I think it was Sarah Markley’s blog a couple of years ago where I first learned about RSS feeds. At first I remember thinking how in the world does she have the time to write that much, but then I began carefully reading her posts and saw the seasoned insight that only comes from one who understands that life is indeed messy. I have a profound respect for Sarah because she doesn’t try to pretty up her story, but rather continually puts it out there as an offering of hope for many who are hanging on by a thread.
Everyone has them.
I’m not a dream analyst but I tend to think naked dreams happen when a person is feeling primarily vulnerable or frightened about something.
Mine happened over and over again between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college.
Somehow I’m in the supermarket in the middle of the morning. Harsh florescent lights above, soft elevator Musack from hidden speakers: an instrumental version of Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” the backdrop.
On top I would be wearing a sweater or a coat, something to ward off the chill of the refrigerated section. But on the bottom I would be wearing, ahem, nothing.
Nothing. At. All.
Pushing a cart, I would look down and notice that I was exposed, vulnerable and the only thing I could do to escape the nakedness (because my dream occurred in an entirely jeans-less world) would be to wake up.
Wake up. Wake up, Sarah. NOW!
Stiff, sticky eyes do not want to give up the sleep or the horrible dream. They open in my college dorm room. I turn over because my roommate is still up studying something for Western Civ. I reach under my comforter and yes, I’m wearing pajama pants. I’m not in a bright supermarket and I’m not naked. I’d been in this narrow bed the whole time.
The realness of the dream weakens as I close my eyes again to try to get back to sleep.
I lived for a long time in a sort of dream. Not a naked dream, but a living dream where I believed wrong was right and right was wrong. I lived for three years in the nightmare of engaging in an extramarital affair.
Unlike a traditional nightmare, unwelcomed on the loneliest of nights, this nightmare was completely of my own choosing. But just as in a dream in full Inception-esque style, I could no longer tell what was happening in the outside world. I truly believed that my sinful actions and wrong choices were “okay” and that everyone who thought differently just didn’t get it.
On a Sunday afternoon over six years ago, I had the chance to will myself to wake up.
Wake up, Sarah. NOW!
Between the Holy Spirit, my husband, a few good pastors and my own exhaustion of carrying the weight of heavy sin, I woke up. I woke out of the world where I believed my actions were justified in some twisted way, out of the place where true love and transparency did not exist out of the dream where I couldn’t see anything without the filter of sin over my eyes into the full, real life where God, my husband and our family existed.
Sin faced me squarely and I woke up to my responsibility, to the darkness of my own heart and to the ever-open love of the Father who had been pursuing me.
And my only choice was to stop. To wake up.
Now, here was the nakedness. Not in a nightmarish overnight escapade into a florescent supermarket world, but the nakedness that comes from being vulnerable, transparent and open as a broken sinner in front of the God of the Universe.
What about you. What do you find scary about having your true-self completely exposed?