This morning I awoke from a slightly disturbing dream.

In the dream, I was in prison.  And I was about to “get out”.  I was sitting in a room with other women who were about to be released.  Instead of being excited, I was terrified.  I was trying to remember why I was put in prison.  All I could remember was the Hubs and I were in Florida (not our home state, Texas) and we were swimming in the ocean when this blond woman started flirting with him….more than flirted with him.  I killed her.  I don’t remember how I killed her (I assume I held her under water) or anything that happened after that (arrest, trial, etc).  I knew that I had gotten two years (pretty good for   manslaughter or murder, especially in Florida) and I kept thinking if I had been in Texas I would have “gotten off” because they never would have convicted me of killing an adulterous blond.  And I kept thinking, “It wasn’t like a promise broken, the covenant was broken.”   I was waiting to leave the prison, I talked to the Hubs on the phone and he was really supportive but no-committal.  Basically, he was saying, “You are going to be all right. You are going to make it.” but it was what he was NOT saying that was scaring me…  He wasn’t saying, “When you get out…” or “I will be there…”.  There was no future in his words. My thoughts were, “I have no idea what he has been doing these two years.”  And, “How am I going to get back to Texas?”.

Last week our LifeGroup was discussing “sin”.  And the most simple definition is anything that separates or severs our relationship with God.

In that moment between asleep and awake, I felt God tell me, that the “fear” and the “not knowing” are exactly what our separation from Him feels like.   In other words, you might hear His voice.  You might hear Him saying, “You can do this.  You are going to make it.” but you won’t hear your future and you will wonder “What has He been up to all this time? How could my life had been different if I had not walked away from Him?”  There is knowledge of Him, there is recognition, there is an acquaintanceship but there is NOT a relationship.

There are so many people who are ready to be released from prison but are still sitting in the chairs just inside the prison doors because they are afraid to walk out into the world and with good reason…they will be alone.  ALONE.  So many would rather stay in prison because at least there, there are others “like” them; at least there, they aren’t alone.

Friend, don’t stay in your prison for fear of the unknown or fear of being alone.

The truth is, just outside your prison walls Jesus is waiting for you. Maybe that sounds kind of scary too, after all, if you don’t know Him, it’s uncharted territory.  He’s trustworthy and faithful….  If you have known Him, you wonder “Will He take me back?  Will He forgive me?”  Hey, He knows everything you have done.

We have a joke at our church about practicing “pre-forgiveness” on gamenights.   Basically no one is allowed to hold offense for what is said and done on gamenight because we get quiet rowdy and loud and obnoxious and many of us are very competitive….  I am sometimes concerned that this gives people permission to behave in an asinine manner.  The truth is, if we think about it, Jesus pre-forgave us.  He went to the cross before we were born for every sin we would commit.

He has already forgiven you.  He has already accepted you.

I woke up in a cold sweat.  The Hubs was getting ready for work.  I told him about the dream.  He chuckled at my wierdoness and told me that He would never be like that.  That’s probably true.  After all, I would have killed someone for him.


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