Friday, September 27, 2013


I dreamed about my sister last night, or maybe it was this morning.

It happens sometimes. Not as frequently as it did right after she died, but still, occasionally, I will awaken with remnants of her voice or her smile or her laugh still resonating in my mind. And as the dream fades, and wakefulness seeps in, I am always happy that I got to spend time with her, and then I am always sad that it was only a dream.

The first time I dreamed about her was the night that she died. That was really more of a vision, I guess, because I was half awake, and I was standing in her Malaysian hospital room, telling her I loved her and I wished I was with her. And she wasn't laying in her bed, with tubes going into her body and her head shaved from emergency brain surgery. No, she was standing up, and beside her was an angel, and all around her was the presence of the Lord, and I was hugging her and telling her I loved her. And then...then I woke up, and it was 4 in the morning and I couldn't go back to sleep, and I sat in the living room waiting. And then it was 5:30 and my parents were coming into the house, telling me she was gone. And when they told me what time it had been that she died, I realized she had already been up out of that bed, and walking with the Lord, when I had my dream/vision, and I curled up on my couch and cried until I had no more tears. Except that I had more tears...a lot more, for a long time.

Now, more than three years later, when I dream about my sister, Joy, it's usually something funny, or silly, or trivial. We are trying to decide where to go shopping, or what to have for lunch, or we are just sitting around talking. And when I wake up too early, I don't sit and stare at the wall, waiting and hoping and fearing what the morning light will bring.

If you had told me, at 5:30 a.m. on August 18th, 2010, that one day I would dream about her and wake up smiling, I wouldn't have believed you.

Because I woke up in the dark, and even when the sun came up, it still felt dark. And after that, for a long time, it was dark when I woke up, and I opened my eyes already crying, and it seemed that the morning would never come, the sun wouldn't break through, the well of tears was endless.

But this morning, it was 4:45 when my eyes popped open, and I could still hear her laugh resonating in my mind, and I was still gripped with happiness and sadness all at the same time, but...the sun came up.

And I am left breathless. Seriously, gasping for breath, as I realize something altogether unbelievable and awful and shocking and yet such a blessing; the morning has come, and the mourning is fading.

And a part of me wants to crawl back into the night, because I feel closer to her there.

But, this is the way the Lord set it up. The night is dark, and cold, and wet with tears.

But the morning is warm, and dry, and bright with hope, and it always comes.

We can't imagine the light, and the warmth, and the hope, when we are deep in the night. And sometimes night lasts much longer than we think we can live through. And sometimes we want to cling to the night, because it keeps our hearts connected to someone we lost, or something we think we need to hold close.

But the Lord made the morning. He IS the light. He shines hope.

Are you still in the night, the dark, the deep well of tears and pain and hopelessness?

Please believe me when I say...the morning is coming. Hang onto Jesus in the night, because He's there. And when the light breaks in, and you realize that morning is coming, He's still there. You've never been alone, and there is great hope in that knowledge.

"Sing hallelujah, the sun's breaking through,
to take back the dark sky and make everything new.
We knew joy was coming, we just had to wait.
Now we sing hallelujah, for its a brand new day.

So let's sing hallelujah, the dark night is gone.
Creation is singing, so come join in the song.
The Father is calling to come out and play.
So we'll sing hallelujah, its a brand new, beautiful day."

(song lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman, "Morning Has Broken" song, written a few years after the death of his daughter. Here is a link. Take a minute and watch it. )

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