Wow! I have had about three nights of total dreaming. I am not sure if I actually dream the entire night (it sure feels like it) or if I am only dreaming during what scientists call "dream sleep" (those periods when your brain is most active). I woke up in between the dreams, which were more like little vignettes that seemed to be self contained. Often, I dream one long sequence, and while I might wake up in between, I usually fall back asleep and then pick up where I left off (like pressing the pause button on the DVD player).
Last night, I had three dreams, each with a little message tucked inside. It took a while to unpack them, but I did, and they made such sense to me. My dreams sometimes are this way. Sometimes they are just random thoughts or they are useful to help me realize that I need to relax and let go (and let God take over). Sometimes, though, they are like the dreams Joseph (OT) had -- not really prophectic (as in future) -- but definitely personal to me (helping me to understand something in my life). I guess I have that same spiritual gift, which I think is simply the Gift of Interpretation. I know that I have this gift when it comes to tongues. I experienced this many years ago when I was introduced to Charismatic preaching. I had only heard people speaking in tongues twice before, and both times, I didn't hear the "tongue." Instead, I heard just English -- my own language -- and the praises that the people were praying. I was told by other people that they were speaking "gibberish" but that is not how I heard it. A friend later told me that I had the Gift of Interpretation, whereby I am able to hear the tongue in my own language. God uses people like me to help a congregation or to interpret something for a congregation. If everyone just spoke in tongues, then no one would hear what the other people were saying. The Apostle Paul speaks of this and says that the church needs an interpreter so that the people will be edified (built up) by what is being shared. I guess I am that person, at the least, I have the ability to do that within a church or meeting group.
Anyway, I don't know if my dreams are interpreted the same way or if I am just a really good guesser at what they might mean! LOL! Actually, I think it is a combination of being intuitive (which I most certainly am -- in many ways I can see the bigger picture before most people), being sensitive to suggestion by the Holy Spirit (yes, I am this as well -- very easily touched by His word or movement in my life), and able to rightly distinquish between falsehood and truth (also called the Gift of Discernment -- which I have -- as do most Interpreters so that they can tell the difference between the spirits or between the truth of God's word and man's own imaginings). My dreams then tend to be little snapshots into my life, and I gain insight from them, often just a sense of peace or the confirmation that I am doing the right thing, on the right track, going in the right direction. They rarely are prophetic, as I mentioned; and rarely do I receive insight that says "Carol -- go here -->" N0pe, as much as I wish that would be true, it is not. I just think I get my dreams a whole lot better than most, and I thank God that He likes to teach me this way.
My primary dream last evening centered around my path or my journey in life. I knew this right off because I had said to God "Lord, am I on the right path, am I doing the right thing?" right before I went to bed last night. I was feeling down and overwhelmed by school. I had had a little comupance from God the other day when I attempted to take some of His Glory regarding my school work. I then spent a day doing my home work without any sense of annointing, and let me tell you, I felt so lost. It is not like I cannot do the work on my own, it is just that this level of study is incredibly difficult for me (and as the Lord likes to remind me: "Carol, if getting a PhD were easy, then everyone would get one!")
I am a Humanities major which just means that I studied history and literature in context. My courses were about the history of each period in our world, and the developments of man that sprang up as a result of the events or societal or political shifts occuring in them. They were not pure Literature, though I did take a minor in English. My English courses were hard on me, but I managed a 4.0 average in the 18 units I took as part of my degree. I am far better suited to philosophy than I am to literature, and my MA program is hard literature. I am given some leeway in philosophy and in history -- but the majority of the focus is on interpreting literature. I like it a lot, it is just that I am not the most quick witted. I am telling the truth. I think I am a great Philosopher, slow and thoughtful -- plodding almost, deep in thought most days. I am not a satirist, and often I miss the pun or intended joke. I am the last to get anything witty. I am just not quick on my feet, the last to give an answer, and most often the one who will mention something off-point (sometimes profound or illuminating -- but I never seem to be able to add directly to the conversation). I prefer to be alone with my thoughts, to live in my own mind, and to read and think deeply on spiritual or philosophical matters. Therefore, in Literature, I need all the annointing I can get -- especially at this level. The questions are so difficult to answer, and that is where I struggle most. I can handle the papers because I can take pages to explicate, to explain and then summarize -- but I struggle to write a short synopsis that answers a direct question. In fact, I am laughing right now, because at my interviews this shortness in my ability was quite pronounced. I was asked several times to be direct -- and I cannot do it. I want to spend the time to discuss the matter, and the interviewers give you 30 minutes and want a short answer. I stink at short answers -- I am far better suited to the long interpretation of things.
So the long and the short of it (ha!) is this: my primary dream centered on my path in this life, my journey, and my direction (home towards heaven). I saw myself in a car along side of my Dad. He was driving me down this lovely country road. It was paved, and winded through the trees. It reminded me of the long car drives my Dad and I took each Saturday when I was a child (he was taking flying lessons and I went with him to the air field out in the country). I loved looking out the window (I still do), and I felt very safe (it felt normal). Suddenly, the path turned sharply and changed from a smooth road to a dirt road filled with rocks, creeks, and strewn with down trees. We drove over on creek bed, and I commented to my Dad that the car we were in was good at manuevering through difficult terrain. Then all of a sudden, my dad was gone and a Lioness was in his place. I was startled at first, and then became increasingly fearful of this lion. The next thing I saw, we were in the middle of a creekbed, and the path was almost completely gone. The Lion got out of the car and was trying to corral a Calico cat (female). I thought she was trying to eat her, and out of fear for me and the cat, I tried to get us both back into the car. I got the cat into the car, but she peed on my jacket and seat. I tossed the cat out, and then locked the doors and started to drive away (leaving the cat and the lion behind). I then made a U-turn and found myself on a road again. I sat by the side of the road for a moment, and saw another car coming up behind me. It went past me, and then I looked forward and saw that I was on a well-travelled road again (with cars coming towards me).
As I pondered the meaning of my dream, this is what I interpreted it to mean. My Dad was my Dad, of course. He was my authority, and my protector as a child and young woman. He was driving me on my path, which is normal for Dad's to do until their daughters get married or are able to care for themselves. At some point, a Lioness (a strong female) took over from my dad, and began to take authority over me. This was my mother-in-law, no doubt about it. She is a strong authority figure, and has tried to control me for nearly 25 years. She is dominant in personality and tries to control everyone (it is well known, so I am not divulging secrets). Most people accept her authority, but most people aren't family so they can walk away when they have had enough of her way (said as nicely as I can). As family, I was stuck in this authoritarian relationship for a very long time. The small female cat was in heat, and I believe represents my husband's cousin. This is someone my MIL has tried to corral for years, to keep in check, and she has also tried to arrange a marriage between her and my husband (before we met). It was a well-known family secret that they were 'to be married." I guess it was arranged, and I mucked up the plans. Anyway, this same person is the one who intervened in my marriage last year, and basically had her way with my husband. Calicoes are always female -- so there was no mistaking the identity. Some four years ago, I made the decision to no longer allow my MIL to be in a position of authority over me. This coincided with my turn in faith, and my deepening walk with the Lord. It was a good thing, and there wasn't any fireworks or anything of that sort -- just me choosing to put God as my rightful Head.
My interpretation is just what I think it is: a comfirmation to me telling me that I made the right turn, and that I am now driving my own car (in charge of my destiny, so to speak). God is my only authority, and I am on the well-worn path again. It is smooth driving, clear travel, and I am to stay fixed on this path. The deviation off-road was an error on my part, and I suffered mightly for making that turn. But, I have righted myself, I am back to where I need to be, and God is in control.
Well, at the least...that is what I hope my dream means to me and to the eventual outcome of my life.