Tuesday, October 19, 2004


I hardly ever dream anything that I remember even vaguely the next day. In fact, there are maybe three instances in my life in which I can look back and actually remember my dreams or that I dreamed enough to mention it to someone...two were nightmares/panic attacks (these I actually remember), and one was during a period of serious turmoil in my life (this series of dreams I only remember in that I mentioned them to someone else)...

Anyway, so this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, I had another series of dreams. Here are summaries of them in order of appearance:

Friday night: I had just returned to America and was helping my dad out by chaperoning a youth retreat at which Chris Rice (famous CCM artist who did a retreat for us before he was famous about twelve years ago when I was in high school and who I spoke to for a few moments about six years ago following a Michael W. Smith concert) was the main speaker/worship leader. In addition to my duties for this camp (I never saw a youth in my dream, so they couldn't have been enormous), I was helping Aunt Mom and Ellen (former office manager at FBCL) to bring in a load of boxed citrus fruit which needed to be sorted and then handed out to the people that ordered it (similar to what we did for band to raise money when I was in high school, except that this was at someone's house and Aunt Mom and Ellen are both "MD people" while my dad is definitely a "TN people"). Anyway, prior to helping out Aunt Mom with the fruit, I was talking to Chris and he was gonna go to a driving range or something with a buddy and suggested that I be the one to take him there. He didn't say this outright, but I knew that it was because he "like liked" me and wanted to spend time with me. Despite the fact that he's like 15 years older than me, I was amenable to that idea and agreed to pick him up at 2. Anyway, so then I went to "help" with the fruit, but it just wasn't working and Aunt Mom's dad was trying to help too, but everyone tried to keep that from happening because he's like 80-something. But before we were finished, I had to go to work. Apparently I was in the Army at Ft. Meade and my job was to help land helicopters with this remote control thing. So anyway, somewhere in the battle that was taking place on post at Ft. Meade, someone was wounded, so a MASH helicopter needed to fly in to pick the guy up, but without the enemy shooting them down. Well, Prince Charles (the helicopter pilot) started to land with my aid, but like halfway between where the guy was (and where it was apparently "safe" to land), and where the enemy was. I tried to help him, but I didn't know how to work my little helicopter landing box, so it was a pretty hard landing (and possibly my fault that he was so far away from where he was supposed to be), so after getting shot at a bit by the enemy, he took off again and we tried another landing in the right spot - similarly hard. Anyway, by then it was 3PM and I was supposed to have picked up Chris at 2 for our non-date, so I rushed off to the parking lot for my car...but I couldn't find it because I'd just come back from overseas and was still staying with my parents (although it seems like I had a place in the barracks too) and I didn't know which car to even _look_for_ in the parking lot. So I was getting pretty frantic, and tried getting in touch with my dad via cell phone so that he could explain to Chris why I hadn't shown up...but I couldn't find the right number apparently...then one number finally went through, but it wasn't Daddy that answered - it was Chris. He understood and was ok with meeting me later instead for dinner or something (that Chris Rice - he's a sly one, he is), and that was the end of the dream.

Saturday night: Saturday night, I was newly married and at the honeymoon hotel (don't worry - this isn't even PG-rated), which kinda surprisingly had the exact same floorplan as FBCL. So our "honeymoon suite" was room 221, and apparently I had married an American Indian because there was like, not a teepee, but an indian-esque tent in the room for our living quarters (over in the corner opposite the door by the playground and the front windows). Anyway, for some reason, I had to go looking for someone or something. I remember going downstairs to the toddler rooms (where there were kids and workers watching them) and when I got back upstairs (never having found whoever or whatever I was searching for), they'd changed around "our" room to allow for a press conference. Apparently they'd killed Al-Zarqawi (the Jordanian guy leading the resistance in Fallujah). I was ecstatic at this news and was all ready to rush outside to witness (and possibly take part in) the "fireworks" as a result of the news...when I realized that I wasn't in Baghdad, I was in Amman, so there probably wouldn't _be_ any celebration and I was going to miss out on sharing the moment with the Iraqis. Then I woke up.

Sunday night: Our Iraqi team was moving into a new building (which seems to happen every few months or so) except that this building was this huge Victorian-era mansion just like the one I'd seen the two guys on BBC Prime renovating earlier that evening. So we each got settled into our beds and go off to do something when it came to my attention that someone else would be bringing in and unpacking some of our stuff...they of course got everything wrong which put me in a panic/temper tantrum...so I was talking with my mom (who tried to tell me to get over myself)...but before that got really sorted out, we had to change rooms within the house. We moved up to like the top attic room which was huge and there were gonna be boys staying on the other side of the room, so we were gonna set up this elaborate sheet to separate girls and boys. Well, Ahmed (the youngest son of the family at the school in Baghdad) was our "boy" (i.e., he was the one that did all of our little crap jobs for us), so he was helping with the hanging of the separator. For some reason, he had a handgun. I tried to convince everyone that he shouldn't have one since he had no training, but no one else seemed to care. But then this older couple who used to be in Baghdad with us were leaving, so we went to see them off then went through everything to see what they'd left and I was exploring the oddly modern-looking front-ish room where I was very pleased to see they'd left boxes and boxes of Sprees and hot dogs in a freezer. There were also boxes and boxes of Topps baseball cards too and that made me kinda happy too, but I was _really_ excited about the Sprees and hot dogs. Also, all around the room were stacks of chocolate candy (KitKats, Snickers, etc.), but since I don't eat chocolate, this wasn't so exciting. Then the dream ended.

For those among you who now think I'm crazy...well, you may be right, but keep in mind that these are "just" dreams...and I've told them as truthfully as I could - I didn't make any of them up. Not even the part about Prince Charles. :)

Anyway, after the first dream, I thought my sub-conscious was tackling my issues with failure since everything I tried to do in that dream failed miserably (I didn't get the fruit sorted, it seems like I was late-ish to work, I brough Prince Charles down in the wrong spot, got him shot at, and gave him two really rough landings, I couldn't find my car, I couldn't get in touch wtih Daddy to talk to Chris for me, and I couldn't get to Chris...although that one apparently turned out alright). But after the other two dreams, I think it was more my issues with change.

I've now been in Amman (post-training) for a month. All this time I thought I'd done well with the musical apartments and continual disappointments with regards to returning to Baghdad and other things...but in reality, I think I've just been in shock...and now the shock's starting to wear off.

I've told a few people already, but I guess now I'm telling "the world" that rather than sitting here in Amman and only allowed to return to Baghdad a few days before my term ends...basically, I'd rather be in in America than Amman if that's going to be the case. For a while I've thought and passed my desire to be in Baghdad off as His calling in my life...but now I wonder if it's not just because that's the place in my life right now that involves the least amount of change. I might not be living in my same house or doing my same non-job, but I'd be returning to a house that I knew and to an actual job that I've had some experience in a few months ago. It'd be people that I know and situations that I know. Whereas here, I'm starting basically from scratch (i.e., LOTS of new things and situations and changes to every aspect of my life), and in America, the changes will abound (new job, possibly a return to school, living with my family for a while, lots of travel visiting friends, torn between MD and TN ties, new car, new apartment, no Mara, reintegration into American and possibly FBCL life, my family's even at a new church).

So now I've come to the point where I've "laid a fleece" to use a church-y phrase - for those of you out there who don't know the story of Gideon (it's in Judges somewhere), that basically translates to "I've asked for a sign from God," although in my case, it's to show me direction, not prove that He Is Who He Is. My sign is this - if I'm supposed to be in Baghdad, then He'll smooth the way for that (right now there are parties who are dragging their feet over discussing the issue, parties who are adamantly against it, parties who aren't exactly happy about it, and other people who are thrilled with the idea...heh...maybe I should suspect the latter people the most ;p ). And if I'm not, then I've asked Him to show me what I'm supposed to do - either go home early, quit the Company and strike out on my own for my last five months, stay in Amman and go out of my mind with boredom (not a long trip at this point), or do something completely different that He'd have to show me.

But I guess the good news is that I didn't have another dream last night, so maybe I've gotten the point that He (through my sub-conscious) has been trying to tell me.

And who knows...maybe Friday night's dream was somewhat prophetical. Chris Rice, if you're out there reading my blog and are otherwise unattached...drop me an email. Maybe for our honeymoon we can set up a teepee in my church. ;p

No comments: