Have you ever had a dream, a dream that you believed was from God, but that dream was never fulfilled? Did it break your heart? Worst yet, did that unfulfilled dream cause you to wonder if you even hear God clearly?
Some of you may have remembered about ten years ago when we thought we were going to purchase the Little Castle, an amazing house in the city of Sofia near the base of Mount Vitosha. The story, over the years as it unfolded, appeared to have the thumbprint of God upon it, yet it did not come to pass. Even recently it appeared as if the dream was being resurrected within my heart. For this reason, we decided to visit it one last time to pray and seek God’s will while we were in Bulgaria.
As we walked through the Little Castle, I could see in my mind the ministry taking place as I peeked in each room. Each one has a purpose to fulfill as unto the Lord. The main floor with it’s meeting room and offices along with a little sunroom room tucked off to the back and side, a perfect hide away to spend quite time with the Lord. The crumbling staircase restored to its original beauty beckoning one up the stairs to see what awaits above. The cozy living-type-room where the main Go in Peace sessions would take place, a room where the women would feel safe and comfortable to become all that God created them to be. Room after room as you climb the heights of safety and comfort to stay as long as God deems fit for the healing of their broken hearts.
The character and the charm of the house are unmatched in any that we have looked at over the last ten years—but it is not to be. Although we have searched high and low for a house that will work as nicely, and none are to be found, it is impossible to purchase and restore the Little Castle. Even if the house were given to us the cost to restore it is astronomical. It would be much cheaper to build from scratch.
We went to the Little Castle to take some time to pray and seek God’s will before buying another piece of property. As we climbed its heights it was heartbreaking to think of what will become of it. We know that a man with a dream built the house from love. And although our hearts are filled with a dream for it as well the house is so quirky and almost beyond repair that we think that if it ever does get purchased it will more than likely be torn down and a high-rise apartment building will be built in its place.
So where does that leave us? With hope! Read on!
David, known as a man after God’s own heart, had an unfulfilled dream in his life. In 2 Chronicles 6:7-9a we read the words of his son Solomon.
Perhaps that is all we are called to do—to be like David, a man after God’s own heart—who did well to have this dream within our hearts.
Listen to a blog I happened upon recently. “Unrealized dreams can yield their own reward. You may feel that you’re spinning your wheels, that life has not turned out as you had hoped. But if you think about it, the simple act of pursuing your dream has already done much good.
Perhaps you never completed your education, yet you are better off for the classes you took than if you had never started. Maybe you were passed over for promotion, yet your quest for a certain job has sharpened your skills and made you a valuable employee. Your cure may not have come, yet your months of prayer and suffering have drawn you to God and softened your heart for others.
Dreams do much good, even (and perhaps especially) when they’re unfulfilled.”
Our dream of the Little Castle didn’t just appear to have the thumbprint of God upon it—it DID have the thumbprint of God upon it. Every retreat, seminar, Go in Peace Weekend or individual counseling session that we have done over the years in Bulgaria had part of the dream woven within it. Maybe the attendees never knew it, but it was there, just the same, within Keith’s and my hearts as we serve the Lord. Better yet, each one of those events were better as a result.
And if God opens the door for us to purchase the piece of land near Garbrovo then we will build our dream from scratch. May every detail, every room, be a labor of love to fulfill the dream so that each guest will feel God’s love in the details from the moment they arrive. If it is to be, may God use this place for His glory! For the most important part of the dream of the Little Castle was never actually a place anyway—but a ministry of love to the hurting.
Do you have an unfulfilled dream in your heart? Here’s a question to ponder—in what way has that unfulfilled dream made you a better person? Looking forward to your comments. Feel free to share this with your friends and/or even pin it.
Goodbye Little Castle, I will dream of what could have been forever! And may a part of that dream live on within my heart for each retreat and seminar that I do. For although it is farewell to the Little Castle it is not farewell to the dream. May our lives always be used by God to help heal the brokenhearted.
Still enjoying His grand adventure.
As I read your story I remembered the retreat and what you shared . Although it broke my heart that something that seemed so perfect was not going to be I love your point of view!!! I too had a unfulfilled dream. When Kelly shared Christine Caine’s message at the retreat with us it made me think about my life and “my” plans and “my” desires and I realized that I need to be reminded that my life is a just one tiny piece of Gods plan. I can be a tool and be used for his kingdom if I let Him. But that’s just it, it’s HIS kingdom. And even when I think “But God I would use this for you, it would be for your glory…” I’m reminder that if its for his glory I should surrender to His will and be context with all the blessings thus far. I get to be excited about what God will do in my lifetime. I am His and he is mine.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Love ya Cherie!
Oops forgot the scripture reference Phillipians3:13-14
I remember walking the halls and into the rooms of the castle and dreaming as we went. Stepping out onto to balcony area from one of the rooms at the top and looking out over the rest of the property and neighborhood. I remember talking about the great potential it had and what could be done.
There are those times when dreams are just that, dreams. But they are giving to spark the work that God wants to do. The dreams are often realized in another way and it is always as good, if not better, than the original.
God has a place He wants you. He will lead you to that place and a new dream will begin and be fulfilled in His time.
Praying for Fresh Vision, Chuck
Hi, dear Cherie:
I share your disappointment that the Little Castle is not to be for your ministry, but value the perspective you shared of how it enriches our lives, as we draw near to The Lord in prayer and hopes for the future. We will pray for the new opportunity you mentioned as a possible new location. The Lord knows your needs and in His timing will provide one especially for you. I love the verse in Acts 17:26b……and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” NIV Our ministry of Peace Restored is going well.
Love in Him, Cynthia