Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Dreams We Dream and How We Mourn

Whenever I'm able, I listen to Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson on my way home from work.  This week he had 3 episodes with Pastor Greg Laurie.  Pastor Laurie has quite a testimony, you should check out his site sometime if you're not familiar with him or his ministry.  It's interesting and encouraging how God is using him today for His glory despite the challenges he faced as a kid.  I just love those beauty-from-ashes redemption stories.

This time, though, the 3-part interview didn't focus on Greg Laurie's childhood, conversion and ministry.  Instead, it was largely about the loss of his adult son who was killed in a car crash in the summer of 2008 and how he agonized over that loss, but remained rooted in the trustworthiness of God's divine will.

He and Dr. Dobson both shared how they had dreams about those they lost; Pastor Laurie about his eldest son, and Dr. Dobson about his father who also died unexpectedly.  Their dreams were as real as if it were happening in their waking hours, and for both of them the dreams left them with an indescribable ache in their heart and they would awaken to their own wracking sobs.

It reminded me of a dream I had of my dad 3 months after he passed away.  Dad died in 2008 also, in the springtime.  It wasn't unexpected, though.  Dad had fought cancer for 7 years before the disease became too strong for another remission.  Though it was too soon (he was just 63), we had time to prepare our hearts to say goodbye, for now, and were at his bedside when he went home.

I'm wondering if that's why, in stark contrast to the dreams of Pastor Laurie and Dr. Dobson, my dream was a comfort; like a message from heaven, a gift that brought me peace. It was the first dream I had of him since his passing, and while I've had some since, none have been as vivid.

I was walking alone and dad unexpectedly approached me.  His body was strong, his smile broad with sparkling eyes, and his countenance peaceful.  It seemed like it was a message to me that I need not carry that same ache in my heart like during the years he was sick; that he was well, now.

Here's the post I wrote about it back then...

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Three Months in Heaven

It was three months ago today that dad went to heaven. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday; other times it feels like it's been longer than that. Maybe because the months leading up to it were so emotionally charged. I don't know.

The notion that he won't be coming back is still perplexing. It has not fully settled in my heart or my head, yet. And it still seems odd to me that our lives can change so severely and quickly, yet time keeps ticking... life keeps happening. Some events seem worthy of time standing still for a while. Saying goodbye to your dad, and not knowing how long it will be before you join him, is one of those events.

I had a dream about him recently. In my dream I was taking a walk down my street. My street is very, very long and I planned to take a walk all the way to the corner. All of a sudden, dad came up beside me and asked if he could walk with me. I was surprised because I expected him to be too weak. I asked him if he thought he could go that far and he said, "Oh yeah, I'm fine!" He put his arm around me and we walked and talked. That's all I remember about the details, but what stands out was how comforted I was by his company. It was comforting to "see" him healthy and energetic, comforting to "feel" his embrace, and comforting to "chat" with him.
I miss dad... I'll miss dad till my feet no longer walk the earth.

A quote I read today and like...

God gives us the spiritual gifts He wants us to have;
He puts us in the places He wants us to serve;
and He gives the blessings He wants us to enjoy.
-Warren Wiersbe
I'm thankful for my dreams, that one particularly. 


Mom said...

Oh Pammie, so bittersweet to read! I too have such dreams often, but more than to bring comfort, in my dreams, he's in and a part of my everyday living.

Pam O'Brien said...

That's nice to know, Mom. :-) xo