I’ve always been a dreamer. Not the wistful-for-the-future kind of dreamer. (OK, I’m a bit of that,too.) But an actual while-you-sleep dreamer. I dream in vivid color and extreme detail nearly every night, as if a movie were playing in my head. In fact, I’ve often thought that if my dreams could be scripted and acted out, I could actually become famous for original movie plots. That or be committed to a mental institution.
My dreams aren’t usually too significant or meaningful, but last night’s dream about seeing my son prompted me to write this blog and share what I experienced nearly a year ago. And not just because my grieving mama’s heart needs an outlet. But I believe there is a simplistic significance to why God gave me one incredible dream that I’ve shared with only a small circle of people.
I’ve had a handful of dreams about Joe in the last year. Some are mundane in terms of content, but waking up from those dreams brings such a peace and comfort to my broken heart. I miss my son terribly. I long to see him more than anything. And getting to see Joe again, alive and smiling – even though it’s just in a dream – is a true gift.
I remember in the weeks that followed Joe’s death, friends and family would often share that they had had a dream about my son. Although I know they meant it as a comfort to me, it hurt to know that God was giving other people dreams about my son. And not giving them to me. I was angry at God. Why couldn’t I see my child? I begged God for weeks to see Joe. And I waited. And waited.
While I waited, I found myself seeking out grieving parent groups online and immersing myself in the posts and conversations. Just the fact that there were other mothers experiencing what I was going through brought some comfort….to a degree. These stories, posts, and blogs dominated my newsfeed day and night. And because these were not necessarily Christian viewpoints, they were often times depressing. Overwhelming. Hopeless.
And then God intervened. God finally answered that prayer and longing I had to see my son in a powerful dream.
My dream began in a mountainous European-type village, where its residents wore clothing from perhaps a different century, which seemed rather charming. I wasn’t from there, but rather a visitor roaming the streets, fascinated with a people whose ways were almost storybook-like. I found myself coming to an overlook of the town square, where a large clock stood in the center. As I admired the craftsmanship of the clock, I realized it wasn’t moving at all. And that it hadn’t been for quite some time. This seemed to explain the villagers’ antiquated ways. I felt a sense of urgency to tell the townspeople they were stuck in time. I ran to the town hall as fast as I could, where I found everyone had gathered for a meeting. I began to shout that the town clock was broken, that the people were stuck in time and the world around them had moved forward significantly. They looked at me with disbelief and were about to throw me out when suddenly, the roof of the town hall began to peel away.
The villagers looked up in shock and horror. But in my heart I knew what was happening. Jesus was returning! I shouted, “It’s Jesus! He’s coming back! He’s here!” The villagers looked at me bewildered. I knew Jesus was going to take me home and that was thrilling beyond my wildest dreams. But there was a sadness, too, in knowing that for the villagers who didn’t believe, it was too late.
The next thing I knew, I was on some type of a flying carpet or rug, side-by-side with Jesus Himself, soaring through the sky. I knew where we were going and the sights I saw, I cannot even begin to describe in words. Majestic, awe-inspiring, magnificent….those words don’t even come close to doing the views justice. There were mountains higher than I’d even seen and a beauty that was unparalleled with any sight I’ve seen on this earth.
We flew to the top of a large plateau and I stepped off the rug. I looked at Jesus, unsure of what I was supposed to do now and with the voice of complete love and gentleness, He said these two words: “Call him.” And then I knew. I knew I was going to see Joe again. I looked out across the plateau and saw two large rocks forming an entrance to somewhere I knew I couldn’t go. I yelled out, “Joe! Joe!” And between those two large rocks, my baby boy came running towards me at full speed. Healed. Whole. Full of joy. I knew in that moment that I was dreaming, but I silently prayed to let the dream continue so that I could not just see Joe, but feel him in my arms. And for the first time even in a dream, I could actually feel physical touch. And it was the most amazing feeling!
I wept as I told Joe how much I missed him and how much I loved him. He smiled at me and said “I know, Mom. But heaven is amazing!” I pleaded for him to stay a little longer. I had so much to tell him! But he replied, ” I can’t stay. I have to go. I’ll see you soon!” And with those words he bounded away, running back towards those rocks, never once looking back.
I looked at Jesus and He held His hand out to me to get back on the rug. “You can’t stay. You need to go back, ” he told me with eyes full of love.
And then I woke up. Grateful. At peace. And blown away by what God had just done.
I have thought about that dream countless times and what a gift it was to me. And I was stuck there for a long time until recently. What if that dream was a gift not just for me, but for others as well? Sometimes I try to apply deep, meaningful, complicated interpretations to my dreams. But maybe there is a very simplistic message here. And it’s this:
Jesus is coming back. It will happen. I believe that with all my heart. And not just because I dreamt it, but because Jesus has promised it. The only way you and I are going to be on that magic carpet ride to heaven is through Christ. Jesus’ death and resurrection is the vehicle there. Nothing else. No one else. Not you. Not me. Just God’s grace and our faith in that grace. Period.
“I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved.” ~ John 10:9
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” ~ John 11:25
“I am the way and the truth and life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6
This truth is why I teach little kids about Jesus for my job. It’s why I write these blogs. It’s why I have the strength to get out of bed every day and keep living life. Because there is still work to do. More hearts to win for Christ. There are still villagers out there who still do not know the love of Jesus. More people who are “stuck” in whatever it is they face, whether it be sickness or cancer or divorce or depression or anxiety or grief or ANYTHING. My heart desperately wants them to know that NOTHING can separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
I pray if you are “stuck”, that the love and peace of Jesus would touch your heart in such a way that you would know how deep and high and wide His love is for you. That you would believe with all your heart, that Jesus died for YOU, rose for YOU, and wants YOU in His kingdom for eternity. And if you already believe this, my prayer is that you would passionately share the love of Christ with those who do not yet believe.
When I was in college choir, we always ended every concert with a song written by Paul Manz called, “E’en So, Lord Jesus”. The song ended with a description of the day we will be with Jesus for eternity:
“E’en so Lord Jesus, quickly come and night shall be no more.
They need no light, nor lamp nor sun. For Christ will be their all.”
And that day, my friends, will be a real dream come true.