Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dreams and Weakness

I had a really terrible dream last night, the kind that wakes you up in horror and cold sweat. I dreamed that we were at someone else's house and that I found that Jkaile had fallen headfirst into a hole filled with water and that he was already dead when I pulled him out. In my dream, I just screamed and screamed...and at that point, I'm very grateful that I woke up to the realization that it was only a dream. I had disturbing dreams night before last as well...where over and over I found myself in various stages of undress in front of groups of people. :( I hate those kinds of dreams because the feelings of deep shame and embarrassment tend to carry over and plague me throughout the day.

And that got me to wondering about my dreams, because this is certainly not the first time that I've had these kinds of dreams! In fact, it seems to happen more often than not. :( I'm not one to be thinking that every dream has an interpretation, etc., but I wonder dreams are one of the Enemy's tactics to attack me when he knows that I am vulnerable? I wonder if he uses exactly these kinds of dreams because he knows that they are the kind that provoke the most negative emotions in me? I really don't know, but I would be willing to take a bet that he uses whatever he can to get me down!

So this morning, I'm taking "stock" of myself...I'm still feeling the effects of what was probably a mild case of bronchitis that I had a couple of weeks ago, so physically am still not doing so hot. Last week was hard for Miguel and I, we continue to struggle with ministry decisions and the effects it has on our relationship. We are still new to Mexico and while I believe that it's been a relatively "easy" transition (as easy as it can be, anyhow), this has still be a huge adjustment for our family. And Miguel is gone for a week to a seminar, so I am alone here with the kids. It's a struggle for me to care for them and to get enough rest so that I can be pleasant and loving and the Mom they need me to be (I confess to failing in that particular area yesterday!). And as I've thought about the past few weeks, my time with God has certainly suffered as I struggle to get into a regular routine and adjust to our new schedule.

A verse has come to mind often in the past couple of days, so I finally looked it up today so I could memorize it again...

But he said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake,
I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,
in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak,
then I am strong.
II Corinthians 12:8-10
I tend to just get really, really down on myself for my weaknesses and failures (self-contempt) and it's hard to think about delighting in them! But according to these verses, the more I recognize and admit my weaknesses, the more Christ's power can rest on me! Wow! What a comfort for me today! I so needed to hear that...


Ellie said...

Hi. I'm a mom of four, too. also married to someone of another ethnic/racial background.

Dreams. I hate those ones whose emotions spill over into the next day, weighing me down. But they are common. I find them more common when I am worried about things. Worried about my kids, about safety, anything.

Then there are some dreams God uses in my life... hard to explain since I also do not believe that all dreams are God talking. But there have been times I think God has used dreams to help me sort through emotions and feelings of events we are facing or things like that.

But I hate the scary dreams.

Praying for you, for peace, for rest. That verse about being strong through our weakness has been special to me recently, too.

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Hmmm...seems like we have a lot in common! Thank you for your prayers and your words, they are an encouragement. I have experienced peace this week and no more terrifying dreams, praise God! I definitely have more vivid and dramatic dreams when the stress/worry levels are up...the mind is a complex thing!

Ellie said...

hmm... yeah, and I have three boys and a girl, too. Only I had to wait until the end to have my girl! She's cute. She's different, but boy, is she tough with three older brothers! (She's also got the "can-manipulate-men" thing down pat already.)

Women of the Harvest Blogs said...

Hi Becky...Coffeegirl wanted me to contact you (she's away from the Internet right now) and let you know that she has placed you on her blog roll...she looks forward to seeing more of you on her blog and hopes that many new friends will come your way too. Blessings to you, Cindy Blomquist, Women of the Harvest.

Ruvin said...

Hey there,
I saw your site via the coffeegirl blog and was reading this most recent post. I have definitely had a lot more trouble with bad dreams and sleep disturbances periodically since being overseas. It seems like the Enemy likes to disturb our rest. I know a lot of other friends who have experienced the same things, usually during periods when the Father is doing significant things. So I guess, be encouraged that you are worth bothering with? At any rate, I'm glad you've been experiencing more peace this week!

Kara said...

I chose your blog at random from the coffee girl list. I have had scary dreams since I can remember. One night my husband said that he just thought it wasn't normal, and that he never had dreams like that, and he felt they were demonic. That seemed so right to me, because I felt that Satan really drug me down with those emotions through the whole day.

We started praying before bed, claiming our victory in Christ, and asking for His protection. And the dreams stopped. Amazing. But strange thing is that they do come back occasionally. My theory is that when I'm not walking in the light in some area of my life (usually overeating) then I'm giving Satan a foothold to affect my thoughts. So now I treat those dreams as wake up calls to ask God to reveal any sin in my life.

Now, I'm not a person who sees spiritual battle everywhere, but I am convinced that we need to be open to the biblical teaching about its reality. And even if God allows Satan to give me those evil dreams, it's a reminder from God that when I'm choosing to sin, I'm choosing the way of evil, violence and fear. And I'm grateful for Him getting my attention!

Please don't read this and think I mean that you're walking in sin! Of course I don't know your circumstances, and I think it's also very possible to have dreams produced out of plain old worry and stress! But I thought I'd share my experience.

I do believe that some dreams are sent from God, but I think that we know that upon reflection, asking what He's saying, and that it lines up with His will. I once dreamt that my sister (who isn't a believer) died and it wasn't scary, but really, really sad. I immediately knew that I was ignoring the reality of her eternal fate, and actually hoping that my faith was wrong! It spurred me to start talking with her about spiritual things again.

By the way, I'm home alone with my three kids this week, and the last two nights I've had those nightmares. So if you have a chance, you can pray for me as well!

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

I really enjoyed your comments, Ruvin and Kara, and the insights you have had regarding dreams...yeah, it's probably hard to pinpoint exact causes of dreams, but I definitely relate to what you've said...stress, worry, sin, all those things! Things we all deal with on a regular basis! I praise God that my dreams have been of the regular sort lately...and I like the idea of committing my sleep to God each night...