Dream of a Wedding
By Sheila Jacobs
Do you ever have the kind of dream where you just know it’s something ‘special’? Something that might even be a word from God?
It’s very rare that I get those kinds of dreams, but one morning I woke up thinking, ‘Hey! That was different.’
I’d been through some major changes over the past year, including my mum passing away, after many years of suffering with dementia. At the beginning of 2022, I felt the Lord telling me that I should wait for a year before making any big decisions – around thinking about moving, and all that sort of thing – so I’d just been carrying on as usual, writing and editing, leading a few retreats at a beautiful retreat house near Chelmsford where I have also been a chaplain. And then I had that dream.
In the dream, I saw myself in a new home – I noticed the clean carpets and lack of dust (probably because I’m not the greatest housekeeper) – and I’d invited all my friends to visit. But it gradually dawned on me that they weren’t here for any old celebration – no: it was my wedding day. And I hadn’t bought a gown. In fact, I’d thought I would ‘make do’ with my normal clothes. I’d wear my black trousers and a nice top. But it became increasingly obvious that this wasn’t going to be acceptable!
Then I saw the time. It was midday. I knew I was getting married at quarter past twelve. And I still didn’t have the right clothes.
When I woke up, I couldn’t stop thinking about this dream. I didn’t think it was about an actual marriage – it seemed to have a deeper meaning. After discussing it with some very wise friends, and reflecting some more, I realised that it was Jesus telling me that I needed to get ready. I needed to make preparations because change was coming. Time was short, and if I wasn’t careful, I would be unprepared for the next stage in my life.
I think, reflecting some more, the dream can also be interpreted as something to do with my walk with Jesus. Time is short. I need to be prepared to be a bride to the ultimate Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus. Am I spending enough time with him, daily? He spent time with his Father when he was on earth, so how much more do I need to carve out time to just sit, and listen to him? How easy it is to push our relationship with God aside when life gets busy! ‘Later, God.’ Why do we do that? The most important thing in this world is our relationship with God. He’s first. He’s God. It’s about relationship.
Shortly after this, I was seeing my spiritual director (a very Anglican thing to do for someone who is a member of an Elim church, I know!) and before I did, I went into the lovely country church near the manse. I spent time in there just telling God the truth about how I felt: the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes we can be afraid to be honest with God, can’t we? Perhaps we fear his judgement or his anger. But once I spilled out the truth of how I was feeling – sad, disappointed, a little overwhelmed at that time – I felt him say: ‘At last, you’re being honest with me.’ I sensed his presence there in that ancient building, and I smiled. What else do we really need but the presence of God? Once I feel that presence, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
So: whatever happens over the next year, or years, whatever change comes, whatever new things the Lord brings into my life, I know that the most important thing of all is to be with him, stay with him, and to put him first. Otherwise all the ‘stuff’ of life – all my wants and fears and desires and hopes and dreams and stresses and strains – will overtake me, and crowd out the peace and joy that Jesus wants to bring. And of course, he himself is the Prince of peace; where he is, there is peace, because it is who he is.
We all need to be ready and alert for what God wants to do next for us. We need to hone our listening skills so that we can ‘abide’ in him, knowing that without him, we can do nothing at all (John 15:5, ESV). He knows the right path for us to take when we’re at a crossroads. In fact, he invites us to ask him to show us ‘the good way’ when we’re not sure which way to go (Jeremiah 6:16, NIV). Sometimes he asks us just to sit and wait with him, as if we’re sitting at a red traffic light, waiting for it to change colour. It may seem to take ages, but if we go forward without the green light – well. Not advisable!
Maybe you’re at a crossroads right now. Perhaps God is saying to you to stop fretting, to just sit and be still until he moves you on. Are you willing to go his way – whatever that is? Can you put down your own dreams and aspirations, as you prepare for the next step in your journey? Perhaps you want to marry; in my dream, I didn’t take my unpreparedness as a sign I wasn’t ready for earthly marriage, but as something even bigger than that. But even if a wedding is part of God’s plans for you, you need to wait, not to rush and try to do things your own way. If you belong to Jesus, he has a plan for your life. He knows what he’s doing.
As I drove away from that church, I felt God speak to me from the Gospel of Luke, where Martha is rushing around doing just about everything, and her sister just sits at the feet of Jesus. ‘Only one thing is needed’ says Jesus (Luke 10:40-42, NIRV). Spending time listening to Jesus, being with him, will prepare us for what comes next.
I know I need to put this into practice. How about you?
Matthew 25:1-13; Matthew 22:1-14
Sheila Jacobs is a writer, editor, and an award-winning author of 19 books to date. Her new title is A Little Book of Rest: Walking Out of Anxiety and Fear (Malcolm Down) – See back page for more information. She is also the author of our amazing resource: Open to God. For more information visit www.friends1st.co.uk/opentogod