Last night I had the strangest dream….

Last night I had the strangest dream…

…I sailed away to China, in a little rowboat to find ya..(lol not really but have fun not getting THAT stuck in your head for the next week!)

I did have a dream that was 99% nightmare and 1% hope right there at the end. But that 1% might as well have been 100% by the time I awoke because of the peace that flooded my soul.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

My dream started as many of them do, as a child with my family on vacation. Somewhere in there my kids appeared as did my husband. Yet I was still fairly young. (This may be a wishful thinking kind of thing, but in my dreams I’m never over 30 and always ALWAYS skinny!)

I then went through a maze of strange, unsettling events- ones I can trace back to book plots, tv shows, movies, and even past traumas or fears. It was weird, convoluted, and no doubt an effort for my ind to dispel and displace the darkness in my mind.

At some point, I was grocery shopping and went to put my groceries in the trunk. I then went back inside, the grocery store being where Pearson’s Drugs used to be in the Alexandria Mall and I went browsing through the mall until I got to the theater. This theater was in the Muskogee, OK Mall (though it was just one big mall in my dream) and I asked the ticket taker (from the stand they used to have outside the theater in Alexandria before the actual mall was built) if I could just go watch the previews without getting a ticket. She let me in and I was greeted with the Masons handing out wands and hats like they had when they drove their little cars at the circus. I sat down and started rocking in my chair when the people behind me asked me to stop rocking.

I  assured them I’d leave before the movie started but I was offended so I moved to a different section. That’s when I saw that everyone was in costume. Turns out, the pre-preview show was going to feature Reba McEntire and dance troupes from Dancing With the Stars and all at once it hit me, I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN QUARANTINE! How could I have forgotten?!

I hurried out of the theater but realized I still had my wand and hat so I went back in and handed them to the first person I saw. (This MUST be from an altercation with a movie usher over 3-D glasses I couldn’t find post-show in 2007!)

I quickly headed to my car but I  couldn’t find it anywhere! The entire parking lot was filled with white Buicks. (This is actually a recurring thought; I never noticed how many white Buick Encores there were until I got one.)

I backtracked to the grocery store so I entered the parking lot from that angle but it was nowhere to be seen.

I went back in to the store for security assistance. I couldn’t get security to help me. They told me I hadn’t looked hard enough. (I’m probably going to attribute this scene to frantically trying to get my husband a Covid-19 test, with no luck.) I went up and down every single aisle in the entire mall parking lot and it wasn’t there.

I went back to security and they agreed to let someone search with me. We went up and down each aisle, pushing the alarm button on my key fob.

At some point I was alone again, pressing the button when the alarm went off in a white van.

I knew instantly that my car had been stolen and was already chopped up for parts and put into this van. The guy standing by the van (arms dealer?) realized what was happening and he and three other heavily armored men came over to me.

While this dream may sound weird and slightly funny, in that moment it was terrifying. I knew it had something to do with the Coronavirus but it also had tinges of Bumblebee, the Transformers movie I’d watched with my grandkids. I was a threat and the target. And I was getting killed. Blow after blow I took, a gunshot wound to my chest. I was lying on the ground in pain, terrified, when I looked up.

And all I could see was Jesus.

I started singing hymns and I never took my eyes of Him. I briefly wondered if that would make them stop, make them retreat. But it didn’t. Or maybe it did.

I don’t know because I never took my eyes off Jesus. Whether they finished me off or left me to die, whether I succumbed to my injuries or whether I was healed, it didn’t matter. I felt nothing but His love. I saw nothing but His light. I worried about nothing but praising Him.

I woke up right after that, my head a little fuzzy but the message clear: No matter what I’m going through, be it now in the midst of the pandemic or later with another struggle, I will be just fine if I keep my focus on Him.

I Gotta Be Honest…

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If there’s one thing I swore I’d always do in this blog, it would be to remain open and honest.

“Throwing open the closet door to all my skeletons” has been my claim and I haven’t shied away from revealing my darkness.

However, this blog is for inspiring and providing hope to those who are traveling through the darkness themselves, so I carefully write AFTER the battle has been won. I don’t like to write when I’m in the midst of a battle, finding commiseration to be more harmful than helpful.

So I’ve been careful. Always be positive. Always show victory, even when showing the defeat that came first. And ALWAYS post regularly. Three times a week, without fail, I posted.

If I was going on vacation, I scheduled posts. I kept a post or two ready in case I wasn’t feeling well or something came up that week. I made sure I had a week’s worth ready to go when the grandkids came to visit for sure!

But then the coronavirus came.

And I retreated.

I was the lone church member who WANTED to be around during the rapture to spread life and hope in a lively HYPOTHETICAL discussion we had a few years ago.

I was not prepared to put my money where my mouth was.

This pandemic has caused me to retreat faster than a turtle’s head as a car speeds by.

I wanted to lock down, lock my doors, and pull the covers over my head.

For the most part, I’ve done almost just that.

I’m scared. I’m anxious. And I’ve had nothing positive to say.

One week turned to two, three missed posts turned to 12, and I felt like I was neglecting my child. THIS, this blog, is my ministry. And I abandoned it.

The social distancing isn’t wrong. My husband has had symptoms of the virus, and unable to get tested, we’ve been self-isolating at home. There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, it is EXACTLY what we should be doing.

There are some benefits. We’ve gotten a lot of rest, and we’ve had some quality time together without the distractions of her usual busy daily routines.

But, even sick, he has continued to preach, holding four services online each week and studying working on a book on 1 John.

I’ve read four books, binge-watched series, and played games on my tablet.

The difference hasn’t escaped my attention.

I’ll have bouts of clarity and determination. I have a notebook with two pages of blog topics specifically about this time in our life. I’ll go to bed determined to write, and minister, and be positive the next day.

And I wake up…and pull the covers back over my head.

I don’t know why I’m so anxious. The pressure of others who are anxious to resume life as we once knew it weighs on me.   The fear that I’ll never want to resume life as it once was worries me too. What if I stay in this funk forever?

What if the Lord stops giving me revelation to share because I refuse to share it? How much more patience does He have to have with me? How much more will I have with myself?

Then the devil steps in. No one is reading your blog anyway. Who are you kidding? You’re not helping anyone. And I allow myself to be both wounded and comforted by the words.

My life means nothing. Oh well. Guess I don’t have to worry about writing after all.

But I know, when my own self-doubt and the devil’s darts are stripped away, that the voice of the Lord rings clear:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…  2 Corinthians 2:4-5

In another words, GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD!

Check back tomorrow for a NEW post and feel free to flood my inbox if you don’t see it!!!