Dreaming the unimaginable
So... I had this dream a few months ago. It was one of those dreams that, upon awakening, leaves you wondering..."What was that about?"
I should start by noting that the past year and a half has been a hard walk for me. At times I have felt like Jacob wrestling with God in the desert. Dramatic, I know. But I studied acting in graduate school, so being dramatic is impossible for me to avoid.
The struggle has been in me, not Him. He is perfect, and has been perfectly patient with me. I have built up this armor from childhood - and I'll tell you, it ain't the armor of God. Let's call it baggage armor. And as He lovingly carried me through this past year and a half, He has been helping me remove it. Mostly, He has been working to open my arms to release the baggage. Essentially, He's been nudging me towards the freedom of forgiveness and to ask for forgiveness.
Then, I had this dream.
I was in some desperate, ailing area, and a news team had come to do a story on the work I was doing there. I was taking them on a tour, showing them exactly what I did throughout the day, and the newscaster was floored. He asked me,"How on earth can you do these things?" And in the dream I began weeping, because I suddenly saw things through their eyes. I saw that my life's work appeared to be dangerous, hard, terrifying, gross... even impossible. And then I looked at Him and very clearly said, "When you love Jesus, you can do things you thought were unimaginable. In all areas of your life."
I awoke, weeping in my bed, my husband comforting me as he does when I wake from a startling dream. Eventually I was able to go back to sleep. It took a while because honestly, it was almost as if when I spoke those last words of the dream, I was staring straight into my eyes. My very own eyes.
Hours later when I woke. I had forgotten about the dream.
An event occurred. The what doesn't matter. I reacted so horribly. Angry words, bitter thoughts, you name it. Wounded and hurt, I screamed, hollered, stewed. But thankfully, in the midst of my hurricane, the eye came through. And in that stillness, He spoke.
He reminded me of the year He had taken me through. He reminded me that this human reaction was not what he had prepared me to do. He had spent months tightly holding my hand so that, in this moment of testing, I would be so in love with Him that I would be able to do the unimaginable. Forgive.
I remembered the dream, and was silenced.
It is true. When you love Jesus - really love and adore and allow Him to carry you - you can do things you never thought you could.
Do you know how freeing and beautiful that is?
But here's the hard part: Its a daily walk. Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23 NIV
When I don't pick it up and follow Him, I am living in my own little selfish world, and it is not a pretty place. When I let Him in, it is Eden. A glorious lovely place for all. Just ask my family and those who deal with me every day!
When Jesus is invited to walk every step with me, He shows me things beyond what I can see. Compassion. Joy. Delight. Forgiveness. Grace. In EVERYTHING. When He isn't invited, everything is about ME. I am ashamed to admit that, but there it is.
And all of you, anybody out there, have full permission to remind me of this. Remind me to invite Him in daily. And I encourage you to do the same.
Because when you love Jesus, really love and embrace him, you can do things you never thought you could do.