We were meant to be in Cornwall.

A bank holiday, a birthday, a booking in a posh restaurant, and a sunny weather forecast.

We were meant to be in Cornwall.


Another weekend and we are meant to be in Sheffield.

A long awaited family reunion, a meal and walk planned in the Peak District, another sunny forecast.

We are meant to be in Sheffield.


I was meant to become Team Lead.

Years of experience, on a leadership course as part of my development, enthusiastic encouragement from colleagues, a thoroughly prepared interview.

I was meant to become Team Lead.


But…a throat infection.

But…traffic at a standstill.

But…an unsuccessful application.


Even when we have laid the best plans possible…

Even when all the signposts seem to be pointing in the same direction…

Even when we are sure we are following God’s prompting…


We can be derailed.

By nausea, headache, and a throat that feels like someone has taken a potato peeler to it.

By fire engines, ambulances, and two poor souls crashed into a tree.

By a better qualified candidate.

Sometimes it’s clear that our thoughts of meant-to-be events were only an expression of hoped-for-happenings. And lightly held hopes can be easily let go. There will be other trips to Cornwall. There are plenty of beautiful places to visit near home instead. There are still quiet pleasures and time to enjoy together wherever we are.


Some diversions are harder to bear. Dearly loved people missed. Embraces lost. But we make the best of online communication instead. We notice the musicless festival atmosphere as strangers escape their immobile cars to chat the hard shoulder and make do with make-do toilet ‘facilities’ beyond the barrier. And we count our blessings that ours was not the car that crashed.


Other disappointments prove to be a stopping point. Our metaphorical Satnav clearly wrong about our chosen route. A time to question our directions and our destination. The painful death of a dream.


But perhaps some dreams need to die.

Because, unknowingly, they tether us to a less-than-life, well-meaning but falling short.

Because God has bigger and better dreams for us.

Dreams perhaps from our childhood, which we forgot or grew out of or dismissed as impractical, unrealistic, selfish.

Perhaps God has been waiting for us to let go of our less-than dreams. And perhaps the only way to make us do so was to pop them messily with a great needle of disappointment.

Our less-than dreams seemed so great but only because we held them so close that they took up our whole vision, when behind them was God’s much greater vista for our lives: wide, colourful, glorious.


And if we take hold of those God-seeded dream instead, we can be confident that He will accomplish them.

Liz Manning fits writing around being an Occupational Therapist, BB captain, wife, and mum to two adults. Or perhaps it's the other way round. She blogs regularly at
https://thestufflifeismadeofblog.wordpress.com/, has two WIPs and more ideas in the pipeline.


  1. What a lovely post which sets out as a poem full of golden nuggets expressing advice, encouragement, facts of life, God's purpose taking precedence inspite of our best laid out plans to let us know that unless the seed falls, there can be no fruit! Lots of food for thought here! Thanks and blessings.

    1. Thanks Sophia. I've been reading a poetry collection called The Stone Age by Jen Hadfield and was struck by how she uses layout and spaces as much as actual words. I think that influenced me to lay out my post differently this month. There's a fine line between poetry and prose sometimes.
      I love your point about a seed needing to fall to produce fruit. Thank you.

  2. That is so beautiful, Liz. And you're absolutely right. At the time, it hurts, but often afterwards we can look back and see how we benefitted from a derailed dream. Wishing you all wonderful times to make up for what you've missed.

    1. Thanks Ruth. One benefit of the 4 hour standstill on the motorway was the time to write this post. (I hastily add that my son and husband were driving that day, not me!). Here's to seeing what else lies ahead.

  3. This is such a powerful post Liz. Thank for bringing hope into disappointment and for sharing your own experience in order to do so. Blessings to you

  4. Bless you. Thoughts and encouragements for us all.

  5. This post made me cry. It is difficult to hang onto those God given dreams when the journey is slower than expected.. Congratulations on making such positive use of a sad delay.


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