Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

No Time To Dream – Episode #119

No Time To Dream

When suffering profound loss, thinking and dreaming about the future is the furthest thing from your mind. In this week’s podcast, I talk about how I’m facing my future, while living through hard times…


When I was a kid, I was swimming in the deep end of the pool. As I attempted to come out of the waters, another kid decided to play a cruel prank on me. As I made my way up the ladder, I suddenly found resistance. This kid stood on top of my shoulders, pinning me underneath the waters. I panicked as I struggled to resurface and breathe. I was worried I might drown. And in a moment of terror, trying to free myself, I punched him in a pretty sensitive area. Needless to say, he got off my shoulders and I was finally able to make it out of the waters and breathe a gasp of air.

As I talked about in my podcast episode from last week, I have recently suffered a major loss in my life. My wife left me and we are in the process of getting a divorce.

Since becoming separated from my wife a couple months ago, I’ve been very busy. Busy responding to the demands of the moment. Moment after moment there is yet another demand. Sign this and that legal document. Packing boxes. Selling the house. Dividing our assets. Finding a new place to live. Moving. Going to counseling. Connecting with family and friends. Doing everything I can to survive the moment.

In many ways, it feels like I’m drowning.

Dreaming About The Future?

Yet, with all this going on, people have innocently asked me what I plan on doing in the next year or two, and what my future dreams are regarding the future. They ask me questions about buying a house, what I plan to do regarding dating and marriage, and the possibility of kids.

Such questioning obviously comes from well meaning people. But honestly, the future isn’t something I can even begin to think about. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the present moment, and I feel like I’m constantly fighting for my very next breath of air. Getting through the day is hard enough, and dreaming is simply a luxury I don’t presently have time for.

I think that’s something we all experience whenever we face tragedy and loss. We feel like our life is stuck in a holding pattern. It feels like someone hit the pause button on our lives, and we seem stuck, frozen in time. We live for the moment, as if the sun has suddenly stood still, in a sort of eternal now.

Such is a difficult time. To think of the future would be to tie an anchor to your ankles and throw yourself into the sea. And as much as I’d like to think of the future, I find myself only able to think of the present moment, to do whatever is necessary in the right now.

And that’s okay. As much as we need to be motivated by our dreams, sometimes we simply need to focus on the moment, and whatever we can do to get to the next step, as we take things day by day.

Someone recently shared the following piece of advice with me. It really spoke to my situation, and I thought I’d share it with you all, and whatever trial you are facing.

Wisdom About The Future

My grandmother once gave me a tip:

In difficult times, move forward in small steps.

Do what you have to do, but little by little.

Don’t think about the future

or what may happen tomorrow.

Wash the dishes.

Remove the dust.

Write a letter.

Make a soup.

You see?

Advance step by step.

Take a step and stop.

Rest a little.

Praise yourself.

Take another step.

And then another.

You won’t notice, but your steps will grow more and more.

And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.

~Elena Mikhalkova

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  • Jimmy, again, continuing prayers for you. I so whole heartedly, and completely, understand every emotion, every feeling, every heartache, and the sense of just pure loss that you’re going through, and I never wish that kind of pain on anyone. I know that feeling of just trying to wake up every day, get enough breath in your lungs to put your 2 feet on the ground and push forward through the day. But I also promise, and guarantee it, there is life after divorce. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now. I know that that’s one of the hardest things to see, and believe right now, but take it from someone who has been right there where you’re at now. And you’re an amazing person. You will find love again. You will move forward from this, and grow to be stronger from this. There truly is life after divorce, and trust me, I once had a really hard time believing that myself, but now can say those exact words with confidence behind it. And you will be able to as well one day. Keep on keeping on my friend, and I commend you for seeking couseling. For 2 reasons mostly. First one is most men wouldn’t do that. More likely women than men will seek couseling. So the fact that you are doing exactly the necessary steps that you need to right now to heal is wonderful to hear. You’re doing everything right to heal. And 2, because I didn’t. Yes, I had my church family, God, my daughter, my family, especially my mom, and all of that helped, but even in my darkest of days, I would pull away, shut down, and not reach out. I would self medicate so to speak with “satan’s drink”, instead of doing things in the more healthier way for me to heal. Drowing out the pain and sorrow was all I wanted to do. And now I know that that was not some of the best decisions that I made at that time. Looking for a quick satisfaction and self gratification to heal the wounds rather than the way I should have been doing it. And the cost of couseling was a bit to much for my budget, so I found the easier, cheaper, but not so better way out. So I do commend you on this. Keep on going. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Do what you can to keep your mind going. Read. Read alot too. Read the bible, which is what I did too. Read books that inspire you. Help you through the process of this. I know this is a book written by a women, but if you’re okay with reading that kind of stuff, she’s a Christian who went through divorce herself with her husband leaving her. Her name is Lysa TerKeurst and the book is called It’s not suppose to be this way. Also, another one is Uninvited by her. Not sure if you have heard of her or not, but hopefully it can help you. Again, prayers for you. And yes, even though people are innocently asking those questions, and all in well being and concern for you, don’t focus on that kind of stuff right now. Just focus on the healing process of all of this right now. That stuff will come in due time. When it’s suppose to. You heal first. God bless Jimmy.

  • That’s a wonderful poem. I truly love that and yes, she is right. Those little steps that you need to do, will turn into larger steps later in life.

  • Good counsel, Jimmy. Every winter turns to spring. So leave the dreaming for later. Just don’t let hope die.
    Do you know the old song, Whispering Hope? It’s been a comfort to me not once or twice. You can find it on YouTube. Here are the lyrics.

    Soft as the voice of an angel
    Breathing a lesson unheard
    Hope with a gentle persuasion
    Whispers a comforting word

    Wait, till the darkness is over
    Wait, till the tempest is done
    Hope, for the sunshine tomorrow
    After the darkness is gone

    Whispering hope
    Oh how welcome Thy voice
    Making my heart
    In its sorrow rejoice

    If in the dusk of the twilight
    Dimmed be the region afar
    Will not the deepening darkness
    Brighten the glittering star?

    Then, when the night is upon us
    Why should the heart sink away?
    When the dark midnight is over
    Watch for the breaking of day

    Whispering hope
    Oh how welcome Thy voice
    Making my heart
    In its sorrow rejoice

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