They’re just dreams. Crazy, mixed up, scary, but not real. Thoughts alone. Manifestations of neurons. Pictures and fragments in a blender in my head while I sleep, trying to sort themselves out.
I dreamed that I knew I was about to witness my husband’s death. Some sort of gentleman’s duel, sort of, only it was in a plane. A duel to the death, in a plane. (I know, what did I eat?). I remember the feelings of rage at the stupidity of it all, mixed with fear, TERROR, and anguish. I kept collapsing to the ground sobbing and screaming and people kept having to help me up.
Somewhere in there, I realized the ridiculousness of it all, that this was only a dream, that my husband in fact has no idea how to pilot a plane at all, and I fought my way out of the madness. Back to consciousness. Back to truth and real things and the real touch of my husband’s skin.
I opened my eyes. I had a desperate death grip on my maternity pillow. My shoulder and neck were cramped in tension.
I breathed. I prayed thanks that the ridiculous things in my head were just that – in my head. Not truth.
I got up and hugged my husband. Still heavy and shaky from the dregs of the dream, I reached for my Bible and my prayer journal.
2 Corinthians 1:4 “who [God] comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
All our tribulation. All.
I drain the last of my coffee from my Fort Davis souvenir mug. I bought it during the surprise mountain getaway that David planned on the sly.
All our tribulation. This morning, I’m thankful that all includes ridiculous far-fetched nightmares, too.
I think back to times when my heart believed some other equally far-fetched thoughts…
I can’t do this.
I’m not cut out for this after all.
I’m a burden.
I can’t ask for help, I can’t be more of a burden.
Deep down, I have no clue how to be a good mom.
He is so tired of having to prop you up, again.
You’d better get your act together, you know he’s only staying with you because of the kids, because he’s a good man.
Today, I’m safe on rational thought and solid mental ground. No crippling burn-out or racing thoughts, no fighting temptations to “numb out” mentally, no pep talks to get myself out of the shower.
Today. Today I know. Today I rest in the truth, shaking my head at the fears that Satan tries to seed into my heart. Now three weeks ago?
I thought I was immune. I thought I had preventive-medicined my way out of it. I am watching my sleep, I am exercising, I am paying attention to my triggers. I was. I am. Those are good things.
But depression and anxiety happened again, spilled over, dumped on me, like the big bucket that gushes all over you at the local splash pad.
I am disappointed. This? Again??
But look again at the words of God.
God comforts us IN tribulations. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
God’s power is perfected IN weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
In. Not after. In the thick of it.
The word ‘comfort’ is not only defined as an alleviation of pain or trouble, but actually, its primary definition is to strengthen and encourage.
God wants to push His strength in me, to give me His strength while I am actually experiencing a trial, right in the thick of it.
So how? How do I tap into that strength?
Speak the truth. (And I mean speak ’em. Say them out loud.) Cling to the truth. Act on the truth.
Wait for my feelings to catch up to my faith.
Just as I reached for David to help shake off the nightmares, I must reach for God to help shake myself free of the lies of the enemy.
Despite how real the dream felt, it was not the truth. Despite how depression and anxiety make me feel, I must act on what I know, not what I feel. I must cling to the truth.
I’ve been given this story to tell. God has chosen me for this trial. God, teach me to trust what you’ve chosen for me as a plan that’s good for me and not a plan to harm me. Let me be led by you, even if my feelings have to catch up later.
You are the Beginning
You are the End
You are the Knower and Keeper of everything in between
And You are always good.