A couple night's ago I wrote a blog about being "grace" challenged. I knew that this blog was just the processing part and that there would be more to come. What I didn't know was that the "more to come" would come that very night in the form of a dream.
This was a first time experience for me ... waking up and knowing that what I had just dreamed was a message from God. And the communication that followed between Holy Spirit and me was just as purposeful and revealing as the dream itself. I got up in the middle of the night and recorded in my journal every detail of the dream that I remembered and every word that God spoke to me afterward.
This is my "Dream Answer":
I awoke at 2:13am from a disturbing dream. I had an immediate, distinct impression that the dream had purpose; that it was a God-given dream. Having never awoken from a dream with this feeling/knowing, I immediately prayed and asked God what my dream meant. These are the things I got right off the bat:
1. First words were "Grace Challenged". This was the blog I had written a few night's before and somehow this dream was attached to it.
2. "Does any of this really matter?" was the question that was birthed into my heart.
3. "End". This dream had something to do with an end, but I wasn't sure what end meant. Tribulation? end of something in me or in my life?
4. I also had the book of Philippians flash into my mind.
All of this happened in seconds. Even though I knew something was up in the spiritual realm, because I was tired, I actually tried to make myself go back to sleep. I laid there for just about 20 minutes, and when I realized I wasn't going back to sleep, I got up and trotted out to the living room at 2:30am with my journal in hand.
Dream: I was walking, by myself, in an expansive field of green grass and rolling hills. Land was all I could see for miles and miles. I heard a bomb drop and then saw the shock wave coming towards me. I thought I was going to die from the shock wave but instead it catapulted me about 100 feet into the sky. My arms and legs were flailing because I felt completely out of control, both on the way up and on the way down. I remember thinking that since I didn't die from the shock wave, I was definitely going to die from the impact of hitting the ground. I landed with a hard thud but survived.
Upon impact, my dream clicked to the next scene. I was with my Mom, Dad, Teighlor and Alec. We were all now walking in this same open field and even without having said it, we all were aware that each of us had been through a bomb experience of some kind. As we walked, we approached a large amusement park in the middle of this land. There were tons of people laughing and the rides were filled to capacity. I was confused because I couldn't believe that so many people could be enjoying themselves as if nothing had happened. Although there was no dividing fence or wall between us and the amusement park patrons, I knew in the dream that an invisible partition separated us from them.
It was then that I caught the eye of a girl and immediately began telling her how I had already dreamed of this very park and the fact that a bomb was going to hit it. She just kept laughing as if she didn't hear me. What's so ironic is that the dream I was sharing with her was an actual dream that I had had about a year ago in real life. In my dream, I was sharing about another dream I had had but somehow remembered in this dream I was having now. It was even a surreal moment in my dream. I knew - in my dream - that I was drawing on another dream memory.
There was a sense of urgency as I talked with this girl. I was trying to let her know that she wasn't safe. My last words to her were, "You're living with a false sense of security here in this amusement park." I was waiting for her response when my dream, once again, shifted scenes.
Now the five of us were in a small tent on an elementary school property, much like one I grew up attending. Paul and Chad were in the tent with us and they were laughing at Alec. I got the sense that just like the amusement park patrons, they were both totally unaware of the danger that loomed. We had a string of exposed light bulbs hanging from the ceiling of the tent and they began to flicker in a warning pattern. We knew that another bomb was on its way, so we headed out of the tent. I grabbed Teighlor and Alec and told them to stay with me; that if we were going to die, we were dying together.
My dad took Alec's hand and they walked ahead of my mom, Teighlor and me. They reached a street that ran between two school buildings and then it happened ... another bomb exploded. We heard it first and then like a rush of water between the two buildings, the shock wave rolled in. It hit my dad and Alec and knocked them to the ground, but they weren't injured. I screamed for them to get up and come to us but then this girl came frantically running from the direction of the shock wave. She was on fire - from the bomb - and as she ran past my dad and Alec, her fire lit them up. They fell to the ground again as I watched them being consumed by the fire. I was screaming and telling them to come towards us so that we could help them. My dad couldn't move and Alec was crawling but couldn't make any headway. From the right, Marian popped into the dream and I yelled at her to help Alec since she was standing right beside him. She just looked at him, as if not knowing what to do. I screamed at her again, since she was so close to him, but she didn't move. In that moment I knew that I was going to watch my dad and son burn to their deaths, so I willed myself to wake up. I wanted out.
It was then that I opened my eyes and saw the clock reading 2:13am.
After I recorded all the dream details in my journal, this thought ran through my head, "Are the times important?'(referring to 2:13 when I woke up and 2:30 when I finally got up and out of bed).
Remembering that "end" was one of the impressions I had when I first woke up, I had the distinct knowing that I was to open my Bible at Revelation and scroll backwards through the books. I stopped at Revelation 2 and started reading at verse 13:
The Message to the Church in Pergamum
13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
The Message to the Church in Thyatira
18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze: 19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.
20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations.
27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.
28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
29 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
These passages clearly elued to the "end" that was spoken to me. Part of my dream was warning about the end times. What I couldn't understand was how it pertained to the reference of my blog and the question, "Does any of this really matter?" So, I asked God to clarify for me.
I then remembered hearing Phillipians spoken to me. As I was flipping backwards from Revelation, I knew to stop at the book of James. Looking up both James and Philippians 2:13 (from 2:13am) this is what I read:
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him." (Philippians 2:13)
"For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God's mercy toward you will win out over His judgment against you." (James 2:13)
Instantly I knew that the truth behind this dream and the scriptures was being unraveled, and I was seeing how everything tied together.
- God gave me a dream that incorporated an analogy of the last days where those who know Christ will be aware of the signs of destruction; but those who do not know God will merrily be going through life, completely unaware of the danger that lies ahead. These are the amusement park patrons. When I spoke to one of the patrons trying to tell her that she was not safe - that she was living in a false sense of security - this symbolized me sharing the Gospel with an unbeliever. I asked God why I wasn't allowed to hear her response and He told me, "You are not responsible for the response of the unbeliever. You are only responsible for delivering the message."
- The specific verses in Philippians and James addressed my "grace challenge". God gave me the dream to answer a decision I had made (that I will not reveal here) and to show me how that decision was wrong and was born out of a lack of grace and mercy. His dream was "to work in me, giving me the desire to obey Him" and to remind me of the law of mercy ... if I do not give it, I will not receive it.
- The question He asked me, "Does any of this really matter?", pertains to my decision and the reasons surrounding it. I asked Holy Spirit why I was given such a disturbing dream. He said to me, "If I hadn't shown you something that was so purposeful (amusement park patrons) and tragic (my dad and Alec), you wouldn't have been able to answer my question with a NO. Without something so strong and compelling to compare this circumstance to, you still would have considered your "grace challenge" important, and you would have stood your ground in your heart. Does this really matter when compared to life, death and eternity?"