I try not to think about the dream, it was too scary. But I can’t help myself. I was standing with Brennan, my three-year-old, waiting for an elevator. We were three stories up, on the outside of a building, on a platform. I’m not sure I was aware of those facts until, moments before the elevator opened for us to enter, Brennan suddenly took off to my left and ran straight off the platform.
In my dream, I didn’t panic, but I was scared. I knew there was concrete below. I didn’t want to even think about what might be happening to him. I remember that as he went over the side of the platform, I felt totally helpless. It happened so fast. I couldn’t even yell to him. The elevator door opened and I hurried inside, telling the people we needed to go down immediately, my child just fell off the side. Could someone please call 911?
My mind was racing. Could he have survived? Would he be paralyzed? What was he thinking as he lay there, if he was thinking anything at all? I just wanted to be with him, and hold him and comfort him, but I was scared to see him.
And then I woke up.
My overwhelming sense, other than thankfulness it was a dream, was that there was nothing I could do. It all happened so fast. One moment he was next to me, the next moment he was gone…running off the side of a three-story building.
I prayed. As I lay in bed, not wanting to continue that dream (as opposed to times I wake up from dreams wanting to “get back into them” to see what happens!), I decided to pray. I prayed for my children. I prayed that terrible things like that wouldn’t happen to them. That God would protect them.
This dream reminded how quickly things can happen that can change our lives forever. I think back to this summer. Several of us were swimming in the pool. My family, my brothers and their families. Usually either Randy or I had our eye on Brennan, who couldn’t swim yet. Somehow, in the changing of the guards, neither of us were tuned into him. I was in my own little world and didn’t even notice Randy bounding across the patio and jumping into the water. He had spotted Brennan floating, face down, without his floaties on. By the time the news spread to me, Brennan was fine. We have no idea how long he was like that, but we’re guessing not very long. But still…
What if no one noticed? What if it was too late by the time he was discovered? That night, Randy and I talked about how different that day ~ and the rest of our lives ~ might have been had another minute or two gone by before anyone noticed Brennan. We knew we were “that close” to our lives being changed forever.
We were scared, yet we were thankful. Thankful that we got to him in time. Thankful that nothing worse happened.
I’m reminded that as parents we must be so diligent. I’m also reminded that sometimes things are completely out of our control…unless we lock our kids up in an empty room. The three-story fall in my dream, the one minute of not being tuned into where Brennan was at the pool. Both represent potentially life-changing events.
As I ponder these things, the lyrics of an Amy Grant song from years ago come to mind. Here are some of those words from her song, “Angels Watching Over Me”:
God only knows the times my life was threatened just today. A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way. Near misses all around me, accidents unknown; though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home. But I know they’re all around me, all day and through the night. When the enemy is closing in, I know sometimes they fight. To keep my feet from falling, I’ll never turn away. If you ask me what’s protecting me, then you’re gonna hear me say: “God has angels watching over me, every move I make. Angels watching over me! Angels watching over me, every step I take. Angels watching over me!
As crazy as it sounds, both my dream and Brennan’s near-drowning episode are positive reminders of that fact: God is watching over me…and my children. They are glimpses of grace. How many other times has God protected me or my children that I’m not even aware of (“a reckless care that ran out of gas before it ran my way”). Every breath I take ~ and every breath of my husband and children ~ are gifts.
As I take the good of God’s protection, I must also be willing to accept the bad. Sometimes, bad things do happen. The child does drown or is severely injured. Somehow, I take comfort in the fact that it is all not all up to me. I must do what I can to protect my children and keep them from danger; but in the end, it is ultimately God who is in control. I don’t like that, even under God’s watchful eye, bad things happen. In fact, I hate it. Yet, praise be to God that there IS a God and that He IS in control. I am not. He could choose to stop it (or avoid it). I must rest in that knowledge. And rest in Him. I pray that if I were to ever face such circumstances, that I would continue to trust and rest in Him.
In the meantime, I will take these glimpses of grace given to me. Glimpses that remind me to savor every moment I have with those I love. Glimpses that remind me to thank God for them. Glimpses that remind me that He is trustworthy. And glimpses that remind me that He and His hosts of angels are watching over me and mine.