Monday, February 24, 2014

In Your Dreams...Find the Answers?

My parents and I never really talked about matters of faith when I was growing up...or after. Dad talked about how much he hated the nuns when he attended Catholic school. Mom mentioned going to church as a girl, about getting the lyrics of certain hymns wrong, and about being baptized as a teen. They both wanted me to go to church--but Dad never attended himself, and Mom only went with me on Easter Sunday. (I've always wondered why there's a bigger turnout on Easter than any other Sunday. Aren't we supposed to worship God every day?) They both passed away leaving me wondering if I'd see them again in Heaven.

 
I don't know, and that troubles me deeply.

I'm by no means a model Christian. I have a long way to go, and more questions than answers when it comes to matters of faith. But I was taught that we have to be saved--accept Christ as our Savior and believe that He died for our sins and was raised from the dead. Did Mom and Dad accept His invitation to salvation? I don't know.

The more I've learned, the more I'm uncertain of where my parents are now. It surprises me--and scares me--to realize that I didn't really know either of them in such an important way. I thought that's why I had the dreams....

For years, I had dreams about them...frequent dreams, in some of which they seemed to be reaching out to me. They weren't really nightmares, except for once. But they wanted something from me. I did the only thing I could do: I prayed for them, every night, before I drifted off to sleep, turning to God, hoping my pleas for them would be heard, hoping my prayers might make a difference somehow.

The dreams stopped.

I can guess what a therapist might say about that. I hope it means that God answered those prayers. I didn't even realize at first that the dreams had stopped. It didn't occur to me until Sunday. I'd wondered why I don't dream about Sam (either Sam), or any of my deceased family or friends, human or otherwise, beyond the days immediately following their passing...but Mom and Dad seemed stuck, somehow, between this life and the next.

So...I know that most of my friends are Christians of various denominations, but some are of other religions as well. What are your beliefs with regard to the afterlife? What, if anything, do you think the dreams meant?

24 comments:

  1. I tend to think of dreams as a way for the subconcious to work through something, including grief. I imagine part of why it went on for years might have to do with family dynamics and the years before their deaths.

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    1. That's possible. But why have they now stopped?

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  2. A week after my original editor died, I dreamed about her. She apologized for not being able to finish editing my manuscript, handed it back to me. There crumbs and something stuck between the pages in the dream.

    After I got it back, someone else's MS was stuck in it and there were crumbs galore throughout it.

    In Judaism, you go to sleep until the resurrection and the Messiah comes.

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    1. Shelly, have you read a book titled Hello from Heaven? It's full of accounts of just the sort of thing you describe here.

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  3. I believe your parents are with you now and always. Now that you pray for them they don't have to wait for you to sleep--they can be with you any time.

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  4. I think the dreams meant your sub-conscious was coming to terms with/dealing with the loss of your parents. The dreams stopped when you reached a certain acceptance. Your key words were "But I was taught . . . ." Perhaps you're entering a spiritual journey of sorts I think everyone goes through, i.e., what do you, Norma, believe?

    I believe like the commenter above, that loved ones are always with you.

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    1. Kittie--I think you're right about the spiritual journey. As for acceptance, I'm not there yet.

      A week before Mom died, Collin and I went to see the movie What Dreams May Come. It had a profound effect on me.

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  5. I wish I knew what dreams meant. I also rarely dream of those who've died, except immediately after their passing. I actually hoped I would dream more about my dad after he died, as a way to keep 'seeing' him. But the dreams stopped coming after a while. I like to think he hasn't ever really gone, and I like to think (like others here) that those who were very special to us are always there.

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    1. What's that saying--they're never really gone as long as we remember?

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  6. I really don't dream that much. But when I do it usually has to do with something that happen that day or week. It mostly has to do with the danger my x put me and the children in.
    Even if the dreams are awful, for some reason I am much better afterwards. it is like if that is the worst I can deal with it.

    cheers, parsnip


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    1. Dreams can be a way of coping. They can also be one of many ways God communicates with us. In the Bible, Joseph was told, via dreams, to marry Mary. He was also told to flee Israel to save the infant Jesus.

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  7. The afterlife is an unknown field. I believe in angels, ghosts and other unseen things (ESP being something I do possess, and telepathy between my husband and I is real strong). I think my mother has been with me all my life as an angle watching out for me because I have done some stupid things--not terrible things, just stupid things. My mother-in-law I know came as a ghost after her passing, (too long to relate here), I do not believe in a Christian God. My ways are pagan, with Native American aspects. God is an Unknown. There and always listens.
    I think, Norma, you dream of two people who you loved, yet questions about them plague you. Your prayers were as much for you as they were for your parents.
    Blessings to you.

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    1. I do know there's a realm beyond this one, and animals and birds have the ability to see what we can't. Sam proved that to me. I watched him respond to a presence that I couldn't see. His actions were very distinct, there was no doubt.

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  8. I believe God gives everybody a shot at entering Heaven.

    I think our dreams are parables we create ourselves. When we are ready to learn a lesson, we figure out what the parable means.

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    1. Thank you, Lynn--your answer gives me hope!

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  9. I've always thought that dreams depicted the things that our subconscious couldn't comprehend during the day when we're busy doing day-to-day things. Dreaming of your parents was probably your way of dealing with their deaths and letting your mind know that you haven't forgotten them.

    I believe in reincarnation - that our souls move on to another life after this one is over.

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    1. That's true.

      I've come to believe that all religions come down to being basically the same, that the differences lie in our own cultural interpretation.

      As for reincarnation, Mom used to say if she could come back, she wanted to come as one of my critters because I took such good care of them.

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  10. It's all such a mystery really Norma , I seriously don't think we will know what happens after we die until the time, whether it's different for some than others who knows. My Mum had such strong faith, my Dad not so much.. but they were so in love from the day they met until the end that I really do hope and pray that they are together 'somewhere'.

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    1. Grace, in Randy Alcorn's book Heaven, he writes that he believes animals that have been important parts of our lives have a place in eternity because of their role in the human's life. I find myself wondering if humans who maybe didn't have such strong faith could be rewarded for their influence on those of us whose faith is strong.

      But you're right. We won't know until we get there ourselves.

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  11. I think dreams are absolutely a way for our minds to work through the things that need more thought and care - the things that weigh on us the most. I can't quite say I believe in traditional Christianity anymore, but I strongly believe in God and that we continue on. I had a strange experience w/my father because I didn't dream about him or hear from him for years and years after his death. Then one week my mom saw him and then I saw him, and now I feel like I can talk to him whenever I need to. Sometimes whenever I'm distraught, he just shows up, usually the same way - first to my mom and then me. Of course for all I know, he's just a mental projection of my own making. There's no way to really know, so I make the conscious choice to believe, because I know it makes me happier. Anyway, I think your dreams and prayers were a healthy way to work out your thoughts and questions on where your parents might be. I know it can get tough when Mother's and Father's Day roll around.

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    1. Yes...Mother's Day and Father's Day are still rough. And Dad's been gone 23 years and Mom 15.

      I think the fact that both you and your mom see your dad is significant....

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  12. I think it's lovely you dreamt about your parents. I think it's also lovely that you met them as they reached out to you in the only way that felt good and right for you!

    Take care
    x

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  13. Old Kitty: Thank you for understanding! I had mixed feelings about revealing this.

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