My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise my love, my fair one, and come away … ” Song of Solomon 2:10
This is part 2 of a 3-part story that started last week. (Those of you who like my “dream sequences,” enjoy. This one is one of the best I can remember ever having.)
I didn’t want the surgery to be before our yearly trip to Florida in February, fearing that something might go wrong and ruin the family vacation. So I scheduled it for mid March. While in Florida I sang my heart out in the little gazebo by the pond, not knowing if I’d ever get the chance to do it again in this life. In fact, I sang at every opportunity; if I had ever taken singing for granted in the past, I wasn’t doing it now. If and when I woke up in recovery with a voice, I would thank God, but if I woke up silent, I would be as prepared as I could be. And I vowed I would still thank Him.
While we were in Florida I had a very vivid dream that I remembered in detail when I woke up:
I was traveling north with my family. I’m not sure where we were going, but we were starting out in Michigan, so I knew it was going to be NORTH. At the airport as we were going through security, I had to surrender my wallet containing all my money, driver’s license, and credit cards; my keys, my cell phone, and finally all my jewelry. (In other words: my identification, transportation, communication, and …decoration. Pretty much everything.) When I arrived at the destination, it was extremely cold, dark, barren, and lonely. I went through the gate, expecting to see my family and get all my stuff back. But I was alone, except for one person, who told me I couldn’t get anything back, except one piece of jewelry, “as long as it looks like this.” She showed me a grainy black and white picture of a necklace that I recognized. It was my Valentine’s necklace – a silver chain with a big, red, heart-shaped bead in the middle. I said, “Yes, that’s mine,” taking back the one thing that was being returned. I walked on alone, unable to find my family. The further I went, the darker, colder, and lonelier I felt. I questioned what I was doing in such a barren place, so far from anyone or anything that mattered to me.
Suddenly I looked up to see a sight that contrasted with everything else I had seen in that place so far. It was the most magnificent display of the Northern Lights I had ever seen – bright, shimmering, multicolored lights, swirling across the sky in a perfectly choreographed dance.
Of course, when I see something that beautiful, my first impulse is to turn to the nearest person and cry, “Look at that! Isn’t it gorgeous?!” But as I looked around, seeing no one, I realized I had to enjoy this sight alone. Then it occurred to me … I get to enjoy this sight alone! Could it be that God created this beautiful display just for me and no one else? Was I that important to Him? Although the place was still cold and barren, the shiver I got was not from the chilly air. It was sense of being exquisitely privileged to have a private showing of one of God’s masterpieces, and feeling Him close to me, even in the absence of every other friend or loved one. Being in a seemingly God-forsaken place I was anything but God-forsaken. I had moved to a place of intimacy with Him that was priceless. And I thanked Him.
When I woke up, I contemplated the meaning of the dream, and with God’s help, here’s what I came up with:
The cold, dark, lonely place was much like my college experience of having no voice, and I think it was significant that no one else had come – or could come – there with me. It involved letting go of everything that given me the illusion of self sufficiency, and the only thing I was given back was that necklace. But what was the significance of the necklace, and why was it the one thing I was given back?
I had taken a class in biblical dream interpretation at my former church, and we had learned that different colors could have different meanings. Silver, the color of the chain, symbolized redemption. Red, the color of blood, often represented sacrifice, and I realized with some trepidation that the one “gift” I may be given is the experience of sacrificing something dear to me – my voice. The bead on the necklace was in the shape of a heart, which to me of course represented love (my love for God, or my love for my own voice?). Whenever I wore the necklace, the heart hung close to my own heart. It also hung close to my voice box.
But then there were the Northern Lights… I had found in my experience at college that being unable to talk to my friends had resulted in my talking more to the only One who could “hear” me, and my finding that intimacy with Him that is so precious, yet so overlooked when I get busy with friends. I wondered if God had a wonderful new plan for my life that He was communicating to me – only to me.
I decided (again) to trust Him.
… To be Continued …