I remember my first nightmare. I was just a child and I was sitting in an empty park, on a bench, waiting for my mom to come find me. It was beginning to get dark and I was becoming very afraid. I heard something behind me and I looked under the bench to find a terrifying rabid skunk. Since then, the nightmares have progressed to much darker things, but it's the uplifting, guiding and spiritual dreaming that makes up for my nights of sweating in fear. My whole life I have experienced vivid dreaming, dreams that feel as if they are coming from somewhere deeper, trying to get my attention to tell me something. I think most people can attest that there is a sort of divine intervention among us, for me I know it by the name of God. I personally believe that God, or whatever name you know the divine presence by speaks to people in a way that will best reach them. For me, it is often through my dreams.
There was a few year time period where I was utterly lost. I was going through typical late teen shenanigans but also my parents divorced, and my religious beliefs were all over the map. I was raised with one religion but received heartbreaking criticism from people dear to me that had me questioning literally everything about myself and my future. I was scared and just wanted so so badly to have the truth and feel confident that I was doing the right things. So, I set out to find truth. I church hunted for a year or so, talking with different leaders and members of denominations, joining classes, asking friends, asking family and I found myself deeper into the well of confusion. I cared so much for every person and service I attended. I found truth everywhere I looked but I also found much contradiction. I felt pressure by people that I needed to join this church or that church to be "saved" or if I go to that church you will be damned. It was eating me up. I was so worried and trying desperately to please everyone that I realized I was defeating the whole purpose of my journey to discover my beliefs. I reminded myself that church, religion, all those things are supposed to be a positive thing in my life. And even bigger, I realized I was looking everywhere for my answers but up. I had prayed many many times before for answers but after "amen" I didn't stop to listen. I kept running circles with my own thoughts instead of listening for His. There was one night in particular, right after graduating college that my future was weighing extra heavy on my mind. I was fed up with being lost and wanted to know exactly what I needed to do to begin my next chapter. So I prayed through tears one last time, with open ears, asking for truth and guidance. I fell asleep quickly and had the dream that changed everything. Here is the entry from my journal:
June 14, 2012
I was in a foreign country, nothing was familiar, I didn't know the language and I had no idea where I was going. I was scared. I spotted a small house on the top of a hill and ran to it. All the doors were open, there was light pouring in. I made my way through the hallway until I found the room furthest in the back. There was a bed and I ran to it, climbing on. I put the covers over my head. I prayed asking "Lord, what is my purpose here?" He spoke to me in the warmest, biggest voice. He said he wants me "to serve him and to serve others".
And that was it. That was everything. I woke up a new person. It just all clicked. I had spent months and months trying to figure out every tiny detail of what was right when really it was all so simple. All I needed to do was to serve God and serve His children to be happy, to be okay, to be in the truth. I can't even express the release I felt. It was like all the pain and burdens I had been carrying on my back had been lifted. I could love without worry. I just knew everything would be okay. And it was, and still is, and it will be as long as I live my life by those few but powerful worlds in my dream.
This is my personal testimony. It may seem strange or crazy but for me it is real. I may not figure everything out in this lifetime, I may be doing things wrong, but if I strive my hardest to live life as Christ has taught us, has taught me, I will find happiness and hopefully bring happiness to others, the forever kind.