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I’m standing in middle of nowhere, looking out over flat, dry land.  I wonder if maybe I am in Mexico or Texas.  Everything is brown, dried up and withered with an occasional sagebrush here and there.  Behind me is a Spanish-style ranch, several square, stucco buildings with arched doorways and flat roofs. A fire is coming towards me across the high desert.  It’s an unusual fire though, advancing slow and steady with a low, low flame and no smoke.  Almost more like lava oozing forward than fire but it is most definitely fire that gradually devours the golden desert color, turning it into a flat black wasteland as far as the eye can see.

I turn to face the buildings and find that there are women and children nearby.  The adults see the fire and their faces reflect some sort of futile resignation.  They tell the children it’s time to go into the buildings but there is no urgency, no panic.  They seem to view the fire as an old and familiar foe, always present but never doing any damage and therefore not dangerous.  I attempt to help herd the children towards the buildings but there doesn’t seem to be much progress made by anyone.  No one speaks to me and I do not attempt conversation with them, I am an outsider.

The dream shifted and all of a sudden I am standing alone on top of one of the stucco buildings.  It is a typical flat roof with a short lip around the edge.  I can’t see the ground but the fire must be right at the base of the buildings because the intense heat is making everything shimmer although I do not feel hot.

I look out at the building across from me and watch the color and shape of the building rise in a heat-induced haze about five feet above the building and stay there, keeping the shape of the building in sharp yet translucent definition.  I am fascinated and know this is special so I keep watching.

After a period of time the lines of the building begin to blur and the stucco color begins to stream upwards.  The color changes from tan  to yellow and then is joined by orange and red so it looks like shimmering flames made of light reaching towards heaven.  It was breathtaking to watch.

I let go.

I had the sensation of holding on to a round, metal hand rail with both hands and choosing to let go but I was standing alone on the roof without anything to hold on to.

Immediately after choosing to let go I began to rise upwards with the colors.  I started rising as I was, in a standing position, but became aware that all of a sudden I was lying horizontally and still moving upwards.  It seemed strange to me but I quickly dismissed the thought because it was then I heard the singing.

It was the most beautiful music I have ever heard and I knew the voices singing with it were angels.  They were praising God and I opened my mouth and sang at the top of my lungs, joining in the song with the angels as I continued to rise upwards.  It was beyond words.  I felt awe, wonder and  joy and I was overwhelmed with peace.

Abruptly I noticed that there was something wrong with my voice, it sounded strange.  And then I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I just couldn’t get enough air.

I woke up and I was physically singing in my sleep!  My  voice was small and thin and I wasn’t getting enough air to breathe properly for singing – because I was wearing my CPAP mask.

I was so sad that I didn’t get to finish the song with the angels.  It was too glorious to describe and the melody and words did not stay with me but the peace did.  I went back to sleep knowing that I let go of something – and everything became better, beautiful and amazing.

Wow.  So now, according to my husband, my leaving this church against his will makes me like my mother.

My mother:

Who was so controlling and mentally/emotionally abusive that I never realized I could be my own person and not just an extension of her until I was in my 30’s.
Who never said a good word about sex, and then turned out to be quite promiscuous, a sex-a-holic, if you will.
Who attempted to destroy my marriage and my two brother’s marriages.
Who never told me I was pretty, smart or valuable until after I had graduated high school because she “didn’t want me to get a big head”.
Who accused 10 different men of sexually abusing either her, her children or grandchildren.
Who played no small part in the implosion of a small church she attended towards the end of her life.
Who left my 10-year-old sister alone with a man who raped and molested her while Mom was off playing  in Alaska as a traveling nurse for almost a year.

A very low blow.

He just wants me to “accept his authority” and go back to church with him.

I can’t do that.