It was a crazy night. Once again I had one of those dreams where I was reliving it all the abuse, the pain, the fear, the need to step in and protect my mom, and the anger that we had to live through this at all. The weird thing about it was that it wasn’t a fictional dream. It wasn’t a case of a late night snack gone wrong or movie that I shouldn’t of watched replaying in my head. I had lived this before. It was just a memory of a day gone by vividly replaying itself as I tried to sleep.
I woke up afterwards feeling shaken and angry. Yet, almost instantaneously, my thoughts changed as I realized this is not my life anymore. I survived. Almost immediately I started thinking God. As I looked at the day that I had planned ahead I realized how much He had done in our lives. The nightmare I had just relived during the night was over. It wasn’t happening anymore. My mom was now safe and living gloriously and pain-free with Jesus. Here on earth, God set my brother and I free and then miraculously changed our lives. As I woke up early that morning all I could do was praise God for what He had done. Because although that had been my life; it wasn’t my life anymore. The funny thing is this dream literally changed my perspective of the life I’m currently living. You see, the night before I had fallen asleep complaining to God about some of the struggles we're going through now. Because the truth is that no matter how good your life is there's always a struggle, there’s always adversity, there’s always things you have to face. And that night falling asleep I was actually being a little spoiled as I complained about some things that I just did not like and wanted changed in my life. And yet after that dream, I literally asked God to forgive me for my prayers the night before. Because the light and momentary affliction but I was facing in that moment was nothing compared to what God delivered me from. Remembering what God had done in our lives made me realize that our lives are truly good and sent me into a mode of praise and worship and thanking Him for all that He had done and all that He is doing. The truth is the nightmare that was supposed to keep me awake actually reminded me of how much I have to be grateful for. There’s an old song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
Remember your chains
Remember the prison that once held you
Before the love of God broke through
When you see where you are now
Remember your chains And remember your chains are gone And even though it’s a blast from the past it kept going through my head all that day. It reminded me that it’s important that we don’t always forget our past, but that from time to time we need to remember. And we shouldn't remember so we can live in guilt or anger or tied up and it’s knots. We remember so that we can be grateful for all that God has done. We need to remember our chains so that we can realize in this moment that are chains are gone.
And this causes us to praise. It reminds us that we can keep going to matter what we’re going through right now. It focuses our eyes off of our problems and onto the greatness of our God; and helps us share our testimony with others so they, too, can be set free from their chains. So while the truth is that I did not want to wake up early on that super busy day, and I definitely did not want to have that nightmare, it was actually a blessing because it changed my perspective. It reminded me of God‘s goodness and it helped me to face everything God is doing today and hope for even more in the future. It was the worst of dreams, but was actually the best of dreams because it help me to remember that my chains are gone.
If you would like to read more of my story and how you, too, can experience freedom in your life, read Finding Healing.