In my lifetime, I have lived in five houses. The first was my childhood home. My father lived there with his family from the time he was a young boy until he moved to his forever home at the age of 79.
After I married in 1985, we bought a small house and lived there for four years at which time we built a house on land purchased from my father-in-law. The house was small but adequate. In 2003, we purchased a house in a subdivision. Neither my husband nor I had ever lived in a neighborhood but we enjoyed it for the few years we were there. In 2005, we bought 12 acres intending to build a forever home “some day.” That day came sooner than we expected and in 2006, we built and moved into the house we live in today.
When we purchased the house in town in 2003, I requested for the previous owners to leave a couple of decor items. One piece was a large area rug in the front entry way. I thought it would be perfect for me. It turned out to be a disappointment. The rug wasn’t my style. But for a long time I tried to make it work. After all, it worked for the other family, I had asked for them to leave it, it was a good quality rug. But it didn’t fit me. Eventually, the rug found a new home in my basement providing floor covering in my storage room.
When we bought the bare land – 12 acres of woods – it wasn’t really bare. There is a cabin built in 1993 by the previous owners. It stands as a reminder of their dreams. For many years, I felt obligated to maintain it in the same way as the previous owner. But it was never my dream to have a cabin to use in that way. Consequently, after a few years of trying to keep it up to please someone else, we let it go. Weeds have grown up around the cabin. Squirrels inhabit the cabinets in the winter. I needed time to develop my own dream for the cabin and even to decide if it was my dream to have a cabin.
There is a dream I have at night that shares this theme. In the dream, Dave and I buy a different house. It has lots of rooms and the seller leaves everything for us to use. Most recently, the seller in my dream allowed a new church start to meet in his backyard/patio area. As I watched the people gather for church, I wondered if I would be obligated to continue this when we owned the house. Would my use of the home have to reflect his use? The overwhelming question in the dream was “why did we do this? We loved where we were and it suited us so well!”
While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them. And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.”“Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”Genesis 40:5-8
The most recent appearing of my house dream was during a get-away with friends. I shared it with them over morning coffee but the “feeling” of the dream visited me often throughout the day. At dinner, I shared that I just couldn’t shake it. We revisited the dream and made some observations about it. A few days later, I had opportunity to share portions of it with another friend. More insights were gleaned.
Interpreting dreams is definitely God’s business, so sharing them with godly friends can be beneficial. Discerning if it is the late night pizza talking or if it is God revealing something about inner workings makes quite a difference in what a person does with the dream.
In the house dream, I believe God was cautioning me about picking up the ministry/passion/calling of someone else. The next week, Dave and I were to meet a couple to hear what God is doing in their life and neighborhood. God knew that my response might be to take up this calling as my own, only to discover later that it didn’t fit well. Like the rug that didn’t match my decor preferences or the cabin built for a purpose I didn’t share. It wasn’t mine to pick up. I can support others, but I don’t need to pick up their calling and make it my own. Not only is it a poor fit, it keeps me from my unique fit in my Father’s house.
What are your dreams telling you? Are you following faithfully the passions and desires God put in your heart? Or are you trying to make someone else’s fit? To take them on as your own for some reason?
Step away from the dream that isn’t yours. Bless it and honor those called to do that thing and then run with abandon after the thing God has before you to do. That is where true joy will be found!