of rebellion against God. So on one hand, you have this deeply implanted desire to know God, but at the same time this repulsion against Him. That creates a nasty chaos within you that is hard to name and impossible to resolve without God’s help. Jesus is offering you freedom. He said, “Come to Me all of you who are weary and weighed down, and I will give you rest for your soul.” (Matthew 11:28) He will give you rest from the turmoil inside, rest from the constant searching for meaning and purpose, rest from the battle against God’s authority in your life as your Creator.

    Does that fit what you are feeling inside?

  • Thomas says:

    The problem is, I know that my motivation for finding God is the need for hope and purpose…but I also know there is a deep ‘craving’ I ‘know of’ but know nothing about! I think I sent a message through on the ‘survey’ section (Or perhaps ‘the crave’) about the exact same thing. Points in my life have filled me with utter joy and thrilling antisipation. They seem to somehow point to ‘a Heaven’ somehow; they point to some ‘destiny’ (if you wish to call it that) in which all these hidden needs will be met. Problem is, it’s driving me around the bend that I cannot pinpoint the nature of my want! No verse in scripture or book on Heaven (I have read both) has given me a, “yes, that’s it, that’s in the direction of what it is I’m chasing…” and all the things that seem to hint at something special to me are things that would be laughable to most people! But I suppose that’s in the nature of things.


  • Jamie Jamie says:

    No apology necessary Thomas, I know what it is like to want answers.

    I guess I need a little clarification of what your question is. You are concerned about what your motivation for having faith in God is? Are you saying there is something driving you to believe in God but you don’t know what that desire is?

  • Thomas says:

    Not trying to be rude or impatient (ok,this DOES come from impatience but that’s my fault not yours)but I do hope this site responds to some of my queries soon- I know it’s only 2/3 days since I posted them but I’m desperatly on a search and am keen for answers…thanks. And sorry, I’m so rude chasing you up!

  • Thomas says:

    I AM a theist, although I do have a problem, one I’m sure I share with a great many people and is one of the motivations behind my faith…I don’t know what it is I truly desire! Nothing (even, in fairness, Bible text or suggested ideas of Heaven (I have read a few good books on that subject)) fullfill that dreadful need. I put my faith in the Lord and am sure he will in some way, one day, answer it.
    I am an art student and fascinated by writing and…obviously…art. A lot of it is inspired by things from ‘Dr Who’ to ‘Goodfellas’! I always crave new film releases and delight in (what many would call a VERY odd hobby but a true love of mine)collecting ‘figurines’ of my favourite characters. Yes, I suppose some would call me a geek. Many have.
    I realise I seemingly went off topic there but not really, because, you see, that’s ME. That and obviously other important stuff like my love of family and friends (importantly!).
    All this I know and ENJOY about being me. I have accepted God and both pray, study and love him…yet, I must say, it still concerns me that I can’t put my ultimate ‘dream’, ‘ideal’ or idea of complete and utter satisfaction, into words or even begin to imagine it. Doh!I have dreams of things I want to achieve in this life (being an author among them) but I suppose what I’m really talking about is ‘Heaven’ (or whatever you want to call it).

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    I love what you said Trisha about being here for God’s purposes and making decisions based on know what His dream for me is! What a great reminder. Well said.

  • Trisha says:

    Reality to me…”it is what it is”. There is much drudgery in everyday life so dreaming is like an escape from it. Getting the “dream” will then become the drudgery. i believe we are here for HIS purposes. i make every day decisions and use an element of the common sense He gave me so when i’m not in His “dream” for me, i discern His “check” and stop. Not all of us were put here for “great exploits”. Leading someone to Christ when He calls them, is a “dream” come true for me. i am filled with Joy when He chooses to use me in that person’s life. Most people think of “dreams” as bigger houses, newer cars, or visions of fame and fortune. Like all these shows on tv today about being the next singing sensation! Having people vote them the “best”. All they ever say is,”it’s my “dream”. How does any of it Glorify God? i determine to keep my “radar” in sync with Him each day and with wonderment, i look forward to what He’ll have me do at any given time. Do i secretly want a certain situation to come to pass? YES! Yet being a realist i don’t allow it to consume my every other thought. Dreams always sound so self=centerd to me so i simply continue to say,”Your Will NOT mine”. Bless you all.

  • Brenda says:

    I enjoyed this article and all of the comments, as well. It is wonderful to see that, even with fear, people have not given up on hope and dreaming. For me, dreaming is seeking God for what is impossible for me in my own strength, but never impossible for the Lord, for all things are possible with God. I do agree that it is vital to submit my dreams to Jesus’ will so that I am not leaning on my own understanding but trusting in God with all of my being. To not have dreams for me is to not have hope. To not know what to do to accomplish my dreams is to admit my dependence on Jesus and ask Him to lead me and speak to me throughout my days, and to listen diligently as I follow Him. Thanks so much for this wonderful post, and to each one who responded!

  • Esther says:

    I believe that THERE IS ROOM for dreams in adult-hood. Definietly. It is only whether or not we dare to. We loose our childlike innocence so quick, we get blinded, not looking at the victory that God has already won for us, not seeing the greatness of these dreams, but only look at th disappointment, the fear, the sacrifices, REALITY. This word reality, just gives us a plain mindset of,”not everything is within our grasp.” Having a dream its not wrong, its free. But persuing it is what most people fear, and are not willing to count the cost for.

  • Maybelle says:

    Oh, it’s definitely hard to dream. I have only started opening myself recently, to take risks and venture out of my comfort zone – and I’ve never been the same since. I think happiness is, ultimately, communion and “synchronization” with God. And if He wills you to dream, puts it into your nature, then it will happen. Creating humanity was probably an incredible risk for God, but if He could handle that… how much could He allow us to handle our own little risks, dreams, and visions?

  • Trisha says:

    i dreamt SO many dreams over the years of which NONE of them came to pass. “DREAMING” can be such frivolity in the natural. i’m with those who seek the LORD’s “dream” for thier lives. Dreaming is NOT reality…every day life is! i choose to give all my thoughts and “dreams” to the LORD and He can do with them whatever He wants. i trust Him implicitly!

  • LIZ says:

    I have a dream and i want that it to be possible, still working i think it will take time to fulfill my dream, my dream need someone to work physical and i am 46 years today i wish in ten years that dream should be no longer a dream but a true picture

  • Troy says:

    I didn’t have Christ in my life when I first tried to live out a lifelong dream. I had some success, but I was misguided and lost a lot of material things. Now that I’ve committed my life to Christ, I’m confident that those dreams will come true again as long as they are aligned with God’s will for my life. I have my up and down days, but I am excited about the future.

  • Lisa says:

    I believe we can have dreams and perhaps we cantry all we can to make them come true but if they are not in line with God’s will for us they will lead us down the wrong path. We won’t always have all of them come true. It reminds me of a country song “I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers”. There are times when God will give us the desires of our hearts just to teach us that it was not what we really needed or wanted. There are alot of rich and famous people who will tell you even though they have everything they want they are still the most miserable of people.

  • Nicola says:

    i have a dream that is 99 percent impossible. but i find it difficult to the give up the one percent possibility. where do i start from?

  • Neha says:

    I am executing a dream currently but facing a lot of problems due to dual set of responsibilities…one towards the dream and other towards the exisiting work……feel torn apart and hence the first thing that comes to mind is quit the dream… far have been able to sustain but dunno how long

  • Kara says:

    I’ve definitely been in that same place where my dreams have been completely silenced. I think one of the biggest issues for me has also been fear. Dreaming involves taking a risk. I want my life to have meaning and it is easy to stick to what I know works. However, when I dare to dream, a whole new world becomes available to me and my sense of confidence and meaning actually grows. Dreaming is empowering!

  • Freda says:

    I am 40 and I have started to dream again. Mainly, because I am afraid to remain is this struck state. I have hope!

  • Ann says:

    It’s been so long since I dared dream. I’m actually afraid to. What if I just get hurt?

Leave a Reply