Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweet Dreams

For years I have dreamed almost nightly about Guatemala. The dreams were usually about people that I know there or children in general or just the country itself. With the exception of one recurring dream (that I haven't had in a long time) most were happy or sad, but never frightening. Those used to be my dreams.

For the last few months, maybe longer, I have had only nightmares. The only similarity to my old dreams is that they come frequently. Rarely have I seen the faces of people I know or have met in Guatemala. The children are never present. These are nightmares filled with horribly vivid violence. I am always alone in them (no team, no travel partner) and the only good thing I can say is that I always wake up right before I am killed. I wake up shaking and with a racing heart. For as long as they have been occurring I have been praying that they would stop. I longed for peaceful sleep. Sleep like I only experience when I am in Guatemala.

It came last night with the sweetest of dreams.

I assumed that we were in Guatemala, but we could have been anywhere I guess. There was so much that was familiar in the dream and so much that was not. We started out in a van traveling from the airport. We rode for hours before stopping at what appeared to be a jungle. I was confused when I asked the driver why we were stopping there. How would we get through? How would we know where to go? He took out his machete and told me that he would make a path and lead the way. He disappeared from sight and we could no longer hear him clearing a path. It looked like there would still be things in the way, obstacles to come, but we trusted him as we began walking.

There were three of us, me and two friends that are so precious to me. We knew our destination. It was many, many miles ahead. As we walked, we talked, laughed and cried. We rested, prayed and carried on. We looked forward to arriving at wherever we were going, but even with the obstacles we enjoyed the journey we had to take to get there. The path was winding and the end was far from sight, but we had such peace about the path we were walking that it didn't matter how long it would take to get there.

I woke up while we were still walking and laughing and breathed a sigh of relief. I woke up knowing that this was so much more than just a dream. It is my life, the way I want to live it. Stepping out into the unknown, trusting in the Lord's leading and His ability to clear the path and enjoying the journey, no matter what obstacles will come, with those that He allows me to walk with until we reach our final destination.

A better dream could not have come at a more perfect time than this.