Invasion of the Peace Snatchers, Nighttime Edition

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For the last three nights, I’ve wallowed in dreamland nonstop. I wake in the morning with head pounding, jaws clenched pit bull tight, not quite able to recall. . . was it a nightmare?

Don’t think so. I’ve had my share of those and this doesn’t feel quite the same. No heart-grabbing, couch-shaking terror on waking, just this vague impression of disquiet shadowing the day.

This morning, I remember.

The beast outlasted me.

Dreams and Other Realities

In the dream, we’re on a weekend visitation to my former home. The kids are small. My closest friend comes along for backup. Both my parents are there. The anti-husband ignores me and spends the entire visit working the crowd—fetching coffee for my folks, playing quiet games with the children. He caters to each  individually in the way they like best and they love the attention.

He never once sends a disparaging comment my direction. He doesn’t criticize in any way. As the night progresses, he wins them over, one by one. The dream plays on for hours.

Until finally, it’s just my best friend and I standing by the kitchen table. He wraps both arms around her. A genuine embrace. He pulls back and looks into her eyes with open affection.  Then again. He’s holding her in his arms until she melts. He pulls back, just a little and begins chatting, laughing, flattering. She turns, visage glowing and says, “You have to admit, he’s really something.”

And then, for the first time all weekend, he looks me full in the face and stares me down. I know this expression. I’ve seen it a thousand times, in a thousand places, for a thousand reasons—

—unadulterated venom.

He doesn’t try to charm me any longer, it’s not worth the effort. There’s no pretense. In his face I see covert, unspoken rage. This is the truth, witnessed for decades. Hatred both glaring and defiant that no one else will believe.

I turn to the kids and tell them to pack up their toys, we’re leaving. They’re tired. They don’t really want to go—and his expression changes. He turns away, starts playing to the crowd again, clowning, pretending this is all just one big fun time. He heads off to assist everyone getting ready to leave.

I’m left standing alone. I’m so tired and. . . he’s won.

When You’re Beat

I don’t like my dreams invaded. But there’s a measure of reality here I can’t shake this morning.

Recently a close friend lost their home in a natural disaster. I got the news from the beast along with a play by play of all he’d done to assist them in their suffering. There’s no doubt he did all those things and much more, front and center. First to arrive, last to leave. Helping, organizing, working the crowd of my former friends. People I love. People he hardly spoke to before my departure.

He possesses a weapon I’ll never muster—his hatred energizes him, fuels his efforts to see me discredited, to ruin my relationships through winning over my friends and family. He’s entrenched for the long haul and it scares the crap right out of my wounded soul. Lying, insinuations, innuendo all wrapped with deeds of kindness, individually crafted to flatter each insecurity. He will see me alone, isolated and discredited. Or else.

It’s how I imagine the devil worked the crowd until a third of the angels fell right along with him.

Wish there was a happy ending here, but I just don’t see it this morning.

 

 

 

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9 responses »

  1. God isn’t fooled.
    God isn’t mocked.
    You cannot be discredited in His eyes.
    You cannot be isolated from His love.

    Breathe, my soul sister — sometimes it’s all you can do, I know.

    • Elizabeth–

      I hit publish and saw your comment a few moments later. Went off and had a good cry which was probably exactly what I needed.

      Cry a little more equals thrashing in my sleep a whole lot less.

      Thank you dear one 🙂

  2. You have so many sisters, sadly, who know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I met with a brand new client yesterday and showed her the Charmer’s List. I watched her face as she read through it, identifying her spouse with EVERY SINGLE ITEM on the paper, more and more enthralled that “someone else has met him.” For the first time in her married life, she didn’t feel crazy. It was such a healing moment for her.

    I know that one day the truth will be made clear. I believe that with all my heart. However, that doesn’t make your TODAY any easier, knowing your dear friends might be being charmed by this man. If they really love you, they will trust you and believe you. I believe you.

    • ‘Today’ can be tough sometimes. I’m thankful that grief ends and new days begin.

      I’ve been grieving for this dear friend, knowing I can’t be there to help her sift through this mess, knowing she’s dealing with a beast of her own right in the big middle of losing her keepsakes, her pictures, her family heirlooms. I guess the ‘helpful’ email sparked the dreaming.

      I’m reminded that the people in Jesus’ hometown wanted to kill him. Those he spent so many years in such close proximity. He loved them just like I love my old companions only with a strength I’ll never understand.

      When we follow Him, sometimes it means leaving everything behind and starting over. I’m guessing its good to sit and mourn a little. Boy does it hurt sometimes!

  3. Happy ending. Not today. Probably not tomorrow. But it’s coming. Every day the beast gets closer even though he doesn’t know it. Ultimately we all have to look to the Day for final vindication, justice, and redemption. We battle on now, doing what good we can to help each other bear burdens, but it is the New Heavens and New Earth where full righteousness dwells. It is a real place. A real earth. We will have real bodies, real homes. Mountains, trees, animals – I hypotheses that my first dog will be there too. When we become too Greek in our thinking, we dismiss the physical reality of the New Creation and it becomes less real to us. God created the first creation as real. The renewed creation will be that, and better. No beast will ever show up again. Ever. Frodo gets the ring into Mt. Doom. Actually, He already has.

    • Thank you Jeff! So easy to get sidelined sometimes by the heartaches of this lifetime.

      What was it Paul said? If this is all there is, we are, of all men, to be most pitied. But thank God above this isn’t all there is and we are blessed beyond reason– with His loving presence now and someday. . . Our eyes are set on a City, the New Jerusalem, just like those who went on before us.

  4. It’s terrible how real dreams can seem! REMINDER: YOU ARE FREE! One of my friends reminds me often: “Not in my bed, not in my head”. She encourages me to not let “P” affect me emotionally any more than he affects her, which is 0! I am working on that – retraining my thoughts so I do not focus on the bad he did to me and to focus on the GOOD peace and freedom I am living in now. I hope your day improves.

    • Thanks, Kay, it’s better already. Sometimes I think dreams are a way of digesting those emotions buried below. Best to get them up and out but my goodness! So stinkin’ real at times.

      To your friend’s list, let’s add– ‘and not squatting in my account’s inbox either’ I’ll be really glad when that day comes.

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