My dreams as a child were inspired by Michael Jackson. They were nightmares, actually. After viewing Jackson's Thriller video at the age of four, I couldn't quite seem to get those zombie-like monsters out of my subconscious mind. They frequently came after me in the middle of the night when I should have been dreaming about more pleasant things, such as Candy Mountain, My Little Ponies, or the day I would go to Disney World and meet Minnie Mouse.
Sometime around second grade I told my dad about the nightmares and he instructed me, "The next time you have one, I want you to say, 'I rebuke you Satan. In the name of Jesus I command you to leave." I didn't know what the word rebuke meant, but the very next time those zombies came around I rebuked them in the name of Jesus and it worked like a charm. All the Thriller-like zombies scattered and I haven't had a nightmare since. ~ Excerpt from I Hate Books on Christian Dating
|Michael Jackson in Thriller * Photo from LA Times Music Blog|
It's true, for most of my life I've been relatively nightmare free. However, this past month I had two rather intense nightmares within the course of one week. And, in both dreams, an evil presence - one in the form of a demonic spirit, and one in the form of a snake - grabbed ahold of my body, and I couldn't get it to let go of me. Desperately I tried to rebuke "it" in the name of Jesus, but somehow it had a stronghold on vocal chords, and physically, I couldn't open my mouth to speak, nor could I breathe. But I kept trying and fighting to open my mouth and eventually I was able to use my words, and speak in my dream, "In the name of Jesus I command you to leave." And as I did, the evil presence let go of my body, and I abruptly awoke from my sleep. Still, I continued to speak the words over and over aloud until I felt safe and confident, that in Jesus' name, I had the authority.
Now, I didn't intend to go public on such a bizarre experience. Except, this past Sunday at church, the speaker shared in her talk about how she used to have nightmares when she was young, but more recently God has spoken to her through dreams in beautiful ways to encourage her and others in their life journeys. (On a side note, this female speaker is a gifted communicator and business woman, as well as a wife, and mom of two. She works in faculty development at the University of Michigan, helping make doctors better leaders.)
Following the sermon, as we transitioned into communion, the lead pastor said that if anyone has struggled with nightmares, or perhaps just started having them this past week, that he and the speaker would be over in the prayer station area to pray for those individuals at the end of the service. Well, hello now. I've been to churches where someone will sense someone needs prayer for something - typically a health issue - but I've never heard anyone specifically name nightmares as the thing to receive prayer for.
So, towards the end of the service, I sought out the speaker Brandie, and she prayed over me. But before she did, I briefly explained, how I've been wrestling with health issues for the past few years, and that in these nightmares I'm not able to speak. I told her, I know God has a future for me in speaking and writing, but right now, I'm feeling a bit stuck with my health being subpar.
After Brandie prayed for me, she told me, "I just sense... you have something amazing to say... and you're going to say it."
I hope so. I sure do hope so.
My Life Mission Statement: To be a voice of truth that sets women free to embrace the gifts that God has given them, that they, in turn, might make a significant impact in the world.