Over the last 3 months I have been having baptism dreams. In my dreams I am either baptizing someone (someone I don’t know in life) or in some of the dreams, there is just lots of water (and I am needing to wade through it).
I had a series of dreams similar at one other time in my life: seventeen years ago when my son was born.
At that time, I remember one dream in particular. I was at a large Memorial Park (—it is right off the 405, you can see it as you drive into LA), and I was in a mausoleum that was filling with water. As the water grew higher and higher, I lost touch with the floor and was slowly rising toward the ceiling! As I was nearing the top, the scripture from Romans 6:8 was in my mind, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (NIV). At that moment I took a breath and went under the water to find a whole new amazing world. As I swam around I felt drawn into this strange new world.
I was experiencing what I imagine many new parents do: I was in over my head—both as a new mom and, for me, I was also a fairly new pastor. My dream connected me both with that reality and with the way forward into the new world—I would need to die to my old self and be reborn into this new world.
Back to today. This morning, on his way out the door, Jacob came into my study for a kiss and good luck on today’s final. At 17 it is hard to remember that I ever felt not up to the task of being his mom, but I did. I smile as I see how far he, and I, have come. Finishing up his junior year, he is so ready for what is next—his senior year, deciding on a college, and what awaits him as he moves more fully into his own life.
Last night, I had another baptism dream. It is just one of many over these past 3 months. This time I found myself in a room where the water was getting higher and higher and I felt a strange sense of déjà vu—here I was once more getting ready to enter a strange new world, except this time it is in my vocation.
The text that is keeping me company in this time is a different Romans text. My last Sunday preaching I used Romans 5:1-5 (Message Translation)—verse 5 is what is speaking to me in my dreams.
“In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”
Today I start my first full week of renewal leave. It is in some ways a month of emptying the jars and trusting in God’s abundance to fill them anew. It is certainly a new pace for a new time of life. Once again, I feel ill equipped for what is next but as I have traveled this road before, I feel more at home and much less concerned that it all rests on me.
As I face toward Pentecost and this new time of life for myself, all I can do is join with the saints in their plea, Come Holy Spirit, Come!