I am no stranger to weird dreams, especially the kind that don’t make much sense when I wake up. The ones where the door to the bathroom has to be closed so the toaster will work simply because that’s the exhausted brand of logic that your brain uses when you’ve gone way past empty the day before or you ate something funky… Or being chased down the road by a rogue car whose accelerator has a mind of its own…
But this one was weird in a sense that it seemed almost directed. I get the impression now that it was intended to be an attack on me personally, meant to derail me or upset me, and I was shaken when I got up this morning. Once again, it is Lent, and evil tends to attack more and try to throw us off track this time of year, I’ve noticed.
I don’t remember all that much about the dream itself, but at one point, I came to realize that I was pregnant. (A very strange thing to realize as a single twentysomething who’s never had any reason to think that before!) I was shocked and scared — this was not planned on my part, and I certainly had not intended for this to happen. What had happened to me? In the dream, I somehow flashed back to an answer to that question – except it was two answers instead of one. I was shown two different ideas of what had happened – and then I was made aware that, in my dream, both of these things had taken place.
Not only was my dream persona pregnant against my will, but I had no way of knowing the truthful identity of my baby’s father. When I woke up, thankfully unpregnant, I realized just how terrifying this would be to live through it in real life. But in my dream, the plot not only thickened, but twisted as I was very clearly presented with a question.
Even if I didn’t know the father of my baby, would I be willing to allow this child to be born and to love him or her, regardless, as my own?
I remember asking myself that question, and trying to answer questions for other people as well. What was I going to do? Some people were very upset with me for getting into this situation. Others wished me the best of luck and moved on with their lives. I felt very confused and alone. Some of my friends, people I thought I knew well, told me I should just have an abortion and be done with it and move on. The me in my dream was in a relationship (married to a tall, dark, handsome not-so-stranger if I recall correctly, because he was familiar to me in the dream but I’ve never seen him before) and I had to decide what to tell my husband. “I’m pregnant, but it might not be our child like we thought it was” isn’t the ideal conversation starter. I was almost sure it wasn’t our child, which made things even harder. And a very real, human part of me didn’t want to carry a baby I didn’t choose to be part in creating. I wanted my own baby.
But what if God had a reason for this to happen? And at the same time, how could he possibly have any intentions for something good to come out of something horrible and traumatizing? How could that even have a semblance of purpose to it?
I remembered this afternoon that today was the Annunciation, but I didn’t make the connection between my dream and today until after I wrote it all down.
I can’t even imagine how Mary might have felt after receiving the news. She had to break it to Joseph too. But she carried the child she was asked to carry and raise and love, even though she might have dreamed of carrying her own baby at her own time, by her own choice, too. She did what the Lord asked of her, changing the world forever.
What a brave, trusting Mother we have.