I’m having the wild dreams again.
It’s obvious that my dream life sometimes rears up like a sleeping dragon that is tired of dormancy. The dragon has launched, guys, with fire coming from its nostrils, reptilian wings flapping.
All the anxiety comes out in the dreams. They are an ethereal, visual manifestation of my fears. And yet they also feature my subconscious saying things about what I am capable of.
Exhibit A: The mad driving skills dream.
A few nights ago I dreamed I was driving my Odyssey with Jeff, Jack, Junior, and my friend Brittany (who lives several thousand miles away, but why not) as my passengers. We were in my neighborhood, and suddenly turned on an unfamiliar street I’d never even noticed before. I use the term “street” loosely. It was a rutted out disaster of a dirt road.
In an effort to not get stuck, I gunned my minivan, employed evasive turning maneuvers, and at one point, even drove across a “bridge” made of two unconnected logs spanning a muddy, swollen riverbed.
“I don’t know how to drive in these conditions!” I yelled at everyone in my car. “This is insane!”
At this point, I was “driving” in a flooded, twisting ditch that resembled the lazy river at the local rec center.
“No one taught me how to make a minivan float!” I growled.
Jeff, riding shotgun, said, “You’re doing it. It’s fine. You made it through all the ruts and across that log bridge thing and this is working too.”
That’s where the dream ended.
My sister, Kate, recently noted that Jeff plays a pivotal role in my dreams/life/blog, to which I solemnly nodded as one can only do when one’s blood relative speaks the truth, unembellished.
She pointed out that whenever the shiz is flying and anxieties are high, Jeff usually deadpans some calm remark that makes sense of everything and turns the situation around. He does and she’s right.
Then I told this dream to my sister, Sarah, who squealed, “That’s your next post! There is symbolism all over the place! It’s a gold mine!”
It’s practically ridiculous, the obvious parallels between the driving dream and my actual life.
I’m driving a van over a booby-trapped death road = I’m raising three children with special needs + one regular teenager (being a teen is arguably kind of a special need, in a way).
I’m driving and Jeff is in the passenger seat = I’m the mom and he helps whenever possible, but is also the dad and is, by definition, often out bread-winning and such.
I had a carload of people I was responsible for = I feel responsible for a LOT—of people and outcomes and laundry and schedules and futures and dental appointments and neuroses.
We were close to home, geographically speaking, and yet it was a wilderness terrain = I am parenting, much like a good part of the world parents, and yet it feels remote and dangerous. It’s parenting 2.0.
I was yelling = I yell, irl.
Jeff was calm, diagnostic, and analytical = Jeff is Engineer Husband and Dad.
Things looked bizarre and, frankly, bleak. And yet, I was doing it = Things often do feel quite bizarre and muy bleak. And yet, we are doing it.
We are making it work, because God is helping us make it work.
I got a Christmas card from my dear friend, Jana, this week. Jana is one of the most spiritually astute people I have ever known. She teaches me something vital every time she opens her mouth. Her letter filled me in on their lives and concluded with the statement, “I have realized that I am completely dependent on God.”
Jana is a beacon of faith and wisdom in my life. And she functions in complete dependence on God.
My Dukes of Hazzard dream driving success wasn’t because I’m great at handling a minivan. We didn’t sink because God is, in a manner of speaking, the Odyssey.
He is the vehicle carrying us through turmoil. He’s put me at the wheel, and told me to drive, but he is the frame holding us up and the wheels moving us forward.
He’s seeing us over the logs spanning the gulf.
He’s holding us up in the flood.