Ever feel like you’ve made such a mess of things that there is no hope of ever getting back on track? I sure have, both in my personal life and in the ministry God has entrusted to me.

Several years ago, I came to a place in my ministry where I was at my wits’ end. I had shed many tears and spent much time on my knees, seeking the Lord’s will. One night during this distressing time, I had a vivid dream. Now, dreams aren’t new to me. I dream most nights. But usually my dreams are bizarre, randomly piecing together people and places. That night, however, my dream was as clear as anything could be. I woke up knowing with certainty that God had spoken to me, His broken child.

In my dream, I was on a sailboat with family, friends, and acquaintances. I was driving the boat. (Notice I said I was driving the sailboat, not sailing it. The sail wasn’t even up.) With a firm grip on the wheel, I directed the sailboat. Occasionally I’d turn control over to other people—my kids, certain friends, and even strangers. Everyone, that is, but my husband. When Tim would reach for the wheel, I’d hold fast and refuse to let go.

“You can’t drive this boat,” I’d tell him. “You don’t have enough experience. You’ll crash it.” Tim, as Tim usually does, gently backed away and let me continue on my way…even though I was driving the sailboat around the same point over and over again.

After circling the waters many times, the sailboat crashed upon a rock hidden beneath the surface. I swam to shore with Tim and the other passengers, totally distraught over the fate of the ship. As I stood looking over the water to where the ship had once sailed, my father walked toward me. I was so ashamed; I could barely look him in the face. I was certain he was going to chastise me for sinking the ship. It was, after all, his ship. He had entrusted it to me, and as far as I could see, I had destroyed it.