God has more power than the forces of harm.
This thought became a decision this morning. I woke happily relieved of a restless night that included a horribly realistic dream.
I was pleasantly awakened by the slight sound of “ding”. It reminded me of a whisper, maybe a mama coming close, saying “Sweetie, it’s time to get up.”
Expecting a photo of my granddaughter, I reached for the phone, slid it under the covers so I wouldn’t wake my husband.
Instead of a photo, it was a message from someone who messages me each year a couple of days before my birthday. Each year, the message includes “Toward”.
I open it to enjoy a video of Schroeder from the Peanuts at the piano playing a classical version of the birthday song. Lucy barges in and wants to sit next to him. He says no and she huffs away complaining something akin to creatives needing their space!
I turned towards the glow of morning and opened my palm to give God today, to ask for His guiding.
The birds were uplifting in the tone of their chirping as I sat to journal. This too, I welcomed.
It was time to make sense of the nightmare, time to process it and take what good I could from a vivid story, someone trying to once and for all kill me and me imploring them.
“No, things are better. Things are different.”
I spoke those words to the evil in my sleep.
I woke and remembered the horrible parts along with the prayers I’d prayed just yesterday in my private place.
I’d listened to a podcast about miracles. It stuck with me that we can be bold in our asking; but, first we must let go any unforgiveness.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Mark 11:24-25 ESV
I prayed that way yesterday, forgiving people and forgiving behaviors.
Forgive me for my failures as I forgive those who failed me.
The day continued well and then the inability to sleep followed by the scary reminiscent dream.
I steadied my mind and set my intentions on “toward” as I wrote a note to myself. “What can I take from this?”
In the quiet, God answered.
I have no doubt it was Him.
In the nightmare, my words were clear. I was not silenced by the offender.
I spoke firmly and said. “But things are better, you don’t have to harm me anymore.”
Hearing my own voice was significant, I realized and different than the nightmares of before.
Better is believing God.
Better is believing in my very own prayers, my voice. Better is being confident that God has more power than the forces of harm.
Two separate podcasts and a birthday message sealed the deal of this hopeful conversation between God and me.
A podcast on the Lord’s Prayer reminding me of God as my loving father, a podcast about deciding to be “with” God, a God of miracles in every endeavor.
Both were reassuring of the good God I love and who loves me.
My heart danced with joy when Allen Arnold (author of “The Story of With”) spoke of deciding on a dream with God’s agreement and beginning to flourish.
This was confirmation. This is the story of “Look at the Birds” a soon to be published children’s book about worry. A story God spoke so clearly one morning and then kept speaking, “don’t just let this go.”
But, I almost did. Yesterday, I found a note to myself. I almost gave up on the book. I’d added to my to do list, “just hang the bird paintings in Elizabeth’s room.”
That very day the publishing company called to discuss moving forward. I said “Yes, I’ve decided. I’m ready to publish.”
Knowing that there’s no clear measure of success monetarily or simply the book having readers.
However, the success is in the continuing towards a calling, the creativity of God in me.
The memories of last night’s terror have completely subsided. It’s midmorning and I’m looking forward to an early birthday celebration later. I’m thinking of another heron painting. I’m remembering the prayer I believe.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Matthew 6:25-27 ESV
God, you have miracles unseen.
I hope you’ll believe this for you.
Look at the birds.
Continue and believe.
Here are the links to the podcasts referenced: