This past week has been especially hard. I had a painting event at a church whose denomination I grew up in as a child. I got to thinking about the people (and events too) who influenced me and my take on religion and spirituality today. I got to thinking about this one young man who was only ten years older than myself and an incident that occurred with him that shaped my opinion of politics in religion. I told my husband about this man and how great he was as a minister and as a positive role model. I wanted to call my mom and see what he was up to but it was late, so I googled him instead and found he had worked his way up the church and political ladders. He was pastor of the church we called "The Mother Church of the South" which was a HUGE accomplishment. I was sooooooo happy for him! He had also worked his way up to the state senate. He was a regular in our household when my sisters were still at home... They are also 10+ years older than me so they knew him very well. My mother worked for his uncle who helped raise him and his uncle was also an elder in the church. My mother served as his secretary both in his law offices and in the church district. While I don't remember him much from the younger years as my sisters do, I remember him greatly from my teenage years forward.
Why, oh why, am I putting you through this long explanation? Well, he crossed my mind on Monday. I had meant to call my mother both on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings but I kept putting it off. He was on my mind so heavily like a 2 ton weight, I just couldn't shake it. I did the event at the church on Wednesday morning and had to fight the temptation to play the song he always wanted me to play on the piano when I was younger, "Yes, God is Real." It was a real struggle. The song stuck in my head for the rest of the day along with the overwhelming stream of thoughts about him.
Later that night after watching American Ninja Warrior with the hubs, the news came on. I wasn't paying much attention (it's always bad) but my husband said, "Isn't that the church you were telling me about?" I looked up and the Mother Church was on the news, surrounded by police cars. There was a shooting at the church and at that time while there were fatalities, the news outlets were not reporting names. I was stunned. Being a Wednesday night, I knew Bible Study was probably being held there. I hoped the young man I knew (who was now the pastor of the church) wasn't there. I went to bed in worry. I woke up the next morning and called my mother. She told me he had died, after being shot to death along with 8 others.
Despite being overcome with sadness, the kind of heavy weight that had been on my mind about him for the past couple of days was gone. It never returned. It seems so unfair that the world loses such a great person... A genuinely great person. I was mad for awhile. Why let me think of him and be happy for him and desire to see him, only for him to die? I'm grateful I didn't mention this to my mother. This isn't the first time I had a premonition of sorts or a feeling about something or someone that manifested itself.
My freshman year of college, two months in, my mother calls me and said, "Your dream came true." I knew then that our house had burned down. The dream she was referring to? A recurring one I had when I was just five years old. A nightmare really. I had it for months before I went to my mother and told her, "In the future, our house is going to burn down." I meant far future... The dream indicated that in my young mind. Not near future. My mother got scared and told me to never repeat it again. I never did and the nightmares stopped. I had forgotten about it until her phone call. Then I just knew.
I had a dream that I had drowned in shallow water. Now I'm deathly afraid of deep water and drowning so in the dream when presented with a body of water that looked deep (although a pig was wallowing in it) and a body of water that looked shallow, I immediately jumped into the shallow end and sank sure and fast. I struggled to breath and nearly died. I woke up at 5:45 am, my body completely frozen, only my eyes were able to move. I couldn't speak. Slowly feeling came back in my body, the sensation of waking up your legs when they fall asleep, only all over my body instead. By 6 am I was able to get up and move. I told my mom about the dream (but not about the paralysis) and she said a man or young boy was going to drown. That weekend, her best friend's husband drowned on a fishing trip. His boat overturned in six feet of water and trapped him underneath somehow. He drowned in shallow water.
This is only a sampling of the types of premonitions and feelings (and dreams) I've had that seemed to have some bearing on my real world life.
I had a more recent dream of a deceased relative. I was always taught not to talk to the dead in my dreams (I broke this rule once but they didn't talk back so no worries). The elders say if they talk back, they will take you with them so don't engage them. So I was in a crowded restaurant and this relative stood up. I got the sense for a second that she was still alive but then knew she was dead and I was dreaming. I walked over to where she was. She sat back down at the table where everyone was a black shadow except for my cousin, the deceased relative's daughter. She didn't seem to recognize me. I kept saying her name only to have her look at me in confusion. Finally I could see a light of recognition and she said my name. One of the people behind her materialized and I recognized a family member I no longer associate with (a lot of ill feelings) before my alarm clock woke me up. I don't know what to make of that dream. It left me in a state of confusion...that's all I felt from it. Confusion. I told my mom and she said that our deceased relative was trying to tell me something. This dream came six days after the death of the young pastor.
Any input would be appreciated. My dreams of dead relatives have always been warnings. An abusive relationship I was in (but was refusing to leave) when I was younger had a deceased loved one visit me. I loved her soooo much that I talked to her in the dream despite the warnings I had been given never to speak to the dead. She never spoke. Her eyes were black pits and she just stood there listening (I sat on a bench next to her, so very happy). The only thing she did was reach out and put her hand on my shoulder. It was like a jolt of electricity zapping through my body. I bolted straight up in bed from the shock, wide awake, my head clear. I knew what I had to do. I packed his bags that night and ended the relationship for good. This was my third warning dream. The first dream was my death in which I was shot, the second was an ancestor I knew (but had never met before) visiting me and talking with me at length before he died and was taken to our old family burial ground. This was the third.
Any input on any of this would be appreciated.