Friday, August 28, 2009

Man Overboard! All Hands on Deck...

Let's start off with my dream a few nights ago...

I am walking down a nice city street trying to meet up with some friends for lunch. It's midday and the sun is out and I feel relaxed. As I approach a crazy looking intersection with roads leading off in many different directions, I look up at the road signs to see that I am on Bee Street. I wanted to make sure that I stay once I get to the intersection I will be able to find where the other side of Bee street is so I can stay on the same street. There are no cars or people in sight, yet I don't feel alone...I just feel relaxed. I am enjoying Bee street. As I take my first step off of Bee street and into the intersection I start looking at all the other street signs to see which one is the other side of Bee street, but I don't see it. In fact, now the Bee street that I just stepped off of was gone. But I didn't feel worried...still relaxed. As soon as I turn to see that Bee street is no where to be found, I see a skinny shy young lady around my age walking next to me. She seems a little lost too, so I smile at her and say, "You lost too?" And she smiles shyly and replies, "I think so". I look around me and I see the road closest to me looks sunny and nice, so side by side we begin to walk up a steep incline of the road which happened to be the road closest to us at the time. We didn't talk, but I felt very relaxed...kinda like, I didn't know her...but I already liked her and cared about her. As we approach a little plateau in the street the sky ahead looks a little darker. At the same time I notice a man in black leaning against the building to my left and feel someone very close behind me. As I am noticing all of this I look over at the young lady and she is giving me a very nervous glance. She is positioning her body in a way that makes me think she is getting ready to defend herself if need be. Oddly enough, I still feel completely calm. Because I was calm, the young lady relaxed a bit. I turn around to see a good looking young man standing behind me looking really strung out. He eyes were all red and bugged out. I felt the presence of the man in black somewhere near me, but he hadn't moved from the building. I knew in my head that I was about to get robbed, but I didn't have any fear whatsoever. I slowly and calmly put myself between the young lady and the strung out young man. The young man then calmly spoke to me. He said, "I'm sorry, it's not personal. It's the drugs. I need them so now I have to take your money and anything else you have on you that I can sell." I said to him in a very calm voice, "OK. That's totally fine. If you don't mind, I'm going to walk over to this bench and empty out all I have on it so you can have all you want. I wish I had more, but that is all I have. One request though, I just ask that you let me keep my cell phone because I will need it to call my friends that I am meeting for lunch." He kindly obliged and calmly stood by as I poured out the contents of my huge purse. The young lady that was traveling with me just stood quietly behind me without saying a word. I believe that she had already handed her purse over to him. As he goes through my stuff more and more people come over to see if they can divide up my stuff among them. I sat on a short wall behind them and watched them gladly take my things. Even mocking some of it. As I sat there I felt very calm. None of that stuff they took mattered to me at all. In fact, as I watched them, all I could think about was how much I loved them and just delighted in them. One of the guys found a straw in my purse and put it in his hair as a joke and I started laughing with him and told him that it was definitely a good look for him. The young lady sat with me as well. We didn't talk at all. I felt like she was mimicking everything I did. My calmness kept her calm. At one point I decided it was time to call for help so I opened up my cell phone and dialed 911. I didn't want them to see me, so I just dialed the number and left the phone open on the grass. Their discussion turned to the fact that they knew the police were on their way. Then I woke up.

This dream has really stuck with me over the last few days as I have been basically freaking out about my life. I don't know exactly what it means, but I know that it's important. Today...I feel better. I feel like I have been under heavy enemy fire for days with no where to run. Maybe the reason I feel this way is because I have actually been under enemy fire. The more big steps I take towards God and reaching people for Him...the more I am under attack by the enemy. I WANT to retreat. I WANT to surrender. I WANT to give up and stop fighting. Where's my knight in shining armor!!!? Isn't this the part in the story where the hero rides up on his white horse and rescues the damsel in distress? But by the strength of God I keep fighting. God is strengthening me for a purpose. His purpose. Each attack I withstand without fainting is another step closer to being where God is calling me to be. This is what people mean with they say that following God ain't easy. You are going to be perfectly happy going down one road (Bee street if you will) and for no real reason you suddenly find yourself lost and not sure which road to take. You decide on a road and wish for the best. The right road is probably the hard road. God is going to want you to give....and people are going to take. Just think of it like you are trying to help someone that is drowning. You, as the good swimmer, are trying to get them to stop flailing around and freaking out and just trust you to help them. They don't realize that if they just calm down they will stop drowning. They are so freaked out, they can't even see that help is right beside them. Sometimes when you get too close when they are like that, they will accidentally drown you too because you get caught in their struggle. You try and help them and they climb up you to get to the top of the water and push you down under them. They don't mean to do it, it's just that they don't know any other way. It's survival. Desperate people do desperate things. But once they calm down and just let you help pull them back to shore, there is a chance that you will both survive. Sometimes it feels like you are the only swimmer in a sea of drowning people. But you aren't alone. God is there. God is your life vest. You are tied to the boat. God may have elected you to be the one to go out and save the dying, but He didn't send you out there without knowing how to swim. He trained you. He helped you build your strength and endurance. He didn't send you out there without a life vest. He didn't send you out there without HIM! So...I have been feeling overwhelmed. I have been feeling like I am supposed to help save people, but I need help staying afloat myself. I need a swim team. Even better...I need a coach. Considering that I have only been a Christian for a few short years of my life, I am pretty much a newborn. I still have my training wheels. So I am going to learn to be patient with myself, with others, and with God. I hate freaking out about my life. There is a lot I don't know...but the things I do know are:

1. God is very very real and alive
2. God is good
3. God loves me
4. I am not alone
5. I am here for a purpose
6. God already has my situation taken care of
7. God's word is true for me just like it is for everyone else!

No one is too bad for the Grace of God, and no one is good enough to deserve it.