Dream: Party in the Backyard

The church was having some sort of summertime party in TM’s backyard. We weren’t necessarily expecting her to be there, but she showed up while it was going on, but in her pajamas. We passed out this awesome looking chocolate and bright colored cake. TM took a piece, but instead of eating it then, she put it in a clear to-go box.

Backyard = In the past; behind you; memory
Pajamas = not prepared?
Cake = divine food

Dream: Check and Wading Pool

I was wheeled into a hospital on a stretcher and pulled my head up to look at medical staff wondering if they were actually going to be able to treat me because of my insurance or money or something. Later I was with my mom and she handed me a check from the P’s who she was friends with in the dream (who are actually people Andy and I know) to cover the medical bill. I looked down at the check and it was written out for something in the thousands starting with three ones ($111x). I just don’t remember the last number.

From there it went to another scene where we went to some type of water park with my parents. We were in like a wading pool and when I looked over to my parents, my mom was hugging my dad. He was kind of sitting in the water and my mom was standing over him a little wearing a bathing suit that was silky black with a short skirt and open in the back.

Dream: Restaurant

4/21/10 – I had a shorter dream that I was being trained to work in a fast food type of restaurant and was going through all of my duties with the lady training me. I didn’t notice any colors or other details, so this doesn’t seem like one with any significance, but it just happened very closely to 2 other strange dreams I just had, so maybe they are connected somehow.

Dream: Hotel Panthers

4/19/10 – Andy and I were staying at a hotel for the night for some reason. We had this big glass globe in the car with 4 types of exotic cats on it. The only one I know of for sure was a panther. I think we had to pick it up from the hotel we were going to stay at for the night in order to get into the hotel. So I think we checked in and then went over to this other hotel for whatever reason. While we walked around a little I started recognizing people there and realized there was some type of Messianic conference going on. When we left and went to our hotel, I was getting out of Andy’s car and went to pick up the globe when the panther leaped off of it and started coming towards me. I heard Pastor Michelle in the background like I was replaying a message she preached or something and then I started cursing or rebuking the panther.

Hotel = Temporary
Panther = High level witchcraft

Dream: Parents’ House

4/18/10 – The first of 3 consecutive dreams took place in my parents’ house. It started off with me and Lauren sitting on the floor in the dining/living room area. A guy walked by us who I didn’t know (he looked like a Hispanic guy we used to know in an old ministry) and I was confused why he was at my parents’ house. As he passed us, he acted as if he was getting slain in the Spirit. I asked my mom what was up with him and she explained to me what his issue was. I had Hadassah laying on a blanket on the floor in front of me when suddenly her head fell off. (It was attached to her body by just a big blood vessel or artery, no neck or bones or anything.) I freaked out and got really upset, but being a mom, Lauren knew what to do and just picked up her head and pressed it back onto her body and everything was fine. Then I went upstairs to my old room which I was living in in the dream. I expected it to be pretty messy with clothes lying on the floor, but I looked in the closet and everything was hung up, but kind of in a weird way. I noticed a very short, ruffly skirt that’s not something I would wear in real life, but it was mine in the dream and it was hung up on a shirt hanger. It took me a minute and then I realized the guy who was at my parents’ house was the one who hung my clothes up. That’s all I remember.

Please Pray: Upcomming Wedding

We are now less than 20 days till Arielle and I get hitched (as the folks back home say).

Pray for God’s guarding angels to protect all those who are driving or flying down to the wedding. 

Pray for God’s favor as Arielle and I wrap up the last minute things that need to be done, that things go smoothly and at a good discounted price.

We know that the enemy will try to take this time of celebration to a time of fustration. I bind up the enemy and his plans and tell him to get out of here in the name of Jesus’ my rock and my salvation! 

I pray that God will bless all those involved in the planning, all of those who are spending time and or money to help us get things in order, and all of those attending this blessed event.

Arielle and I appreciate all of your prayers, and hopefully we’ll get to see you at the wedding!

My Journey pt 6: A brave new world.

So often we buy into the view that our inner self (thoughts, feelings, and will) is just the mind, but that view of your inner self is so very wrong. And anyone who has experienced loss can tell you that the mind and the heart are not just two different organs, they are almost two different beings, but really they two different ways of interacting with the world. Through that heart we feel for one another, love one another, but the mind is all logical, at times cold and ruthlessly calculating.

But after the loss of a loved one you can feel the three go there seperate directions, the mind is numb, the heart aches, and the soul is almost drunk at the wheel (not literally). This may not be an entirely accurate, but I wanted to capture my state after my dad passed away. I was broken, not physically, but in pretty much every other way. My usual stoic self couldn’t handle my new reality.

I remember driving my mom home from the hospital, we talked a bit, tried to put into words what had just happened, and how we felt about it. But I wasn’t really there. My mind was numb not just then, but for days after. What went on around me seemed like a dream that I was unable to wake from. When I was able to feel again, all I could feel was a dull ache where my heart used to be, and that ache reached into depths of who I was. My mind knew that my Dad was in a better place, that his pain and suffering was all gone, replaced with endless joy. It comforted me knowing and believing that when I see him again, it will be tears of joy, instead of the kind tears shed at the hospital. But my heart didn’t seem to grasp the concept. It ached, it cried, it was broken, it had a giant hole right in the middle and no amount of knowing something was going to fix it. Only time and God’s gentle touch seem to be the cure.

People often wonder how someone makes it through those tough times, and while I could offer you all the Church answers possible, but the simple truth is that the support of friends and family make the going much easier to bear. The out pouring of love on my family was amazing. The next day friends came over and cleaned my Mom’s house from top to bottom. Food overflowed from my mom’s refrigerator, and I don’t think it stopped coming in till weeks after. Friends and family called, flew in, or drove in, some we hadn’t seen in years, to be with us (physically or in spirit) during an extremely rough time. One thing that really blew our minds were the financial gifts, people and congregations we hardly knew were such an amazing blessing to our family by giving money, it was truly awesome to watch God provide for us. When the distraction of friends and family finally ends, and where the rubber meets the road that’s where you will find God most, because that’s when you will need him most. Don’t get me wrong, God is in your friends visiting, bringing you food, or caring for you in other ways. But most of us are to wrapped up in our own things to notice God’s subtle touch. It’s not till all that is gone do we really seek God and our real healing begins.

For me personally, I turned to my angel, Arielle, for comfort and support. At first we didn’t talk much about feelings or try to work through the issues I was dealing, we more chit chatted about what was going, the real and tangible things that are easy to talk about (weather, funerals, you know). Eventually Arielle asked more detailed questions and as I struggled to answer them, I would work out how I felt. Arielle was amazingly patient and would listen to me ramble on and on about some weird storied I had to tell or just stay by the phone and listen when i didn’t have anything to say at all. In many ways I think having Arielle there to support me really made those early months much more easy to bear. 

Things get easier as time moves on, that doesn’t mean I don’t think about my dad, in fact I don’t think there’s a day that goes by where I don’t think about him. Penn State scores just about move me to tears (I’m not sure if a win or a lose is worse). And ask Arielle how many times I’ve told her, my dad used to do this, or my dad used to love that. I’m sure she’ll never get sick of hearing about him, but I’m sure my kids will. I used to think it weird when my dad would drive us to see where he played football as a kid, but I think I’m starting to understand, why we were out there and what he was trying to tell us. It’s just to late for us to enjoy the understanding together.

As my head and heart started to get back in sync, I realized a few things. First that my time on this world is short, so I better start living my life, here in the real world. From Jan 2008 to now I’ve been free of the chains called World of Warcraft and Pornography. Second I realized I better get right with God (Thanks to Arielle’s encouraging). I had lived with this idea of me coming back to the Lord when I was good and ready for too long (I was really pushing my luck). I started reading several books Desire by John Eldredge, Driven by Eternity (Thanks to Arielle), and a technical vb.net book. All three books were instrumental in preparing me for the months ahead. There are no coincides with God. The book Desire, was God’s first steps towards a true healing of my still aching heart. In it John describes what he went through after the death of his best friend, of course his situation didn’t match mine exactly, but the main point God was trying to get a acoss to me were still valid. The book Driven By Eternity was God’s next step, God used it to paint a very vivid picture in my mind of where my dad was at and how happy he is and forever will be. The peace that came to my heart after reading those books is really undescribable.

It was during this period of time that my 25th birthday fell. And on a whim (so I thought), I decided to take the day off from work and drive a lot of miles, to be exact, to see Arielle and to hang out with the girl of my dreams. I had had a crush on her for a very long time. At the time though I just needed to get away from where I was at, away the pain that still lingered, away from the big empty hole at the family birthday party, and away from the rut that had become my life. And while my stay here in FL that time was temporary, it was the foundation for something God had been planning for my life, for a very long time.

A Lifetime of Love

It’s been a little less than six months since I moved to Florida, but I feel like those months could easily have been a lifetime. Sometimes I find it hard to even remember the name of the town I used to live in, or remember the faces of my old friends. Those memories haven’t been wiped away, but new wonderful memories have been laid over top. Memories of new friends, new places to live and work, memories of an amazing new love of my life, and the return of an old love of my life to His rightful place in my heart.

There were times in my past when all I would do is dwell on the things of the past, old friends, old mistakes, or spend time wishing for a better life. But now I’m focused on the future, my regrets have been wiped away by hope and love. No longer am I haunted by the things I wish I had done, but rather I’m overjoyed by the thought of the things to come. God has blessed  me in a mighty way. He used pain and sorrow to get me out of a rut, out of a life headed no where, and into a life of love. If these last months have been a lifetime, then I look forward to a new lifetime,  a married life, full of joy and love.

I’m not naive, I know there will be tough times ahead. But I know, that through it all He will be there. At the end of the race we will look back, and not see the fights, saddness, or loss, no the good times will out way the bad. And we will see that even in the midst of the rough times God’s hand was there all along taking care of us, guiding us along the path.

I love you Arielle.