How a Divorce Dream Teaches Me About Listening to God’s Voice
Recently, I had a dream that left me in an emotional mess. It’s a dream that I’ve had several times before, but this time, when I woke up, I couldn’t stop crying.
In this dream, I desperately want a divorce and the desire stems from a feeling deep inside me that something is missing.
I started having this recurring dream after Paul and I got married.
The details of the dream are usually different, but the feeling and the theme are always the same.
My friend, who I’ll call Ty, invited me to a party down the hill. The coronavirus shutdowns had ended and people were able to gather. Consequently, the valley was filled with numerous parties.
Ty and I met up with my husband, Paul, and we drifted from party to party, meeting with other friends and family. It was wonderful.
Afterward, Paul and I were driving home. He was in the driver seat. I reached over and gave him a hug, but when I looked at his face, I noticed that he had on a different face.
He was in some sort of mask or avatar and, thus, he looked like an ex-boyfriend from my past.
As I stared at him, I began to feel sad and realized that something was missing.
I realized that I needed to leave him. I needed to go out into the world and find someone else who was going to fulfill the emptiness I was feeling.
But What About Our Kids?
I couldn’t just leave our kids.
I imagined my kids living with my parents and could hear my son giggling. This made me realize that my kids would be okay. I knew that my mom and dad would take care of them and raise them as if they were their own children.
So I told Paul that I wanted a divorce.
I started to cry as I explained to him that every time I looked at him I felt like something was missing.
I buried my head in my lap and cried as I thought about the scandal and gossip that our divorce was going to cause.
I felt ashamed thinking of all the people who would be disappointed by our divorce. My parents, Paul’s parents, all my brothers, sisters, friends and family.
I thought about how sad it was that we would be getting a divorce over the emptiness I felt even though we had such a good relationship. I thought about relationships that were worse than ours that have lasted over time simply because the couple had settled for each other.
And yet, I couldn’t settle.
I knew the feeling would continue to gnaw at me and I had to get free.
Then Paul asked me to look at him. He had changed his avatar and wanted to see if I still felt like leaving.
So I looked and he had transformed into a different ex-boyfriend of mine. I stared at his hazel-blue eyes and the emptiness washed over me.
In my disappointment I told him that I still felt like something was missing.
Even though I knew that he was Paul. My Paul. And that all the experiences that we shared would never change even if his avatar was different. Yet, when I looked at him, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was someone else out there that completed me. Someone that I could connect with on a deeper level.
I buried my head in my lap and wept as I thought about the journey ahead of me.
The Uncertain Journey Ahead
I imagined that I would team up with my friend Ty and we would travel the country in search of our life partners. I saw myself in California, going to parties and meeting new people.
I sobbed harder as I thought about how long it might take and the uncertainty of knowing when and where I was going to meet the one.
Then Paul told me to take another look at him. He said he had changed his avatar once more.
I lifted my head to look at him and he had changed back to himself!
Now I was overtaken with joyful tears as that missing piece I felt inside me was fulfilled. I was so relieved and happy to see that he was himself.
I tearfully told him to never change his avatar again!
Then I awoke to a pillow soaked with tears. My body still trembling from the emotions.
I cried for a good five minutes or so after waking up and realizing that it was all a dream and that Paul was here with me.
Reflecting on the Power of Identity
When I reflect on this dream, I think about the power of identity. Identity is composed of many facets, one of which are physical characteristics such as a person’s face, body, and voice. We may think that these characteristics are superficial, but I think they are a lot more powerful than we realize.
I think about how a baby learns to identify their mother very early on by the sound of her voice. A newborn cannot see very clearly or far, but is soothed by the familiarity of her mother’s voice.
I am also reminded of a homily from the Monsignor at my church. He spoke of how, on a trip to the Middle East, he was amongst several shepherds who had with them their own flock of sheep. The sheep from the various shepherds were all intermingling and grazing in a field. When it was time to depart, each shepherd called out to their sheep, and to Monsignor’s amazement, the sheep knew which shepherd was their master and headed toward him.
This all leads me to reflect on knowing Jesus’ voice. In John 10:27, Jesus says:
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Figuring out What the Voice of God Sounds Like
A continuing challenge that we as Christians have is how to know when God is speaking to us. Can we be sure that the voices we hear are from God and not just our own voice, the voice of society, or from some other source?
Early on in my faith journey, I learned one way of distinguishing voices that were not God. This occurred one day as I was reflecting on what it meant to be good. I realized that life itself was good. In fact, life was a very basic and fundamental good. Therefore, any voice or thought that led me toward the destruction of my own life or the destruction of someone else’s life was not good and thus not from God.
Sounds simple enough but when I aligned my actions with this belief, I was able to end a multitude of self-destructive behavior that I had previously struggled to overcome.
Another way I have learned to distinguish that a voice is not from God is by asking the question “Are my thoughts coming from a place of love?”. Because, from scripture, we know that God is love (1 John 4:8). Thus, I feel confident that thoughts that do not come from a place of love are likely not from God.
It can certainly take time and effort to get to know God and thus, to become familiar with His Voice.
These two posts below have excellent information on the topic of getting to know God’s voice and have been very helpful for me:
From my dream, it didn’t matter that my experiences with Paul would never change, what mattered was that he didn’t look like himself. And because he didn’t look like himself, I wasn’t able to connect to him as my life partner.
Identity, then, is powerful in helping us to make the right connections. These connections can help us in fulfilling needs as well as navigating our life and circumstances.
Thus, getting to know God’s voice and identity, is supremely important for those of us whose goal it is to live for and serve Him. We must know his voice if we are to be led and guided by him.
3 Takeaways From the Dream
My first takeaway is the obvious one; which is that I am grateful to have found Paul and I never want to take for granted the blessing of being married to him. Finding love was hard for me. Ultimately though, all the struggle that I went through allowed me to realize how good it is to have met him and I feel that I am more appreciative than I would’ve been had I not struggled.
The second takeaway is to remember not to judge others who decide to divorce. I am so glad that I never married any of the men from my past. If I had, I fear I would still have that gnawing feeling of wanting something more. And if I did have that feeling, I’m certain that I would divorce so that I could search for something more.
How do I know this? Well, because I have ended many relationships because I felt something was missing.
But ultimately, this is all hypothetical. It’s possible that I might sacrifice my longing so that my kids might have a stable family. I’m not sure. But I do know how powerful the feelings of the heart are. Therefore, I want to remember to not judge others who decide to follow their heart.
Lastly, I empathize with all those out there who are still searching for love. I fully remember the feeling of wanting so badly to have a companion. Certainly, God fulfills in ways deeper than a companion can. But, I think God has made and groomed many of us for human companionship.
Thus, if your heart is longing for companionship, stay hopeful. Have faith.
And here is a prayer for you:
I pray that you find love and find it soon. I pray that it may be good, fulfilling, and long-lasting until death. I pray that you and your loved one will grow from each other, respect and appreciate each other deeply and that your bond will be strong and stable. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.