When It Feels Like an Impossible Dream

September 4, 2011 | 29 comments

What if …

the one thing you hoped for seemed an impossible dream?

And from where you sat,

you were certain you’d never find it

because you were so small and the world around you seemed so big?

But what if …

you changed your perspective

and just gazed on the beauty in front of you

and listened in wonder to the song?

What then?

And then …

What if suddenly …

when you were lost in the beauty, it happened:

The thing you had hoped for came marching right up to you.  

(out of nowhere, really)

A one-in-50,000 chance …

What would that feel that?


Iowa State band members

See that smile up there? That one in the middle? That’s the smile we’ve been praying for.

(And just when I didn’t think a chance of finding my nephew on a Division I football field, he came high-stepping straight at me like a Christmas-morning surprise. Better than a touchdown … )

How about you? 

Have you been dreaming what feels like an impossible dream?

How has God surprised you lately?

by | September 4, 2011 | 29 comments


  1. Duane Scott

    Oh, I love that last photo! 🙂

  2. Candy

    God REALLY surprised me when WE lost that game! But your nephew’s smile makes it perfectly OK. This time. That photo is a framer.

    • dukeslee

      Yeah, Candy. I was rooting for Iowa State (Scott and I are alums), but I was frankly surprised, too. UNI did a great job. … It was the coolest surprise, Candy, to see him marching *exactly* straight down the yard line where I was sitting during the halftime show. Anna and I just hooted and hollered.

      • Candy

        God is so good! Our daughter is an ISU alum, but we all still bleed mostly black and gold (sorry). At one point we had a child going to each of the state universities. Ouch. Your nephew could seriously make me a ‘Clone fan. Your comment gave me goose bumps!

  3. Tay

    That photo is amazing. Especially whenever you know the story behind it!

    God surprised me this summer with the goodbye to one friend and the entrance of several new ones. Whenever I stood in my driveway waving goodbye to my best friend who was moving across the country, I knew God would take care of me and provide for me. But I never expected Him to fufill my needs in a way better than I could have ever imagined.

    • dukeslee

      God gives us immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine. And you, Tay, have the eyes to see it. You are a wise, wise young woman.

  4. Glynn

    Knowing this story, that smile was worth a thousand hearts, an answer to a thousand prayers.

    • Megan Willome

      Hey. And I just realized we share a Big 12 connection! 1,000 miles really is nothing when it comes to college football.

  5. Wendy

    Everything about this post makes me smile!

    Yes, He delivered on something huge in my life and I’m deeply grateful. He is king!
    ~ Wendy

    • dukeslee

      This makes me smile, Wendy. It has been such a joy to see things going so well for you. God has great things ahead for you, and I’ll be here on the sidelines cheering for you, my friend! Many, many blessings to you on your writing journey.

  6. S. Etole

    What a heart-explosion moment caught on camera! “How great is our God!”

    • dukeslee

      Heart-explosion moment is a great way of putting it, Susan.

  7. Sheila

    This post (and the amazing photo!) brought me to tears. I’m crying with joy for Brennan’s big bright smile.

    And I’m crying just remembering some happy, happy years as a band mom.

    (My daughter married the drum major, 10 years later, you know…)

  8. L.L. Barkat

    Sometimes I hardly know when I’m dreaming, I admit. Often it begins with crankiness or a sense of emptiness or urgency, you know? 🙂

    On good days, it begins with love too.

  9. floyd

    What a great story. And what a wonderful reminder that God brings about what would be impossible other wise. It is HIs world, He makes the rules.

    Glad He ruled in your favor…

    God surprises me with grace and mercy in my business life and personal life constantly. It is a miracle. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Eileen

    What a great way lesson to be reminded of. That with God anything is possible. A 1 in 50,000 shouldn’t discourage us when God’s hand is in it. Thanks.

  11. Monica Sharman

    This one melted me right down…

    (plus, I love to watch marching bands)

  12. David Rupert

    My impossible dream seems to slip away. But God is putting in a new, better dream.

  13. emily wierenga

    oh, how i long to get lost in beauty…

  14. Sarah

    I’m living the dream … each day, every breath, the impossible dream made possible by a loving God. And it’s just the beginning.

  15. lisa auter

    What a beautiful way to update us on your nephew. I was wondering how he was doing. Praise God!

  16. Soul Stops

    So glad to hear your nephew is well. Thanks for sharing…Your post brought a smile to my face and reminded me of how God cares about the details and people in our lives.

  17. Connie@raise your eyes

    What an amazing answer to prayer…the prayer of the moment and the prayers from past months. Our GOD is able to “do exceeding abundantly above and beyond all we could ask or think.”

  18. Audra Krell

    This analogy is brilliant and powerful, a God given gift to be sure. But what is even more wonderful, is the smile on your nephews face. It’s glorious and good and he is a man and he will be everything God has dreamed for him to be. What a story he is living Jennifer and now this miracle. You are mightily blessed, but I know you know that.

  19. Michelle DeRusha

    Now I’m smiling at that Christmas-gift-smile. So grateful he is finding genuine joy again, Jennifer.

  20. Trudy Ledford

    Oh Praise Him!!! The first time I found your wonderful site was the time you were keeping vigil, and I was blessed that you and your sister obediently praised God for even that very day. And I joined in prayerfor them. I would check back often for your updates on your precious nephews. I also love all your honest, encouraging entries. But I was always so thankful to hear good news updates–they were always my favorite posts. I’m so thrilled today to see this wonderful smile on your awesome nephew’s face, and thrilled for you that God would work things so that you were sitting where you were and his spot in the band was where it was….what a gift. He sends one blessing after another! Thank you so much for sharing!

  21. Erin Wallace

    Yes to the impossible dream (and now I am hearing Gomer singing this song on “Andy Griffith”), and it hasn’t come to me yet, but I keep telling myself that I cannot know God’s ways and if he wants it, we will get it.

  22. Angelique Hicks

    I was feeling down today because I realized my life has become mediocre because I never had the confidence to go for my dreams and what I truly wanted for my life..Being older I have begun to wonder if it is still possible to make them come true because the odds seem so stacked against me..Looking for some hope or answers I stumbled upon this website..and the opening page discribed exactly how I feel about my dreams…It made me realize God can still make miracles happen..and maybe I shouldn’t give up hope yet.It made me tear up…but it also made me feel better…Its the answer that I needed.


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