lay it down


A year ago, I picked up the frayed thread of a dream and walked with it a bit. It kept me company on lonely days when the roads were quiet and the friends were scarce. It grew in midnight conversations steeped in possibility, in history, in story. It was just a dream… an idea… a ‘what if?’

Six months ago, I stood in a field long-abandoned and saw my future meld with its past… and it was seamless.

Give me this, I said, and watch what I can do. Let me in. Let me carry your torch. Let me give this new life. Let me fill these fields with children and animals and hope again. Let me rebuild on the hilltop and set the wheat to seed below.

And they said, “Tell us more.”

And the thread grew into a patchwork of combined wants and needs and beauty… possibility and ministry and winding streams and old, vintage Americana. Bonfires and cabins and community gardens and barns. And we weaved that thread into a letter and signed it and stamped it and sent it on its way. And we waited.

This weekend, after so many meetings and phone calls and walks, emails and questions and ideas… they said noThey said, “It’s not right for all of us. Most of us, but not all of us.”

And I stood there in my kitchen and wondered how it was, exactly, that my dream could not be their dream? Couldn’t they see what I saw? And, how long had I been holding my breath?

Sometimes, God says no to good things.

It is hard to stop the thread.. to pick out stitches… to make the canvas blank again. Technically, I have lost nothing.  It was a dream and, by definition, not certain… hazy… a ‘maybe.’ That property? Not even for sale, officially. It was a dream.

But the dream was so pretty. So easy. I had begun to plant where there was not solid ground. And now I have all these shallow roots and knots and colors and feelings tied up in an imaginary story for a real place that will not be mine.

So, I will lay it down.

I will lay it down because I do not have room in this heart for ‘what might have been.’

I will lay it down because how can I pick up new thread if my hands are full?

I will lay it down because there may be something just over that next hill…

and I want to be free to break into a run.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

20 responses to “lay it down

  • campbell c. hoffman

    ugh. So heartbreakingly honest – and beautiful. Thanks for sharing your disappointment, and here’s praying that with your arms won’t be empty long 🙂

  • Missy

    I’m not sorry. I’m not. God’s ability to choose the “better” better for us, always seems to smack me upside the head with surprise. When I will learn that His idea of better is so much better than mine, I don’t know. Post-death, maybe? And I. Can’t. Wait! to see what it is that He’s got cooking for you to run to, Katie. It’s gonna be amazing. Because you are.

  • Kate

    Oh, Kate. I have been there.
    Some of us more recently than others. Turns out, sometimes when you’re “picking out the stitches” a new pattern emerges and you realize you were making the outline of something else, something other, something BETTER all along. Sometimes you have to pull out every stinking knot and start fresh. I know that my canvas has lots of holes in it, traces of dreams begun but never realized, and that’s ok. My canvas is also stained with blood and sweat and tears, but I have to believe that, in the end, those marks will only contribute to the beauty of a future dream.
    Take heart, dear friend.
    “If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances” – Julia Sorel

  • Chad

    A lovely bit of writing, that was. Lovely and sad and honest. “The Dream Giver”, have you read that? It’s a teeny, tiny little book, but good.

  • Jean Foster Akin

    “And I want to be free to break into a run.” Lovely.

  • Amy L

    I had wondered where you were with this dream recently. Sorry it is not to be what you had imagined, but I love the sound of hope in your voice. That in the end is what can carry us to the next minute, hour and day some times.

  • Abbie H.


    And now my dear friend, know that you are beautiful. Your dreams are beautiful. Your wee ones are beautiful. Your life is beautiful and God-honoring, just as it is this very moment.

    P.S. I just LOVE you!

  • Mandi Watts

    Thank you for consistently sharing your real heart here on your blog. It is a blessing. It’s hard when a plan we hold in our hearts is not THE plan, but you are right to lay it down so that you will be free to pick up the right thing at the right time. I’m thinking of a line from a song from the Eli Young Band: “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.” The right dream and the right timing will eventually fall into place.

  • Steph

    Beautiful words. Beautiful writing. Beautiful dreamer. Beautiful you.

  • fridaynightgirl

    Oh, Katie. What a beautifully REAL post. (as usual) You capture the exhale of breath you didn’t even realize you were holding so perfectly. Thank you, as always, for sharing with us.

  • MC

    I realize I have been there too. Never ever could I have put such beautiful words to similar circumstances though. Love the way you write, friend. I can’t wait to see what’s over that next hill…

  • catherine

    You know, Katie, I’ll bet that your dream WILL be realized some day—only in a better way than you can imagine it now, that’s all. I speak from recent experience in the “dreams fulfilled” department.

    you are wonderful.



  • mamajoyx9

    Beautiful writing. Wish I knew the whole story here. Maybe I’ll know the next one.


  • Leslie

    “I know the thoughts I have for you. . .” grace sufficient for acceptance.
    Beautifully written, and yes, we have all felt the loss of dreams.

  • Carolyn

    This really was so beautifully written as so many have already said. I bet God is smiling at your response & your trust. What an example you are to those of us who know you on how to respond honestly & graciously. I have no doubt God will continue to bless you as you have been a blessing to all who know you. Thank you for writing from your heart.

  • Sandra Heska King

    “How can I pick up a new thread if my hands are full?”

    I stumbled over here from Michelle’s FB post, and I’m glad I did. Always good to meet another Michigander. And this is beautiful.

  • Margie

    Wow. I have just gasped at the fullness of this writing. Your pictures, colors, ideas all given a body. This is wonderful and good. We’ve all been there. Still wrestling myself with “stay” or “go.” God’s will or ours? (Boils down to: new new house, or old old.) This is amazing writing here, Katie.

  • Vikki de los Reyes (@akindredspirit)

    Dear Katie, thank you for sharing this. I’ve had my own share of a broken dream lately. I was heartbroken. Borrowing from Sarah MacLachan, “Oh, glorious sadness” indeed… Oh well, I guess this is my cross for now. In the meantime, This Audrey Assad song lifted me up when I get sad: —>

    Love your work! Honored to be a friend 🙂

  • seetheshinebetheshine

    Hi Katie,

    I came over to your page through God-Sized Dreams.

    Thank you for being so transparent. I applaud your courage of heart! Particularly, “Give me this, I said, and watch what I can do. Let me in. Let me carry your torch. Let me give this new life. Let me fill these fields with children and animals and hope again. Let me rebuild on the hilltop and set the wheat to seed below.” Release it to Him, again. He probably has something lovlier for you ❤

    With a grateful heart.

  • Alecia

    You are a beautiful writer. It’s hard when things don’t turn out the way we hoped, but you have such a grace-filled attitude and heart. I know when God reveals His better plan you will be ready, and that’s awesome!!

    Thanks for linking this up with the God-sized dreams link up, such a blessing to read your words!

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