Giving Up Isn’t The End

There will be times when you will have to admit defeat. That your prize is lost.

It won’t be pleasant but you’ll have to come to the conclusion that it’s for the best.

Shoreline with boats

Recently I experienced that with my new boomerang. I shared that story with you.

After getting the boomerang stuck high in a tree, I had to decide to leave it. Along with a volleyball we got stuck while attempting to retrieve the boomerang.

Disappointment quickly set in. My first time out with it and it’s stuck in a tree. I couldn’t even see it in the tree.

A few days passed and the disappointment faded.

The realization that it was okay. Nothing major was lost. Just an object.

Life went on.

Then one day I get a text from the youth pastor at our church.

He’d been walking to the church and noticed the volleyball on the ground. Seeing this, he snooped around the field awhile and found the lost boomerang.

It returned to me. After I had given up. While I wasn’t looking for it.

How often this happens to us in our lives!

We want our dream so badly we can taste it. We chase after the dream. Pursuing the dream with all of our being. Only to be let down time and time again.

Finally, we decide to call it quits. We throw in the towel. The fat lady sings.


Or so we think…

Maybe days. Maybe Weeks. Or maybe even months or years pass…

Then the dream reappears.

Better. More vivid. Bigger than you ever imagined.

Sometimes our dreams must die for a time.

This normally happens when we’re not ready for the realization of our dream. It’s played out many times before.

Want some examples?

  • Joseph. He dreamed of ruling over his brothers. In the book of Genesis, we are able to read the story of Joseph. He tells everyone of his dreams. His brothers come to despise him and plot to kill him. Instead, they sell him into slavery. It seems his dream is dead. And yet it is fulfilled when he is promoted to Pharaoh’s right hand man.
  • Ben Carson. He knew he wanted to become a doctor from a very young age. Yet his father walked out on the family while he was only 8-years old. The remaining family had to move into the Detroit ghetto. School was tough for Ben. He struggled to perform. Dreams were being crushed. But his mother fought for his dreams. She cut out the TV, made her boys read books, and turn in book reports. Ben has now become a pioneering neurologist and philanthropist.
  • Sutton Park. Dreams of singing and performed filled his mind. He moved to Nashville to live out those dreams. Instead, he wound up homeless, drunk, and hopeless. It seemed like all was lost. Then he hit rock bottom and clawed his way up. His dreams have finally come alive as he writes, plays music, and speaks.

These three men are but a few who have such stories. When their dreams died, it seemed like it was all over. But it wasn’t…

Their story wasn’t finished. And neither is yours.

Question: What dream of yours has died that you would like to see resurrected? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • We both have “dreams” as the focus of our blogs today! For my perspective, the death of my dreams demands that I walk through the shattered remains of my dreams only to discover something not necessarily what I wanted to do but to pursue what God wants me to dream about instead.

  • What an incredibly good post. I agree. When we give up, He steps in and guides us down His path. His timing is perfect and we need to trust that.

  • Great post Joe! Accomplishing vision nearly always requires that vision to die at some point along the way. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thanks Michael. You’re welcome. I think we need to be reminded frequently of the principle of death into rebirth.

  • Love this reminder: “Sometimes our dreams must die for a time.” It’s hard for me to let go when God says, “not now.” It seems worse than a flat-out “no.”

    • Isn’t that true Grayson! We’ve got such a small view of reality that everything has to focus on the here and now.

  • Love this post Joe. It just reminds me that when God decides to do something, nothing can stop Him. Not even setbacks. I love his timings : not always easy but they are always perfect.

    Great reminder for me today. Thanks for sharing.

    • Exactly Ngina! His ways are better than our ways. And the timing is perfect. Even though they’re sometimes hard to deal with. I think this is how He teaches us patience.

      • So true. We would never get patience if we never have opportunities to grow and cultivate it.

  • This is a great picture of how real life dream chasing works, this isn’t the movies where everything magically works out. You migh also be making a great indirect point: maybe when we seem frustrated and overwhelmed we just need to walk away for a little bit?

    • They don’t Kimanzi? Our lives aren’t quick two hour stories? Dang… (-:

  • This is so true! It’s happened to me in my career as a pastry chef for 14 years.

    I had some gaps of doing other things, times when I quit and then felt called back to the profession. Now I’m a stay at home mom and I write and paint, but I have a strong feeling I’ll go back to my first passion when the time is right.

    All is not lost when you quit something, necessarily. Sometimes that time away expands your learning in creative ways that wouldn’t be possible if you had not quit for a while.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Denise. What part of being a pastry chef keeps drawing you back?

  • Hi Joe, I like your writing style, the simple single lines that tell a story and then some strong examples. I’ll read more in the future. And the topic something we can all use reminding of.

    • Glad you’ll keep reading Dan. Please let me know if there’s a topic you’d like to hear more about.

  • DS

    I’m currently pursuing that “dead” dream from the past – to change the world with my unique talents and abilitiy.

    Redemption and opportunity are two tremendous things.

    • Awesome! Keep pursuing it and you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

  • I’ve seen a few “dead” dreams resurrected by the Father in my life. It’s amazing when God gets you to realize that following the dream is one thing…following Him is a totally different thing. I’ve learn that (for me any how) that when I follow Him first, those dreams come alive in ways I never thought possible. Great post bro’…thanks!

    • Great lesson to learn Jay! He knows the best time to let our dreams flourish and return to life.

  • What a great reminder. I think this is such an important principle to remember. Even if we have failed or made mistakes, our dreams can still come true. I’m pushing forward with my purpose and dreams. So none come to mind, right now.

  • Sometimes it may not be a dream per se but just something that you think you have to do. For me, it was a recent job that I took on a temp to hire program. I enjoyed the job and thought it would work out; my manager apparently did not. I felt all sorts of emmotions over that and a twinge of hurt/anger still echos (but is fading more each day).
    I am learning it was better for me not to continue there and a new dream is taking shape. Sometimes you do need to let go, thanks for the reminder.

    • You’re welcome Steven. Sorry to hear about the job situation. That can be frustrating. But let me offer encouragement, things will get better. There’s a plan forming for your life that, while you can’t see it, is more amazing than your wildest dreams.

  • Great post Joseph. Dreams are often delayed, not ended. This allows them to marinate, mature, and even get better. As you pointed out, nowhere in the bible is this pictured better than the life of Joseph. Great post!

  • On December 3, 2000, in the midst of the most significant professional crisis I ever faced in my life, I had a moment when I sensed God encouraging me. I even wrote out what I sensed He was saying to me and have that small card posted in my office. It reads: “Take it to the bank, what I have for you is beyond what you can think or imagine. Be faithful and trust me and it will come to pass.”

    I am amazed at how true these words have become over the past 12 years!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing a brief bit of your story Kent. If what I’m seeing from you now is any indication, God has brought great things to pass in your life since that crisis.