Monday, September 6, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Dreams

Aligning Reality with Our Wildest Dreams

A devotional by Jessica Brodie

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 
–1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

Have you ever set your sights on something far-off, then dreamed about how wonderful it would be? When I was in my twenties, I longed for children. I began to idealize motherhood, imagining my life would change completely the moment I gave birth—I’d suddenly be mature, have it all together, live a life of bliss and maternal joy.

Life certainly did change when I finally had kids at age 30, and most of those changes were wonderful, but it wasn’t all perfection. I had plenty of days I wanted to pull out my hair or lamented having to pack an entire diaper bag before heading out for a simple trip to the mall. I had a notion of what I thought life would be, but the reality of my future was different—good, but different.

I spent some time as a single mom a few years later, and I was overjoyed when my husband, Matt, and I fell in love and he proposed. But again, I had an idealized vision of what our future would be when we finally exchanged vows. I couldn’t wait for our wedding date to hurry up and get here. Not only did I want to share my home with my best friend and the love of my heart, but I also was eager to have a partner in the home to help shoulder finances and child-rearing tasks. I imagined post-marital life would be much like our dating life, only full-time.

In reality, the intimacy and deep, abiding, Christ-centered love proved to be even better, though the future didn’t exactly match my expectations. Romantic nights at the movies were sometimes exchanged for other romantic moments—like holding hands while buying our first washing machine when my old one finally died.

In truth, I’ve been picturing my future in one way or another since I was a child, and reality and expectation don’t always align. For instance, I always expected summer break would be amazing, but it ended up being kind of boring after a few weeks.

But sometimes the future wows us, and we cannot believe how wonderful something is. When I was pregnant with my second child, I couldn’t begin to imagine loving this new one, my daughter, as much as I loved my son—and yet my heart’s capacity for love surprised me.

I think that’s what the apostle Paul might have been alluding to in his letter to the early church about what awaits Christian believers. He wrote, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV).

The mystery of God, His kingdom, His coming, and His vast, grace-filled, and merciful love aren’t fully understood by us now. We are only humans, not divine, and we only have a sense of the promises of eternal life awaiting us in heaven. But one day, if we hold to faith, we will fully know, as God fully knows us now. Everything will be clear in a way it cannot possibly be understood now.

You might be holding tight to a dream, imagining the day when This Big Thing will finally happen to you. Or you might have relinquished that dream when heartbreak occurred—your child or spouse died, you got divorced, a job ended, catastrophe hit—and can’t ever imagine the future will once again hold joy.

What happens on earth is never going to be perfect. We might achieve a dream, only to discover it’s not as great as we’d thought, or maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe that job we took, while biding our time until something better comes along, ended up fueling our purpose in life.

One thing we do know: We can’t even begin to imagine how perfect and complete we will feel once we come face-to-face with our Creator.

So hang on, my friend, and trust in the plan and mighty purpose of the Risen Savior. All will be well—better than well. All will be perfect according to Him.

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, thank You for Your encouraging promises and Your guidance for life in Your holy book, the Bible. Help us cling to that and not the false promises of this world. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at

Jessica has a weekly YouTube devotional and podcast.

You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

She’s also produced a free eBook, A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed.


  1. Good reminder. One of the most effective "joy stealers" occurs when I focus on looking forward to circumstances that I think will make me happier instead of enjoying the present.

    1. That's a surefire joy-stealer for me, too. Thanks, Ava. God bless you!

  2. Expectations can be dangerous. While we love it when life exceeds our expectations, we can have trouble dealing with unfulfilled ones. Dream big but stay real is good advice. Good post!

    1. You are so right! Expectations always land me in a heap of trouble. :-)

  3. You remind me of myself, Jessica. I'm an idealist. I always expect everyone to do the right things, and I expect beauty and grace to win the day. Our expectations, when flawed, can tear us down. Of course, they actually will all come true one day when Christ returns. Until then, I'm holding tightly to Jesus, who IS ALREADY the One with all of the beauty and grace and right responses.

    1. Yes!! I get this completely. I'm learning to push my personal expectations aside and just try to align myself with what God wants. It's hard!!

  4. Good message, Jessica. I like this reminder, "What happens on earth is never going to be perfect. We might achieve a dream, only to discover it’s not as great as we’d thought, or maybe it’s the opposite."


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