June 15, 2010

When it Gets Hard to Believe

Today is one of those "it is really hard to believe" days. I have these every so often, and generally, they come and go without much fanfare. Today, though, is different. I spent the entire night have nightmares -- something I haven't had in over a month (and a half). In my dream last evening, I was living alone with my son and there was a man stalking me. He was everywhere, outside my window, in my neighborhood, at the store. I reported this person to the police, gave them a good description, and even in one part of the dream, had police officers sitting outside my home. Yet, despite all of this prevention, this person was still stalking me. The police did nothing to stop it. It was scary in the sense that it seemed like nothing I did made any difference. I was helpless to defend myself, and looking for anyone who would come to my rescue.

The second dream I had was about me moving back to San Jose, CA. I lived in San Jose from 1978 to 1996. It was a good place to live, and I loved the weather. I was looking forward to a change when we moved to Phoenix, but now I long for the life I had back there. Often, I dream of my home in San Jose -- both my parents house and the last house we lived in prior to moving here. I have not really considered returning there, namely because of the expense (housing) and also the earthquakes (which are up there with tornados). My brothers live in CA, and one is still in San Jose. There are good reasons to go back there, but the Lord has not opened up that door. My dream about San Jose was all jumbled up, with nothing really making any sense to me. I struggled to try and even keep that dream in semblence, and finally woke up from my sleep.

So what do these two dreams have in common? I think two things, really. The first is that I now see myself as a single person, and am no longer expecting my husband to come and rescue me. This has been such a long hard process for me, to go from little girl to married wife to displaced wife and now single person. I have had to process so much hurt, disappointment, and despair. Now, I am strong and confident in the Lord's plans for me, so I think this dream simply was truthfully telling me that I am on my own now. As for the person stalking me -- well, it wasn't my DH, and it wasn't anyone I know (or knew). I think that person simply represented Satan and the fact that the Word says that he prowls around like a lion, trying to devour believers. The police were exactly as Psalm 146 says -- "do not put your trust in men" -- and the truth is this: you can only place your trust in God alone.

The second dream was simply a reminder to me that I cannot go where I choose to go anymore. God has purposed a plan for my life and He is calling the shots now. I may want to go here or there, but I am no longer my own person (in the spiritual sense) and belong to Him. He leads, I follow. I don't go where He doesn't lead me -- and I go where He is and where He calls me to be.

Lastly, as I struggle with the last details of my life I realize that I have come so far in such a short time. Just last year, I was confronted with some very difficult truth and I was trying so hard to make heads or tails of it. I had to make a decision on how to live my life, and I chose to follow the Lord and do exactly what He told me to do. Some believers think that people like me are naive or simpleminded. I don't agree because over the course of my life I have witnessed many people who seemed wholly devoted to God, trusting and relying on Him, and following what He said to a tee. They represented to me me what a deep loving God-centered relationship was like -- I saw it in their faces, I felt it in their love, and I witnessed it through their testimony to others. I believe now that this is how God prefers us to be in relationship with Him. The problem is that most believers choose a carnal life, a life bent on doing what they want and HOPING it will please God. I don't doubt their sincerity at all -- after all -- I lived that way for some 30 years, and had some joker (like me) come along and said my relationship with Jesus was shallow -- well -- I would have been deeply insulted, that is for certain.

I thought my relationship with the Lord was strong and oh so very solid. I found out differently, and that is why now I can say this with confidence. Boldness comes only after significant trial and deep and difficult adversity. It is the "rubber meets the road" place where your faith gets run through the grinder and you see it come out in chopped up little bits and pieces. Then you know just how shallow you were in your relationship with God, and you set about to make amends. You determine to do better, to be different, and to finally begin to consider His Way. This is the beginning of a new kind of friendship, and all I can say is that I bear this testimony now, and see it on the faces and minds and hearts of other believers who have been through that same grinder. I am not unique, no. I am not the only one experiencing this kind of renewal. It happens all the time, through various ways, but the end result is always the same: a deep spiritual renewal, a long-lasting friendship with God, and a life-altering and life-changing perspective on everything (Godward and no longer self or manward).

Soli dei Gloria!

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