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For When Your Dreams Are Dying

unless a seed Since my husband and I were engaged, we’ve dreamed of having a large family. 10-ish kids was our plan. Some biological, some adopted.

But our 2 attempts to foster-to-adopt and our 4 total pregnancies have left us with only 1 child. One on Earth, anyway. 3 in Heaven. My most recent miscarriage was just a few weeks ago.

We also have a domestic adoption in progress. 14 months in, and we’ve not had so much as a nibble yet. Definitely didn’t expect to be waiting this long.

And at age 32 with a hubby who’ll soon turn 35, and one (albeit amazing) 2-and-a-half-year-old little guy running sprints through our house, the fulfillment of these dreams is looking unlikely.

In this season, our longings and plans seem to be slipping like sand through our fingers, like seeds that must go into the ground and die in order to bear fruit (John 12:24).

And I know I’m not the only one with life-long desires that are looking less attainable by the day.

In this season, I’ve grieved losses and watched my dreams fall into the dirt, and I’ve laid down my stubborn, strong will and chosen TRUST, through tears and gritted teeth.

And I’ve heard the Father’s tender invitation:

My heart toward you and plans for you are better than you’ve ever dreamed. But to receive all I have for you, you must trust Me, totally let go, and stop desperately chasing what you’ve thought was “good.”

His good for someone else might not be His good for me. Like a dress that looks amazing on my girlfriend, but when I try it on… yikes.

God offers us abundant life—wild, free, deeply fulfilling. In fact, there is NOTHING more fulfilling or exciting than the unfolding of His purposes in our lives. But if we want to receive all this wide-open abundance, we must let go of our ideas of what “abundance” will look like for us.

Sometimes the best dreams must die. But this death is unto life.

I’m learning something about myself lately: I love to write. There’s this message that has begun to absolutely burn inside of me. If I don’t write it, I might explode. So, I’m writing. A lot. Something I never desired to do. Until 9 months ago, that is. And I don’t know for sure, but I think this newly discovered passion might be a piece of God’s abundance for me.

It wouldn’t have been remotely on my radar if the Father hadn’t drawn me, invited me to trust His heart, take a step back, tear my eyes away from what I’d THOUGHT would be my future, and widen my scope of vision to see what unexpected abundance HE might want to pour out into my life.

And His plans really are more than we could ever ask or imagine. Friends, this is our God. He is crazy-extravagant, completely trustworthy, and He gives the best gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11; James 1:17).

Examining your own heart, have you held tightly to certain desires or plans in fear that His plans might look different than yours?

God invites us to trust, whole-heartedly believing that He longs to pour out His abundance like a flood. This overwhelming extravagance, all over our lives, if we’ll open our clenched hands to receive.

And even in this season of dying dreams, trust leaves me EXCITEDLY anticipating my future: this hand-in-hand journey with my Father.

Wide-open abundance is waiting for me. Fullness of life beyond what I can ask, think, or imagine.

It’s waiting for you, too.



Dana Bigger Head Shot(1)

Dana Butler lives life wide open with her amazing husband and son in the inner city of Kansas City, where they are intentionally engaged in community with their beloved church fam.  Former foster parents to 2 little ones, Stan and Dana are currently in the active/waiting stage of their first private adoption.  Dana spends her days hanging out (and tickling and racing) with her favorite lil’ buddy – her 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Isaac.  Dana loves songwriting and frequently leads her church family in worship.  She blogs regularly, writing out of her passion to walk beside others on the journey of learning to tune in and respond to the nearness and invitations of Jesus in the midst of daily life, and often, it seems, in the midst of pain and loss.

Dana invites you to connect with her on her blog, where you can receive a FREE copy of her new eBook Stillness Manifesto: A Call to NON-Action (Complete with Step-By-Step NON-Instructions).  This is Dana's first ever eBook, and it just launched last night!  It's readable in one sitting - just 30 minutes! - and she's so excited to share it with you.  To receive your copy, head on over to  You can also connect with Dana on Facebook:

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