Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries
In my dream last night, I was walking on a broad boardwalk, surrounded by a busy crowd, everyone trying to go somewhere. Beside us was a hill topped with a white four-floor apartment building.
I looked up. There were two friends peering out one of the floor-to-ceiling windows on the top floor. They waved for me to come. In another window on the same floor stood a mutual friend. He was staring out at the ocean and boardwalk view. All four of us were meant to meet at his place.
The dream whisked me to the right floor where I began looking for my friends. Entering a small living space void of people, I spied suit coats hanging in the closet. A shirt looked like one I used to own. What is my stuff doing here? I thought, touching the shirt, tempted to take it back. Instead, looking about, wall decorations and well-placed furniture made it clear that people did indeed live there. I left.
A panicky feeling was rising. At first, it only had been nervousness, but now I felt lost. I tried to calm myself. Just keep looking. They are here somewhere.
At the end of the hall where it was unlikely my friends could be, was a paneled wall instead of a window. It felt like the interior of a 1970s business office. The hall narrowed to a dead-end. Turning back, I ventured into the last open door briefly; no one was there. This apartment had an enormous window on one side of a very small room. It did not seem to be a place people would gather.
The last of my dream is vague in memory. The words “Romans 24,26” passed through my thoughts before I woke.
For some, dreams are messages. Others believe they help us process life’s issues. If either of these is true in this case, it makes sense the dream was about searching.
I’ve been searching for much lately. Last night was my first at home following three days in the hospital (which is why this post is a day late). Doctors seem unable to find the exact cause and precise means of correcting a chronic issue. How to go forward with Always The Fight Ministries is heavy on my mind. I’ve applied for a great job and have made the second cut in the hiring process. In September I backed off a favorite and useless anxiety coping mechanism, and am trying to ground myself in its replacement.
Should I this, should I that? Which way is best, which way is disastrous? How can I avoid being wrong? This is old stinkin’ thinkin’. Worry, anxiety, catastrophizing… I thought it was all rooted out and overcome. Obviously not.
This morning I did another search. Romans 24 -26 do not exist as chapters. Those particular verses in Romans 8 read, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Hope in this context refers to the redemption of our bodies – freedom from mortality and all suffering. We hope for what we do not yet have. This is not the type of hope that crosses its fingers and tries to think positive thoughts. This hope is certain, bound in the knowledge that the One True God has planned complete wholeness of body, mind, and spirit for those who believe on his Son Jesus.
The “Spirit” in these verses is the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit that is God’s. When we are searching and do not know what to pray or decide, the Spirit prays for us. Our suffering is never meaningless or wrapped in defeat. He will guide the steps of the righteous.
I don’t know about you, but I needed this Bible study today. Whatever one may believe about dreams, mine led me to this promise: my hope is on solid ground, and I am not alone in the fight.
Today’s Helpful Word
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.
-room pic by ZELA on rgbstock.com; girl pic by JAZZA on rgbstock.com