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So in the spirit of ‘listening to God’, see previous post, ‘dreaming of God’ I will share my first God dream. Whether or not this really was my first God dream is hard to know, but whenever I think about the first time I really ‘heard’ God, I go back to this moment.

Let’s travel back in time some years to a particularly painful period in my life. London, circa 2003. This was the first year after my father had died, my partner and I were trying to save our relationship and I was finding my way back to God along a dark and scary road.

The partner and I were away as part of an Alpha weekend. He was not much of a believer but to his credit was trying to find some middle ground with me so we could sort out our damaging and toxic relationship.

I loved this guy. ALOT. I believe he loved me too, but the rot had set in. I was angry after my dad’s death, proud, stubborn and really difficult to live with. He (bless his heart) was proud, stubborn and really difficult to push around, (ahem) so we fought. ALOT.

Losing him at this point in my life felt like more death and I was really struggling to come to terms with it. So one afternoon, lying on my bed, just about to go to sleep I am praying… that kind of desperate, heart wrenching, pleading prayer, that goes something like this, ‘please, please, please, please, please, please … don’t let us spilt up, please, please, please, please …’ You get the picture, not a lot of words, just black, dark, oozing pain of a kind I cannot explain… and in that state I started to drift off. But just as I was falling asleep I heard a voice, it sounded audible, like it was right in the room with me … and it said: ‘You have to unlearn your behavior.’ I sat bolt upright – I don’t know anyone who speaks like that, ‘unlearn your behaviour’ and I was so self righteous in my pain that I didn’t really believe that I needed to change in order to fix the relationship, we just had to learn to love one another warts and all – isn’t that what unconditional love is all about? In hindsight, apparently not.

The partner and I tried to fix things but ultimately it didn’t work out… what did work out though was my behavior. I learnt through that very painful lesson, that there were some aspects of my personality which were decidedly unpleasant – like for instance my temper – that temper was something else. She had a mind and a will all of her own and when she dropped in I was scary to be around. So I let God do some work with me, or rather, I allowed God to shine the light on the dark places and I undertook to unlearn my behavior with guidance and the realisation that I was not in it alone.

I have never ‘heard’ God like that again and in some ways I don’t think I really need to. God needed to catch my attention in a fairly radical way and bloomin ‘eck, catch it he did. Now I believe that he speaks to me and so I listen, actively. I recognise that it’s not always easy to hear what is being said and I am fairly sure that I misunderstand A LOT, but grappling with Gods will for my life keeps me humble, it keeps me engaged and it makes sure I stay awake and listening. Conscious…

…By the way, did you know that the word dream (chalom or verb chalam) is related to the Aramic and Hebrew verb ‘to be made healthy or strong’?

Listening to our dreams helps us heal.

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