This is definitely going to be an unusual post for me. But I have been so shaken by it that I feel like I must talk about it.
First of all, sugar before bed is a bad idea for me. I know this. But, I was rebellious last night. Sigh. Self-control is taught once again. Sugar before bed = vivid, dramatic dreams for me.
So, I had this dream and in my dream I thought my daughter was crying and then I was sort of waking up and then I couldn't tell whether she WAS crying for real or not, so I got up to check on her. My heart was pounding because it was kind of a screaming cry like something was wrong. She was sleeping very peacefully, so I concluded that the crying was only in my dream. (My husband confirmed this morning that he did NOT hear her and he usually hears those sorts of cries.)
I went back to bed and attempted to fall asleep, but the adrenaline was flowing by that point. It was shortly before 5:00 a.m. I started thinking about the quiet house and the reading I need to do for a book study with a friend, the new Bible study starting today, and the podcasts I need to listen to for tonight's discussion group, and I was weighing whether to go ahead and get up and take advantage of the quiet, or try to sleep a little longer. I snuggled closer to my husband and apparently drifted back to sleep for another vivid dream.
In my dream, I had decided to go ahead and get up to read. As I walked down the hall, I realized that the lights we usually leave on at night were not on. The house was completely dark. I also notice the motion light was on outside and I could just barely make out an unfamiliar vehicle in the driveway. As I turned the corner from the living room to go through the dining room to the kitchen, I was suddenly grabbed by very strong arms and was being pushed back down the hall. At first I thought it was G, but then realized the grip was too tight and too forceful and I tried to scream but no sound would come out. At that point I willed myself to wake up and I did, heart pounding (again)...but when I woke up, I was being pressed into the bed so hard that I physically tried to push whatever was on top of me off (thinking it was my husband???). There was nothing there but I was finally able to sit up. At this point I was very confused, because the force I felt was very real and I was very awake at that point but there was nothing/no one in the room and G was sleeping soundly BESIDE me.
I laid back down and tried to make sense of it. What came to mind was a story that I heard a little over a year ago. I help to give rides to folks in our community who want to come to church but don't have transportation. For awhile, there was a group of 3 (a married couple, and a single man) that rode together. This particular Sunday though, it was just the single man that C and I picked up. He was a dear, sweet, older fellow and ended up being our church custodian for awhile. He has since passed away. He climbed into the car rather stiffly and I asked him how he was doing. He replied (in his casual, Southern way), "OH, I'm hurtin' this mornin'. That ol' devil knew I was plannin' to go to church this mornin' and he jumped on my back ALL NIGHT LONG. I was tempted to stay home this mornin' but I told that ol' devil to get offa me, I was goin' to CHURCH!" This not being language I was familiar with seemed funny at first, but the more I thought about it, I realized that the devil was more real to him than he was to me. He wasn't kidding and he wasn't being dramatic or exaggerating. He was serious. I was convicted by my temptation to "brush off" what he said and I was convicted by my lack of belief that spiritual warfare is real and happening everyday.
I've never forgotten that story and I'll never forget that man and his witness to me that day (though probably unintentional for him). This morning as I lay in bed contemplating what I had felt upon me, I couldn't help but wonder if the devil in some form was physically pressing me into bed to keep me from getting up to study God's word as all of the things I was thinking of doing would be spiritual study. Even as I think about it, my being wants to scream that those sorts of things don't happen, but quite frankly, I can't say whether they do or don't. I know what I felt this morning was real, I know that I will NOT be having sugar before bed again for a very long time (possibly ever!), and I know that I will set my alarm and GET UP in the morning to study, because if this is a battle, I'm going to fight with all the strength the Lord gives to me.