For those of you who know me, I’ve been taking some medications with odd side effects such as vivid dreams.
Last night I dreamed I was at a lovely writer’s retreat in Africa with my writing friends. We received warning there was an uprising and we needed to hide out in the cellar, which was apparently built for just such an occasion. We grabbed as much food and water as we could and ran to the cellar. For some odd reason, there were windows in it, but they were bulletproof.
The doors didn’t hold and we were dragged out of the cellar. The rebels had captured an officer we assumed was on his way to help us and strapped him to a chair that was rigged to impale him.
We were obviously terrified and knew we would soon die.
There was a larger black lady with a pretty little girl with them. The little girl had an elaborate hairdo with tiny braids. The mother set the girl up on the countertop in the kitchen where they had herded us. I asked the mother if I could pray for them before we died and asked her if she would take her daughter away so she wouldn’t have to see it.
The woman smiled and agreed to let me pray for them. Then we started talking about clothes. For some reason, she had a lovely black pleated pantsuit with her and she gave it to me. I asked her where she got it and she told me Dillards.
I didn’t say my dreams made sense; they are just tremendously vivid and emotional.
This dream reminded me of an experience in Nashville, Tennessee. Will and I went to the fair several years ago and he happened to be in a radio station booth when they had a drawing. It was to be put in the box for a trip to Nashville for the CMA awards. Will was under 18 so I had to fill out his slip.
I wrote Psalm 5:12 on the bottom of the entry.
I was running a prison ministry at the time and it had been very difficult. We had gone on faith for six years and God was always there, but it was as if the spring had just dried up. One of my few remaining teachers said she had been praying about it and she felt it was only meant for a season and we were nearing the end of God’s season with that ministry. I told her I was so exhausted and tired. I just needed three days to get away from the stress and worry.
I won the trip and it was for two people for three days. Will was too young to go so I took my oldest son, Brandon. He had been in a bull riding accident and nearly died. I thought the trip would do him some good also.
Apparently it did. He decided to do his own thing instead of all the little planned excursions and went to a bar called Tootsie’s. He met a record producer there who immediately fell in love with him. She took him to all the record label private parties and I did the tourist thing with the group.
It wasn’t really easy at times because I had sprained my ankle just a few days before the trip and walking any distance was really painful. There was a lot of walking.
One of the events was a night out at a club. I didn’t know anyone. The band wasn’t that good and I couldn’t dance if I wanted to. It was going to be another two hours before the bus came to pick us all up, so I decided to walk back to the hotel. It was ten blocks, but I could make it.
I was about four blocks from the club and had just crossed an intersection when a van stopped in the intersection. It was nearly midnight so there was no traffic. I didn’t really notice the van until a man hollered at me. He was asking something about directions when another man threw open the side door of the van. I’m not normally a paranoid person, but I knew as well as I was standing there they were about to grab me. I knew I couldn’t outrun them and all I could think to do was pray for help.
Just then a black man stepped out behind me and said it was late to be walking alone.
I thought I was toast for sure and sent up another prayer for protection.
The men in the van looked at the man who stepped up beside me and closed the two doors and sped off. One danger was past, but I was still six blocks away from the hotel and the man beside me was not a huge man, but he was a lot bigger than me.
He just stared at me for a while and I stood there, holding my ground. Finally, I said, “Are you saved?”
The smell of cheap wine was overpowering. He continued to stare at me for a few seconds and then laughed and slapped his knee. “Yes, ma’am. I done got saved in prison.”
“I run a prison ministry. It looks to me like you’ve fallen on some hard times. I think we need to pray for you.” He joined with me as I prayed for him, then he asked me where I was going and I told him.
“You’re a long way from your hotel, missy. I’m going to walk you home. This is a dangerous area.”
I tried to dissuade him, but he insisted. We arrived at the hotel and I offered to give him some money, but he declined. The doormen were not too impressed with my companion and he was gone before I knew it.
I am convinced to this day he was my guardian angel and I also have a feeling if I had ever been dragged into that van, I wouldn’t have come out alive.
I definitely did a lot of praying and thanking the Lord that night.
The next morning I got up and stepped out of bed. I took a step and there was no pain whatsoever in the sprained ankle. It was still bruised, but all the swelling was gone and it was completely healed.
I never told Don about the story because he was convinced anyone weak enough to be spiritual is weak. I know I am, but I am made stronger through God.