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Diary of Dreams- God as 'Therapist'

Although many people focus on dreams or visions as an avenue for God to give messages to others, the fact is that dreams and visions are often not just for others but for ourselves also.

The vast number of dreams or visions posted on this particular section of "Diary of Dreams" will be those given to myself, for myself.   Some of these will be edited down to include only the section that is relevant to this subject here, which is "God as Therapist."  These edits and very brief treatments of some aspects of my life as I lived it then, and are designed to keep focused on testimonies of God's interventions through dreams or visions.

The first one that I post below was a vision.  It was the first vision from the Lord of its type that I had.   I trust you will find it an inspiring testimony of how God first addressed my difficulties with fear and authority.

God in All His Power/Jesus as Friend - approx. 1979

When I was seventeen years old, I was thrown out of my mother and stepfather's house because I would not renounce Christ. This was not at all a sad occasion for me.  For one thing, I was finally able to go live with my father, whom I adored.  I had not lived with him since my parent's divorce when I was six years old, and had rarely been able to visit him from the time I was twelve years old.

When my mother dropped me off to live with my father, she told him many terrible lies about me.  It was not unusual for my mother to tell lies like this at all, but as far as I know, this was the first time she had ever told lies like this to my father.  

My mother's lies were designed to defame my character and convince my father that I should not be allowed to see any of my Christian friends. As she said what she had to say, I stood there and firmly said, "You know that's a lie, Mom."  After that I said nothing else.  I was both angry and sad that my mother would seek to poison the relationship between my father as her last act against me before she and I parted.  

After she dropped me off, my father said nothing to me about it and I said nothing to him.  Because of what my mother said though, I was afraid to ask my Dad if I could go visit any of my Christian friends. This meant that I did not seek to go to any meetings at all with other Christians.  Instead, I kept to myself and did housework, went to school, and otherwise acted as normally as I could.

After about four weeks of this, my father came up to me and sat down in front of me. These were his words as I can recall: "You know, your mother said a lot of things when she dropped you off.  But I have decided that I do not believe her.  The reason I don't believe her is because she didn't act like the woman I married many years ago at all. She did not say goodbye to you, or hug you, or anything like that at all.  It totally flabbergasted me the way she acted. If my wife (by this he meant my stepmother) were to drop off one of her children, she would have been crying, hugging them, and it would have been quite a scene.  That's because she cares about her kids.  But as for your mother... Well I've never seen a woman act so cold to her own children.   Your mother is simply not the woman I used to know. So I have decided that I don't believe what she said to me when she dropped you off."

After that I was very relieved. I knew it would probably be okay to be in contact with my friends-- the other Christians my mother bad-mouthed as she told her lies about them and me.  So, I called them and talked to them at times, and otherwise I was more free than I had been in a very long time. (If you have read my testimony (the link is above), you will find out that prior to this, my time with my mother and stepfather was a  very different life than with my father). 

Because I had been so isolated from friends just prior to living with my Dad, I had become quite grateful for the freedoms Americans take for granted.  One of the things I really missed was worshipping God with other Christians. Another was worshipping God on the beach. When I was sixteen years old we used to go to the beach and worship together at times, or just walk along the beach, talking to each other. 

Now that I was living with my Dad and had some freedom, I called my fellowship and asked if they were doing that again.  If they were, could they please take me along? They said they hadn't done it in a long time and had no plans to. I was very disappointed.

So, I contented myself with worshipping God late at night by myself.  On one of those occasions I had my arms lifted up and while praying, I said outloud that I sure wished I could go to the beach again. Suddenly I heard waves crashing in the distance. The sound soon came closer to me. I felt the  room start to fade away. I felt an incredible Power in the room. Instantly I remembered a scripture that one of my Christian 'elders' had pointed out to me over a year prior to this.  This scripture was where God 'transported' Philip supernaturally to the town of Azotus after he had witnessed to a Eunich on the road through a wilderness area  (Acts 8:38-40) Once I realized that this might be happening to me (I had no problem believing such a thing could happen, for it did happen in the Bible), I was very frightened.  I quickly pleaded with God, "No! Go away! Not now!" The sounds and feeling faded away, leaving the room as before.

It took me a few minutes to recover from that.  I was somewhat ashamed that I had just blurted out to God that He should go away. I knew that the "beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord," but this was a bit overboard. I knew something was wrong  with how terrified I was.

Suddenly I remembered how afraid I was of my stepfather when I was growing up. He was a big man and his rages gave me the distinct feeling at times that he would just assume kill me. My mother was no different, so I was completely unprotected on a little five acre farm in the 'boondocks' (rural area) from whatever those two came up with.  I lived in almost constant fear for at least ten years of my life, from the age of six to seventeen. My only 'break' from the stess was during the hours I was at school.

I thought "Well, maybe that is why I am so afraid", and then I did not think of the incident.  Then it happened again.  Again, I was alone just like before, at night, while worshipping the Lord. This time the waves were louder.  I could practically feel the breeze coming off the water as it crashed into the sand!  Again, in a knew-jerk reaction, I cried out, "No! Please don't! Go away!" Again it all instantly faded, and again I felt a little like a failure.  Here I wanted to be close to God but I kept sending Him away!

In the mean time, life was getting complicated at my father's house. My stepmother did not want to be a stepmother to me or my brother, and there were fights between my father and her. I came up with ways to try to avoid the tension. Whenever it looked like there might be trouble, my brother and I took long walks on the railroad tracks so that we were not in anybody's way.

Things were better as school though. I had changed schools when I went to live with my father, and at my new school there was a very good art teacher which I took art class with. She looked at my work and commented, "Wow. You have talent. But obviously no one has bothered to teach you how to use any medium to make art with. You'll learn that in this class."  One of our assignments was to paint in oil paints. Well, I dove right in. I was so happy that I had a good art teacher, and I was greatly encouraged.   As I worked on my first oil painting, I decided to "do it as onto the Lord."  I happily obsessed over that oil painting to the point of skipping lunch to stay in art class and work on it.

Finally it was done and I took it home.  As I walked from the bus stop to home though, I realized with some disappointment that I could never show the painting to my father.  In my mind, doing so might provoke another fight between my stepmother and him. I simply did not want to be the center of any more fighting between them, and so to me it was best not to call any attention to myself at all. 

I shared a small room with my younger stepbrother and had to think real fast as to where to hide it. Fortunately the canvas was not that large, and I quickly slipped it out of the way behind a mirror of the dresser. Then, tired, I lay down on my part of the bunk bed--the bottom bunkbed.

However, as tired as I was, I just could not go to sleep.  After some time I gave up trying to sleep, and started rising out of the bed.  I did not even get to a sitting position though before I felt an invisible 'hand' gently push me back on my chest.  Instantly I fell into a deep sleep.

Then the vision began:

I was standing on the beach, at night, just like I wished I could do again. Then I saw a large crowd of teenagers, all from my school, walking in approximate rows and columns. They had blank expressions on their faces, as if blinded or numb. They were all walking in the same direction. The scripture came to mind, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. (Matthew 7:13). Then these kids abruptly disappeared.

Next, I began to walk to the edge of the ocean.  I stood at the edge and began to worship the Lord, arms held high, like I've done many times whether near the ocean or not.  The Power of God moved very quickly across the ocean toward me,  as big and as large as any hurricane.  Instantly I was taken up into the middle of this Whirlwind!  But it was the winds inside the 'eye' of this ' hurricane' were not still at all.  Instead, they spun me 'round and 'round very fast.

For a time I could feel myself laying on my bed at the same time as I could feel myself in the middle of the power of God.  I spun faster and faster, so fast that the centrifugal force pushed my tongue up against the roof of my mouth.  It began to hurt and I started to be afraid.  Just at that moment the ferocity of the spinning eased up some.  This happened three times.  Three times I was taken to the moment of pain and then the winds eased up. As the winds eased up so did my spinning.  After the third time, the Lord God spoke to me in a gentle, fatherly voice: "See Teri, I will not hurt you."

Then I was taken up into this storm and deposited in places and shown things.  After each scene I was shown, I was taken up again and taken to the next scene.  The first thing I was shown was myself.  I was walking around feeling discouraged. Suddenly a purple, decorated chalis appeared in my hands and I drank from it. The Lord said, "Whenever you feel depressed, drink from My Holy Spirit."  Next I was shown a scene where I gave a message to two twin brothers I recognized in my high school. They were in my drama class and actually I had never had any conversation with them before at all.  (In real life, after this vision, I did gave this message from God to them and they became Christians.)

Then I was 'dropped' out of the Whirlwind again and shown another scene.  This time it was myself. I was a little girl of about ten years old, running with another little girl of about the same age. We were holding hands. She had long brown hair like I did, but had brown eyes instead of blue.  (In real life I had never had such a close friend of my own age at that age--certainly not one I could play with) I held hands with her while I ran around and played with her.

I watched in some amazement as "we" ran into the trailer I was living in now.  We ran happily into the very room I was having this vision at.  Immediately, I (as the little girl) withdrew the hidden painting from behind the dresser, exclaiming, "Look what I did for You, Lord!  Isn't it beautiful?"  I was real proud of this painting, because I had worked so hard on it.  It was quite detailed for a first oil painting. Yet right after I pulled it out to show it off, I glanced at the painting and was stunned.  It was no longer the oil painting I had done. It looked more like a water-color painting (a medium of paint that I never was that good at and therefore never liked).  The general shape of the horses in the painting still held up pretty well, but it no longer had that intricate detail I had worked so hard at.  I could not hide my disappointment. Crestfallen, I looked back at the "girl."  Her face was very kind  as she said, "It's okay, Teri. Don't you know that anything you do for me is perfect?"  It was clear that she was quite proud of me.

End of vision

Follow-up Commentary and Testimony: Over the years, I have shared parts of this vision only a very few times.  I have usually shared only the part about the little girl, because it was a testimony of how God is not a perfectionist.  For many, many years, I was not able to share this part without crying or tearing up, because it meant so much to me.

There were many ways in which God ministered to me as a 'Therapist' in this vision. With this vision and probably during it, He began to 'rewire' or renew my mind with the following truths:

#1) Unlike at my stepfather's house, whom I was forced to call "my Dad" for many years, absolute authority and helplessness in the center of God's Power did not mean pain, destruction, and harm.

#2) Up until this point I did not know I suffered from depression.  I never even thought of the word.  After this vision I realized I most certainly did suffer from severe depression at times.  There were many factors involved in this of course, but because of the depression it was no wonder that I felt very tired the day I brought my painting home.  A symptom of depression is emotional exhaustion that translates into a palpable, physical exhaustion.  The vision gave a 'Holy Spirit' solution to depression.

#3) I was robbed of having any childhood friends.  This was because I was isolated from other people during my childhood, and because the abuse I had suffered left me painfully shy. Jesus (I believe she was Jesus, because of the look in her eyes) 'introduced' Himself as my Friend in this vision, to comfort me.

#4) As I was growing up, I was given the message in countless ways that I had to be perfect. I was punished so often for making any mistake that I was left with high anxiety over any imperfections at all. Fortunately I realized by the age of fourteen that pleasing my mother or stepfather was in effect, impossible. However, although this intellectual understanding was very important, it did not translate to healing from these many years of anxiety.  God intervened by showing me that He was pleased with the efforts I made and they don't have to be perfect.  This introduced a Grace into my life that began my healing in this area of my mind, soul, and spirit.

I have found that God often uses dreams and visions for the purposes of self-examination or realization. Even if the vision is for primarily another purpose, our hearts and thoughts are revealed because we are in presence of God . His goals may be one of healing, repentance, or even deliverance from demonic oppression. Think of it as the Lord being a doctor (the Great Physician) and yourself being on the ‘virtual’ operating table.

If I had not been so frightened and sent the Lord away the first two times , I am quite certain I would have had this experience as an open vision of some kind.  However, since I was so frightened, God decided to give me a "night vision" (Job 33:14-15; Daniel 7:1)  A night vision often does not need much, if any, interpretation.  I have had other 'night visions' since that are not featured in this section.

Read before you continue:
This has been my introduction to the "God as Therapist" section.  It was important to read first because it lays the groundwork of how God began to interact with me in a dream or vision in a 'therapeutic' way ( revealing some truth or healing in some way).  The next section skips forward some years and covers the years of approximately 1986 on to 1990.  Since it only covers the 'therapeutic' dream experiences, it does not include dreams that are of lesser value..  My writings are short but include enough to properly introduce the dream(s)/vision(s) featured on each page and give appropriate context or comment.  I give NO graphic accounts of anything in my life when I was younger, virtually skipping over the causes of my troubes. However, I do touch upon some very serious matters in this section, such as church gossip and church abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, dissociation and severe depression.  This section is called "God Heals Trauma."   If you would like to skip that section, go to the next page after that, called "Patching The Wound"  The featured dream there addresses the effects of childhood verbal abuse.  Finally, resolution is found with "Loving Plea"

Of course, this "God as Therapist" section does not relate all the times God spoke to me or showed me something in a very direct way in a dream or other spiritual experience.  The dreams featured, are carefully chosen to roughly chronicle the 'pivotal points' of my recovery and healing from the Lord.   It is my hope that people who have had a very rough road and have felt all alone do not give up hope that God may be interested in speaking to them or showing them things on an individualized basis.  Sometimes we have dreams that are messages for other people at large yet also may address some of our issues too.  These dreams are by and large not featured in this section, but our in other sections instead.

This section of "Diary of Dreams" is part of our Prophet 'Un'School

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy  both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart  from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matt. 10:29-31 NIV)

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