Read Part One Here.
I truly believe, with everything I have in me, that God allowed the conflict with our friend so that I would learn some lessons that cannot be heard, but must be experienced. This conflict started as a seed in our pastor friend’s mind. It grew until the final harvest was a bitter battle. He accusing me of being “unbiblical” for even considering dreaming and I presenting this accusation to God asking if it was true.
I was told by a very wise man and good friend that I needed to pay attention. If our pastor friend was right, I needed to change things. I took it all in and it was a very serious matter to me. Never before had I been accused of being “unbiblical.” And not just that. The list of accusations made was daunting to my tender soul.
Publically, I was accused by the of:
~Not being a Biblical wife (in other words, I did not submit to my husband and I did not have a “meek and quiet spirit”)
~Casting frustration on “babes”
~Being over-zealous without knowledge
~Not having “patient endurance”
~I was told that I needed to spend time studying Biblical leadership in Hebrews 13:17
~that I needed to realize the roll of the husband and the roll of the wife
~that I should be learning in silence (that what was seen was “an awful lot of talking and not much learning”)
~that I needed to spend time seeking God’s will for my life
~that I needed to “be still”
~that I needed patience
~that I needed endurance
Behind my back, I was accused of:
~Frightening new believers
~Teaching unbiblical doctrine
~Being spiritually immature
~And something about these dreams. I was not ever approached directly by anyone who could fully explain what the problem seemed to be, so to this day I do not know.
Yet, I was not approached by my pastor friend about any of this.
I upset his wife one day, without meaning to. I apologized when I saw she was getting upset and I tried to explain myself. The apology fell on deaf ears. She must have told her husband because the next day he called a total of six other friends and urged them to recall anything I had done to anyone in the past year that seemed questionable because they needed to “take care of this for good.” And he invited me over so they could “care over my soul.” He told me it was non-adversarial. I told him that it didn’t feel that way. He told me that I shouldn’t base things on “feelings.”
Now I’m not a Biblical scholar, but I am a student. I understood that if I upset someone, they were to come to me privately. Since this didn’t happen, I didn’t know what to do. Remember, I’d been away from God for twelve years and had just been walking with Him again for the past two-ish. I called on another pastor friend that we’d met on several occasions and also our associational director. I received excellent advice from both of them and I spent a good seven hours a day for a full five days, studying the Bible, praying and studying Biblcal “experts” in the areas of accusation.
Weeks before this avalanche, I was reading my Bible. I was in Exodus. 14:14. I couldn’t continue reading until I underlined that verse. It says: “The LORD will fight for you; you must be quiet.”
During this time, my husband accused me of being “consumed” with the situation and he was angry that I was spending so much time with my nose in books. He said it looked as if I was a lawyer preparing for trial.
That’s what it felt like. He hit it dead-on. I was being accused and I had to defend myself. I was preparing my defense. I would be “on trial” Friday night.
The Exodus verse kept coming back to me and I kept questioning God, “How can I present my defense and remain quiet?”
I had another dream last night. I haven’t told you about the other dreams because frankly, I was afraid. I know, I know. You don’t peg me as one to be afraid. True. I’m not…usually.
I knew this pastor; he was a very talented and gifted teacher. Our families became close friends and we enjoyed each other’s company. Or so I thought. Now I’m not so sure if he was just pretending to like us because that’s what he thought a pastor was supposed to do. I thought he was genuine, but I can’t be sure about that now.
I remember my dreams. A lot of them. A couple years ago (I know the date but I won’t bore you with those details) I had a very vivid dream about Jesus. It was refreshing considering I normally have nightmares. I keep a journal and I wrote down the dream before my eyes were even fully open. A couple months later, I was in prayer and that dream came and that pastor came to mind. I sent him a copy of the dream. He didn’t respond other than say, “I got the email. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to respond.”
YEARS later, this pastor accused me behind my back of having some kind of affinity for the mystical. As if I was trying to use my dreams as prophesy or something strange like that. This was while I thought our friendship was real. I still, to this day, don’t understand why a friend, a pastor, wouldn’t come directly to me if he had something to say. No one’s perfect, I understand. But this man constantly talked about confronting issues head on. He had no trouble “knocking on doors.” He made the visits to the members who were going astray.
Then there was Phil and me. This friend said he trusted us more than anyone else. And he couldn’t come to us to tell me he wasn’t clear on where I stood? His accusations and lies cut me to the core. I couldn’t fathom that someone who said several times to us, “I prayed for you guys and God brought you to me,” could now be spreading lies.
We tried to ask him to meet with us to resolve the issue. He refused. The betrayal of a friend and a teacher was a lot for my soul to carry. I gave my pain to the Only One who is capable of healing. What this friend and teacher did made me question my ability to discern the things of God. I fell into a depression that I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Fourteen years, to be exact.
(And I JUST realized something as I typed that. It was fourteen years TO THE MONTH, EXACTLY, that I had been that depressed. I’ll have to write about that.)
When a trusted friend lies and allows people to believe lies, it hurts. There is no other way to explain it. The betrayal of a loved friend, a respected teacher, and a brother in Christ carries the ability to drive the knife the deepest. I questioned myself and my relationship with God because of this. I wondered if I was dabbling with things of the past. The dark past I’ve mentioned before. Maybe I lying to myself. Maybe I really didn’t belong to God? Did I have these dreams because I belonged to the enemy? Was I allowing myself to be used by the enemy? People seemed to be afraid to talk about dreams. Why? I just didn’t understand.
I was reading in Job chapter thirty-three one morning and happened upon these verses: (15) He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed. (16)He whispers in their ear and terrifies them with his warning. (17)He causes them to change their minds; he keeps them from pride.
Tomorrow, I’ll indroduce you to studies that have been done on sleep deprivation and psychosis, some of my thoughts, and more of the story.
Note: Curm are you reading this? Remember this? Joshua 5:10 says that while the Israelites were camped at Gilgal–healing–they kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth (day of the month) Does this fourteenth year signify a new beginning for me? I can barely get the words out. In the Beth Moore Study, “Believing God” she teaches on this very passage in Joshua. She explains that being uncircumcised was a way of wearing their reproach, their disgrace. “At Gilgal, God cut away the sign of their unbelief. They wore the mark of their new beginning.” She goes on to say, “Often a wounding precedes our full reception of God’s promises, but healing always follows.” She also uses an analogy of pregnancy. (I’m paraphrasing and taking her example a bit further) The first 14 days of a woman’s cycle are in total preparation for conception. A surge in a particular hormone on about the 14th day of the cycle triggers ovulation. A mature egg is released where it is then in a position to be fertilized. Now there is a new creation, a new beginning. I don’t really care if it sounds ludicrous!! I find it totally fascinating!!