I am in a desert, surrounded by nothing but sand in any direction, as far as the eye can see. And somehow, I know I must count all the sand. So I start, carefully brushing the sand from one area into another as I make piles in certain amounts. After an indeterminate amount of time, lots of hard work and many piles of sand later, I hear voices coming toward me. A group of people is chatting away and they walk right through all my piles, ignoring my pleas to please go around. I know that I will have to start over, that I will never ever finish this task. And I cry.
And I wake up crying, my pillow wet and my hands smoothing the pillow as I smoothed the sand in my dream. I fall back asleep and the dream starts over, a whole night of this nightmare where I will never measure up to the task in front of me. I would often wake up physically sick from this dream, even as an adult, so stressful is this dream.
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The other night at group while we were having a quiet time, praying and asking God what He is addressing, this dream popped into my head. Uninvited, I tried to shrug the memory of this bad dream off, again asking God what He was doing, and again the dream was there. So, fine! "What does this have to do with anything, God?"
And clear as day, I heard Him say, "I never meant for you to live so alone."
And then it seemed like God was telling me what that dream meant. (And not in the way my best friend and I would look up things in a dream dictionary in junior high, like a top hat = wealth & status, a guinea pig = you learn from your mistakes & a pogo stick = a need to focus on one thing at a time, or sex. Not that kind of interpretation.) But in the way that you know is true, because it touches your heart.
And God said that, due to how I interpreted and internalized circumstances when I was young, I have always lived like I am alone. I have taken on the impossible task of trying to be lovable to people who often don't even see me. And walking in that lie has allowed me to be hurt over and over and over. To protect myself, I've adopted some pretty bad responses. Crazy what you can get used to!
I feel like this is a root, the root, at least a big root, the stuff under the surface producing bad fruit in my life. And maybe now that I can see where it's coming from I work on hearing who God says I am and what He wants me to do.
I've said that before, but could never see the lie so clearly.
I see it now.