Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

"Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man."—Victor Hugo

Les Miserables—The Miserable Ones

In grade eight, I inhaled the unabridged version of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables—over 1200 pages. I concealed the thick book under my desk at school and read during class. At night, I hid a light under my bed, so I could continue reading until dawn. It was my first page turner. Scenes, characters and life lessons in that book were forever ingrained into my memory.

When Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit Broadway show, Les Miserables, opened at The Pantages Theatre in LA, nothing could keep me from seeing my favorite book—ever—in musical form by my favorite musical composer. A friend secured the tickets and off I went with as the fifth wheel with two couples. My husband did not accompany me to the theatre, because it was shortly after my fifteenth wedding anniversary, when I discovered letters from my husband's mistress. My husband no longer had any interest in a relationship with me.

As Fantine belted out the heartbreaking ballad about unfulfilled dreams's, the Pantages' incredible sound system made it possible for my heart to feel every word of I Dreamed a Dream.

I sobbed. I related to every word.

Like Fantine, I was left alone, a single mother, unemployed, and feeling emotionally destitute.

The first verse reminded me of a time when my husband was kind and our love exciting. Adultery changed my husband. His words, his actions, and his attitudes towards me? Cruel. Heartless. I Dreamed a Dream represented all the pain I felt, the reconciliation that my heart desired, and the reality of my shame. Fantine's soulful song embodied my dreams.




I Dreamed a Dream

There was a time when men were kind

When their voices were soft

And their words inviting

There was a time when love was blind

And the world was a song

And the song was exciting

There was a time

Then it all went wrong


I dreamed a dream in time gone by

When hope was high

And life worth living

I dreamed that love would never die

I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid

And dreams were made and used and wasted

There was no ransom to be paid

No song unsung, no wine untasted


But the tigers come at night

With their voices soft as thunder

As they tear your hope apart

And they turn your dream to shame


He slept a summer by my side

He filled my days with endless wonder

He took my childhood in his stride

But he was gone when autumn came


And still I dream he'll come to me

That we will live the years together

But there are dreams that cannot be

And there are storms we cannot weather


I had a dream my life would be

So different from this hell I'm living

So different now from what it seemed

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Hope Is the Word

I felt miserable. I lay my miserables on God's shoulders. Victor Hugo wrote, "A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing." God's Word kept my faith intact. I believed—

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.—Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.' — Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NASB)

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.—Joel 2:25 (NKJV)

How Do You Reclaim Your Hope, Your Dreams, Your Life, Yourself?

I've been in search of myself—the young woman, now older, who once entertained hopes, dreams and a calling from God.

The other night a friend and I talked. What happened to our dreams, our callings?

We talked about reclaiming the passion that God put in our hearts.

After our phone conversation concluded, I received an email message entitled "Nothing Is Impossible. Frumpy Lady Wins British Talent Show." I clicked on the link and the story about Susan Boyle who sang I Dreamed a Dream. As Susan sang this song about a single mother, down on her luck, whose years of misfortune stole both her youth and her dreams, she brought the audience to tears and prompted a standing ovation from the audience and my heart.

Tears streamed down my face.

The Song that Once Embodied my Pain, Now Offered Me Encouragement and Hope

And…as I listened, my friend opened an email and clicked on the link.

Yep! God's timing was perfect. The song that once symbolized the death of my marriage, now breathes life and hope into my today, my future, my calling, my dreams.

The vision God placed in my heart long ago refuses to stay dammed by shame. My hopes, dreams, and calling are breaking through the crack in that miserable dam.

I'm in start over mode.

What tattered dreams have you buried under the hurt, hecticness, and hardship of your solo-parent life?


Anonymous said...

Scoti - This was beautiful. What timing. I had just viewed Susan's video again and wept with joy. Then, to read how it impacted you was just priceless. Blessings! Mary Jo

Gloria Rose said...

It's amazing how God is using Susan Boyle to crack open our hearts and reinvigorate our dreams! I must have viewed her YouTube performance 10 times now...and I blogged about it too: Yes, she's amazing, Scoti; and so are YOU.