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You have a dream.

It’s bigger than anything you could imagine.

Almost impossible.

You’re holding on tight, but waiting is wearing you thin.

You don’t want to give up, but the lies are fierce.

You’re not worthy to carry this dream.

You don’t have what it takes for a dream this size.

Don’t get your hopes up, it’s never going to happen.

The overwhelming sense of failure and uncertainty leaves you wondering if you should let it go.

You’re not alone.

Do your dreams seem dead? You've been waiting and are on the verge of giving up? Here are some tips on how to respond to your impossible dreams.

Hannah had a dream.

She longed for the day to hold a baby in her arms that she could call her own.

But there was one problem: She was barren.

In the natural her dream was impossible. A dead dream.

Even those around her thought so.

Every year she was required to go to the Tabernacle and worship and participate in a sacrificial meal.

And every year she could look forward to humiliation and mockery.

Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, would taunt her and make fun of her barren situation.

Each time, Hannah would cry and refuse to eat.

I’m sure she wondered if her dream would ever become a reality.

Should she keep holding on to something that seemed dead?

As much as she wanted to let go, she just couldn’t.

So she did something about it.

And we can too!


Do your dreams seem dead? You've been waiting and are on the verge of giving up? Here are some tips on how to respond to your dead dreams.

3 Responses to Dead Dreams

Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. 1 Samuel 1:9 NLT (emphasis mine)

Rise Up

Although we aren’t given details about Hannah’s thoughts before she goes out to pray, I can imagine what they could have been.

Should I hold on to this dream if it’s never going to come to pass?

Why are other people living their dreams, but I’m stuck in a dead end?

Is God hearing my constant pleas for this dream?

Rather than let her thoughts consume her, Hannah got up.

The word got up here is the word quwm.

It means to rise up, become powerful, to stand, to be fixed, to be fulfilled, or to persist.

Hannah made the choice to pursue her God when her dream seemed dead. She mustered up her strength and pressed in.

I can be honest and say when I’m worn out from waiting, I rarely want to rise up. On the contrary, I usually want to hide and sulk.

But that is what the enemy wants.

He wants us to give up before the breakthrough.

When our dreams seem impossible, we have a choice. We can back down or rise up.

Pray & Get Real with God

Sometimes when life gets messy, we have to get it all out.

Rather than going to one of her friends or her husband, Hannah got real with God.

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:10 NLT

She was so distraught, Eli, the priest, scolded her because he thought she was drunk.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been here before.

Authentic, ugly cry, “what in the world is wrong with this girl” type prayers.

She had to get real with God.

We have to get real with God.

When things aren’t going the way we expect and our dreams seem dead, we don’t have to pretend that we’re happy about it. God knows how we really feel anyway.

When we go to Him and “get real” it provides an opportunity for Him to comfort us and to speak to us.

In fact, it was in this moment, as she poured out her heart that God gave her a word of encouragement.

I believe He wants to do the same for us.

Don’t Give Up in the Wait

Hannah’s story is not just one about God answering a prayer. It is also about God’s deliverance for a people.

God used Hannah’s cry for a child to answer a greater need, which was deliverance for Israel.

Like Hannah, Israel had been spiritually barren for awhile. (1 Samuel 3:1)

As Hannah interceded for a child, God was providing not just for her but for Israel as well.

Many times we miss the bigger picture of what God is doing.

We have trouble seeing past our own desires.

God’s timing is perfect.

If our dreams aren’t coming to pass right now, it’s for a purpose.

It could be that we are part of a bigger plan that includes a blessing not just for us, but for those around us as well.

What dream do you have that seems impossible? Are you getting worn out in the waiting?

Friend, God is not ignoring you! He loves you and wants to fulfill your dreams more than you want them fulfilled. But more than that He has a plan and a purpose for you. His timing is wrapped up in that purpose. When you feel like you’re on the verge of quitting, make a choice to rise up, pray and get real with God and keep pressing forward. God will meet you right where you are!




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  1. Alisa, what a blessed post indeed. Several years ago , I too travelled a path similar to Hannah . Those were rough years and heartbreaking nights. Rising up , spending time with the Lord ,and pouring my tears is what made me a mama today. So I pray this post will touch many “blessed ” women who are looking unto the Lord to fulfill their dreams

    God bless you


    1. Thanks, Diana! I think many of us have been down a road of barrenness. Maybe not in the physical sense as she was, but most likely in a spiritual or emotional way. I’m so glad you have overcome! Thank you for believing with me that many others will as well!

  2. So, so encouraging. Hope for all whose dreams feel dead. He can ressurrection them and use them in ways we can’t even understand. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the story of Hannah! It brings me so much hope as I continue this journey of following after the dreams God has placed in my own heart. Great post, dear friend!

  4. I just found your blog! Excited to continue reading your writings! “How to forgive when you can`t forget” was really good! thank you<3

    1. Thanks, Emily! I’m so glad you are enjoying it! I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well!

  5. Getting real with God and with ourselves is so important. Hannah’s story inspires me on so many levels!

  6. HI Alisa, this is a powerful post. Yes, I’ve been there pouring my heart out to God in times when waiting seemed so hard (in fact, just last week). Blessings to you this Holy Week! #writerwednesday

  7. Alisa -I love your post. I am passionate about people not giving up on their dreams, well, because at one time I too thought mine were impossible. I love the 3 points you brought out and what a timely post as we all look to the cross and see the possibilities in our own lives of the things Jesus can resurrect in us.

  8. Thank-you for sharing these words of encouragement. A truly timely reminder of His faithfulness in all things. Thank-you!!

  9. Such a great post! Pressing in to God with real heartfelt prayers is a lifeline. Hannah’s story is inspirational. Thanks for the goods today.

  10. Love this, Alisa! Get up. Get real. Don’t give up. I have a dream that our relationship with our daughter will be restored and I continue to do all these things. Thanks for putting it out there so clearly. God’s blessings!

  11. God delights in resurrection! It’s what Easter is all about. Resurrection of Jesus, first, and then us… and that includes our dreams! Thanks!

  12. The enemy wants us to give up before the breakthrough, but instead we must rise up with the full armor of God and watch Him work! Powerful post! I’ll be sharing it over on facebook as it fits so well with my ongoing dream series! Blessings!

  13. Waiting is so hard, isn’t it, Alisa? I love the lessons from Hannah’s life and see so many ways this applies to me.
    Thank you, dear friend!
    Easter blessings to you and your family.

    1. Yes it is!! Especially when you’re not seeing any movement. But I can rest that He is moving whether I see it or not!

  14. Love this, Alisa! I recently found your blog through the Women with Intention linkup, and I just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration. I struggle with doubt and a lack of self-confidence too and this is such a lovely reminder to take action when I’m feeling that way. ❤

  15. I get really excited about this topic! I have felt for a long time that God has given me the capability of dreaming crazy dreams (involving moving across the country or even across the world to pursue my love of musical theatre.) As a student, there are so many times where I am overwhelmed by the odds that are stacked against me, but it is good to be reminded that God has been involving himself in our dreams for a long time now! Thank you for the words of encouragement.

    1. Wow! That’s awesome, Delaney! I, too, love the He is so intimately involved in our dreams. His faithfulness never ceases to amaze me!

  16. Very well written! Thanks Alisa! It has really encouraged me not to give up on my dreams even thought they sometimes look dead.
    May God bless you!

  17. This is a message I needed to hear, Alisa! My husband and I have been praying about something for quite some time and waiting for it even longer. In fact, we thought we had an answer to our prayers, but back in March, God shut the door on it. So we wait. I am inspired by Hannah’s example and know that God has a bigger plan than we can ever see. Thanks for your insight and encouragement tucked in this beautiful post!

  18. Oh!
    You’ve captured the unknown so well here, Alisa, and this is the thing that makes dreaming such a risk.
    I love the brave faith that carried Hannah into her fervent prayer and ultimate fulfillment!

  19. “Part of a bigger plan that includes a blessing not just for us”… your statement seems so prophetic, it is exactly where I am right now. God bless

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