Michael often has dreams of a spiritual nature; me....not too many. The few I have had, however, have always packed a very powerful punch and the one I had just a few hours ago was definitely one of those. So, at 6:30 in the morning here, with windows and doors thrown open to the light, because light is needed right now, and with coffee brewing in the kitchen I'll share it with you before the details ~ and the message ~ become fuzzy edged and too difficult to relate to another.
I was in the home of a family that I've known my entire life whom I deeply love. We're all sitting around talking and into our midst walks a young woman completely naked except for a long sweatery vest, open in the front, and high heeled shoes. Her hair and makeup are done and she's very pretty; not in a slutty film star sort of way though which gives me pause the first time I see her. And, it's obvious from everyone's reaction that they know her and she's clearly a welcome guest despite the immediate and very obvious discomfort of everyone there.
She sits in the only available space which is, of course, next to me and the further I scoot myself away from her the closer she moves toward me. No one seems to give her much notice and when I can't move away any further I jump up and very vehemently ask who the hell she is and what she's doing here. My question is first met with disdainful looks from the others in the way of, "hey. don't say anything. you don't want to offend her. and, that's not very christian of you." One man jumps up and loudly exclaims, "FINALLY!!! Someone's saying something!"
I look to the elders in the family and ask what they could possibly be thinking by allowing this woman into their home, don't they know that every man here wants to have sex with her; probably even some of the women? And if the latter aren't thinking of her that way they're at the very least comparing themselves to her and telling themselves where they don't measure up.
The man who spoke up agrees that he'd been thinking of her that way and now his wife who's sitting next to him is upset but he's like, come on...what did you think?
It becomes evident that the elder woman allowed her to be there in the hope that her own husband would have sex with her (the whole Abraham, Sarah, Hagar thing and we know how that went down - still feeling the effects today). I, very heatedly, start talking about how seeing this woman in this way is a stumbling block for everyone there, myself included.
Then I woke up. Lay in bed in the dawn light trying to put all the pieces together. Thinking more on each detail and listening to what He was telling me and I've come away with this:
1. often times people who've been sexually abused as children (hand raised) have also experienced same-sex touching at some point in their life (hand raised) and have sometimes struggled with same-sex attraction (hand raised).
2. when something has you in it's grip, it's best to run hell-bent for leather in the opposite direction whenever it comes toward you; commands you to give it your full attention. like joseph running from potipher's wife - he ran right out of his robes in order to get away and stop himself from doing the wrong thing. and a person's struggle doesn't have to be sexual in nature. it could be spending money, drinking, or that glorious chocolate cake on the counter, ooozing sweet buttery frosting .
3. as much as i want to be able to say that i don't struggle with certain things in my life and as much healing as michael has brought healing to me and as often as i've asked God to deliver me from them, i can completely relate to paul's words ~ I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:7-9
When I was younger and had less understanding of the Word, I used to believe that the 'thorn in his side' was an actual thorn or some sort of physical ailment. Now...not so much. Since he describes it as, 'a messenger of Satan to torment', I think it's a struggle of the flesh and will; something he had victory over most of the time and something he defaulted to in his darkest moments. Torment of the most insidious kind.
Last night, making love in tears, confessing my struggles to Michael. I felt his complete love for me and mine for him - our acceptance of one another and I wish that was enough . To apologize and really mean it. To ask for and receive forgiveness. To run away from my thorns to the point of nakedness. To accept His grace; sufficient for all. Yet I know those struggles still live within me and I know they'll raise their ugly heads again.
That I would grow wings to carry me away when that happens. Fast and far.