So this morning I woke up two hours too early and spent the first fifteen minutes of the day crying because of a nightmare. I knew the instant I opened my eyes that it wasn’t real, that it was just a dream, that some parts of it were impossible, ridiculous, even comical, but I couldn’t shake the intense emotion that I felt, so I just sat there and sobbed.
I’m not going to tell you here what my dream was about, because it’s not important. What I would like to remember from this is what happened during the rest of my morning, as well as what happened the Thursday morning exactly a week ago. I was still having difficulty shaking the dream off my shoulders even after I showered and started my laundry, so thankfully I got a message from H asking me to come to Bible study if I could. At the end of our study, I told her about my morning and was incredibly encouraged by what she said to me. Basically, she told me not to fear, and that this was a great thing, because it means that I have been getting so close to God and learning so much from Him that the devil is afraid; he can’t think of anything but a silly dream to try and bring me down! Imagine that; God has been so real in my life lately that the devil can only resort to scaring me through the unreal wanderings of my sleeping mind!
I pray for God’s protection over even that though, and in his name I banish the devil from all of my thoughts, conscious and unconscious. Jesus has the ultimate power and the devil has no place in my dreams or in my thoughts or mood throughout the day. Amen.
Leaving Bible study feeling more or less empowered, and praying on my way back to Forbes to save my laundry from shriveling in the wash, I was touched again by the bits of blue and sunshine peeping through the clouds. Right now it’s cloudy again, but this morning was the first time I’ve seen the sky at all since last Thursday morning, when God blessed me so much by speaking to me through the sky (as he so often likes to do!).
I woke up at 6:00 AM last Thursday for the express purpose of going to see Venus in the early morning sky, just before the sunrise. This was one of the things we could do in my astronomy class for credit, but that had never been enough motivation for me to crawl out of bed in the dark during the semester. It was, however, something I’d always been interested in doing, so with the blessing of my fresh jetlag, and having confirmed the times with my professor on Wednesday afternoon after turning in my final problem set, I marched out of Forbes and headed towards Poe Field, where the Moon, Venus, and the Sun were supposed to be rising, all in the same direction.
Long story short, I was incredibly blessed by the sight of the moon, which was so thin and elegantly white, the sparkling Venus just to its right, and the sun spreading its bright red-orange glow all across the horizon to send away the night. (I couldn’t help it, there were too many opportunities to rhyme.) I stayed there for an hour by myself, but really not by myself because I was talking to God. I started out just marveling at the beauty of his creation, but at one point I sat down and just asked him for direction, “any direction at all!” It was something I’d been thinking about quite a bit since break, and I didn’t have any specific questions, just the one request, “God, please give me some direction!”
As the sun appeared over the treetops at 7:21, actually one minute before expected, I felt God saying to me, so clearly, “See, you knew that the sun was going to rise this morning, and so you sat here and patiently waited and watched for an entire hour, facing only this direction.” And it was true, I had done that, hardly daring to turn away or walk anywhere else because I didn’t want to miss any part of the fabulous light show in front of me. And God said, “Look, the sun is rising now, isn’t it spectacular? Remember that I am greater even than the sun. I have created the sun and the moon and the stars in the sky and I make them rise day and night; you have been blessed by the light warming your bedroom each morning and the stars that walk you home each night. Trust me then, and in your life, all you have to do is face me. Look in my direction. It is the only direction that you need. And I will surely come, and it will be even more glorious and wonderful than the sunrise.”
It would not be exaggerating to say that in that moment my heart was filled with jubilation, and I was bursting with joy and amazement by the way that God had spoken to me. I hadn’t really expected an answer so soon, and in spoken in such fantastic love. I stayed a little longer, until the sun was so bright that I couldn’t keep my eyes fixed on the horizon anymore, then walked back to Forbes for breakfast, saying good morning to a couple of squirrels along the way (I was that happy. Just kidding, I talk to squirrels normally too.)
I know that that morning was God’s special blessing to me, because for the rest of the week (and even now) it was rainy, misty, or cloudy, and basically much too gloomy to see anything in the sky or to ever desire to go outside at all, so that was the only possible day I could have gotten up to see Venus or the sunrise (as by now I am way over my jetlag and the DD deadline for AST observation credit is past), and God made it happen! In the end it was a perfect combination of things that I never could’ve imagined (but God did) as blessings, such as: my food poisoning, which resulted in postponing my flight back to school, an astro problem set that I dreaded being due right after my French final, and jetlag. Well, okay, I typically enjoy having jetlag, but that is besides the point.
So today, despite having started off by feeling attacked and incredibly upset, I now know that God can redeem the worst and use it to remind me of his blessing and protection over my life. I am unspeakably grateful.
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.