So, you may or may not have heard me talk about this before but, either way, I have an update.
So you know how some people dream, and sometimes they remember their dreams and sometimes they don't? Well, I can't remember a time when I have remembered a "good" dream. If I remember a dream, it's because it probably scarred me for life. I mean, I know all about REM sleep, and I know I dream multiple dreams a night. However, if I realize I'm dreaming, if I'm awoken from a dream, or if I even remember a dream-- it's because it scared the living daylights out of me.
My nightmares usually involve someone I love dying, or someone trying to kill me, or the world ending. Crazy! Right?? But you can see how this would freak me out now...
Having lunch with a friend one day, we got on the topic of dreams and I was telling them about my nightmares. She asked me if I've always had them, or if they recently started occurring. I got to thinking about it... I thought they had recently began occurring throughout the past couple years or so, which had been a pretty tough time for me. Once I starting thinking back, it hit me! I had been suffering from these nightmares since I can remember. (Ironic, ha).
A long time ago my family used to live in Iron Station, NC. We moved out of that house when I was in the 2nd grade, therefore I figured out that I started having recurring nightmares somewhere between the ages of 3 and 7. I vividly remember not wanting to go to sleep in fear of having another nightmare. My brother, Pat, & I shared a bedroom at the time and I remember my dad putting me to sleep in my bed. He picked one of Pat's toys up off the floor-- a foot-tall, hard as a rock Ninja Turtle-- & I remember him telling me that if I slept with the Ninja Turtle, he'd fight off my bad dreams.
Do y'all know how long I slept with that Ninja Turtle? I was paranoid! I slept with it every night until finally my parents realized that my "comfort item" wasn't a blanket or a stuffed animal, but a foot-tall, hard as a rock Ninja Turtle! They bought me this cat to replace the turtle. The movie "Andre" had just come out (the movie about a girl who raised a pet seal...y'all remember that?!) .. Well, I named the cat Andre and took that thing everywhere I spent the night. I TRULY believed that if that cat wasn't covered up in the bed next to me I would have a bad dream. I honestly, sadly to say, slept with that thing PROBABLY until I was in 8th grade. I remember in middle school doing nightly experiments, sleeping with the cat and not sleeping with the cat, to see if I would have a nightmare or not. I promise you-- if that cat was not by my side, I had a nightmare, sure as the devil! That freaked me out and that is how I justify to myself why I slept with the cat until I was in the 8th grade.
Now I can't remember why I quit sleeping with the cat, and I couldn't even tell you where it is today (which saddens me a bit)...but I'm sure it had something to do with me entering high school. It also might have something to do with the fact that one night I spent the night at Ashleigh Woody's house and forgot the cat. I called my mom, freaking out, and asked her to come bring it to me. She for whatever reason wouldn't, and I could hear my dad joking in the background saying, "here kitty kitty...", acting like he was going to kill my cat or something horrible. I don't know, but I remember getting really upset, and afterwards I probably just wondered why in the world I was getting so upset over a stuffed cat!
Either way, (sorry--this story's getting longer than I anticipated) I don't sleep with a comfort item and haven't since then. But, I still have these crazy nightmares! I don't watch scary movies anymore because I'm sure they'll trigger some unconscious (or obviously conscious) fear of mine and I'll have nightmares for a month or something crazy.
Anywho-- some friends and I were talking about dream therapy at lunch the other day and I told them my crazy cat story. I told them how it was all in my head and if I slept with the cat growing up I never had a bad dream, but if I didn't then I would for sure have one.
A couple nights later, I couldn't sleep so I started reading my new Bible. It's a NIV & The Message Parallel Bible & I love it! Anyways, I just opened it up and started reading The Message.
PLEASE LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND---
"Dear friend, guard clear Thinking and common sense with your life; don't for a minute lose sight of them. They'll keep your soul alive and well, they'll keep you fit and attractive. You'll travel safely, you'll neither tire nor trip. **NOW HERE'S MY FAVORITE PART -->** You'll take afternoon naps without a worry, you'll enjoy a good night's sleep. NO NEED TO PANIC OVER ALARMS OR SURPRISES, OR PREDICTIONS THAT DOOMSDAY'S JUST AROUND THE CORNER, BECAUSE GOD WILL BE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU; HE'LL KEEP YOU SAFE AND SOUND." (Proverbs 3: 21-26, The Message)
Obviously that spoke right to my heart. I worry and I worry and I worry. I pray every night before I go to bed that the Lord blesses me with sweet dreams, or at least no nightmares. I try not to take dreams seriously but they honestly make me very anxious and weary. It's funny because the Lord says in the Bible NOT to anxious OR weary! The Devil attacks you, day and night, and obviously whether you are asleep or not. He'll find a way to get to you- He knows you're destined for great things and therefore will get a head start on attempting to bring you down whenever possible.
I now go to bed worry-free. I know the Lord is protecting me.
I'm sure some of you have experienced a similar situation. I'm sure some of you can relate. I just wanted to share this with you and let you know that God is in control. Give your life to Him and He will take that life-long burden off your shoulders. "Cast your anxieties on Him because He cares for you." :)
And if you made it all the way to the end, I appreciate you listening. :) Be blessed!