My Psychedelic Dream, Jesus and R.E.M.
When I sit down to write a blog, it’s always at the prompting of Spirit (also called the Holy Spirit). These promptings don’t come in a constant stream every day but sporadically – maybe once a month or so. I was surprised when I felt the strong guidance to share a dream I had about 25 years ago. When it first came into my mind to write about it, I thought, “I have a few things to do this morning first, then I’ll sit down and write about it.” But then I felt a wave of disappointment at that notion. I knew I was being redirected and I knew I better pull up Microsoft Word and start typing. Somebody needs to read my story and more than likely, I have something to learn by sharing it.
When I was in my early 30’s I got pregnant for the first time. My husband and I were thrilled. It took a very long year to conceive. Things seemed to be going well and on track until a little over 2 months into the pregnancy. I miscarried at 10-1/2 weeks. It was devastating for me.
Mother’s Day came a week or two after the miscarriage. I had always loved the Sunday service on Mother’s Day at my church. Carnations would be handed out to all of the mothers and grandmothers, there was always a special cake and sermon about all that mother’s mean to us. So much love to go around on that day. Obviously, my loss had me at a disadvantage that year. I might not have even gone to the service that particular Mother’s Day but I played in the Hand Bell Choir and we were performing that morning. I’m pretty sure the ladies in the bell choir had all talked about how they were going to “handle” me (in a good way, of course) and what they might say to encourage me or downplay the obvious inequities for me that morning. God bless them for being aware of my pain but they, unfortunately, did a pretty miserable job of trying to downplay the situation. Ask anyone who has had a miscarriage and they will tell you that the worst part of the grief isn’t the loss but the things people say as they fumble through their awkwardness.
Anyway, I got through the church service, the performance and the well meaning but poorly thought thru conversations and went home to do a little painting on our fixer upper and forget about Mother’s Day altogether. As I was roller-ing paint on the hallway wall I broke down and cried. Everything I had held in in the course of the morning came pouring out. My husband held me as I sobbed. It had all worn me out and, still physically recovering from the miscarriage, I decided to lie down and take a nap… and that is when it happened. One crazy dream I will never be able to shake or forget.
The dream started in the living room of my childhood home. I was laying on the couch taking a nap when a wild storm rushed into the backyard. It wasn’t like any other storm I’d ever seen. There was neon flashes and swirls of electric light on the wind (which was blowing in huge gusts making the trees sway violently). It reminded me of some plugged in, neon version of a Vincent Van Gogh painting – being able to see the wind in strong brushstrokes of color. I was scared and that’s when my mother walked in the room. She shouted out at me to help her. The wind was so loud that even inside the house, she had to shout over it. The large garage door was open so we went out there to shut it and secure anything that was blowing around. I made my way to smaller, standard, outside door in the garage and as I touched the knob, electrical flashes ignited between my hand and the metal knob. There was no way to close the door.
By this time, the winds were roaring, and our confusion and fears were enormous but we still hadn’t secured the garage. In real life, we would have likely retreated to the basement to wait it all out but this dream was about to make a point that I have held onto to this day and it wasn’t going to be found in the basement.
My mother suggested I look around the side of the house to see if there was anything to gather up and get into the garage. As I went out of the garage and turned into the side yard, suddenly all became tranquil, quiet and peaceful - a lovely summer day. The winds were no longer howling, the neon swirls were gone and there was no evidence, in the side yard, that they had ever been there. I remember that I could hear the birds chirping and I could feel the sunshine on my face.
And that’s when I saw him.
In front of me was a man with his back to me who was talking to someone else. I couldn’t see the second person, but they chatted with the man briefly and then ran off. It seemed like they were running an errand for him. When he became aware that I was standing there (in my stunned silence), he turned around. My heart leapt and my spirit soared when he turned to me because I recognized him instantly. It was Jesus! His calm energy and knowing, peaceful demeanor were pervasive to my soul and I felt warmly welcomed into his presence. We walked a few steps toward each other and then he spoke.
“Karen,” he said, “I am the calm in the storm.”
I had a moment of total clarity and gratefulness upon hearing his words and, the message having been delivered, I immediately woke up.
I felt shocked and humbled having seen and spoken with the Son of God in my dreams. This was a first for me (it happened one more time but that is a story for another blog). How beautiful to be told that I wasn’t alone in my suffering and sorrow and I have a calm and All-Knowing Source to tap into… if only I would let it flow. If only I would open my faith…
I don’t think it’s an accident or coincidence (I don’t believe in coincidences) that I came across this recording (see below) this morning. It’s a beautiful performance of Everybody Hurts by REM and sung by an Irish priest. What really caught my attention was the silence, reverence and appreciation that could be felt and seen coming from the audience when he finished his song. So often on shows like Britain’s Got Talent, the audience will erupt before the song is even finished. But the depth and the reach of the singer’s sincerity had them sitting in silence, in contemplation, until the host of the show, Simon Cowell, pulled himself together and stood up to applaud. I believe this is where we can visibly see the effect of the healing power of God at work and the cognizance of recognizing not only the pain in ourselves and each other but our divinity, too. It was a beautiful moment. Click the photo to see for yourself.
We all hurt. But we are not alone. Never alone. Jesus told me He is the Calm In The Storm. I think I’ll capitalize those words because it’s important – imperative - to know. There have been many, many times His words echoed in my ears and the vision from my dream came roaring back into my psyche. Since that fateful Mother’s Day, I’ve divorced, raised two high functioning autistic kids on my own, endured the deaths of loved ones who left us way too soon and unexpectedly, walked through the purging and tower moments of an Awakening and Ascension - and those are just some of the really big moments that I can recall. There have been so many smaller scale circumstances I navigated where the reminder of my dream helped me refocus and calm down.
This dream of being directed to where I could find peace, came to me after having an idyllic childhood and enjoyable young adulthood that were about to give way to abuse, hard lessons in patience and deep pain. I believe I was being given direction in preparation for the hard times that were to come. God's timing is always incredible and meaningful.
Perhaps after reading my account, the picture I’ve created in your mind will help you through your tougher circumstances. I would consider that a blessing to my efforts of sharing my stories here on my blog. I will leave you with the poignant lyrics of Everybody Hurts.
"Everybody Hurts" by REM
When the day is long And the night, the night is yours alone When you're sure you've had enough Of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go 'Cause everybody cries And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong Now it's time to sing along When your day is night alone (Hold on, hold on) If you feel like letting go (Hold on) If you think you've had too much Of this life, well hang on
'Cause everybody hurts Take comfort in your friends Everybody hurts Don't throw your hand, oh no
Don't throw your hand If you feel like you're alone No, no, no, you are not alone
If you're on your own in this life The days and nights are long When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes Everybody cries And everybody hurts sometimes And everybody hurts sometimes
So hold on, hold on Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on Everybody hurts
No, no, no, no you are not alone
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