Is your heart sick because your dream is deferred?

Have you ever been heartsick? Depressed? Frustrated that what you’re waiting so long for something to happen?

Everyone’s waiting for something. Maybe it’s getting married. Or having a baby. Or walking into the dream God put in your heart. The “something” is different for everyone. But trust me when I say, everyone’s waiting.

For me, it was getting to teach the Word. I knew I wanted to do it all the way back in 1990. It wasn’t a casual, “Oh I hope someday I get to do that.” It burned like a fire in me. I thought about it constantly. I really, really, REALLY wanted to do it.

I followed that dream all the way to Bible school in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And I studied. And prayed. And learned. And waited.

In my second year of school, we got to share a 5-minute message with our classmates, and that confirmed it. “This is what I want to do with my life. I want to share His Word. Preach. Teach. Minister.”

So let’s fast forward to 2004, which was when I finally got to do it. Yep. You read that right. It was 14 years from the time I first had the dream before I actually started doing it.

Fourteen years of waiting. Talk about deferred. That’s a lot of heartsick right there.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)

That was fourteen years of:
Will it ever get here?
Will I ever get to?
Will faith ever be made sight?
Maybe I missed it.
Where are you, God?


Fourteen years of living with my nose in the Book, reading about Moses and Joseph. Especially Joseph. My goodness did he wait and wait and wait some more.

About Joshua and Caleb, who waited 40 years in the desert for their day to come.

David was anointed king YEARS before he ever sat on the throne.

Did they deal with heart-sickness while their dreams were deferred? Waiting on God. Waiting on His timing?

“Why are you so downcast oh my soul? Put your hope in God!”

That was the cry of the psalmist’s heart more than one time.

The thing is our hopes and our dreams are not the same thing. Our dream is something we want to do. Our hope is a confident expectation of good. It’s the anchor that holds our souls steady in the chaotic waters of waiting.

Proverbs 13:12 doesn’t say, “Dreams deferred make the heart sick.” It says hope. And we’re in full control of what we do with our hope.

The Bible doesn’t tell us to put our hope in our dream. To put our hope in the answer to our prayers. Or the manifestation of the promise. Although when I think of hope, that’s what I immediately focus on. What I’m hoping for. The answer. “I can’t wait until this happens!”

It says, “Put your hope in God.”

The Lord is all I have, and so in Him I put my hope. (Lamentations 3:24)

Dreams take time. Answers don’t always come immediately. The promise isn’t fulfilled overnight. And if we put our hope in these, we’ll be disappointed every time.

What if we make God our dream? If we’re more fascinated with the Promise Giver than what was promised, we won’t have to contend with heart-sickness because in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy.

When we’re more captivated with His face than His hand, the contentment and peace we find at His feet will take the sting out of the waiting.

We all wait. It’s not how long it takes but what we do while we wait that matters. Where we put our hope is the difference between heartsick and contentment.

All day long I put my hope in You. (Psalm 25:5)

It’s not easy. I know that oh so well. Especially when depression is lurking and we’re frustrated that it’s taking so long. It’s a continuous decision to keep our hope firmly planted in God. But when God is our dream and we keep our hope in Him alone, it won’t matter how long we wait.

Where is your hope today?

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