Okay my friends, as promised, I’m going to share with you something very personal here. It will only appear on this site. Did you read yesterday’s newsletter? I am entrusting myself to you. I trust that you will keep this among ourselves and only others you can trust with this information. So I trust that you will respect the risk I am taking right now.
Last night I had a dream about the last church I pastored and left. But first some background. A young man and his family moved here because of the unique and rather notorious nature of our church community. He’d heard about it and loved it and wanted to catch the DNA of it. So we invited him. He came, got a job, and they settled in. We were best of friends. I essentially mentored him in this way of being and doing church.
A few years later, when I had that horrible meeting that resulted in me absolutely knowing that my time was done with the church, everything fell into place in my mind. I would quickly prepare my leadership team, I would offer my friend to the team and the church as the new pastor, and we could make a smooth and speedy transition. The team, though sad, were totally supportive. We were very very close and they knew my struggles over the years and were completely understanding, sympathetic and cooperative. Although my friend was terrified, he was also honored. It was a humbling experience for all of us. Because we were still very close to the church, the plan was that I and my family would take a good break… maybe six months or a year, and then return to support the church and its ministry.
However, as soon as the church was transferred over to my friend, we were cut off. My friend didn’t want me associating with the church or anyone in it. We completely lost touch. The leadership team pretty much disintegrated and we were cut off from all of our friends, including the new pastor and his family. We have no contact with anyone there. We never talk with any of them and never really cross paths. And the new pastor and I do not communicate. We have maybe three couples we see from there, but they’ve all left the church as well. I’m thankful for their friendship. (A couple of them are members of this site!)
I have to admit it’s been a source of great confusion, bewilderment and hurt for me and my family, including my kids. On the other hand, we are all like, “Of course! Typical!” because we have experienced a history of confusion, bewilderment and hurt at the hands of the church over the years. This all went down two and a half years ago. There is still some pain there, just like touching one of my old scars conjures up an ancient affliction.
So here’s my dream:
I am in a house. I think it is my friend’s house, the pastor. His parents are there, as well as the new leadership and other people. It’s like a house party. Someone says that now we’re going to share prophetic words with each other so pair up. One of my leader friends who was always so supportive says that she wants me as a partner. I think okay, but we don’t talk anymore, so it’s kind of feeling awkward. She gives me a card. I open it up and it’s full of signatures from the church people wishing me well. I say something that indicates that is all finished and that I’ve moved on or something like that. The new pastor’s dad says, “But what about us?” I’m shocked! I say, “What do you mean ‘us’? There is no ‘us’!” He’s very sad. He apologizes for the way his son has acted and says that he’s just an insecure boy and not to take it personally. He indicates to me that they all want us to be restored and for us to return and support the church and its ministry and that they miss us. I feel very awkward but my heart is softened.
That’s it! I’m very experienced at dream interpretation so I’m not going to tell you what I think it’s about. But I’ll tell you the effect it had on me: my heart has definitely softened toward the church and the pastor. I think it was like the final release of hurt or bitterness or resentment. I really do feel free of the negativity of that experience. This often happens to me: when there’s been a severance in a relationship with someone I’ve loved, a dream comes along down the road in which we hug or kiss or make up, such as this dream, and it seems to complete my forgiveness. This one definitely fits into that category.
Thanks for listening.