I’ve witnessed a lot of heavy situations lately. People all around me are experiencing tragedy, loss and illness. As a result, I’ve been having some stressful dreams, and it’s gotten me thinking about the surreal and strange nature of our dream lives. The idea that we have different levels of consciousness has always fascinated me. I used to think that if I had gone into medicine, I would have wanted to be an anesthesiologist. Ultimately, I decided the malpractice insurance would be too expensive and went a different route. I joke. In the Bible, we see examples of God speaking to various people through dreams. I believe that the Holy Spirit still does this today, even if the message isn’t always clear. Once, my mom had a dream that a friend of ours from church lost his job. Random. She told him about it the next time she saw him, and it turns out he had lost his job just a couple of days before. Some close family friends lost their son in a car accident when he was in his early twenties. It was heart-wrenching and tragic. His mom had a dream about him a few weeks after the accident and woke up feeling an overwhelming sense of peace. She knew from that moment that they would be okay and that he was okay.
When I was younger, I had a dream about exploring a rambling, stark white mansion that was abandoned with a few friends. I felt like I couldn’t breathe as I walked from room to room, lest I disturb the perfect, pure whiteness. Some time later, in high school, I had the dream sequel. This time I was with my family, and we were driving in a torrential rainstorm at night. The headlights landed on a sign for a B&B, and I saw the outline of a mansion looming beyond it. We drove up and entered through the massive front door, and I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. Walking through the grand old place, now so dilapidated, stirred up memories of childhood and an underlying sadness that my family didn’t understand. They didn’t know that I had been there before. I climbed the winding staircase and found myself standing on a large balcony off of a guest room with my mom, overlooking a garden. I had the sense that someone had experienced a violent end here. The house was no longer pure and white. Death had turned it brown and red and grey. You could draw all kinds of symbolic conclusions here, couldn’t you?
When Bryan and I were dating long-distance, something amazing happened. We relied heavily on the internet to communicate with each other in those days. Sometimes the internet at one of our locations would get sketchy, and it was very frustrating. One such evening, Bryan was having issues with his home connection and decided to take a bus to the local McDonald’s to talk with me from their internet cafe on his laptop. Side note: McDonald’s in Costa Rica is super fancy and classy. It’s a little strange. Anyway, he logged on and told me where he was, and I started to worry. It was late there, and it’s not particularly safe to travel on a bus with a laptop at night. We talked for a few minutes, and then I urged him to go, thinking that the earlier he traveled home the less chance there was for danger. I went to sleep that night worrying about him, and I had I dream. I was standing in a McDonald’s parking lot next to a busy road. On the other side of the road was a thickly forested area. Bryan’s dad, who was killed long before I had a chance to know him, stood in front a parked car, close to the tree line. Our eyes were locked across the distance, and I knew (the way you can know things in dreams) that he knew who I was. He looked young and strong and his eyes were serene though he wasn’t smiling. His expression seemed to offer approval. I woke up with tears in my eyes. It was intense. I didn’t want to upset Bryan–he still misses his dad so much. I also wasn’t sure what he would think about me having such a vivid dream about this man that’s so important to him but I had never met. It seemed too intimate. We had only been dating for a few months. So I didn’t tell him.
A few days later–less than a week–he mentioned out of the blue that he had dreamed about his dad recently. He said that in his dream he went into his sister’s room, and his dad was sitting on the bed…holding a baby girl…our baby girl. She had green eyes like Bryan’s dad, and he was so happy holding her. I wasn’t in the dream, but he said that he knew the baby was ours. My first thought was, “Woah! You’re dreaming about having children with me?! “ I was both alarmed and pleased as I pondered this. Then I jolted back to the present. “Wait! What night did you have this dream?” It was the same night. Of course it was. So I told Bryan about my dream, and we sat in mutual, shocked silence for a few holy seconds.