My husband and I were preparing to leave on a trip to Israel. I awoke that day, recalling a dream from the previous night. I remembered hearing a booming voice ask a question: “Do you want to be Sweet’N’Low or Equal?” This is not what I was expecting today. We had travel plans to make and a lot of loose ends to tie up. Nevertheless, God was attempting to start a conversation with me.
I didn’t want to deal with the probing nature of His question at that time. I was getting a vacation to the Holy Land. My toddlers had a safe place to stay with my mom which provided free time and rest. Despite my agenda, I knew what this thunderous question was about. This was a direct reference to my relationship with my husband. Was I going to be equal in my marriage or not? I had to choose if there was going to be any change. This was the theme of the trip we were to have in Israel. I knew God was encouraging me to be Alan’s full counterpart as he would need my help and strength in the future, although at the time, neither one of us knew it. We had a tumultuous 16 day trip which ended in much growth and a truce. We battled to a standoff; he gained new respect for me. Although submissive, I was not to tolerate his overbearing dominance any longer. God had won the day by helping me express myself and conquering my fears of confronting conflict in my marriage by a simple question in a dream.
The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:8 that he felt a burden to preach about the unsearchable riches of Christ. That scripture resonated in me. I wanted people to discover the peace that communion with God brings. I first had to learn what the unsearchable riches were, however. Like the dream in the previous example, I would have to learn that the riches came in a form I didn’t often readily recognize or welcome.
In the account of the Emmaus Road, Cleopas and a second man failed to identify Jesus although He was walking right beside them. They’d experienced a number of failed expectations which dulled their ability to identify the risen Christ. They may have expected a king or mighty warrior to rescue them. Instead, their Savior came on a humble donkey and was crucified. Unfortunately, I had also been guilty of these same delusions; I failed to see the presence of God in the midst of my circumstances, especially in times of distress.
The Holy Spirit is able to communicate profound truths in many simple ways. I had wrestled with feelings of rejection and inadequacy since childhood. I often felt disqualified as a result of some painful experiences I had as a young girl. My parents didn’t shame or demean me, but I had not achieved as much as my siblings, and I took on a rejected identity. Not knowing my value in Christ became the basis for a lifelong spiritual battle. Childhood wounds often provide an avenue for demonic attack. I felt like I was climbing out of a hole of condemnation most of the time only to be knocked right back in by someone’s hurtful words.
God intervened one night, causing me to have a dream. I saw myself in a tight fitting leotard, which I began to remove. Initially, I thought it was my skin, but as I removed it, I realized I was also shedding an old mindset. I saw for the first time that something familiar had been put on me I no longer had to wear. I am very appreciative for the clarity of insight this image provided. The riches I received that day would sustain me for years to come. I decided to reject feelings of rejection and hate shame from that point forward. I realized after reading Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus despised shame, enduring the cross for the joy set before Him. He didn’t own the shame but carried it for us. He focused on the joy of freedom coming and His finished work for us. I am grateful to be a conqueror with Him. I felt like God was saying if I could sacrifice my “scars” and shame to Him, He could make it a place of healing for others.
One other example of God’s gift to me was when I first believed that the Holy Spirit was alive today and still communicating. I became so excited that I hounded the Lord every day on my jog to find my purpose and gift. I knew my destiny might be way in the future because I was raising two toddlers at that time but continued to ask. One night I dreamed in large typed letters the answer to my question about my gift: “Housecleaners over the Lord’s House”.
To tell the truth, I wasn’t too thrilled because I had never been a very immaculate housekeeper but looking further into the scriptures I discovered I might help others with deliverance and cleaning up the issues of their “house”. God let me know then that I would be going through a thorough cleaning myself before I would be helping anyone! This revelation helped me so often stay the course when I continued for years working out my own inner healing. I did feel that no man could take that valuable word from me and I treasure it to this day.
I challenge you whether God comes to strengthen or equalize your marriage, deliver you from childhood wounds, or inform you of your gift or destiny to do what Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call to Him and He will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.” Whether we hear His still, small
voice, receive a word from the Bible, a song, or a dream, let’s welcome any form He comes in as riches from heaven!