Did you ever have a dream about someone that left you feeling like you had no choice but to cut them out of your life once and for all? Ever had a dream where everything in it was just so real that you start to wonder just how long you’ve been deceiving yourself about how important you are to someone? I tend to dream vividly. Most of the time, I don’t remember my dreams but on occasion I have a good one and I wake up feeling a rush of adrenaline from whatever heated exchange occurred in slumberland. And since I tend to look for signs in everything that I encounter, it makes perfect sense that I would try to discern the meaning of every part of a dream such as this one. After all, I don’t ordinarily feel so hurt by this person in everyday life. Though he has caused me considerable heartache, I really thought we had resolved all of that. My dreams, however, would have me believe otherwise.
In this dream, I was having a conversation with this long-time friend. He and I had previously been involved romantically and although we broke up a very long time ago, we are still friends and we still, I thought, feel love for one another. For lots of reasons, we just can’t be a couple. Anyway, we were at some sort of family picnic talking to each other and two other women come into the picture and start joking around with him. One, he claims is a close friend. The other, I’m not sure of her identity. I just remember thinking as I witnessed their exchange that I found it odd that more of his friends and family seemed to know about his friendship with this other lady than his friendship with me. To hear him tell it, I was one of the most important people in his life. So why didn’t anyone seem to know who I was or anything about me? In the dream, I confronted him about this and he got really angry and told me it wasn’t my business. This was not something he would have said in real life, but it is definitely something I’ve felt from time to time over the many years that we’ve known each other.
The dream ended with me telling him how much I didn’t appreciate how unimportant I was to him, especially since I had thought that we actually meant something to each other. I turned and walked away from him and when I looked back, he and everyone else were gone. I was alone and I was angry. And then I woke up.
I sat up for about an hour after that. It wasn’t time to get up for the day, but I was so mad I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was also very sad because I started to think about why I would have dreamed something so awful about someone whom I care about so much. As I often do when I wake up in the middle of the night, I looked for some Bible verses to help me get centered again. It took a while, but after a few moments I started to think about where my relationship with this person actually was and where it had been in the past. We were together, then apart, then together again, and apart again…and so on and so on. And now, we’re apart again and have been for a long time. But we still check in with each other from time to time. And although he is very important to me, for a long time, there has been at least an inkling of doubt as to just how important I am to him. And I haven’t really wanted to admit that I’m hanging onto the idea of a bond that may no longer exist, if it ever really did. Sadly, I think many of us look at our relationship with God in the same way. Trying to put Him into context with the people who no longer make sense for us in this life. We may tell ourselves that yes, sometimes we feel Him there and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes He really seems to be on our side, but sometimes He’s just nowhere to be found. But He is very different from us. His distance is not like the distance we maintain in our relationships with one another.
With God, when He is silent we can be sure that He is still right there with us and that He’s not going anywhere. With God, we can be sure that if we are doing something stupid or we’re really missing the boat on something, He will find a way to let us know or make us listen. Even if we’ve had a relationship with someone for thirty years or more, we can’t have that kind of assurance that they will always be able to or willing to hear us or feel our presence. There are just too many things that get in the way and as humans, we aren’t equipped to be God to one another. We are only capable of so much. The rest has to come from Him. And if, at times we are so stubborn that we refuse to let go of something that is consistently hurting us, He will sometimes bring it to our attention in a way that we can’t ignore. In a way that wakes us in the middle of the night and causes us to finally question ourselves honestly about why we aren’t willing to fully let go of the pain. That’s what dreams are made of; honesty and deception facing off at twenty paces. And God, in His infinite wisdom, gives us a front row seat so that we can finally get the message.
…he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.
~Numbers 12:6 NIV~