I took this photo last month at the Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C. Love.
When I was in high school I read a book about dream interpretation. I’ve always had very vivid dreams (to the point that my brother has been convinced that I’m dreaming other people’s memories- how’s that for a good novel premise?), and it’s always seemed to me that for my brain to be working so hard while I’m sleeping, it must be trying to tell me something. After reading the book, I started interpreting my dreams and while I don’t do it all the time, whenever I do I am always a little bit amazed by what I discover.
First, let me give you a little crash course in dream interpretation. You know all that stuff you’ve read about how certain things in your dreams are representative of other things, like everybody’s dreams are in secret code? Well, that’s true, but what you might not know is that the code is different for everybody. Just because you dream about A doesn’t mean it always is symbolic of B.
The best way to interpret your dreams is to look at the people, places, and events taking place in them. Then ask yourself, “How do I feel about this particular person, place, or event?”
I had a dream recently that felt strong enough that I decided it needed interpretation. In my dream I was visiting New York City with my family. It was the anniversary of September 11th. In my dream they had rebuilt the World Trade Center and we were in a part of the city where we had a good view of the towers. We were standing there and I heard a commotion. I looked, and everyone was looking up into the sky where a plane was headed straight for the building. I had a horrible sinking feeling in my gut, and I just knew I had to get my family out of there. I was holding both of my youngest girls- the baby, 9 months old, and my 3-year-old. In my dream I was very glad that I was holding both of them, because I knew where they were and by me carrying them I could get them to safety more quickly. We made it safely to our transportation and then I woke up.
So what did it mean? The fact that I was carrying both my little girls stuck out to me. To be truthful, when I’m carrying the baby and I end up having to carry the 3-year-old too for whatever reason, I get a little bit martyr-y. Like, “poor me, exhausted mom never gets a rest.” Dumb, right? But in this dream I was glad I was carrying them, because I could keep them safe. Because I was stronger than they were and they needed me.
As I analyzed it, I realized that I’ve been doing the “poor me” thing a lot lately. I think this dream was the Lord reminding me that the world is a scary place, that evil abounds, and this work that I do day in and day out, exhausting and frustrating and maddening as it may be, it’s essential. It’s about more than just dirty diapers and homework and temper tantrums; by doing what I’m doing- this tiring, seemingly never ending work- I am holding my children close and carrying them to safety.
Ever since that dream I’ve tried to avoid “martyr mode”. I’ve tried to remember how unbelievably blessed I am. Whenever something challenging comes up, I try to think of how much worse it could be. My baby got diagnosed with “early pneumonia” this week. Rather than mope about the doctor’s visits, medications, and breathing treatments, I was just grateful I had them. Heaven only knows how many mothers have heard their babies start wheezing and coughing and known they would probably be losing them, because there was absolutely nothing they could do.
So this week, take some time and pay attention to your dreams. God might be using them to tell you something important that could change your life. If you’re not sure how to go about interpreting them, I’ve had some success helping others interpret their dreams using a “dream interview” and I’d be glad to help you out. Just let me know. :-)