April 14, 2012

Feeling Weird Today

I woke up at my usual 5:00 a.m. this morning, no thanks to Winston, who was crying and pounding on the closet doors! I got up to feed both cats, then tried to go back to sleep until Ike started throwing up in my bedroom. I have not had to deal with cat throwup for a long while now, so this was a surprise of sorts. I expect it with cats, I mean, they do eat their own fur and form balls of hair in their tummies. It is God's way to help them get rid of that excess fur! However, since I switched them to Hills Science Diet Hairball Control and IAMS Weight Control (good for Hairballs) about two years ago, I have had nary a ball. Ike has been struggling the past couple weeks (coughing and trying to toss one up) though so I thought he might actually produce the darn thing. Today, however, all I got was half digested food (yuck!) I got up to clean that mess up, and well, decided I would stay up since I have to take my son for his Driving Permit class at 7:30 a.m.

It is windy out, has been all night, and it does look like we got some rain. Today is forecasted as rain showers, so I am looking forward to a change of weather. Here in Phoenix it is sunny almost every day of the year. It is nice to have rain, wind, and even clouds -- just to change things up a bit. I am happy for the clouds, and the cooler temperatures. It will soon be hot, and then I won't get to enjoy my windows being opened again until October!

On other news fronts, as my title suggests, I feel kind of weird today. I had weird dreams last night, one particularly where I yelled at my Mother. I don't know why I dream that same dream, but I do. I love my Mom greatly, but I guess there are some latent issues there, and I get upset and say angry words in my dreams instead of in real life. I don't recall the reason for the confrontation, but I believe it had to do with my working at UOPX. I just remember her asking me about work, and me getting really upset at her. My brother was there as well, which is even more weird because he lives in San Diego now. Furthermore, we all were at my old house in San Jose. My two cats were there, and I was in my son's old room. I could see the striped wallpaper, but the border at the top was not bunnies -- it was pink flowers. The windows were covered with plastic, and had curtains that covered them. There were two twin beds in the room, and the room was really crowded (it was a small space as I recall, perhaps 10x10).

I went into the room, unmade the beds as if to change the sheets, and then pulled down the curtains, the plastic, and saw that the window was broken at the bottom half of it. The sun poured in, and Winston, my cat, jumped into the window to look out. I saw my beautiful green front lawn -- which I had worked so hard to create (literally from dirt patches to lawn and a profusion of flowers). I so miss my garden!

That was it. That was the extent of the dream. My cross words with my Mom and brother, and me looking out the front window at the grass and flowers. What does it mean? I have no real clue other than to suggest that some of the images do lend themselves to intrepretation:
  • Going home, to any home where I previously lived usually means that I am longing for some aspect of that life. In this case, it was to return to a time when my son was small, and when I was a SAHM. I worked very hard to graduate from San Jose State University, got pregnant, and then devoted myself to raising my baby. It wasn't really a happy time for me, but I tend to go back there every now and then in my dreams.
  • The broken window and the coverings suggest that something was hidden from sight, but when revealed, turned out to be broken and not whole. This is significant as it was my life, my marriage, that was broken, yet kept under wraps for all those years. I knew then that my life was horribly wrong -- besides personal stress issues, financial stability, and marital struggles -- my life during this period was a sham. It was hidden under cover so that no one would know just how bad things really were for me.
  • The sun shining through tells me that it was the Love of Christ who revealed this to me, who broke through the darkness and gave me the strength to pull down the covers and plastic, and see the truth outside my life.
  • The argument over work was more than likely stress due to the fact that my Mother has been cross with me every time I share my frustration over my current work situation. She will say things like "a job is better than no job," or "you'd better not quit that job." I know she means well, but I really wanted a tender ear to listen to my struggles, and instead, I seemed to just get quips with suggestions on what not to do (things I already planned on not doing, kwim?)
  • Why my brother was there is a mystery, as is the fact that my cat Winston was present, when my other cats (current feline Ike, and the deceased "Black Family" along with Samantha) were not.
  • Moreover, neither my son nor my husband were their either. My son and husband are rarely in my dreams, so really that is not such an issue. I would say that almost always my dreams tend to have my Mother in them or my brothers -- not my Dad nor as I said -- my son or husband.
I guess to summarize, I would say that this dream represented a small snapshot into reality, even if it was a distored one. My home in San Jose was filled with deep grieving, even though there were periods of joy mixed in (my son being born, my graduation from SJSU for example). I lived undercover, this is certainly true. I hid from collectors and others who were at our door demanding money. I was afraid to go outside because there was a stalker down the street (a drug-damaged guy who would show up at my door and stand way to close to me whenever I was outside in the front yard. He would also say things t me and I would get really uncomfortable with his questions). I lied back then, often, to cover up things that my husband did in business. There were issues with the business, with friends, and with work -- all lied or glossed over -- and I lived in shame. I hated my life, I was far from Christ, and I was psychologically tormented (oppressed and persecuted spiritually).

Once the Light of Christ touched my soul, I realized that my life was really broken, that what I believed or was trying to believe was not true nor THE TRUTH. Of course, rather than turning to Christ fully and asking Him to heal my life then, I chose instead to continue to make choices based on my own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6). This was a mistake on my part, and now I regret it. Had I made the Lord as my first priorty, I have no doubts that my life would have turned out differently.

Nonetheless, I am where I am today because of those decisions. I thought I was acting correctly, when in truth, I was acting out of self-preservation, anger, hurt, and the desparate need to be freed from the misery of my life. Hindsight is a blessed thing, but the truth be told, I did what I did because it was the only avenue I saw open to me at that time.

Now things are different. I am a different person. I am NEW, and all things are made NEW because of my relationship with the Lord. I am on a different path, heading in a different direction. My life which was in shambles has now been remade, not pieced back together as I had hoped, but made NEW. The Lord chose to create a new vision for me rather than allow me to live in a repaired or restored one. Often the Lord chooses to restore what was broken, to fix it, to make it new again. Sometimes, though, He chooses to replace what was broken, and change circumstances to reflect a new direction. This is what He has done in my life. I am on a new path, going new places, and following after Him to see where He intends for me to go. It is exciting, but frustrating at times. It is filled with joy, peace, and contentment, but at times, it is so new to me, that it scares me. I am not afraid, I am just out of my element, so to speak, and find that I am often off-kilter slightly. I never know what to expect with God as my Leader.

So today, on my calendar there was a note that said "FINALIZATION OF PLANS." The Lord asked me to write this note about two months ago. He didn't explain it to me, He just said to pick this date and write it down, so I did. I now think I understand what He meant, and why He chose today of all days.

I have been asking the Lord to finalize the plans He has for me. Now, I know that His Will is perfect, and that the plans He has for me to accomplish His Will are set and fixed (they will not change). The tasks or say "paths" to take to accomplish His Will are in flux. There are variables at play, options and opportunities based on decisions and turns, that open up new avenues for completing His Perfect Will.  It has taken me several years to grasp that this is how the Lord works in our lives. I used to be a very concrete person, so if the Lord said, "Go to Africa," that literally meant GO-TO-AFRICA. In many ways it very well may be a call to live and work in Africa, or it could be a call to missionary efforts in Africa (supportive work done here or abroad). This supportive work could be in person or through another agency or group. It may be physical work, it may be spiritual work. It may also be to support someone or a group financially. Often, it does mean a literal "going," which could be now or it could be later on in life. It just depends on the Lord's timing.

In my case, I have been told several things that I took very literally. When they didn't come to pass, my first reaction was that they were not of the Lord. With any revelation, there must always be testimony to give credence that it was indeed of the Lord. In my specific situation, though, this was personal, a personal call that didn't materialize in the literal sense or as I had expected it to do so. Instead, I have had to wait and patiently learn about the call. In doing so, I have come to rely on my Lord, to trust Him, and to believe in faith that His Words to me are true. This is a faith-calling versus a live-calling -- the difference being that I was being called like Abraham and Moses to do something down the road, in my future. To do this thing, the object of the calling, I had to accomplish other steps in preparation for it. Therefore, my faith was tested, is being tested, and will continue to be tested as I progress toward this calling. For me to remain and be fixed, I must keep faith and believe that the Lord is telling me the truth, that His Words to me, the "promise" so to speak, will be fulfilled.

It is really difficult, and I now understand how Abraham and Sarah felt when the "promised son" didn't appear right away. I know see how they chose to make that thing happen through their own understanding and how that thing worked out for them (as in Ishmael being born). I have been in similar situations where I thought something was to be, it didn't happen, so I tried to make it happen myself. I failed miserably, and I learned a lesson that says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding..." (Prov. 3:5-6). If you want your path to be established -- you must put your faith in the Lord and wait for His provision. Otherwise, your path will go astray, miss the mark, be off from where the Lord wants you to be.

My path has changed recently. I went from one path to another, and for a time, everything felt off-kilter. Now, I am back on this path, and while I am not really happy about it, the path is fairly smooth, and the way seems clear. I may not like this path, but this path seems to be the one the Lord desires me to remain on -- at least for the foreseeable future. What is this path? How do I know I am on the right path now?

I wish I could say for certain that this path "feels" better than the other ones or that I just "know it in my soul," but in truth, I cannot really say that it is either way. I do feel better, and I do feel confident in my soul, yet I am not 100% certain. I just am willing to trust the Lord to lead me on, and if He chooses me to go another direction, than we will go that direction. It is pretty easy -- I follow His Lead.

Then what does "finalization of plans" really mean? I think that it means that I am willing to let go of the plans, and to relinguish control to the Lord's choosing of the pathways for the rest of my life. I have been struggling to remain in control, and whenever I do that, we either stop or we divert in another direction. Now I am at the point where I am willing to let things be. It is the "so be it" that often comes before the "thy will be done." I am tired of wrestling with the Lord, and I am tired of missing the mark, and feeling weird. I want to be done, to be working and moving towards His goals for my life. While I am doing that -- this is not about will so much as it is about control -- I am now ready to give in to His Way and let things be as He says they should be. I am surrendering to His Mighty Power, Authority and Determination over the course of events in my life. I am saying "so be it, thy will be done" to Him and really meaning it. I mean it. I am done. I surrender all, and I wait patiently upon the Lord for His Provision, His Direction, and His Going. I will follow. You lead me, Lord; and, I will follow you.

Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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