I dreamed again last night. The emotions that gripped me when I awoke were more than I could control on my own. I couldn’t shake the feelings that came over me. Sometimes I don’t even remember the dream, just the emotions that come because of it. But this morning, I remembered at least part of the dreams.
Dreams have more hold of me than they should. I absolutely despise them. My history with dreaming is intense. Starting at a young age, I had nightmares and dreams sometimes too strange to even try to explain the bits and pieces that I remembered when I woke.
They still haunt me today though they have changed some over the years. I used to dream of burglars and murderers entering my room at night. Though I still have those occasionally, now my dreams have transitioned to reflect my internal struggles of self worth. In a nutshell, my dreams reflect my deepest fears. At a young age I feared mean people. Today, my fears are of failure and inadequacy.
That’s the kind of dreams I had last night. Whatever I was doing, I could not do it well enough. I let people down. I failed my children. I couldn’t handle my day to day job of being a teacher, wife, friend and mom. Every time I woke up, I did not want to fall asleep again, but the fatigue was more than I could withstand and I kept going back to sleep to dream again. It was exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I woke up for the final time this morning in tears. My husband asked what was wrong and I had a hard time telling him. I honestly didn’t know at first. It took me a while to analyze what had happened. When I finally let my emotions go, I couldn’t stop crying. I cried on his shoulder, I cried when he left, I cried on my way to work, I cried throughout the day. I kept willing myself to keep moving but it was so hard to do. I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep… without dreams.
It seems as if sometimes I get it. I understand my worth found in Jesus and that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. I know that His love is all I need and that at times I will fail, but that He loves me anyway and helps me get back up. I know that I am doing my very best in what daily life brings me even if it is not and will never be perfection. I even do my very best to encourage other women in this area! I know how I SHOULD feel and what I SHOULD believe. And I’m getting better at internalizing that. But there are some days that I just struggle with not feeling good enough, for anyone or anything.
It sounds silly as I write this. It’s a dream! Dreams are not real! Dreams have never and will never define me. Dreams have never and will never define you. Just as other people, situations, failures, and outside influences have never and will never define you.
Your Creator made you to be exactly who you are. You are only defined through the perfection of Christ’s hand on your life. You will never be perfect but because of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross, you don’t have to be! He paid the ultimate sacrifice to cover all of our shortcomings.
We may not be perfect on our own, but through the lens of Jesus’ blood, we are perfection. “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14
As for my dreams, I see some of them as a window into my soul and bringing to light what I need to work on within myself. I don’t like them at all and I wish they would go away for good, but I wouldn’t be doing the work necessary to overcome these fears in this moment today. I am going to choose to believe that God is working through them to continue working in and through me. As hard as it is, I am going to choose to look at it positively. I am going to choose to start rejoicing in the fact that He makes all things new and is renewing a steadfast spirit within me.
Will you join me today in rejoicing through the struggles? Will you join me as we embrace our weaknesses and throughout our efforts to improve on them, continue to see ourselves through the lens of Christ? Will you join me as we let ourselves off the hook for being and becoming perfect and understand that our heart being in the right place is what God wants for us? Will you give yourself the amount of grace that God gives us?
Keep striving to be better, but give yourself some slack. Do your best and let Christ fill in the holes!
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14