When Dreams are Delayed (not Denied)

September 6, 2017

by Kim Childs, CPPC

About 20 years ago, I heard a phrase in a 12-step meeting that lodged itself firmly in my head: “God’s delay is not God’s denial.”

Today I have several examples, and not just in my own life, of how this phenomenon plays out. No matter your religious beliefs, embracing the notion that some dreams may take longer to manifest than we desire, and turn out even better than we imagined, can ease frustration and fuel optimism.

To put it another way,  very few of the things and changes I’ve desired in my life have happened on my timetable, and many came to pass in ways that I couldn’t have foreseen.

Sharing songs, and love, in South Africa (photo credit: Bill Torcaso)

Case in point: Five years ago, I heard that the delightful Boston-area chorus, Sharing a New Song (SANS), was headed to South Africa to tour, perform, and connect with singers in that amazing country. I so wanted to go to South Africa, and I sooo wanted to go as a singer, and the timing was…so very wrong for me. With more than a little sadness, I surrendered to my circumstances and wished the chorus members a wonderful time.

And then…

Last summer, I went to a musical birthday party and learned, through a serendipitous conversation, that SANS was returning to South Africa in 2017. Free to go this time, I joined the chorus, applied for a scholarship, launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the remaining costs, and went – all expenses paid – on a truly marvelous trip during August, a month when my workload is super light.

Could I have orchestrated this same magic five years ago? I’ll never know. What I do know is that dreams have no expiration date, and that holding them in our hearts while loosening our grip on how and when they’ll come about can yield miracles.

Earlier this summer, I led a Dream Boot Camp for five wonderful clients, one of whom manifested a desire she’d held dear for two decades. Once the shock wore off, she told me about the history of this particular dream.

“Twenty years ago, my company had a big layoff, and people who’d been there a long time were let go with several months’ severance,” she recalls. “I kept thinking about what I would do with that kind of time…finish my book, work on sewing projects, and finally get my house the way I wanted it. I wasn’t chosen for the layoff, but I started making plans to take a year off work, saving money and trying to get my various projects in shape.”

My client kept saving money until she was within a year of being able to make her bold move. This summer, much to her surprise, she was laid off with several months’ worth of severance pay. It’s not exactly what she envisioned 20 years ago, but it may be better.

“What I’m doing now is very different from what I’d have done back then,” she remarks. “Now the time is mine instead of having to put my kids first. Plus, my house is paid for and the kids’ college is funded, so the amount of income I need for a sustainable lifestyle is much less. I’ve also got 20 years’ worth of savings and research behind me.”

A friend of mine tells another story about attracting a wonderful job that looks nothing like what she imagined when she set out to find one several years ago, armed with her hopes and a list of desired criteria during a very challenging time in her life.

“I wound up working at a church office in Connecticut, of all places!” She exclaims about the job that meets so many of those criteria. “I am a native New Yorker and an attorney. This is the last place I thought I would be, and this job uses all the skills not listed on my resume. I’m the one who plans office celebrations, and being here has given me clear ideas about an office party planning business, for which I’m now taking classes.”

What dream of yours might be worth turning over to a higher intelligence and acting on – one step at a time – with respect for divine timing?

Patience and persistence paid off for Rory Michelle, who sat in my workshop on The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity several years ago and quietly voiced her desire to write and sing songs. Soon after, she began to do it…consistently, with great enthusiasm. Today, she’s a singer/songwriter, recording artist, producer, and composer, with a few albums under her belt and this new, charming video about nourishment of all kinds.

Here’s to your dreams. I invite you to hold them in your heart, take inspired action, and trust life’s unfolding.

Kim Childs, CPPC, is a Certified Life and Career Coach specializing in Positive Psychology, creativity and soulful living. Click here to learn more and schedule a consultation.

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