Unpacking My Heart

My dreams this week have been unlike any I can remember. Like folders neatly stored in a box, they have come in simple succession. Each contained a small bit of history or a memory long forgotten, and each was very pleasant. I’ve dealt with recurring nightmares that contained trauma too difficult for daylight, but these mundane little memories were simple scenes that left me wondering what to make of them. God used a tapestry to remind me to enjoy each and not ponder hidden meanings.

I overthink, overlove, overeat, and overdo; so God’s message made me smile as I enjoyed the memories the dreams brought to the surface. There are many opinions when it comes to the meaning of our dreaming, but I agree with the notion they are meant to help us heal and move forward.

“In the 1980’s, Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift took the work of Ann Faraday and further explored the relationship between images produced in dreams and the dreamer’s waking life. Their books identified patterns in dreaming, and ways of analyzing dreams to explore life changes, with particular emphasis on moving toward healing and wholeness.” (Wikipedia)

I’m not an expert when it comes to dream interpretation, but I have found great healing in dealing with recurring nightmares in the past, and I am finding sweet solace in the simple dreams of the past week. When I downsized before moving, I had to go through the painful process of letting go of things that were dear to me. It wasn’t an easy process, but the results have been amazing. I am moving forward, unencumbered and free.

I found healing and wholeness packing and unpacking all those boxes, and the simple dreams this week have unpacked my heart in the same manner. My sister, Ann, made a tapestry for me years ago that I have above my desk. It reads:

“We shared many secrets,

the same Mom and Dad.

We shared lots of good times.

Don’t think of the bad.

Our memories we’ll cherish

with love without end.

I’m glad you’re my Sister.

I’m glad you’re my Friend.”

When I woke wondering about the deeper meaning of the simple dreams, I saw the tapestry and smiled. I needed to remember the good times, the simple times, the everyday and ordinary times. My heart has been deeply hurt by bad times and and shared secrets, but it is by good times and shared memories. God’s lesson for me this morning was to unpack those memories and savor each one.

When I got to the bottom of my heart, I found love expressed in thousands of moments which came to the surface in simple dreams. It was nice to unpack each, smile, and remember to focus upon the good times instead of the bad. I’ve allowed nightmares to define me, but God sent a new image with a series of sweet, simple dreams that paint a much more accurate picture of my heart.

Unpacking My Heart

Remember When?

At worship on Sunday morning, I was asked to remember the time I first fell in love with Christ. My heart immediately went back to April 17th, 1964. I understood that Christ loved me enough to die for me, and wanted to love Him back with all of my heart. My journey took me away from His precious love for a long time, and I recalled that dark time as well yesterday as I found myself unable to pray or write. It was a terrible state very like hell. Hell is separation from God, and I had a bitter taste of that yesterday as I wallowed and whined in my own self pity.

I’m thankful my separation from God was only for a day, and I thank Him for reminding me of the time when we first fell in love. I found myself thinking of other times I had fallen in love. There were three, but I could only recall specific moments and dates for one. I know that’s because I’ve only experienced true love once. The memories brought both sadness and joy. I loved reliving those sweet moments of finding love, but my heart filled with excruciating pain as I thought of losing it. It was a taste of hell just as the love had been a taste of heaven. I don’t know if I will ever find true love again. I’m not sure if I can have that level of love more than once in this life. I am positive I don’t want my heart to go through that level of pain ever again, but I know God will help me sort it all out.

At the end of the service on Sunday, the invitation was to think again about that time I fell in love and accepted Christ’s love as my own. I do remember when, and I thank God that I have His love forever. Recalling the pain of losing love was a sobering reminder that I am the only one who can end my relationship with Christ. I know I can turn from Him because I’ve done that before, and I do not plan to ever do that again. My day away from Him yesterday was interminable as I found myself back in that terrible desert of separation.

God taught a beautiful lesson and brought much healing with the simple exercise of remembering when. Remembering when I met and fell in love with Him put all things into perspective. I marvel at how He gave me just what I needed just when I needed it. His love transcends and transforms in ways I cannot begin to understand, but I truly appreciate that love and the love He allowed me to experience while on this journey. There is joy as I remember my salvation, and that is beautiful hope in Psalm 51. I wasn’t surprised when He placed that particular psalm in my path this morning.

Hear God’s love and healing in verses 10-12. I pray I will have a willing and obedient spirit as His love leads me in His direction.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence 
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
 And sustain me with a willing spirit.”NASB