For the past 2 weeks I have been consistently waking around 3am soaking in sweat. Night sweats? My nights have turned into the routine of waking, changing, lamenting, and then attempting to go back to sleep. It is exhausting and worrisome and of course I am jumping to horrid conclusions about my heart condition. The poor heart condition gets blamed for everything. I get a cold, it's my heart. I have a head ache, it's my heart. My toe hurts, it's my heart.
A few nights ago I had a very comforting dream that none the less resulted in me waking to night sweats. In the dream I was standing in Mawmaw's kitchen, the whole family having gathered for some big feast, a celebration of some sorts and in walked PawPaw and my cousin Kody, both are whom dead. As I stood in the kitchen, eating from my plate, PawPaw and Kody meandered through the crowd and headed to the back bedroom. No one but me seemed to notice. I slowly put down my plate and began walking down the hall. I came to Pawpaw's old room, the door being shut I slowly opened it. Sitting on the corner of the bed was Pawpaw telling Kody what he wanted and did not want to be taken out of his old drawers. Kody, with a smile on his face and SUPER curly hair, was busy doing as he was told. Were they packing? Where were they headed? Where did they come from?
In the dream PawPaw explained to me that he was just picking up some stuff that he needed and that heaven is not at all like what he expected it to be. "It's not some sparkly magic fairy type place, Jessica. It's right here. It's all around you. Kody and I have just decided to move to a different town." Kody smiled and gave a nod. He didn't say much but he looked well rested and pretty tan. Had he been to the beach?
When I asked where they were moving to PawPaw said "Muhlenberg County."
When I told Roger, my husband, the dream the next morning he laughed and said "So paradise really is in Muhlenberg County!" Listen to this song to get the reference:
The dream had me laughing all day! It was as if God had given me a big hug and allowed me the comfort of knowing my loved ones were safe and HAPPY.
The next night I had another dream. In the dream Pawpaw came to me alone. In his hands was a Bible opened to the book of Psalms. He said to me, "This chapter is now my favorite." He pointed to Psalm 30. After your death you now have a favorite Psalm?
When I woke up I read the Psalm. And then I read it again, and again, and again.
I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken."
Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: "What is gained if I am silenced, If I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help."
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Think what you will of dreams and the ability of God to speak to His people through them, but I will believe. Those dreams brought me comfort. This road of grief is long. This road of grief is hard. Emotions come in like waves- some stronger than others. The whole lot of us is in the midst of unimaginable and indescribable pain.As one of my family members expressed to me, "Jessica, this is what hell is."
It has not yet been a year since this tragedy rocked our family. Each day brings different challenges to each of us. Each of us have been affected, and continue to be affected by this differently. At times I see the small God rays shining through our holes, but other times all I see are black holes. It's on those black hole days that I will cling to these comforting dreams, that I will read this psalm, and pray that instead of ripping our family apart this tragedy will mold us closer to Him, and one another.
Peace and Love in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.