Do you know that God still speaks in dreams? This time of year I am always reminded of that as Anna and I plan her birthday party. Her birthday is not until the middle of October, but Anna is a planner--so party planning usually begins mid August. First a theme, then games, food and decorations. Once that is planned we work on invitations and finally we send them out. The reason I think about dreams though is that Anna was a twin, and the reason we know that is from 2 different people who had dreams.
You see before we had told anyone we were pregnant with Anna, we had a high school student in our youth group ask me if we were going to have any more kids and if so when. "Am I showing already? Geez I know this is my second but seriously at 4 weeks pregnant" I thought to myself. To her all I said was
"why do you ask?" "Well I had a dream last night that you were pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl." My stomach did a little twist--twins! I couldn't quite imagine!
A few days later someone on the church staff came up to me and asked if we thinking about having any more kids. Seriously people? I realize this was my second but could they tell already? I again asked why she asked. "Well I had a dream and you were pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl." Ahhh--twins.
Now this was not a charismatic church, nor an independent church but a solid, reformed presbyterian church where God speaking through dreams was not, let me say, talked about much unless we were talking about the nativity story. I was indeed pregnant but I had not had an ultrasound yet to show how many humans were inside me. A few days later I was moving some boxes of books and found myself cramping. Then I started to bleed. I called the doctor immediately. A few days later they took a blood test to see if I was still pregnant and I was. Just normal bleeding they said. But something didn't feel right. So we had an ultrasound. There was a heart beat and a healthy looking little peanut. But only one. For the doctor that was that, I was fine, pregnant and healthy. But what about the dreams? So I asked the doctor, "What are the chances I did miscarry a twin?" My ob humored me and looked around a little more with the ultrasound. She found an empty sac. "Yes", she said you were pregnant with twins and you lost one.
We were simultaneously overjoyed at seeing a healthy baby and distraught at having lost a child. A child that we honestly wouldn't have known existed had it not been for 2 different people's dreams in the middle of the night which they remembered and told us about.
This experience brings up 2 different things for me--First: why? Why would God take the time to tell 2 different people about our twins, and then I lose one? Second: how often does God talk to us through dreams? A lot happens in dreams in the bible--especially, like I said above, in Jesus' birth story. Joseph is warned in dreams and encounters angels in dreams. Yet dreams seem like such a tenuous way to communicate to us. After all we so often forget dreams or just discount them as a crazy and random.
I can't answer the first question. But I do know that I am grateful to know that I have a fifth child who one day I will get to meet face to face. We never found out if he was a boy, but in both dreams we were pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl. So, in faith, we named him Joshua. In the bible both Joshua and Anna loved to be in the temple, in the presence of God. Before we told anyone their names, multiple people prophesied (prayed and asked God who this baby was, then told us) over our baby girl that she would be worshipper, someone who loved to sing and worship God. Indeed she came out humming and singing. Around 6 months old, before she could talk, she would eat her mushed up food and hum. She has been humming and singing ever since (much to the annoyance of her brothers!)
And in response to the second query--it has made me stop and pay attention when I do remember a dream and to take the time to write them down, or ask God--is that from you? And on the rare occasion if a dream seems to be of significance I try to tell the person they are about, just as those 2 friends did to us. Because just like in Jesus story, and in Anna's birth story a dream can change your life. The kids regularly talk about us having 5 kids in the family and Anna frequently refers to herself as having a twin. So thank you to those two gals who had the courage to ask if we were pregnant with twins, to remember and tell us your dreams. They truly changed our understanding of our family!
Ali Millikan, Author
I love Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. I love my husband and kids. I believe that God is in the room with us; that hearing God's voice is for everyone and that it will change your day to day reality.