disappointment & dreams: all that glitters is not gold


All that glitters is not gold.


I have felt like a little girl in a vast field, searching for something that she’s never found, that she’s never even seen. The only clarity is that she knows she’s been promised something and she just wants it.

Are you ever aware of the piercing longing within your heart for more? Have you ever even truly let yourself feel it? I write about more a lot. Maybe it’s an attempt to contain it, to cope with it, to understand it. Today, I’m just feeling it.

I’ve seen the glint of what seems to be gold so many times. It’s increased my awareness to the excruciating longing that has settled in my heart.

Maybe it’s simply a fleeting sunset or a song that is over too soon. Something that contains beauty, but does not last…that leaves me wanting more. Maybe it’s a potential job situation or a heart that is so good, but not meant for me. The last chords fade out and the beauty that touched my heart wasn’t enough.

I keep seeing sparkling things that stir my soul and ignite the longing…and then I feel so let down, because it never turns out to be what it promises. All that glitters is not gold.

I’ve searched and searched, the sparkles sending me spinning. And at the end of the day, I have a heart with blood and glitter everywhere and I just want to scream. But desire doesn’t stop; it just grows.

I’ve watched trains that just keep going. I’ve felt the wind brush against my skin, the force nearly knocking me over from where I’ve stood. And again and again they go by…and they have never stopped for me.

I’m simply here with a mess of sticky glitter and sticky dreams that won’t go away. I hear Jesus tell me to keep dreaming.

But to a heart that has been so crushed by disappointment, dreams are terrifying. 

As I’ve been praying about all of this longing and disappointment and whatever else, I’ve realized that I have been believing the lie that God withholds from me.

Wow. That’s hard to admit.

Over Christmas break, my brother and I were talking about how we don’t have to be desperate for God to move in our lives. We don’t have to actually beg and beg and beg Him to move. It’s actually a sign of a dysfunctional relationship if a child is desperately trying to get her Father’s attention in order to express her desire.

The reality is, He’s already watching. He’s already listening. He’s already been defending for such a long time. He’s already here.

He’s already here at the beginning of our dreams. He’s already here wherever it is that our hearts have been wounded by disappointment. He already knows what we truly need and what we desperately want. And He doesn’t withhold. 

There is no goodness that He withholds from us. I want to type it out so. many. times. because it is so true and I need it to sink into my life.

He doesn’t withhold from me.

Whatever disappointment that we’ve experienced in our lives is nothing but a shadow of what He intends for us.

Disappointment does not get the final word, but He doesn’t just brush past it. He looks at us and He sees the regret, the hurt, the abandonment, the betrayal, the rejection, the neglect…and He dignifies it. He doesn’t deny its existence; He doesn’t deny the impact that it has had on our lives.

Let that sink in. Allow yourself to feel it. He dignifies all of the emotion, all of the journey; He validates all of the moments of disappointment. Let Him show you.

As He dignifies it, He invites us to worship on top of it. So that disappointment, that attack, that wound that was intended to harm us is actually bring us closer to Him. Because death did not get the final word and the power of the resurrection is here. He is here.

Let that sink in. That He invites you into His glory and His victory in such a way that you can literally claim the resurrection, the more that is so real, at the grave of depravity and disappointment.

And, you know, for me, these are really nice words. Maybe I would have been able to write this blog post, in theory, months ago. But now, this reality is invading my heart. Hands open, heart unafraid…I’m just receiving. Or striving to. I’m learning that He just wants to hold me. I’m learning to let Him. Let Him hold you.

I’m so overwhelmed by the reality of the reckless love of God that He wants us to experience beyond nice words and ideas. He wants to move radically; He wants to heal, to release wonder in the place of disappointment.

And geez, I don’t know what is stronger than the desire of the King of the universe, what has more power than the one who raises the dead to life. He didn’t let anything hold Him back from coming to earth and invading our world. And He’s after your heart.

As I learn to worship and wonder in the place of disappointment and pain, I’m being led deeper into freedom, into the heart of the Father. He’s teaching me not to hide from Him…to acknowledge my heart because He’s always acknowledged my heart.

He’s always acknowledged your heart. There has never been a moment that you haven’t been seen, when you haven’t been heard. He weeps for you in your disappointment. And there is no longing placed within your heart that He does not intend to fulfill.

Friends, He sees. He sees, He sees, He sees. And He loves so hard.

His love lasts. His love fights for me. His love allows me to be still. His love goes all the way; it leaves nothing unsaid. His love never disappoints. He is the only one who can satisfy. Beyond a cliche, only Jesus is enough for our heartsWhat does that say about us and who we’re created to be?

Our stories are not written by disappointment, they’re not written by heartbreak. They are not defined by misunderstandings, they are not defined by what we’ve run to as a coping mechanism to numb the longing. We’re not made to be passed over, to be let down.

Our stories are written by the love of the King who has gone all the way, who has left nothing unsaid, who desires to POUR victory over every situation in our lives. Let’s believe it.

There is no more distance; no separation exists between Him and you. He goes all the way, giving inexplicable beauty for ashes. He’s here…and He’s never going to leave you dry.

Let’s dream bigger than our disappointments. We worship a God who can handle it. More than that, we worship a God who wants it. Who wants us.

I’m praying for you.



  1. Take all the disappointment and place it in front of you. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind to remember the earliest moments of disappointment to today. Surrender each memory, each hurt, and then worship in the midst of it. Claim that He is still good and still God, even in all these situations. If it’s hard (because it probably will be!), tell Him. Ask Him what He’s going to do about these wounds. Ask Him to explicitly show you His goodness in each and every situation. There’s nothing that He will not do to reach the one He loves.
  2. Ask the Father to breathe His dreams into your heart. Ask Him to allow you to receive the true reality of who He is (and who you are). Ask Him to realign your heart with His, that you would be going to Him alone to satisfy.
  3. Just sit in silence and allow His presence to press into you. Let go of words, let go of whether or not you’re able to explain what He’s doing. Give Him permission to move beyond your comfort zone. Trust that He’s not going to withhold from you and receive. He wants to encounter you. 




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