When I was in my early 20’s, my granny (my mom’s mom), had a “death bed” dream about me. She was sick, in hospital, and during one of our more quiet, melancholy visits, she whispered to me that she needed to tell me about a dream she had the night before. I know it sounds dramatic, but the dream was actually really beautiful and at the time, I was just so honored that out of all the many grandchildren, she would have a dream about little old me, during such a pivotal time in her life.
In this dream, she saw me living in a house with many rooms. And each room was filled with beds – lined up in a row “like a hospital or hotel” she said. She urged me to take note of this dream and the knowing in her eyes spoke words that she could not express. She passed away a few days thereafter.
At the time, I wasn’t very aware about how prophetic and telling detailed dreams could be. I didn’t know the story of Joseph (in the Bible) and other people like him, who received messages from God through dreams. And even now, I can’t prove to you that God spoke to my granny, on her death bed, showing her things that He was trying to tell me.
But, strangely, I keep having similar dreams. Even on days when my granny’s dream is the furthest thing from my mind.
Dreams of my house with many rooms. Dreams of me visiting a house with many rooms. And, more than that, dreams of all the beds… one in every nook and cranny… of each room. What really brought it to my attention was when other people started having similar dreams about me.
Now some would think that this means that I might own a hotel or Bed and Breakfast one day. You know, something along those lines. Something that makes sense. But, in my latter years (love how I’m calling my late thirties my latter years… the drama, yo) I’ve now come to think of it as something else.
For starters, ever since we’ve been married (it’s been five years, you guys, so long, so hard, so burdensome. Jokes.) we’ve probably had a border living with us, for every one of those five years. Mind you, I think the longest stay has been about six months and we never really demanded them to pay part of the rental or anything like that (although, duh, they would offer to pay for certain amenities, because life, and we expect you to help out around the house atleast). Anyways, now that I come to think about it, each year, we’ve shared our space (and offered up a bed) to someone who needed it.
This was not planned at all. In fact, every single house guest “moved in” on a short term basis and ended up staying for a few months. And I’m not saying that I’m, you know, the Martha Stewart of hosts, with freshly pressed towels, home cooked breakfasts and mints on their pillows. I’m actually quite the opposite. We have schedules and commitments and children (many children), so looking after a whole other adult is not up there on my list of things to do.
And more than that, I’m not one to share my space. I’m an introverted extrovert (hey, I’m making that a thing, okay!) and as much as I enjoy people, I also enjoy being able to retract into my personal space, like a hobbit, shutting myself off from the world.
Having someone else in your space makes this kinda hard.
But thinking about all of this (literally, I was just thinking about this) it makes me wonder: Could this be the “house with many rooms” that my granny, and countless others, saw in their dreams? Could it be that the “house with many rooms” refers to our heart space, more than a physical space?
It just reminded me about comfort zones. I love my comfort zones… my “single life” privacy, peace and quiet definitely was a comfort zone. But, was I really thriving? Are you really living your best life, when you play it safe? And am I really doing well, when all I want to do, is to surround myself with the “easy”?
Each time we said yes to a house guest I was way out of my comfort zone. I mean, the idea of helping someone thrilled me. The idea of sharing space annoyed me eventually but deep down I knew that it was something that I had to say yes to.
I often wonder if that was God, nudging me in the right direction. He uses these “out of my comfort zone” things to equip us, build us and train us up for our next big adventure. Maybe God wanted me to learn how to have an open heart, without being concerned about how much of myself I’m giving. Maybe he wanted me to let people in – especially when I don’t want to. Maybe he wanted me to expand the corners of my heart, so that it could fit more people in.
In a funny turn of events, I now live in a crazy house, full of kids. And we would eventually like to add more children to our growing brood. Out of my comfort zone? Heck yes! I often crave the peace and silence that living alone brings. I probably won’t get that back for a very long time. But I’m okay with that now. I love my children and I can’t imagine living in peace and silence, if it would mean being without them.
Maybe this is my “house with many rooms”. And maybe God has been stretching me, in preparation for it, all along.