Tuesday, April 22, 2008

that odd yet meaningful dream

I had a really strange dream on friday night...

I dreamt that the whole of NTU cell had gossiped behind my back. And to me in the dream, that was TOTALLY UNIMAGINABLE because, other than my family and close JC mates who've seen all sides to me, they are the closest people to me and people whom i have been honest to! In the dream, R was the one who spilled the beans to me. I'm not sure why she told me what the cell had done, but she definitely wasn't sympathetic either. Apparently, they had talked about all my negative points, and pretty much came to a conclusion that i was NOT likeable.

(NTU cell aka Cell Group = group of people who meet up once a week, every week, other than for church service, to study the bible together)

I can only remember a couple of the things they "did not like" about me: I was told that the cell disliked how i sang so loudly during cell worship as if i was some big shot with a splendid voice, and i was told that they did not like me also because i could not lead them well during cell worship. Which explained why they did not ask me to lead worship anymore. Among other things, they said other bad things about my personality.

And throughout the dream when R was telling me about what cell had spoken behind my back, i was supremely indignant. I was so desperate to understand WHY they did not like me even when all i have done was to be the best friend and person that i could be to them. I was all alone, and felt totally misunderstood. In the dream, i could not comprehend why the people who were so close to me, people whom i had sincerely liked, could do such an abhorrent thing to me.

In my dream, i found that i was greatly distressed because i felt as if all that i was worth depended on whether i was accepted positively by people. The NTU cell is a representation of people who are dear to me. But strangely throughout my hurt and indignance, somehow this message was deposited into my mind:

"Who cares about what others think about you? The opinion of man is superficial and changing. What matters is what God thinks about you, and that is steadfast and everlasting. Your worth is not defined by what people say or feel towards you, or whether people like you. See, even the people who are closest to you have turned against you. You now understand the true meaning of what it means to have the world against you. And you now understand the true meaning and weight of what it means to rely completely on the worth that God gave you."

You see. It is easy to disregard what strangers think about you, and it does not hurt so much when they think badly of you. But when your own close ones begin to hate you, suddenly you feel like your worth is being called into question. Suddenly your identity and reputation is in shambles, suddenly you feel as if you have no where to go.

As i thought more about this, this dream is in line with the Christian walk. God is to take top priority in every aspect of my life, and loving God beyond all else and accepting our identity in Christ is what every Christian is suppose to do. But all too often as we jouney through life on Earth, we forget this and get swallowed up by the worldly things that surround us. We lust after material things of this world, and we accept definitions of people and things set by culture and society at large (Eg. beauty, intelligence, self-worth, etc).

We love and obey God and choosing to do His work is/may be unpopular with the masses. For example, speaking out against homosexuality and abortion, or sharing the gospel. There are times when we may have to do this among people who hate God and Christians (which is actually happening today). And in doing so, we have to forsake our own plans, reputation, safety, etc.

To be able to stand up for the things of God, we need to secure in God. To know that we are loved even when the world hates us.

Therefore, i understand that being secure in God, gives us sureness in our lives. It's being on a foundation that does not change.
You may say: What if you die doing God's work? What kind of security is that?
My answer is simple: The safety that God gives is beyond this physical life. It is eternal. By that i mean, you go to the place where God is to be with him forever. Heaven! It can't be more secure than that. :-)

I don't really know why i had this dream or what triggered it. Thought i'd just share it on this space and i hope that anyone reading this will benefit from it. :-D

14 comments:

Dominic. said...

hey jo...

thanks for sharing with utmost honesty. to tell you frankly, amongst the handful of the closest people i know, you're one who's able to handle /take truth in its purest form. and that's an honor from my part.

and back to the topic. yes, there are times when i feel that even the people closest to me (like the cell) are not able to relate with the things i'm going thru.

like times when i express my ideals, convictions, or interests in certain stuff...what i get is pessimism and skepticism.

(sometimes when i go to church, i ask myself, "Is there anyone here who REALLY loves God and others?"...i'm discovering a few here and there and yeah...they too are taking quite a 'beating' even from fellow believers...)

the bottomline is that humans are imperfect, but God is perfect. we may feel betrayed, offended, hurt, neglected by people close to us, but that doesn't stop us from loving them as Christ loves us.

even if they throw their opinions, expectations or demands at us, the ULTIMATE choice on whether to please God or man lies in our hands.

the reason why i can say all these to you is that i know that you are able to take the pounding nature of the truth, process it and act upon it. once again, i'm truly honored and humbled to know that a fellow sister dares to outrightly declare that the things of God are so much better than the things of this world. few are able to even comprehend or come to terms with this statement.

yup. all in all, continue to glorify in ALL possible extends. your reward is not even measurable by reputation, recognition or currency. your reward's in heaven. and the approval of God is worth much more than all of man's praise combined.

cheers and God bless!

Lala said...

hey Jo, :)
if you had told me this face to face, I wouldn't have let you get past the first part. I'd be screaming in your face, "NONSENSE!!! we'd never do that... that dream is silly..." heh.
good thing i had no choice but to read till the end, haha..

anyway, I've nothing much to say in addition to all you've written, except that a few nights ago I felt really similar, and it was painful to feel that way. :P

and in reply to what Dom said, I feel like we all fall short of loving, even if everyone has tried all our darndest to love.

so yeah its how we react to those feelings of "i havent been loved..." or "i've been hurt by others..." and choose how we (personal decision here) are going to respond to that.

We should probably do what Jesus would. heh.


On a personal note, though, I wish I could love better....

heh! :P

Anonymous said...

i m still fuming mad. But i dun plan to scold him or wat la. i just let this stay as a secret as it is.

Rose in Bloom said...

i'll like to add further, that when suffering comes, dying, everything else wouldn't matter at all except for the promise that God has your soul.

joline said...

dom:

dom, i'm really honoured and humbled to hear you say all that especially since i know that i have been guilty of some of the things you have mentioned at times, being imperfect and all.

thanks bro. :-) lets always support one another in doing what we do for Dad. and also, to continue to be honest with one another... being open with one another is highly treasured!

lala:

haha, thank you for reading till the end... so funny lah you.
hope this encourages you!
anyway, that you want to love and have begun to do so in the best way you know, is something. some people don't even bother. continue to love, and love with Jesus's love!

anon:

ok, for his sake, pray that he will see the error of his ways soon enough.

rose-in-bloom:

Exactly. :-) We should always remember that. Together with that just because we suffer, does not mean that God does not care. It's all for the bigger scheme of things. Thanks for your input. :-)

Anonymous said...

hey jo, like wad dom said, u are really one who's able to handle /take truth in its purest form. thanz fer sharin! continue to let ya identity be rooted in Christ! continue singin loudly durin worship =)

love,
kev

dun bother said...

actually he does know he is wrong. it is just tat i told him to apologise to everyone involved, but really in my heart, i thought: sorry no cure.i want to tell him, if u can do this once, u can do this twice. anyway now i realised what kind of person he is, i will distance myself from him. i do not want to see him or talk to him anymore.i m sick of pple ruining my weekends. i want a carefree weekend...but, i m down with fever today. so this weekend has been feeling down, didnt go out to play...

joline said...

kev:

hey kevin, it's so cool to see you here. :-)
i will continue to live in truth! thanks bro. and sing loudly. :D

dun bother:

you've been going on and on about this issue for a while, and to me, it seems like you DO bother about what's happening, to some extent. maybe you don't have to talk to him now if u can't take it. but seriously. ignoring him forever won't solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

oh my,u r rite, i cant ignore him forever, for one, i m seeing him every yr at cny. (minus the times he asked me out and i didnt go).SO HOW? i really want to forget this, but i cant. scold him? i dunno wat to say. as usual. i want to do sth but i dunno wat. maybe time will pass and god will tell me how.let time see wat happens.

faith said...

faith is believing without seeing. and oh! my fave author jodi picoult is coming to sg on the 10th may!! so exciting, but i fear i wont like her as much if she is not nice in person.oh well

joline said...

anon:

i guess u could let it rest for now till the time is right. one thing's for sure, u never know when what u say will hit a chord in him should u decide to speak to him about it.

faith:

why did you bring up faith being belief without seeing?
oh, she's really coming? cool! think another friend of mine would love to know about this too. :-)
are u going to catch her?

i m not tat ugly pls said...

abt tat faith is believing without seeing ar, cos this line is from her latest book. yea sure i will go n catch her, dunno when she will come agn lor...must go!
i intend to let this be part of growing up process for him.if he becums a teacher...i cant imagine man. oh man, how i hate teachers esp male teachers.esp those in my sch. i feel like wearing make up and skimpy clothes and walk ard them. Hump, who cares for a bunch of miserable teachers, do they even bother to say hi to me in my uniform? do they even know me? if they dun have eyes for me, cos i look so ordinary in my uniform, then i want to dress up and make them realise i m worth a look at. anyway, i cant stand them. pui!typical men!

joline said...

im not that ugly:

what do u mean by "typical men"?

aiyo, if they are so horrible, why try to attract their attention anyway right...

faithless in men said...

yes i hate male teachers, wats their problem with dts huh. they cannt see for themselves huh, alot of my frends, my jnrs are very pretty. dun they start looking down on us...i hate it when they have a holier than thou attitude. hey man, besides this bunch of female teachers, we are the only female adults walking in this great sea of children...wats their problem? obnoxious pretentious male teachers!who cares for them? let them scold kids the whole day, i dun need sumone to scold me as though i m a kid myself. i m quiting, i want a job tat i wont look ugly in. cos u know wat.men dun bother to say hi to u if u look damned well..ordinary. it is in my personal beliefs tat one shud look nice everyday. the world suddenly looks brighter when u are atractive