SUMMARY of June, in case you don’t want to read the whole thing:
– confirmations that I left my job at the right time.
– DREAM instructing me and a woman to join our lives together.
– DREAM about high school reunion and possible opportunity to pray for someone in real life.
– WORD about Hosea, an Old Testament prophet and a guy I don’t want to emulate.
– HOTSPOT that began on September 23 is still burning on September 27.
I was done with my job at the end of the first full week of the month. Here are some personalized ways I believed God confirmed I was leaving that job at exactly the right time:
– My user and admin network logins expired on schedule and coincidentally during the final week of my employment. I had to create new passwords to finish out the few days I’d be needing them.
– On June 12, 2012 I began using a particular legal pad for notes in our weekly team meetings. I used that same pad during all team meetings up to and including my final meeting in early June 2017. Five years to the day after I first used the notepad, June 12, 2017, was my first weekday in semi-retirement, away from team meetings and any other thing related to that day-to-day grind. I had tossed the notepad in the office recycle bin days earlier, when I was shutting down that phase of my life.
– My last day at work turned out to be eighteen years and one day after my hire date. That extra day allowed me to take casual and final advantage of my annual employee discount, replenished on each hire-date anniversary, before joining the great unwashed ranks of those who must pay the full price.
6/3 DREAM, VOICE: A man and woman are working at separate whiteboards, writing out what are the critical details of their lives, including their finances. Then the two people join together somehow, and I hear, “Stop keeping separate bank accounts.” END
After waking I considered the possibilities. The vignette might have been sleep noise that meant nothing. It might have been some kind of demonic distraction. It might have been a clear message from God that I should stop keeping my life separate from a significant woman in my life. I’ve been waiting on my ex for several years now, at what I’ve believed to be God’s instruction to do so. Her remarriage this year didn’t change the conviction to wait, though it did complicate the potential reunion dramatically. After the whiteboard dream, I resolved to wait and see what might happen to confirm that the dream was about my ex and me. I figured that if God had bothered to tell me to “quit keeping separate bank accounts” from her, while knowing that I’m only waiting for something to happen at her end, then He presumably has something productive in mind that I didn’t know about yet.
A few nights later I woke up at what felt like a weird time. I picked up my phone and saw that it was exactly midnight on my ex’s birthday. Even with most of my brain still asleep, I knew there had to be something significant about the event. I don’t wake up at exactly midnight. I sleepily considered that God had done something yet again on a significant date in my life. After waking enough to think it over later that morning, I figured it wasn’t unreasonable to consider the midnight episode to be confirmation about my ex and me at our whiteboards.
I again told God I would reunite with her, though not necessarily with the gladdest of hearts. From Day 1, she’s seemed at least as much an assignment from Him as anything more Hallmark-friendly. Six, maybe seven years ago, when I believe He first specifically called me in a dream to await reconciliation with her, I screamed defiantly at Him in that same dream. Now, I’m much more willing to submit myself to His eternally-significant plans, at the expense of my own desires. There would be a lot of lives impacted by His grace, if He were to engineer the impossible between my ex and me. That alone makes the submission worth the risk.
6/10 – DREAM – I’m at my high school reunion. There are a bunch of people there whom I know from my class. There is another guy whom I believe to be the younger brother of one of my former classmates. I haven’t seen the younger brother since junior high. The younger brother in my dream doesn’t look anything like his young self; but I think it is him. He is sitting next to me on some bleachers. He turns to me and tells me he has cancer. I ask him are, “Are you (his name)?” He replies in the affirmative. I tell him, “Sometimes when I pray for people, they get well.” That gets his attention, but he isn’t interested in me praying for him. END
After waking I decided I’d been pretty free and easy with encouragement in the dream. To the questionable extent that I see any results in my prayers for healing, there’s been absolutely nothing that would justify the confidence that I felt on the dream bleachers, in the face of dream cancer. One thing I could acknowledge was that God does the healing; we are just called to make ourselves available to set the process in motion. I was, on June 10, willing to trust that God might heal any cancer in this guy, if I or someone else got the ball rolling.
Later that day I poked around on the web and found the dream man is a real-life local restaurateur. I didn’t find any immediately easy contact info for him. I began what would be become a routine prayer request that God would get us in touch with each other, if He wants me to pray for the man in person. It wasn’t until writing this blog content, months after the fact, that I realized that the the dream occurred only hours after I’d finished the final day at my job and stepped out into whatever God might have for me on the other side. Interesting timing, at least.
6/14 – I woke up early and asked God how I might live that day as a sacrifice. Falling towards sleep again, I heard and saw the word “Hosea.” Not good. I’ve been thinking for a couple of years that I’m a living analog for several Biblical characters whose names are in some way similar to mine. Joseph the Patriarch is an obvious example who has received much airtime in this blog. None of the others are important now. Except Hosea.
Hosea is the first minor Old Testament prophet, a man who married a woman whom God so commanded. Things didn’t bode well for the marriage, as God described her as a “wife of harlotry”. The short version of a long story is, God used Hosea’s marriage situation as a metaphor for how He would take back an unfaithful Israel, after His chosen had chased after pagan idols and practices instead of Him. The restoration would not occur until after a period of chastisement; after that discipline God would joyfully embrace Israel once again.
The loose name connection from Hosea to Joe, for clarification, is a multilingual reach: the English pronunciation of Hosea is like the Spanish “Jose” with an “uh” on the end. There’s no immediate value in hashing out all the ways I might be living in parallel with Hosea. The important thing, for the record, is I believe the end result of that analogous life path will be my ex and I reconciled and remarried. This will require an obvious and obviously awkward end to her current marriage. There’s also a non-zero chance that she and I will begin a new family at our advancing middle age and despite the current medical impossibility of such a thing happening. .
If the other Bible characters and my possible relative analogous living are all interesting food for thought, Hosea has been unique among that crowd. He’s been a slow-dawning thing over the past year, and one that I’ve tried to shut out of my mind. I didn’t want anything to do with Hosea. All of the prophets were called to live non-standard lives, at the very least in as much as they (most of them) were consistently warning the Israelites to turn away from their idolatry and back to worshiping the one true God. The message was rarely received well. Hosea’s personal kick to the gut was being called by God to be a big ol’ chump: “Marry the woman I tell you to marry. She’s going to do you wrong. You have to take her back. You will live out my promise of reconciling with a wayward Israel.” No thanks.
Even as I’ve believed that The Ex and I are going to reconcile, I’ve chosen to imagine it will be a vague magical thing where we wake up one day in the same bed and start playing house again. As the specter of Hosea and all that he implies have been slowly dawning on me, I’ve told God several times I’m not interested in that particular relationship dynamic. God is often not interested in our personal preferences when He’s got eternity in the works. So my months’ worth of trying ignore “Hosea and Me” popped like a balloon in my face on June 14.
Wait and see, as usual.
For the record the face hotspot that began on 9/23 (or the evening of 9/22) is still blazing right along. This is the longest I’ve had a continuous hotspot in several years, I think. I doubt that the dream vision about September 23, 2017, was sent just to announce the arrival of a hotspot. Maybe there’s something significant at the end of this particular face heat.
Wait and see, as usual, again.