This morning as I was about to wake up, in that frustrating tossing & turning state, I had a disconcerting dream. I dreamt that Chad died suddenly. It was a very vague dream, not a lot of details, but the most difficult part of this dream for me was that in the dream I was not emotionally affected at all - it felt so cold and clinical as I made decisions for what to do with my life and the lives of my kids without a husband. There was no sadness, no tears.
I woke up without my alarm, I was completely disoriented and had an empty feeling inside. It was dark out, darker than it should have been for 6AM - what was going on? I need to burn some weird-dream-energy, so I immediately got dressed for a run and stepped outside.
Ah, here's why it was dark - half the sky was covered with dark, heavy, grey storm clouds... but the other half was just white poufs with blue sky. Which was it going to do, storm or clear up? I couldn't tell, so I decided to run half a mile to get a feel of the weather and see what happened, then keep going if there was no lightning.
As I did, I kept mulling over my dream. What would I do if my husband passed away suddenly? I have thought about this before, actually. I don't like to think about it, and I don't want to be morbid, but it is a possibility all married women should consider from time to time, so that we don't have to make a bunch of decisions out of nowhere if such a terrible crisis should arise, emotions could get in the way. But I have thought about it before, so why this dream? What was going on? While some people do have prophetic dreams (dreams that foreshadow the future), I don't believe that my personal dreams are prophetic. I do, however, believe that God sometimes speaks to me in my dreams. Are you trying to say something, Jesus?
The sky seemed to be clearing, so I turned a corner, headed east, and caught my breath as I saw red and pink blazing everywhere above me- the half of the sky that wasn't under the storm cloud was the half where the sun was rising. It was a breathtaking site. I enjoyed it for half a block, and then had to turn again at the end of the street.
Could it be? To my right, suspended at the edge of the storm clouds, was a brilliant strip of rainbow! I stared at it for an entire block, then turned around to go back, sad to think that I wouldn't get to look at it anymore for this portion of the run. As I turned around, I was stunned. Behind me had been the rest of a beautiful rainbow arch, gracefully adorning a huge portion of the sky, and I hadn't even known it.
There are several thoughts that came to my mind at this point.
1. Storms in life are hard, sometimes very hard, like losing a husband. "Why" is a question often asked. But without the clouds, there would have been no spectacular sunrise, and no rainbow. God can make beauty from anything if we will let Him into our pain. His love is perfect, unlike human love, which means He has the best of intentions and He follows through with them by keeping His promises.
2. If I had kept my focus only on that one strip of rainbow, I would have missed seeing the rest of the beauty behind me. The big picture is not mine to see all the time, but I will miss it if I don't keep my eyes open.
3. God knew I needed to hear from Him this morning - I didn't want to wander around all day wondering & thinking about the dream, my imagination running wild. He woke me up when my alarm wasn't set, to go running and see as He painted across the sky to show me again how He loves me, and if He loves me that much to express it in such a way, I can trust that He'll take care of me in every other detail of my life, regardless of my so-called plans.
The rainbow faded. I headed home. And for the final 3/10th of a mile that I ran, a gentle shower rained down on me. It was too much, my heart was full to overflowing - I broke out in a crazy, love-struck smile - He loves me!
...See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10