I jolted awake at 4:30 a.m. with two startling gasps for air. It felt like the way you frantically suck in oxygen after swimming too far to the bottom of the pool.
Trying to calm myself from my panicked state, I recalled the dream that elicited such a response. It was about my mom. She was alive — and dying of cancer — and just like in real life I lost her all over again. The weight I felt on my chest the moment before waking up was my body suppressing a gut-wrenching sob that my dream pushed to let out.
I walked to the bathroom, letting myself cry where my husband wouldn’t wake up. This dream had gripped me so. Though I haven’t dreamt of Mom much since she passed away five months ago, every time I do, she’s sick, battling cancer. Just once I want to dream of her healthy again….
Not Sick Anymore
Today is my birthday. Is that why I dreamed of my mom? My first birthday without her has hit me harder than I realized.
I lay back down in bed, willing myself not to cry anymore. My husband has only seen me cry a handful of times since Mom’s death. I certainly didn’t want to startle him in the early morning hours.
My mind was drawn back to the sadness of the dream, seeing my mom sick, losing her to this horrible disease all over again.
But then I realized something that helped me fall peacefully back to sleep: she’s not sick anymore. Cancer has no control over her body any longer. She’s healthy and free.
We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. –2 Cor. 5:8
So Far but So Close
As I write this, my son’s best friend Garrett is visiting before school starts. This morning I went to Garrett’s home to pick him up. Every time I travel to his house I enjoy the scenic lakeside drive.
I’m always amazed at one point in the drive when I look across the lake to see the power plant where my husband works. As I often do on these drives, I point it out and say to my kids, “Daddy is right there.” Many times they’ll respond, “Whoa! It’s so close!”
My husband does seem close on these drives, yet he is so far away. To get to his work by car from that location it is a 30 minute drive.
Yet he was really close. I couldn’t see my husband, but I knew he was there. I couldn’t reach him or talk to him or even travel to him quickly.
Close but beyond reach.
Gazing on that place I knew my husband was at that moment, it made me think of eternity.
Not So Far Away
Mom seems so far. And truly, I can’t see her. I can’t talk to her. The road to see her again seems a long way in terms of this earthly life.
But could it be that she’s actually closer than I realize? Scripture tells us that when believers in Christ are away from the body they are present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). It also tells us that God is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:27).
Scripture hints that those who are in Heaven are aware of the happenings of earth (Rev. 6:9-11, Luke 16:19-31). Although I believe it’s more likely Mom is spending her time in the glorious presence of the Lord than she is observing me, I don’t discount the possibility. In fact, I think heaven is closer than we realize — which means, my mom is closer than I think.
And on hard days like today, that thought is comforting.
From one man He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. –Acts 17:26-27, emphasis mine