I re-connected with a friend of mine through Facebook chat last night. The catalyst for the conversation was a broken relationship. We talked about broken relationships in general, all the divorces around us, all the sadness and lack of hope, all the despair that comes from not knowing or truly following the One who can give hope (including the Holy Spirit who is our Helper in walking a changed and renewed life...a life that doesn't just continue in the same patterns and habits and destructive behavior).
I've always had incredibly vivid and detailed dreams. Always. I've always enjoyed that in one way...it's like going to the movies every time I go to sleep. Sometimes it can be scary and disturbing, but for the most part, even that is good in that it usually calls attention to something that I need to pay attention to. I've mentioned before how God has really used dreams to speak to me in the past. But, even when I don't wake up knowing that a particular dream definitely came from God, I can usually really learn and draw things from a dream...kind of like a mini-sermon. ;) This is what I dreamed last night...
The dream started: I was at the Saline High School gym (the old one I think) and I had an overwhelming sense of my broken heart...a real-life feeling that happened from my only real broken-heart-relationship in real life. Horrible...severe pain, even physical...that's how painful. My chest hurt so bad and I felt really sick to my stomach.
The dream shifts: I was back in high school (my real-life broken heart happened after high school, but in my dream it happened during) and had to take a test...kind of like the ACT. Me, Mavis, Mitsy, Josh and Klint (all classmates in real life) went together. While there (in Ruston...a city about 40 minutes from my hometown) I saw Stephanie (a former roommate of mine from Texas who married a friend of mine from my hometown and now really does live in Ruston) walking along a street. I stopped and talked to her and she said that they were inviting people over to their house (her and Brian...they were in present day in my dream...almost) for the birth of their new baby (who she was already holding in her hands...it was Ryder)...she said I should come. I told her probably, but I'd see...my heart was heavy and sad (still broken heart stuff).
On the car ride home after the test, I was sitting in the back between Josh and Klint. We stopped at a gas station and the dream kind of hopped a bit. At one point we were back in a classroom and had already received the grades for the test we just took. Mine wasn't great, but wasn't horrible. I said something about how my Portuguese was partly to blame...Josh and Klint had already mastered Portuguese. Then back at the gas station, Klint was doing something with the car and we were all just out hanging on the car talking. I was reminiscing with Josh about how we used to play Dukes of Hazzard on the playground...he was always Bo Duke (and really did remind me of him) and all the girls always fought over who was going to be Daisy. I told him how later he also reminded me a lot of Joey on Friends. We started to bond again...it was like I had been closed off to all of them and hadn't really talked that much to them in a while (again...before that, in my dream, the relationship and broken heart thing had happened). As we talked and bonded again, becoming good friends, I began to feel the broken heart pain slowly start to lift from my heart.
Klint got done with the car and went to the bathroom and then we all piled back in the car to take off. As we were driving off, after some debate in my head, I decided that really I'd better go use the bathroom before we got back on the road. So, we stopped the car and I went to the bathroom. At this point we were in Brazil because I remember thinking "I'm in brazil...the bathroom will be clean." ;) I went in the bathroom and there was a worker in the bathroom to keep it clean at all times (common here in Brazil). She was a pretty (breathtaking really) girl, in her early 20s. She had a witchy sort of look to her though that I noticed and something about her spooked me a little...she had very intense greenish-purplish eyes (the thought crossed my mind to just leave, but that thought was gone in an instant). There were 2 other girls in there about her age and before they left, they were rude to her...talked down to her. Before I went in my stall I made eye contact with the worker again, after the girls' rudeness, and she was downcast and furious at the same time. I could see the flame in her eyes. I had an urge, again, to just leave, but didn't...closing my door which didn't have a latch.
Meanwhile, there was some big shot lady (who incidentally is an actress from back in the day in real life...not sure how she made it into my dream) who I was trying to get an interview with. My friends knew that and while they were waiting on me to come out of the bathroom, she came around on her way to her plane. I was still in the bathroom and my friends were wondering what was taking me so long, but since I hadn't come out yet, Klint ran to get the interview for me. He caught up with her as she was running to her plane, interviewed her (not sure what about, but after that, she was interested in meeting me and partnering with me...again, not sure what about), and then came back to the gas station. At that point, my friends decided they needed to come up the outside stairs to the bathroom to check on me...Josh and Klint were the ones that checked. As they got to the top of the stairs, the bathroom worker was at the top, with a look of horror on her face, shaking her head. My friends looked in the bathroom and could tell that I had been brutally murdered. My viewpoint (in real life, as the one having the dream) was the same as my friends' at the top of the stairs...I saw my body leaning over the sink area lifeless and I turned my head to look away in horror. Then I woke up.
Relationships. Such a crazy thing. The relationship between me and the breaker of my heart. The relationship between me and my friends. The relationship between the bathroom worker and the rude girls. The relationship between me and the bathroom worker. So many things can be learned from each encounter, each relationship represented here. Here are a few things that I got:
--Broken hearts are real. And they hurt...so so so so bad. Such incredible pain. I'm thankful that God allows me to feel it again through dreams occasionally (because I'm telling you, it comes back in FULL force), so that I can better relate to others. And it also fuels me once again with passion to share with others how to do all within their power to guard their hearts.
--Friendship is awesome. When I opened myself back up to my friends, they opened themselves back up to me. (In reality, Josh is the one that I got into trouble with in Kindergarten...instead of napping at naptime, we laid our mats next to each other and sang the song from Sesame Street that we'd heard that morning, "Which Comes First, The Chicken or the Egg" (ha ha ha)...until Mrs. Malone got onto us and separated us. He was also my first real boyfriend (when we were 16)...the one I went out on my first dates with. We were always better at just being friends though. How incredible it is to graduate with the same people you started Kindergarten with.) In my dream, when I started to put forth effort and cultivate those relationships that had been lost or buried for a time, the bonds came back...but I had to be open and put myself out there and not be walled off.
--I need to trust my first instincts, which, if you are walking with God shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand, your 'first instincts' are really just a worldly term meaning the Holy Spirit's leading. I need to make sure I'm walking that close to Jesus, and then follow those nudges...like when I first encountered the worker in the bathroom. It is vital to be walking with the Spirit.
--Evil so often looks pretty...beautiful even (the bathroom worker).
--I need to reach out to others. What would've happened if, after failing to follow the Holy Spirit's nudges to get out, I'd reached out to the worker instead of looking away. After the rude girls were rude, I made eye contact with the worker as I was closing the door on her. She was broken and distraught...and I closed the door.
--The door had no latch. This is a common occurrence I know...just yesterday I went into a stall that had a door that didn't latch. But, in my dream, this is significant...when we aren't following the Holy Spirit's leading (in my dream, His leading to walk back out of the bathroom in the first place, or then to reach out to the worker after the girls were rude instead of closing the door), it leaves the door open for the enemy to destroy. Sometimes we might even think that we have closed the door to the enemy, but there's no latch. Don't be fooled...the enemy does not respect you. He will barge in on any cracked or unlatched door you might have in your life.
--The big shot interview lady...missed opportunities (sometimes huge opportunities) when we aren't following His lead. But it also points to the importance of friendship again...when Klint had my back. So many times, when you are a real friend to others (as I had just been to my friends in my dream, re-connecting with them), they will always jump to fill in gaps in your life, to watch out for you at every turn.
1. Guard your heart.
2. Be real, be open, be a friend.
3. You must be in constant communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is vital!
God can speak to you no matter where you are. Physically: Whether you live somewhere where the real, penetrating, powerful Truth of God is not taught. Or whether you live somewhere where you can't understand the language it is being taught in. Figuratively: Whether you are so far away from God relationally. Or whether you are seeking Him out with all you have.
He wants to draw us to His side and guide us. He knows just exactly how to speak to each one of us in just the way we can hear Him best. He can get your attention...when He gets your attention, listen. Learn. Follow.
Ahhh, I love it that He cares enough to reach down and speak to me, getting my attention, guiding me gently along, putting His hand in the small of my back and tenderly helping me back to the straight path.
Oh how I love to get dreams from God. Many times I wake up knowing that a dream is definitely from God. This time, it wasn't until I disciplined myself to write it down that I realized that it was, indeed, a God dream...and He started pointing out things to me.
I'm not done with this dream. I know that I will be pondering it, chewing on it for days to come probably. I'm quite sure there is still more that God wants to say to me through it...even as I typed it out and re-read it, new things continued to pop up.
What about you? Did this dream speak anything to you? What, if anything, did it say to you?