My frustration with the prospect of finishing my bachelor’s has been building for quite some time so the slight inconveniences that keep preventing further action add to the weariness. Trying to print from a tablet was harder than expected; the disk accompanying the textbook for my upcoming January class doesn’t work with this version of windows (I tried to take the class last year and wanted to print out one of the assignments to show a potential collaborator). I pulled out an old portable cd drive to try the cd on the tablet and of course it’s not recognizable.
Opening this forgotten drive, I found a forgotten unlabeled disk- just a bona fide Kodak picture cd and my urgent frustration was overtaken by curiosity. I had no meeting to attend- I simply wanted my documentation in place so I could attempt, again, to set one up.
So I’d take a break- look at a few pics, walk down memory lane for a bit, cheer myself up and be all good for trying to convince someone that it is a good idea to give me their time, not only for today but for a few months next year. Then I saw what it was, instinctively started reading, marveled at how Jesus did it again and knew that the afternoon’s plans would change. I simply had to at least try to write some of this out. It’s been a while-
21 pictures are on this cd- all of an open 2010 journal. A mentor at that time had wanted copies of a few things – such as the list she asked me to create of things I wanted to do but didn’t (and the reason why those things never came to pass); or perhaps the list was simply of things I didn’t do.
In those pages I explained my frustrations, battled with bitterness and weariness of keeping up what often seems a façade- this thing called faith – trusting in the unseen – and yet I pray and my God answers. Clearly, firmly and wisely. Beautifully.
Last night I wrote today’s date in the journal by my bed on the page where dreams are written expecting an answer to a simple request. I want to see You- explain all this in a way I can understand because my mind’s not bright enough to wrap itself around Your character. What do You want me to grasp. The exact words are lost in a faulty memory, but a friend had talked about having dreams of heaven and although I didn’t need such grandeur, I wanted whatever might be offered.
Sure enough, about ten minutes before my already generously set alarm went off, I awoke having just left the company of an upright lion. One I watched from afar and dared not approach but could not run from. As he walked closer, I tried to circle around a cheap barricade to keep watching without being too exposed but I wasn’t panicking as he patiently circled it too.
I expected to be found and although a bit anxious, I knew it wouldn’t be the end of me.
The actual encounter was quite brief, but I woke up with a deep sense that this Lion not only knew me but that He wanted to be a part of everything I do, including girl’s night.
Thank You. Why do You humor me? When I lie down asking for
a dream to prove I’m not crazy? Proof this is real- a taste of heaven. I don’t know what I wanted or the exact words used, but You, Lion of Judah, walk straight up to me, faster than expected & You care about what we see as mundane. Trying to hide is fruitless.
When tempted to fear, we must hope in that You walk upright- it cannot be any other way. We hope that You are not mere impulse- coming to devour us out of sheer instinct.
Watching from afar, there’s a fascination- no desire to run, the instinct to back away slowly doesn’t show until You’ve already arrived.
Jesus. Yeshua. Master. Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace Immanuel.
How little I understand. Little I know- must I wait until the night falls before able to buy into Your illustrated truth?
Man o man this man is personal.
[t]here is always an element of surprise, and yet, however he acts turns out to be exactly what was needed in the moment […] He is not glistening white marble. He is the playfulness of creation, scandal and utter goodness, the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm; he is cunning as a snake and gentle as a whisper; the gladness of sunshine and the humility of a thirty-mile walk by foot on a dirt road. Reclining at a meal, laughing with friends, and then going to the cross.
That is what we mean when we say Jesus is beautiful.
– John Eldridge; Beautiful Outlaw, pg 137
So at the height of all the drama of this morning’s minor inconveniences, an alarm went off in the heavens and my focus was immediately diverted.
I was reminded of this repeating refrain. Your thoughts are not yours. Your body’s not yours. It’s My temple… That’s where I meet with You… You still have to be careful. You don’t have to be afraid.
‘A woman w/o fear can do anything she wants’. That will be you, Val.
Sure enough, many of the things promised in these pages are really coming to life and the pattern continues spiraling up. I talk- He talks. Insert a dream somewhere in there to drive in the point.
Beautiful reminder. A welcome diversion.
This afternoon’s plan was changed but not wasted; I can still make that phone call- the possibility of meeting still exists. Time to reflect like this is not always possible or appropriate but sometimes it is and I’m grateful.
Even so, I still want to graduate and I’m ready to give this another go with renewed vigor.