My visit with Jesus took place in a dream, during a difficult time in my life. And when I say difficult I don’t mean devastating or tragic. It was simply an uncomfortable period in my life. And I am a bit ashamed to tell you that taking me from a place of comfort to a place of discomfort was enough to get me to lose—at least some—faith (trust) in God.
William Paul Young wrote a book called The Shack. In it a man meets God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in a shack. The shack itself is a metaphor for the place in our hearts where God meets with each one of us. Therefore, all of us have a metaphorical “shack.” When I read the book, which I happened to do the year of this dream, I thought it was a wonderful concept, but I had no idea that God would actually visit with me there.
A Bit of Backstory
I have lived in Canada most of my life. I rather like Canada and I had absolutely no plans to ever leave. As a young Christian, I had been given a dream where I knew I would travel a lot and that the traveling would be uncomfortable—seemingly unstable. But in reality, it was all the work of the Holy Spirit—I was told in this dream to “enjoy the ride.” Which sounds easy to do, right? Well, eventually, the Holy Spirit placed me and my family in the U.S.A. And although I tried to “enjoy the ride” while living in a different country, it seemed impossible. I missed home. I lived in the U.S. for three years before I had my Shack Dream—my visitation from Jesus.
Now just before I had my dream, my husband DJ received a job offer from Canada with a company we really like—and it meant we could go back home…Yay! We wanted to go home so much, so I prayed asking the Holy Spirit if we could take this job and go back to Canada. But each time I prayed, I would have this ridiculous dream about me trying to ditch my husband while trying to get back together with an old boyfriend. Thinking my brain was out-of-sorts, I asked my girlfriend to pray about my moving back to Canada. She did, and that night she had a dream where I was in Seattle on a bridge. When the bridge collapsed, she received a message that I was supposed to “walk away.”
Unbeknownst to her, I was in Seattle that night with my husband and while there we constantly talked about whether we should take the job or not—we kept saying “this might be our last chance to get back home.” After getting my girlfriend’s message of “walk away,” I assumed God wanted me to walk away from the U.S. So that night I prayed, “Holy Spirit, I am assuming you want me to walk away from the U.S. because we are not enjoying it here.” And suddenly I remembered that stupid dream of me trying to get back together with an old ex-boyfriend, so I said, “Holy Spirit, is this dream important? If it is, you’ve got to tell me.” And then I went to sleep.
I woke up a few hours later having the same dream of me trying to ditch my husband in order to get back together with an old ex-boyfriend, and I heard myself mumble out loud, “Holy Spirit, this dream is important…help me to remember it!” And I fell asleep.
That’s when I dreamed (and it certainly didn’t feel like a dream) that I was standing in my kitchen with Jesus. The walls of my house were all made of glass so that the outside—which was a beautiful forest—could be seen all around.
I said to Jesus (who was standing there with his hands in his pockets, looking out the window), “I finally figured out your riddle.”
He turned to me and said, “Good, tell me about it.”
I was in awe because this man in front of me was God — he could read all my thoughts and I knew that he knew absolutely everything about me, but I was completely comfortable with all of this. In fact, I was happy that he knew me so incredibly well.
I said to Jesus, “I understand that I want to go home because it’s what I know and am comfortable with and I’m in love with it. The old boyfriend in my dream represents something that is long in the past.”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “It’s like the Israelites coming out of Egypt and wanting to go back…everything here in the U.S is just too new for me.”
Then he said slowly and kind of sad, “Yes, everybody is in love with the old…and I’m trying to do something new.”
I said, “And that’s why DJ (my husband) was always in my dream with me – he represents the new – and I was trying to ditch him and yet he just kept following me around trying to redirect or re-interest me.” I then said something about how difficult it was to completely want the new because it is so uncomfortable.
Jesus said, “Yes.”
I then laughed and said, “We should call DJ ‘The Manager.’ ” (Because in real life he is a manger and in my dream he was trying to manage me).
Jesus got serious and said, “I don’t like that.”
Suddenly a glass wall went up between me and Jesus. And thinking he might not be able to hear me, I shouted, “Why, because he’s more than just a manager?!”
But Jesus could hear me, after all, even though the wall was there and as the wall came down, Jesus said, “Yes, he is more…Although, I think DJ would really like that nickname!” And he laughed. Jesus then said, “But what I don’t like is that the name would distract DJ from his true purpose.”
So I said, “What’s his true purpose?”
And Jesus smiled and said, “Same as everybody, to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit … love.” (In other words, it isn’t DJ’s job to “manage” other people. His job is to manage himself.)
Then suddenly my daughter Deanna was in the kitchen, holding a pitcher of juice. She said, “Look Mom, I made grapefruit lemon-aid!!”
I was suddenly upset and I said, “You can’t make lemon-aid with grapefruits!”
Jesus then walked over to her and took a glass of juice that she had poured for him and he drank it, and then he declared, “This is good!”
So somewhat skeptically, I took a sip and surprisingly it was extremely good, so I exclaimed, “This is better than the old!”
And I woke up.
My visit with Jesus helped me to look upon my circumstance with fresh eyes. Sure I was in a new country where I didn’t feel completely comfortable, but there was purpose in it. Jesus was doing something new…and I was excited to see where this road would lead. Eventually, another three years later, that road returned me and my family to Canada with a new outlook on both life and evangelism.