I had just dropped my son off at the driving school, in a neighboring town about 20 miles away. I had just about time for a two hour nap before going back to pick him up for lunch. That would be a welcome nap, since I had been living with a sleep deficit for the past week, between a flurry of doctor’s appointments, the Defensive Driving class, and the Driver’s Ed classes, all in succession. Now all that remained was two more behind-the-wheel sessions before he was finished, at least until Fall classes resumed a week later at the local Technical College. The Driving classes would definitely make life easier for me soon.
Climbing into bed beside my husband, who was still sleeping from night shift, I drifted off so fast I wasn’t even aware of time. And, what is time, but that which marks off the days like marks on a classroom yard stick? I slept deep, traveling the waves of the euphoric intoxication of dreams to revisit the childhood of my children, a peaceful interlude for any Mother’s weary head. I arrived at a familiar dream, but this time I took some friends from my waking life with me, friends-in-the-now drafted as fellow time-travelers. There are no rules for dreamers.
Two friends from church, were riding with me and my little boys. We made a stop at my home for something, but of course my home turned out to be the single-wide we lived in when my boys were small. So, before heading in the back to grab my things, I called my younger son aside to explain the situation to him, as I knew he would be confused about the different house. I told him that since I was dreaming, and we were in his childhood, that the house was different. I explained that once I woke up, we would be living in our other house again. That’s all… nothing was really different… it was just a dream, I repeated.
Then, I took the things I was after, and turned for the door, but reached instead for my diary from my dresser. Taking a pen, I scribbled a note in my journal, wondering if I would still be able to read it after the dream. Scribbling in cursive, I carefully wrote myself a note of encouragement, “Dear Vicky, Keep going. The answer is closer than you think.” I was anxious to read the note, whenever I was awake somewhere else in time. So, I awoke. It was just a dream, and dreams are not ruled by increments of time consistent with events. Or something like that.
As I drove back to the driving school, and during lunch with my grown up baby boy, I mused over the idea that I have often thought how nice it would be to be able to go back in time, to teach myself what I know now, to help me sooner. But, the idea of my younger self teaching, or encouraging, my older self that I was going to survive this, that I could beat this battle with my health, quite honestly the whole idea was arresting. It was a familiar dream; the single-wide, my young boys, the busyness and independence of my years of single-parenthood. I just never realized that my younger self had something to teach me now. And, what did she know anyways?
She knew the answer was always right in front of her. She knew that help was closer than you think. She was aware that God always came to the rescue, just when she needed Him most. He was her Salvation, and He was her Provider. No matter how low her resources were running, the supply never drained. And, now? Now, my older self, dealing with a physical handicap was not all that different. It was a supply of strength threatening to drain. It was depleted health mocking me with the thought that I couldn’t keep going, while all along, I couldn’t fail. Only quitters fail, and I was still moving. But, it was only a dream. Or something like that.
Sometimes, our dreams become so familiar that we tell ourselves it is only a dream. We know the routine. We sleep. The scenery appears from the past. The characters resurrect as if from the forgotten depths of slumber. Yes, we recognize the all too familiar in our dreams. And, we chalk them up to just an allusion from the past. But, what if? What if your dream is just waiting on you to wake up and read what you knew all along? Will you recognize God’s direction in a familiar dream?