I used to have this recurring dream where dinosaurs were trying to kill me. I was at the great green house of my grandparents, a place attributed to happy childhood memories of being adequately dirty and endlessly barefoot. A house that held most of my precious memories, also held something visceral and dark. A place that, in the light of day encouraged all of the goodness of homemade cookies and burning wood in the fire. How even on a windless day, there always seemed to be a cool breeze that pushed through the kitchen window, making the curtain dance with lunacy. The toy room held old fur-collared coats and a tin of antique buttons that I would finger through with the delicacy of one handling glass. In the dark though, the house shifted and settled into a coldness that seemed otherworldly. It felt as if the house had eyes, and the pleasantries of cookies plumping in the oven were now overwrought by the cold and daunting smell of must and fear.
It was always there - at that anciently familial house - that the typically peaceful herbivore of a dinosaur would turn and try to snatch me and eat me up. I was always on the front lawn facing the barn bank. The one I had raced down innumerable times on that red Radio Flyer wagon. I would see this Brachiosaurus and then spread my arms and will myself to fly, knowing that flight was not something that I possessed the ability to do. I just needed to get above the tops of the trees, where it couldn't reach me. I flew clumsily and faltered, but always managed to get just high enough to escape, yet close enough still to feel the breath of the beast at my back.
The old family house and the dinosaur represent what is ancient, the trespasses of my family line, the darkness. I know the curse of Adam and the manner in which is has attached to my family. While the faces of the generations have changed, the brokenness has been recycled through time. Decades later, I am dealing with the trauma of that same curse. While I know the brutality of what my heritage holds, I also know that part of the trick is in the agenda staying hidden. While my life hasn't always blossomed with freedom, I have always managed to escape by some supernatural ability. I can look back and see where faults lie, where lies were believed, where brokenness was birthed, and I can also see that while I may feel the hot breath against my back, it is always behind me.
There have been some situations in my life lately where I have felt betrayed and very hurt. I've tried very hard not to let those feelings cloud my vision and to walk in forgiveness. Honestly though, it's been a rough road, and I have felt like I've had on the wrong shoes for the journey.
I've spent time in prayer (probably not equal to the amount of time that I've stewed in my justified frustration), but I have been trying. I laid in bed the other night, and my insides were churning as I was letting myself feel offended all over again. I began to remind my rational self over and over again that forgiveness isn't a feeling, but really a choice. I gained some sense of peace, at least enough to fall asleep.
As I was sleeping, I began to dream that I was at school. It was the end of the day and I was headed to my car to go to a bonfire that the school was hosting. As I was now nearing my destination, I saw three huge red barns bursting with flames. I had seriously underestimated the intensity of this bonfire! I looked at the smoke rising from the first barn, and I saw massive elephants. From another barn I saw a perfect and expansive number three. And then I woke up.
I dug out my book on dream symbolism. I looked up barns. I read..
a symbol for blessings.
I looked up fire-
Presence of God. Holiness of God.
Hmmm. What was God saying?
Invincible or thick-skinned
not easily offended
Wow! I'm really getting warmer.
The number three representing the trinity, the united force of God Himself - Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
And then...the light bulb.
God was telling me that he would teach me (school), purify and test me (fire), so that I would not be easily offended (elephants) and that through this refining, I would create room for His blessings (barns). And the only way I would be capable of such testing, was with God Himself (number three)!!!
Okay God, I get it. The choice to forgive just got a little easier, and already I can feel my skin getting a little thicker! It's nothing short of a miracle that God can speak such mysteries to my subconscious and I can wake up feeling cleansed, healed, and a lot more of His love for myself to be able to pass around!!