Love,  Peace

Learning to Breathe Under Water

When I was a little girl, I had a dream about Jesus. I wrote it down and shared it with no one. It felt like it had some sort of significance, but I didn’t know what. Since that night, I’ve thought about my dream here and there, bits and pieces of it giving me direction or comfort…

I was running with people I felt I knew, but I didn’t recognize them. We were running away from something that felt scary. I fell a few times because it was raining. I wanted to turn back at times, but something drew me to keep going. The rain got worse.

We looked to the sky to see the clouds begin to swirl, and lightning was all around us. I slipped again, but as I gained my footing and looked up, I saw a massive funnel of clouds and rain coming down to the ground through a pillar of light. Someone asked, “Is it Him?” and others shouted, “It’s Him! It’s Him!” Descending out of the bottom of that funnel was Jesus, dressed in red as in most of the pictures we have of him today.

My legs almost gave out as I ran to get closer. As I stood there reaching for Him, He looked at me with a look that said, “Peace, trust Me.” I softly grabbed onto His arm, as did the others. Then, I noticed a huge wall of water forming behind Him and coming our way.

In panic, I begged Him to look, and to save us. I couldn’t speak, but He knew the pleading in my heart. He gave me a reproving look as if to say, “Trust Me!” and then the water hit us.

I grabbed for Him more as the water swirled around us. Someone next to me, who did not worry at all as the water came, simply began to breathe. So that is what I did, and I miraculously found that I could breathe under water with no problems at all! I felt so grateful to them for showing me what was possible, and so connected to everyone and everything.

I was aware of the coldness of the water, an awareness that allowed me to know what was happening and also feel completely at home with it. We all followed Jesus through the dark waters and our hearts were at peace. I woke up, remembering every part of the dream in detail, especially the way I felt when I saw Jesus. I couldn’t describe those feelings, but I knew that God loves each one of us with unfathomable charity.

I often think about my journey, this path that I’m on. There are so many discoveries, so many transitions, and so many moments I’m shocked by the clarity of it all only to muddle along in the in-betweens. With practice, patience, and trust I’ve learned how to live again. Yesterday, I actually found some words for what it feels like…

Let’s say you come to the edge of the ocean of God’s love. Deep, immeasurable waters. It beckons you, and you begin to wade out into it. Before you realize it, the waves begin to overpower you. You just might drown here, and fear begins to take hold. The water is too deep and too strong.

Suddenly, a boat appears. That looks safer. You push through the waves and get in the boat. Now, you can venture further out into the ocean. Paddles in hand you begin to row, and you feel powerful with your sense of control over your destiny. Still heeding the call to go deeper, you row further out into the ocean. The waves are far behind you and it looks like there are calm waters in every direction. Things are going great.

You begin to rest, comfortable with the gentle rocking of the boat, and you begin to believe that the ocean will never hurt you. You let the paddles slip into the water, giving over to the faith that calls you. Everything is fine here, out in the ocean of God’s love. You’re confident in the boat’s buoyancy, and your ability to stay in the boat.

Out of nowhere, the boat capsizes. Fear takes you over again. You fight to keep your head above water, grasping at the overturned boat for something to hold on to. But your strength weakens. You get tired. You resign yourself to your fate and you stop trying to find a handhold. You’re filled with remarkable peace as you let go.

You slip deeper and deeper into the water, until an intuition to swim kicks in. You didn’t know you could swim. And actually, you find you’re a rather good swimmer. Grasping at the boat you got tired, but you feel like you could swim forever. It feels so natural!

Eventually, the water gets choppy. A storm is brewing. Fear starts to creep in again, but this time experience tells you that there will be a way provided. You just have to trust. The water churns all around you and the squall pushes you under the waves. Trust. You don’t fight it. Bobbing just under the surface, you decide to take a breath, and, as a witness to yet another miracle, you find you can breathe under water!

Now, this whole thing becomes great fun. Even the storms can’t keep you down. You play in the water, and look back at everything that brought you to where you are. Drawn to the deep waters of God’s infinite love, you left land and learned to row, but now, you wonder if maybe you were a fish all along. And maybe it was God who capsized the boat.

That’s the best I could do putting it into words, and when the words came they immediately reminded me of my dream. God has drawn me out into the ocean and dumped me out of the boat. He has kept me in the path of the tsunami and told me to trust. To have faith. A simple sense of being okay, and a profound sense of belonging. Faith makes that possible. And God’s mystery is that I can breathe here, better than I ever have before.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee…

Isaiah 43:2

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