I have the gift of terrible dreams. Gift- because they remind me of the things I have yet to truly trust God with, and because they never leave me without a lesson. Would I like to get lots of sweet, peaceful sleep? Sure. But not at the expense of what God is teaching me. I need these dreams, otherwise God wouldn’t choose to give them to me. I need them so I can perservere. If you don’t believe me….go ask Halim to explain. ;)
This morning I woke up the last time at about 6. I had a terrible dream that a person very important to me kept turning away from me, I pursued her and tried to love her and care for her and time and time again, my greatest love wasn’t good enough. Not because I failed, (though human love ALWAYS fails, and trusting in it is a curse *) but because she had chosen not to allow it to be enough. She would not be satisfied. And I would not stop trying. I would not give up. It was utter turmoil.
But in all of it, I had another concern. I was concerned that I hadn’t spoken to my boyfriend during this long journey I was on. Didn’t he know I was in pain? Didn’t he know how hard this was? That I loved him and missed him? Bound to give him space should he need it, I refused to call. And thus, in the dream, I was paralyzed with fear and pain but moving forward for lack of any other option. I was harassed and helpless, like a lost sheep with no shepherd. Like real life, before God took my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh.
So when I woke up, since I’d been woken up several times already, I didn’t realize it had been a dream. I reached for my phone to call —
and then I realized it was just a dream. And it wasn’t. The specific events of the dream were something made up in my mind, or wherever dreams happen. But the circumstances were true. I am trying to love someone who will not let me love her. Or who will not be satisfied in God’s love first, and my efforts second. (She reminds me a lot of myself.) And I haven’t spoken much to my boyfriend in the past few weeks of a rather intense season- because he’s not my boyfriend anymore.
My sleeping fears were my waking truth.
I woke more and instead of calling C, turned music on from my phone, hoping to drown from my brother or any other curious listeners the sound of my weeping. I knew, I know, when I am awake, that God suprcedes circumstances. That his love is steadfast and all I need. That anything I lack is because I need to lack it now for God’s will to be accomplished. I trust his plan and I love him. So why so much pain? Shouldn’t His truth overcome my tears?
Not always. A favorite verse to quote around Christian American culture is “His mercies are new every morning.” Here is the actual text:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
You know where that is found? LAMENTATIONS. Lamentations 3:22-23. We can simultaeously bemoan the broken and sinful state of this world while rejoicing in the truth and beauty of the one to come. We can know that God’s perfect kingdom doesn’t have broken hearts and this land riddled with them is not our home. Long story short: It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to stumble into the shower, notice that an extra-ordinary amount of hair is falling out, sit because you start to black out, and have a good long sob. It’s okay: just remember that it’s not forever. And that God is with you through it all.
And that someday, when he comes back, he’ll make everything sad come untrue.