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Continuing on…

I awoke in a cold sweat, glistening on my chest as my heart beat furiously.  That dream again!, the echoes of demonic screams fading as I lay in the memory of my night vision – or was it a memory of a real event? It felt too real to be a dream, but…for seven years I’d been having this dream, or, as it were, this memory.  Was it a vision? Had it really happened? No, I reasoned, it must just be a recurring dream I didn’t know the meaning of…then again, it didn’t feel like it was from the dream world. 

Just another day in paradise

No matter,  today was another horrible day ahead of me.  I shook the thoughts of the “dream” out of my head.  My lonely heart ached as I prepared for my classes.  I thought of the tests I would certainly fail today, the classes I resisted attending, and wondered why my future seemed so dim at a time in my life when I should be delighting in the hope of my young adult life and future.  What was in my heart that I lacked?  I had felt it for years. 

A time for us

It was as if the God I know and love – the Savior who filled me and made me complete – was the One who had put this longing in me. He was enough, yet…there was something He seemed to be pulling my heart towards. Was it a place?  Was it a calling? An assignment from God for me?  There was something I loved that I was missing, something “out there” that was pulling me towards it – something that needed me as much as I needed it.  Something that was calling out to me, that desperately needed me…what was it?  Where was it? 

Each of the men I sought out who promised to fill that need didn’t.  They just left me more empty and aching more.  It felt to me like Cinderella with the missing shoe: Nothing fit, but I couldn’t find the right shoe – even though it seemed to be calling to me.

Trying to put true love out of my mind

Put it out of your mind I screamed! This is your real life! Move on! Find some meaning and forget about it! Stuff this feeling and get ahold of yourself.  You’re driving yourself mad! 

Seeking a new world

My words to myself did little to quell what was stirring inside me…I was seeking something that was calling out to me, and I somehow knew I would be incomplete until I found it .

At the same time, half a world away

That same morning, as Emma lay breathless, Michael also awoke suddenly, unexpectedly, feelings of rejection and pain gripped his stomach.  The words of those whom He looked up to filled his mind once again as they shouted: “Deceived!” “Heretic!” “Disfellowshipped!”. Michael thought for a moment, “how had it come to this?” as he thought back to those heady days in Bible College. “I know God’s voice, but so many had been so sure I was wrong. Was I deceived, had I become a heretic and deserved to be disfellowshipped and shunned like a theological criminal?”  Just then, as he despaired, he felt the Spirit of His Father say. . .No! you heard me right My son.  I am with you!

Thinking back on his desire to do something worthy of God’s kingdom, Michael understood that God had answered! YHWH gave him what he really wanted, a move of divine love, a connecting of people together in that love – this was from the Spirit of God, not himself, and he had and would continue to embrace it.

God, please lead me, let me only do your will, not mine”, Michael prayed.  As the years passed, like water under a bridge, that feeling of something left unfinished never left. Restless, sure there was an answer somewhere, destiny seemed to be reaching for him, too.

A Time For Us, cover by Barratt Waugh

To be continued…