An actual dream I had while in Texas:
As I stood next to a pool, a little girl who couldn’t swim jumped in and sank to the bottom. She didn’t struggle at all. In fact, she was intent on rescuing a piece of paper or two, lifting them up over her head, trying to bring them to the surface.
She couldn’t make it back up on her own.
Nothing more than a spectator, I stood and watched as another adult capably dove down, grasped the girl’s legs and pushed her up.
The girl neither thrashed nor struggled as the adult pushed her toward the surface. Instead, she calmly held the papers high over her head so that they burst out first.
The adult rescued her.
And she rescued the papers.
The papers weren’t the least bit soggy—in fact, the pages were perfectly dry, and the words clear enough to read or share with others.
That morning I told Ann Voskamp about the dream.
“What does it mean?” she wondered aloud.
“I don’t know, but it seemed significant,” I replied. “I wonder about my part in it, though. I mean, I just stood there, watching, like watching a movie.”
We didn’t try to analyze it more than that, and the dream faded into the background, as dreams do when the dreamer faces a plate of eggs and bacon. I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted by bacon.But I did remember the dream later.
I remembered it on the plane, when I was jotting down notes from the trip.
I remembered it the other day while I was taking a shower.
And I remembered it this evening, too.
I remembered the scene: the pool and the girl so intent on saving papers that had sunk to the bottom of the pool.
I began to wonder about it.
Are the papers stories to rescue? Stories from childhood, perhaps?
Am I the girl, rescuing the papers—the stories?
Am I the adult, diving in to assist others as they jump in to rescue their stories and bring them to the surface?
Or am I in the same role that I held in the dream: standing nearby, observing everything; curious, but detached?
Maybe I’m to take on any one of the roles at any given moment. Maybe I’m the girl sometimes, pulling up stories and writing them down to share; and other times I’m the one who helps others get their stories to the surface by taking on the role of editor; and then I must be the interested spectator, as well, sometimes…a reader, perhaps.
Maybe I need to dive down and rescue the truth from my past; and maybe I need to help others do the same.
Maybe we all need to be intent and courageous enough to jump in and rescue our stories—and maybe sometimes we need help bringing them out safely and in the best possible condition.
Kathleen Overby says
This is busting with material to mull. Who isn’t distracted by bacon? I love it mostly because the ink wasn’t blotched or the paper ruined. I see it clearly! Thems ‘painterly words” girlfriend. Painterly.
Ann Kroeker says
I’m still mulling it over myself, Kathleen, and I’m thinking the little girl Ann (I was called “Annie” as a child) needs to see what she can bring up from the past.
I never thought of myself as painterly; I think of my writing as rather plain. Thanks for your encouragement!
Gordon Atkinson says
Jung said that we are every character in our dreams. Or rather, every character in our dreams is some part of us.
Ann Kroeker says
Thanks, Gordon, for this bit of information. I’ve never paid any attention to dreams, but this one stood out more than most of my wacky ones…like I was supposed to take note and ponder it.
This really dove-tails with Ann’s urging us to tell our stories so that we might encourage others. I have heard people say that the Lord doesn’t waste anything that He allows into our lives. Perhaps even the stories we would like to let “drown” in the bottom of the pool are just what the Father is wanting to use to help someone else. And He will jump right in with us and help us to do it.
Well, I need to slip over and catch up on Ann V’s posts–I haven’t seen that one! I really like your phrasing, that the stories we’d like to forget and let “drown” in the bottom of the pool can be used to help others. Also I love the thought that He may be the one jumping in to help, to push us to the surface. Thanks for joining me in pondering all of this.
Megan Willome says
I am completely captivated by the little girl in your dream.
Any thoughts about her?
Hazel I. Moon says
I believe that was more of a “vision” than a dream. Yes, yes, we need to save the stories. My daughter urged me to begin my blog and pen both mine and my childrens stories. I print each personal blog and save it in a rather big envelope, and one of these days, I will sort and have them printed in binder form for my children. YES, Ann, do keep on encouraging others to SAVE the STORIES ! You are a leader and you did not chose the position yourself, the Lord chose you.
I love that you have been saving your blog posts to sdhare with family (and others). That’s perfect! And I am humbled–truly–to think that the Lord might be able to use me to help others.
Save the Stories! Maybe we should make these slogans into bumper stickers? 🙂
I know first hand that you do save stories.
What strikes me about your dream is how calm everyone seems to be. Not trying to fulfill any role other than the one given, but confident in that role. No flailing about or fretting about what if or why me or why not me. Just calmly going about the task at hand will calm assurance and equal significant.
I hadn’t thought of that–calm and hard at work. Sounds like a good way to sustain the work of digging into the past without doing myself in–by staying calm throughout the process.
I absolutely love dreams like these. On the surface, they seem pretty straightforward: You are a writer. Stories are rescued, etc. But there are so many layers here.
We could have fun on my couch with this one, Ann. 🙂 I’ll be thinking of your dream all night!
Oooooo….I would *love* to hear your thoughts! Can I get some free counsel? 🙂
I do hope you do not mind if I share what was impressed upon me as I read your dream. My first thought was in reference to the water and the piece of paper at the bottom of the pool full of water, “pool of water = floods” The Piece of paper =God = Love = Son = Word = Song of Solomon 8:7″Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:….” John 1:1 was my next thought in seeing the piece of paper being of value, precious to this little girl. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. This piece of paper being the Written Inspired Word, Love, the tangible Son, was so precious to this littel girl, she so loved and coveted for this piece of paper, that the threat of drowning, the fear of death was not present. As you stated she was so intent to obtain this piece of paper and “did not struggle when she could not make it to the surface”…because of her love for the Word, the Son, His Love, she had faith, feared not, for she was willing to die if necessary to obtain this priceless piece of paper. The other person that pulled the girl to safety is none other than the Spirit of Christ, for He is always our only source of salvation. And your part of this awesome dream full of delightful truths, I saw your place as you stood there observering the little girl, you were also not struggling or experiencing fear. I thought of the scripture in Zech 4:6b…Not by might nor power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts…..you had reached a level of spiritual maturity, acknowledging your inabilities to bring salvation to the little girl, and you were peaceful, restful, trustful in that her redemption, or salvation was beyond your abilities. And the statement of “she calmly held the papers high over her head so that they burst out first”….to me the message of being so in love with the Word of God, which is none other than the Son of God, the Inspired Word of God, that her first thought, her first joy was that the Word of God has been preserved…she was not the least bit concerned about her survival it was the piece of paper….this is the heart of every bond-servant of God…. a servant is one that expects a reward for service….a bond-servant cares “ONLY” for the Good Master….and I see that this little girl had the heart of a bond-servant for she only desired the preservation of the Good Master’s Word, which is His Love in ink! I agree with Gordon Atkinson in saying,that we are every character in our dreams. Or rather, every character in our dreams is some part of us….The little girl being that portion of you that LOVES as a Bond-servant and runs not from the threat of death in the act of preserving, obtaining the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is within you….bringing salvation to you ….the little girl that plunges in the middle of death to hold, to obtain, to preserve His Word, and you as you ….standing in total confidence and when there is total confidence there is NO FEAR! That’s my thoughts in regards to your dream…! I know this is years later after the posting of this dream….but still yet with confidence as you had….God is Sovereign, and if nothing else your dream, had encouraged me to know that Life is in the saving hands of our Heavenly Father and if my heart is that of the bondservant …. death is not a fear of mine…..
Thank you for this thoughtful, discerning, biblical analysis! I can’t tell you how precious it is to hear from you with this meaningful response. God bless you, as you draw near to the Lord. I will give this more time to consider prayerfully what I might do in response.