Let me let you in on a little secret.
And it's not a bad thing, either. I'm sure if you think hard enough, there's some dream you had a few years ago that isn't something you'd consider important to accomplish now. Now I'm not saying to just give up all your dreams and be done with them. Each dream you have, each goal you want to accomplish, is all just a part of the bigger picture. And, whether or not you actually meet all of your goals, the skills you obtain while striving for them can mold you into the person God wants you to be.
I'm going to share with you a dream I once had, one that God did not allow me to accomplish. When I was eight years old, I wanted more than anything to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. I spent hours studying over lists of words, most of which I didn't know the meaning of, and in third grade, I was 4th place in my county spelling bee. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get as far as I wanted to, but I knew there was always next year. I continued to study, but for the next three years I never did as well as I had done the first time. For some reason, every time I tried, I got so nervous that I wouldn't make it past the first few rounds because I'd choke up on an easy word. At first, I was so frustrated with myself that I didn't know what to think. But now, I believe that the reason I got so nervous and made mistakes was because it wasn't God's will for me to win. I never realized that God was just as much on my competitors' side as He was on mine, and that winning was His will for someone else. In 7th grade, I became interested in other things and decided not to compete, and in 8th grade, my last year to be eligible, I truthfully just didn't even think about it. Now I'm sure you're thinking, why did she give up on herself? She had a chance, but she didn't take it, and now she'll always wonder what could have been if she had just kept going. But this story is not a sad one, and here's the reason why.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a future.'"
Winning the National Spelling Bee was not God's plan for me, but those hours studying were not wasted. I realized how much I love words, and that instead of a speller, God wants me to be a writer. If I had not competed in spelling bees when I was younger, I don't think I would be writing this to you today. The four years I spent on a dream I never realized were four wonderful years that I wouldn't trade for the world. Because they contributed to my bigger picture. So don't think of any forgotten dreams you may have as heartaches. Because dreams change for a reason, and an old dream is just another component to make the masterpiece that is completely you that much more beautiful.