by Holly Michael, author, editor, and Bishop’s wife, serving God through writing.
As soon as she opened the door, I recognized her. I had met her in my dream. It sounds crazy, I know, but that’s what happened. Her face was slightly different from what I remembered, but it was her. She was the one I’d been waiting to meet. I had a message for her.
A week earlier, she had come into my dream. I watched her life like a documentary. Snapshots of her life: a happy young girl, a beautiful teenager wanting to conquer the world, then I saw her sadness and her pain. I saw deep creases in a much more hardened face.
Then, like a newsflash would interrupt a TV show, a calm loving voice rolled into my dream. “Tell her I love her. Tell her not to lie down and go to sleep.”
I remained awake for a long time pondering the dream, certain I’d heard the voice of Jesus? But who was she? Was I destined to meet her? I’d been praying for God to use me. Nothing like this had happened to me before. Goosebumps ran up and down my arms with the thrill of being an instrument for God. Then a week passed, I almost dismissed the dream. Perhaps it was a random dream. Nothing else.
I went about my days as a journalist, tackling my next assignment, a prison ministry story. The ladies I interviewed, ministers in the women’s prison, told me about Joy. They said she’d met Christ in prison, was released, got a great job. A life transformed through Christ.
I knocked on Joy’s door. When it opened, there I was, face-to-face with her. My heart raced as I drove her to a nearby diner for the interview. Throughout lunch, Joy was upbeat, inspiring, talking about Jesus and how much He changed her life. There wasn’t one moment in the conversation that seemed natural to relay a message of hope. She was the epitome of hope.
After the interview, later at home, my heart grew burdened with guilt. God told me to do something and I didn’t do it.
Finally, unable to bear the heaviness in my heart, I grabbed the phone. After Joy answered, I blurted, “Joy, this is Holly. This may seem strange, but a few days ago I had a dream about you. You were really sad. Then I heard Jesus’ voice. He told me to tell you something. He said, ‘Don’t lie down. Don’t go to sleep.’ He told me to tell you that He loves you.”
A gasp. A sob. She wept for a long time before speaking. She explained that she was ready to give up on her job and also on her life. She said she tried to believe what she heard in prison about Jesus’ forgiveness and new life, but she felt ashamed, unworthy. Psalm 79:11 says, Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die! Joy was still in that prison, doomed. Then Jesus spoke.
We chatted about God’s mercy and great love, love that died for us, love that entered into my dream—a stranger—and delivered a message just for her. She felt assured, truly and finally accepting in her heart that Jesus loved her.
I never had an experience like that before or since. It began with a prayer, an earnest request for God to use me to help others. It ended with Him appearing and a soul, finally knowing its worth. Life is amazing. God is great.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Read more at Holly Michael’s blog, Writing Straight.