I had a dream that changed my life.

I had a dream a few nights ago that changed my life. It was one of those that woke you up wide-eyed and heart racing fast, me nudging my husband and whispering in the dark, "Honey...I had a bad dream..." And you didn't realize till the words are spoken and the tears come just how devastating it really was. 

It was present day and I had cancer. I was expected to die right after the birth of the baby I'm carrying now. It was a girl in my dream, and I was so consumed with worry that she wouldn't be breast fed, that I arranged for my friend to nurse her after she was born. 

After I had died, I started coming back and visiting. It had always been 5 or 10 years between each visit, and each time I showed up while Trevor was alone, working on his truck. We would sit there, talking, me asking about life since I had been gone. 

"It was so hard, making sure the baby got to your friend. I was grieving you and had to take her to your friend so often. It was terrible. Don't you like Heaven?" Trevor asked me the first time I came back. He was shocked and shaken that I was there. "What's it like?" I smiled, feeling the smile straight to my soul. "I do. It's wonderful. But.... I miss you guys."

"Did you remarry?" I gently asked him the second time I came back, seeking joy and peace in his eyes. His eyes were tired, and he looked away and said, "I did. But she left me for someone else a long time ago." He was older. He was a single dad to 4 kids, had done all the baby and toddler and adolescent years by himself. The mark was evident and deep.

The next time I came and I was outside a mall where all 4 of my children were adults and inside shopping with Trevor. I walked in, and there they all were. Grown up, so real, and all at once the past 25 years of what my death had done to them hit me like a truck. One had drawn inward and stopped talking, one was angry and mean. 

I introduced myself to them...and they just stood there, staring at me, eyes daggers, accusing and cold.

Then I flashed to another time, one I just knew was even later and they would have forgiven me, where I would be able to joyfully see how their families turned out. I was at the front door and Trevor was unloading his truck. It didn't register then, in the dream, how young he looked. I flung open the door and raced inside, eager to see my grown up babies...

The scene before me was devastating. It was Miah's 7th birthday party, and he was sitting in his bedroom, hugging his knees, sobbing and yelling at the empty room, "Mommy! Why aren't you here!? It's my birthday!" His brothers and Trevor avoided him and he was left all alone in his little boy pain. Slowly the picture faded as if I was being pulled back into a tunnel of darkness...

My heart still hurts remembering, and I've often come to God asking Him what I am to learn from this, for I know I have to take something away. At first it made me hug my babies all day as my tears fell on their baby hair. I just couldn't face the possibility that one day I could die. 

What we do as Mommies, even the tiny moments, has greater impact than we realize. Every single hug, every single gentle spoken word. Every "I'm sorry," every, "I forgive you." Every moment you are present with your child you are building on the foundation of their future. Your presence alone is everything.

I have so many Motherhood books sitting beside me right now, I should be the best Mom in the universe a year from now, right? Book smarts and an incredible amount of knowledge don't make you a surgeon. Being able to get in there and fix and repair and build up and heal- that makes you a surgeon. Of course you need the knowledge. But it's in the trenches you become what you are.

Same thing with Motherhood. I could read all those books, cover to cover, agree with everything in them, and not have it affect my heart and Mothering. Not put it into practice and let it change me. Sit at my computer and escape from reality, or sit them in front of the TV all day, or not take the time to teach them, instead of just disciplining them. 

So I guess that's what I'm taking away from the dream. If I die tomorrow, it will be with the peace that I've tried to point them to Jesus, that He alone can sustain them in a broken and fallen world, and that if I do die, He will take care of them. Perfectly. Abundantly. It's not easy coming face to face with the reality of your own death. But it was a dream, and dreams sometimes have a way of making you fear things that don't exist, paralyzing you in the present, so that you can't act. But this dream is filling my sails with fresh air, making me realize how much I can't control, how much God cares for my family, and that I can parent right now in such a way that shows them Jesus and His grace for their lives. 

My main focus for 2014 is to become a better mommy and wife, and it looks like God is showing up in big ways already. I'm so excited to see what lessons are to come! If you would like a list of the books I'm reading this year, please email me! 

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