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18 October

Recurring Dreams

My daughter and I were recently discussing recurring dreams that mess with our sleep. She’s had a dream three times and is relieved to wake up and realize it isn’t true.  As we talked about them I understood the three dreams I live while asleep reveal something deeper than I imagined.

The first dream involves driving in reverse. I hate reverse. My husband likes to back up across the church parking lot just to play, but it feels like I’m on a roller coaster. I tend to avoid anything that moves without my controlling it, so driving backwards is not my idea of a fun time. In my dream I’m driving in reverse and the car is out of control, spinning all over the place. No matter what I do I can’t fix it. I haven’t had this dream in a few years, and looking back I can see that parts of my life were out of my control. Things have since fallen into place and my dreams no longer involve reverse.

The second dream is one I haven’t had in almost a decade. In this dream I’ve got something in my mouth and can’t get it out. It’s the texture of the wax lips I used to chew on as a child, and it’s in big lumps and tiny slivers. No matter how much I try to empty my mouth of it, there is still more. This dream is an easy one to unwrap. It means I have something to say and can’t get the words out. I know the reason I don’t have this one anymore is because I’ve found my voice and the confidence to say what needs to be spoken. Fear of being ridiculed has vanished each time I speak where I would have once cowered.

The final dream is one I still have on occasion. I arrive at church to a full parking lot and have to park on the grass or the street. Once inside I find there is nowhere for me to sit. Every seat is full. As the pastor’s wife I have given myself an unassigned assigned seat: the first row second seat in from the left. It’s my spot. In my dream I’ve had to stand in the back or sit on stage with the choir (Choir? We don’t have a choir!) The more I thought about this dream, I realized it’s about my insecurity of not knowing my place or not knowing where I fit in as the pastor’s wife. Am I just another member of the congregation or am I a leader?

How many of us have felt this way? I am not someone who likes to be fussed over or have all eyes on me. Early in our adult ministry I entered church one morning with a new haircut. There was a collective gasp from the congregation and whispers of, “Suzanne got her hair cut.” It was enough to make me want to turn around and go home. I’ve faked my way through many a Sunday morning. But God has bigger plans and ideas, and sometimes they involve being uncomfortable. I’ve learned He is trustworthy and faithful. Even when I am apprehensive He will take care of me.

We can always trust Him with every part of our lives. Even when all eyes are on us.

About the Author:

Suzanne Schaffer has been in full-time ministry with her husband Wayne since 1992, pastoring in Pennsylvania and Illinois. She has two grown children and spends most of her days either writing or reading with a cup of tea close by. She enjoys attending auctions and sometimes brings home more stuff than she knows what to do with. She believes life is too short for mediocre food and insists on having good chocolate in the house at all times. You can connect with Suzanne at her blog, www.notenoughchocolate.blogspot.com

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