In My Dreams

I am a very active dreamer.  It is rare for me to not remember at least one (but usually many more) dreams every night.  Usually my dreams are not pleasant.  I have had, though, many dreams either about God or about deceased loved ones–and with the exception of one or two, those have all been very good.  One night, not long after my grandmother passed away, I dreamed that she was alive again and I heard her speak and I remember thinking in my dream how good it was to hear her voice.  When I woke up and scrolled through my phone as I usually do upon waking, I decided to look through the voicemail section, where I discovered for the first time an area that said Deleted Voicemails and had quite a few stored.  I clicked on it and there, about a month before my grandmother had passed away, was an old voicemail she had left me with a very sweet message.  Was my dream, in some way, a foreshadowing, a predictor, of what I was to find upon waking?  I didn’t consciously think to look at my voicemails wondering if there was one from my grandmother on there.  But did my dream subconsciously move me to check for a voicemail from her?  Does God speak to us through our dreams?

A couple of nights ago I had a dream that I didn’t immediately remember upon waking.  It wasn’t until I was lying in bed watching television shortly after waking when I saw a commercial about termites.  When I saw those termites, immediately my mind was triggered and I knew I had some sort of dream about insects.  As I lay there thinking, it all came back to me.  It was a very unpleasant dream about spiders.  I was in a room, and there was  a very large spider web that I was caught in.  It was pulling me down and the force was very strong.  I couldn’t move.  I looked up at the ceiling and saw spiders.  That’s the part I remember.  I know, in that vague way you just know, that there was more to that dream–there were more webs and spiders–but I can’t remember the rest.  I can only remember, very vividly that part of being pulled in that web.  The force was so strong and I was stuck.  I decided then to look up the meaning of spider dreams.  I read through a few websites and then decided, since none of it really made any sense to me, to put away my phone and say my prayers.

I began, as I always do, with my daily meditation in the book, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  This book has a short meditation for each day of the year.  I turned to that date and the meditation was about trust.  This was very appropriate for me because trusting in God is always difficult for me.  In fact, just the night before, my husband and I had an interesting conversation about anxiety, worry, optimism and pessimism.  I am a natural worrier, anxious about many things, while my husband is the complete opposite.  When his mind thinks about the future, it naturally thinks of happy things.  When my mind wanders, it naturally thinks about all the things that can go wrong.  I know this about myself and I ask for God’s help with this very frequently.  As I was telling a friend just a few days ago, I worry most about my children.  Not for any specific reason–they are both very good young men, doing very well in school and are happy and healthy.  But as they’ve grown older and I have less and less control as a mother, I think I try to hold onto some of that control by worrying.  So, reading a meditation about trust is always helpful to me.  But, when I came to the last two lines of the meditation, I knew right then, that God was speaking directly to me.

Here is what it said, “Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself; don’t get tangled up in its worry-webs.  Trust Me one day at a time.”

Not only did it use the term worry-webs, but in that whole meditation, the only part of it that was italicized was that line, “Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself; don’t get tangled up in its worry-webs.”

God speaks to us all the time.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  God knew exactly what I needed to hear, but not only that, He knew that I needed to hear it a new way, a way that would get my attention.  You see, had I not had that dream, I would have read that meditation and passed it along as another great reminder about trust, but then I would have been on my way.  Having that dream and then reading that line hit me like a ton of bricks.  God does not want us to worry.  He does not want us to be anxious.  He wants us to enter a fully loving, fully trusting relationship with Him where we know with certainty that He is always working for our good.

Listen in all your moments.  God our Father is the greatest Teacher and He speaks in ways that are beyond our wildest dreams!

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You Are Never Powerless

You are never powerless.  This is what God said to me, after learning that doctors found a spot on my dad’s liver that needed to be biopsied.  

I know that God purposefully put me where I was when my mom texted me the news about my dad.  I was in the first day, in the first hour, of training in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  We were on Habit #1:  Be Proactive.  There I was, learning what it meant to be proactive rather than reactive.  Realizing, that I have a tendency to be a reactive person.  I tend to let worry and stress overtake me quite frequently.  I react to life and try to figure out how I’m going to deal with it, many times feeling overcome with disappointment, overwhelmed with stress, and powerless.  I know how to play the victim.  But there I was learning that proactive people are not victims.  Proactive people realize that, while they may not be able to control the outcome of an event, they can always control the way they respond to the event or to the outcome.  They can control their attitude, their behavior, their outlook.  Proactive people realize that they always have a choice.  Proactive people are never powerless.

So, I was listening to this and feeling empowered.  It really dawned on me, for the first time, that I always have a choice in every event in my life.  The choice lies within me.  I cannot control other people or what life throws at me.  But I can control me.  I decide how I want to respond, how I want to look at what life hands out.  And as I was feeling this wonderful, empowering feeling, my mom texted me that doctors found a spot on my dad’s liver that needed to be biopsied.  And, immediately, I was crushed.  I became worried, stressed, and scared all at once.  And immediately, in my reactive state, I wanted to shout out to the presenter, “Oh yeah, well how can this help me now?  I do not have a choice now, do I?”  And just as soon as I had that thought, God spoke to me.  And He told me that there is always something we can do.  It is the most powerful thing we will ever do in our lifetimes.  He told me that I can pray.  

You see, I know that God purposefully put me in that training when I received that news.  He knew that I needed to be open to the fact that we are never powerless.  He knew that I needed to learn what being proactive was all about, so that He could show me that even in the scariest, worst circumstances in our lives, we always have a choice.

Remember, there is always something you can do when life hits hard.  You can always pray.  You can always hope.  You can always trust.

You are never powerless.