I had been feeling lonely, missing people who have passed on, missing people who for one reason or another, I didn't/don't see anymore - missing my husband at work, my kids at school, my friends... aching, painful, overwhelming loneliness was after me! I was exhausted and had to actually lie down *gasp!* - in the middle of the day - what?! - and then, it overtook me. I fell asleep. And I'm so glad I did, because after the dream I had, I didn't want to wake up. I wanted to stay there forever.
I dreamed I had gone on a retreat and I didn't know anyone. I was walking around by myself with the relentless loneliness I'd been carrying with me. There were women milling around, some walking around the common area and some had gone outside. I hesitated, and then decided I'd also go for a walk outside.
As I stepped out the back door, I was shocked by the view. It was breathtaking. I realized the door was the entry to the sandy shore of a beautiful, calm beach. To my left there was a cliff - there was only one way to get to this special place. The rainbow of the color streaked sky was gorgeous; it was the most glorious place I'd ever been! I inhaled it all with slow, deliberate breaths and wondered in awe at the striking beauty of
the beach. I stepped up to the water's edge...just being near to the water awakened a dormant longing in my heart. I was being drawn to it the way one's soul longs for its lover. My heart was being filled as I was drawn to wade in deeper, up to my knees. The aching in my soul was being filled with peace and the overwhelming loneliness was replaced with fullness of joy. Taking in the beauty gave me rest and respite from the dark aching that had been in my heart and I realized - it was God who had drawn me there, it was Him who was the water. He's the beautiful One, my place of rest and calm and retreat and the One I had been longing for with soul loneliness. I sat down in that lovely, inviting water and I began to weep. I was so sorry for having neglected coming to this place, this sweet and precious refreshing gift - this valuable time of coming to Jesus and letting Him be my water of life! My shoulders heaved and I cried cleansing tears of beautiful confession and repentance. And peace came. And grace. Even in correction, I was protected by His grace as I entered into the cleansing and righteousness that had been waiting there, available to me the whole time! Even in the midst of my salty tears, I was so grateful I hadn't chosen to walk around inside my loneliness but had made the simple decision to go outside myself for the refreshing presence of Christ through His Spirit, all in the Father's love.
And I woke up.
The beautiful beach was gone.
But the rest, the peace, the love, the deep joy and abiding presence of Jesus - that abides. Matthew 11:28-29 has never been so real - “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
And as He said to the woman at the well in John 4:14, "Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the
water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to