Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Real of my Nightmares

It's not real. It's not real. Sitting up I woke with a mighty fear. My breath was caught, but yet my heart was beating out of my chest. Wait. Where's Steven? Is he home? Okay, it was a dream. He's sleeping. Jake is home. Did they hear me screaming? Not again. Not another dream like this. Please, Lord, when is this going to end? 

I was in the truck with Steve. We are sitting side by side, laughing at something he said. I look over, a split second, I see it coming. There's no time to escape. I can hear myself say, "Sweet Jesus, No!" I hear the truck crash. I hear the roar of metal clashing with metal. I feel the truck flip end over end. I hear the screams. But wait..Steven pushed me out before we crashed. In my dream I hear and see everything. There isn't a detail that is unknown. But, I am not in the truck. I am safe. But where is Steven? 

In my dream I am rushing, but I don't know where it is I'm headed. I hear sirens. He is alive. But I see every detail of his injuries. I see staples in his head. I see the cuts on his face. I see the bruises and blood. It's all so real. He appears in front of me. He wipes my tears away and says, "Rob, it's okay. I'm okay. We're alive." 

This is the third dream I have had that has invaded my night. The first two were just as frightening. When did they begin? Shortly after my husband was in a severe crash where he was hit by a drunk driver. I haven't shared these dreams with anyone except my son. And even then I didn't share all the details. For me to even speak them brings tears. It is unimaginable how this crash has touched my life, bringing with it such devastating fear. Debilitating fear.

I have lived this real nightmare in seeing how every aspect of our lives is now different. I witness the struggles my husband faces each and every day. But for me to be affected in such a way with dreams goes beyond the day to day struggle. I can't even escape when sleeping. It makes you not want to close your eyes at night.

It's taken me seven months since the crash to be able to sleep at night. When my husband went back to work his route for delivering mail was a night. I couldn't get that early morning call out of my head. And then the dreams began assaulting me. 

There have been six times now where I have been watching a movie or a television program and in the story-line travels to a car crash where the car is air born after being hit or is rolling to a dead heap after it took a hit. Before the car lands motionless I find myself shaking, my fists are balled, my heart is beating uncontrollably. I tell myself, "It's okay, Rob.  It's okay. Breathe. Just breathe." Tears stream as I ask the Lord to intercede. "Lord, what is going on with me? Why is this happening?" I am taken right to that very crash that altered the life we knew. 

I wasn't there when this woman crashed into my husband. That morning, the first time seeing the truck after the crash, my knees buckled. It was raining, but I knew it was warm tears flowing freely as my heart pounded. I couldn't speak. "No, Jesus. This can't be true." I can visualize the crash today as if I was there with him. I will never forget the emotion in his words has he shared with me what he endured. He was fully conscious and knew every single moment of what was happening. For me to envision this, for me to know that this is was reality for him, to know the man I love lived this frightening crash, brings me to a place of complete fear.

If you asked anyone who knows me they would tell you that I am fearless. There isn't anything that terrifies me. That was before October 12, 2016. It seems fear has encapsulated me. I hate driving. I am nervous just sitting in the passenger seat. I don't watch the news because I don't want to see any crashes. Even listening to the radio they share the accidents on the highway. There are moments it's impossible to watch television without having to walk out of the room. I have become someone I don't recognize.

This fear is now my daily battle. It's a fear I never imagined living. I am now waiting for that next phone call. I worry that, well, when is our world going to be rocked next? Who is it going to be? Our sons, daughters, grandchildren? Is it going to be me? Yeah, I have a real fear of leaving the house. Here I may feel safe, but I don't feel safe for anyone else. I feel like I'm losing my mind. This is something I have never faced before.

Feeling overwhelmed at times is a part of life. But this is just something I am not sure how to escape. As soon as I feel calm and comfort is it going to happen? This fear is like igniting a monster. You know those dreams when you're being attacked, you fight back, but the bullets don't hit them, the blows you send do nothing but hit air? That's how I feel.

I cannot feel this way. There is too much to do. Life is too precious. I have to be strong. I have to face this attack. Yeah, I know it's an attack from Satan. He isn't letting up. I refuse to let him win. I refuse to give in to anymore fear.

I recently finished a book penned by Nicole Johnson entitled, "Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy." Here is a quote from that book. 

"One thing I discovered during that time is that when the mind can't make sense of something important, it is reluctant to let it go. It's almost as if your mind says, "Wait, don't move on; I need more information before I can go forward." It keeps returning to the trouble spot over and over, trying to figure it out. Like some weary detective stuck in the rain, my brain kept returning to the scene, retracing the steps, looking for clues, trying hard to solve the mystery of The Day Life Fell Apart. If I could have solved it, I could have moved on. But the mystery remained a mystery and more questions surfaced and my brain could not let it go. The detective became a stubborn donkey and sat down, refusing to move. I was stuck." Nicole Johnson

I read these words and I knew this was God ordained perfection for me. These were words my heart needed. These are words my brain has to figure out. This is profoundly powerful for me. I haven't been able to let go. This traumatic event in our lives has affected me in such a powerful way that I haven't been able to move past the impact of what this woman caused. Why? Because we are still living it. My husband isn't healed. He struggles greatly and it breaks my heart to see my strong and fearless husband face this giant that just shouldn't be. 

Sure, there's anger. I try to make sense of it all, but you know, you cannot make sense out of what makes so sense at all. So, I try to focus on Jesus and see His direction. I know He is guiding us. He is teaching us. He has given such grace. Without Him I just cannot imagine where we would be today. We are awaiting this driver's trial and praying she receives the fullest measure of punishment for her crime. But regardless of that outcome, we have to place ourselves in the right mindset and remain focused on what Jesus is doing in our lives. 

I don't want to be stuck in fear. I want to move past this horrific day. I don't want to see my husband's truck in my memory any longer. I think I have been waiting for everything to settle, for my husband to heal, for everything to make sense, before I put it all behind me. But, that isn't what I should be doing. I have to open my hands, my heart, my everything, and give it all to Jesus. If I have to give it over to Him every single day that's what I must do. I can't hold it all any longer. It's too much. 

Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever wanted to much to move past something, but fear has stalled you in such a way you feel immobilized? Nightmares are never fun. We never wake saying, "Yeah, let's do that again!" When nightmares are coming from such a fear in your life they are paralyzing. 

"We are anxious for a reason. Something, or someone, is making us anxious. To be free from fear we have to specifically name the things that are keeping us up at night. "God, this is what is making me afraid." We can figuratively place them in our heavenly Father's hands, and we can trust them to his sovereign care. We don't minimize the situation; we maximize our view of the only One we can totally trust. We don't simply deny the problem we are threatened by; we relocate it to the hands of the only One who can manage it well. And we leave it there as we close our eyes to sleep. God is able to redeem every situation. He is able to breathe new life into every heart. God is able to restore anything that's been lost or broken or stolen. He is able to do "far more than we dare ask or imagine."" (Eph. 3:21) Louie Giglio

I know God can and will bring me to a place where fear does not hold me hostage. I am not there yet, but I am trusting Him in this journey of unexpectedness. I know in order for Him to heal I have to give Him the room needed. I have to turn over everything to Him and trust Him with a "no matter what" kind of faith. I cannot worry about what could happen tomorrow. That's me trying to control life. In some way that's me saying to God, "Please, let me handle this. Let me keep my family safe. I know what's best. If you just let me do this there won't be any need for fear." This isn't healthy, mind, body, or soul healthy. 

Maybe you are facing nightmares of your own. Please know that you're not alone. Even in the nightmare He is there with us. I have to be honest with myself. I have to face these fears, but I know I don't have to do it alone. I know that no matter what happens God has it in control. There isn't anything that touches us that doesn't first go through His hands. 

Healing can come in a moments breath. It too can take time. Healing isn't always what we envision. Through all of this, this journey we live that is so unwanted, was allowed for some purpose. For me to know this, to ponder God's hand in our lives, gives room for my faith to grow in ways that wouldn't be possible if not for this journey. 

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1-5  

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