In the last several months I have been having this recurring “nightmare” in which I have lost something important or it has been stolen. Unfortunately it isn’t just a nightmare in my mind, I usually half wake up and begin physically searching my bedroom and out the windows for “it”. Sometimes it is some type of living thing that I failed to take care of. In my nightmare I know that if I only had “it” the things that were currently happening wouldn’t be. In the nightmare, there is never anything definite happening I just know that I don’t want what is happening to be happening and that I NEED to find it, to do something to correct what is going wrong. The times that the nightmare entails it being stolen are more intense, not only is there the panic that it is gone, but a fear of who or what stole this thing that I need and then a sadness that I can’t/ won’t ever be able to get it back, followed by a sick feeling that I should have done more to take care of it, to protect it, to have kept it from being stolen. Most days after the nightmare I have trouble shaking the feeling, my stomach doesn’t ever really settle and my nerves are a little edgy and at times, even in the light of day, I ask myself, how did I lose that thing? And I search my mind to find the clues that it is just a nightmare and there isn’t anything I can do to find the lost thing.
Last night was the worst one so far. It took me some time to awaken from my physical nightmare and even longer for me to settle once David was able to get me to fully wake up. I was looking for something, something I had lost, and something I really needed to find. The panic at the realization that it was lost was intense. I remember thinking that because I lost it and wasn’t sure how long it had been lost, though I felt it was probably a long time, it was going to be dead or nearly dead and maybe if I could find it quickly enough I could do something to save it. I have no idea what it was, although oddly I do remember at one point saying I was looking for a lizard although I knew as soon as I said it that it wasn’t a lizard and the realization that I didn’t really know what I was looking for began to set in. David is awake asking me what I am doing? I say to him, I am looking. For what? My thing. What? Don’t I have a thing? What am I doing? Do I have a thing? I can’t find it? I don’t know what I am doing. A different feeling begins to come over me as I begin to wake up more from the nightmare, I say out loud, am I losing my mind? I’m not sure if I am asking myself or David. I’m not sure what he said but I know his words began comforting me and finally I woke enough to know that there was no thing and this was the same nightmare I have been repeatedly experiencing. Still, I can’t help but feel that I need to find what I have lost, there is a lot that depends on it, even though I have no idea what it is or how I lost it, or what finding it will do. The panic sick feeling doesn’t leave, it won’t leave. And my mind races and searches, is there something that I lost, have I failed to take care of something, this all feels so real, it’s hard to convince myself it isn’t, and the thing seems to be just beyond me finding it, it seems to be just out of my reach, and even when fully awake, remembering all the times I have had this nightmare, I still have to fight the urge to get up and continue looking.
Last night I began to pray, Father, am I going crazy? What is this thing that haunts me in my sleep, this thing I panic about losing, desperately seek to find, this things that propels me out of my bed to search in the darkness? I hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me, it is your health. You feel you have lost your health and at times you feel it has been stolen from you. I want to cry from the truth of it. Yes, that is “it”. While awake I am brave in the face of this unnamed auto immune disorder, I trust God to guide me through, I will be just fine. But my mind, deep in my mind, in the depths of my heart, I fear the losing of my health and I am sad at the realization that it has been stolen and I cannot get it back. I feel there must be something I can do to get it back, hurry, quickly, before it’s too gone, just do something to stop what is happening to me. Did I do this to myself? Did I lose it somehow or was I irresponsible to let it be stolen? Yes, this nightmare makes sense in light of the lost “thing” being my health. The panic that I keep pushed down during the day finds a way to surface through my sleeping mind. Panic at what will happen now that I have lost this idea of my health. Today, will I function normal, today? When will the pain, fatigue, and brain fog, return. I know they are waiting. And they will return, they don’t ever actually leave, some days they are stronger and more overwhelming than others. When will I have to neglect my family, my friends, my job, my ministry, because my health has been lost, stolen? Father, I don’t want to feel this, I don’t want any of this. Take this all away. Ease my mind and my heart, not just today, but everyday.
I get up early. The sick feeling is so hard to get rid of. The memories of the nightmare are still intense and the sadness at what the nightmare represents is overwhelming to me. I know the Lord and I have a lot to wrestle through today.
I turn first to my In Jesus Name devotional which has been a powerful connector for the Lord and I during this last couple of months. He has spoken powerful, sustaining, truth and love to me during my time with Him through this devotional. I read these words, “Thank you that I can be fully confident of the outcome because you have given me Your heavenly strength.”** Everyday the devotional ends with this question, What is the Holy Spirit saying to me? This is what I heard this morning ~~” You are mine. I have you and nothing can or will separate us. Do not be afraid, there is nothing I can’t do. I am your shield and protector. Be strong and courageous. Do not stop. You are not down or out! I have plans for you, to prosper you, not to harm you. I can and will use you-all of you, for my kingdom, be faithful to me. Be present, be aware, be diligent and do not give up! I am your God and you can do all things through me- believe that and nothing else. I am the truth, the way and the Life! We are just getting started.~~
** Although I read and re-read the words written in the devotional several times, I just now saw that it actually says, strategy, not strength. I am thinking that God wanted me to see strength!
Next I do my Transformed devotional…The verse for the day is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (aren’t God’s confirmations wonderful) I’m not going to write the whole devotional here but it was ALL about living a life completely reliant upon God’s strength, not my own. That He wants me to be completely dependent upon Him for all of my needs and then it says He will not give me the energy I need for an entire year at once (which I REALLY want Him to do, or at least show me the stockpile He has waiting for me), he gives it to me as I have need for it, He will give it to me tomorrow, when I get there. “Move past discouragement and step out in faith, trusting God to give me all that I need for that day”
So here’s what I’ve been thinking, I haven’t lost anything, I have gained complete dependence upon my God, the One who is faithful, the One who can and will provide exceedingly and abundantly more that I can think or imagine. The One who can make a way where one seems lost, who promises His strength, new, everyday. In Him I will rest and seek and trust and I will stop looking for lost things that aren’t meant to be found.