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In a response to Still Scared, I mentioned that an old friend had nightmares about R all night long last Thursday night.

This is a woman I met about eight years ago. She was devout, very spiritual yet silly, very entrepreneurial minded, and trapped in a marriage to an adulterous, abusive man. We had much in common and became fast friends.

However, with the difficulties inherent in both our lives, we eventually lost touch. I haven’t seen her since D was a baby, but about a month ago she found me on Facebook and we casually reconnected.

I was surprised to get a frantic sounding message from her, telling me to text her my phone number.  She lives in a remote area without internet service, and she didn’t have my new phone number.  But, she NEEDED to know that I was okay.  She’d been so frightened and so desperate, that she took her laptop and drove into town, seeking free wireless, in order to send that message.

When I got off work and finally got a hold of her, she shared with me that she had dreamed only of me all night long.  R was stalking me and still beating me in every one of her dreams.  He pulled a gun on me and tried to kill me several different times.  Each time though someone helped me get away.  She said that toward morning the dreams were set in a different house than the one I’m living in, the one I’ve lived in for fourteen years.  But, R found the new house, broke in, and beat me badly.  My new neighbors helped me escape, but it didn’t slow him down.  He was angry and intent on killing me.

In the final dream, she and I were both working at a METAL WAREHOUSE.  It apparently was some sort of resource center for victims and survivors of domestic violence.  There were many women and children all around inside the warehouse when R came raging through the door, looking for me.

He confronted her, and she told him repeatedly that she would NEVER tell him where I was.  R pulled a gun on her and held it to her head.  He threatened to pull the trigger unless she told him where he could find me.  With one quick action she pulled a pistol from under the counter and emptied it on him.  She said that, in her dream, she stood over him, feeling absolutely nothing, but thinking, “I told you not to threaten me.”

She hasn’t even laid eyes on the man since J was a baby six years ago.  Yet, he can still torment her in her sleep and elicit a fearful reaction.

Yesterday, another friend, my closest friend, the maid of honor at my wedding all those years ago, texted me that she had something to tell me.  It was too long to text, so she was emailing me.  I was intrigued.

She knew nothing of my other friend’s nightmares last week.

However, she, too, had dreamed of R.  Again, it was set in a WAREHOUSE.  He was bullying the kids in front of a crowd of people.  She had thin sticks of wood, similar to molding, that she was breaking in her hands.  She knows the little wooden sticks were significant, but she has no idea why or what they stood for; they just seemed prominent in the dream.  She said that she verbally let him have it and “lost her religion” in the way she talked to him.  She broke the little sticks and told him that his days of manipulating these kids are over!

It seemed strange to me that two of my friends would dream similar dreams.  But, these are women who knew my suffering and understood the depths of my pain when I was in the midst of it.

Still, within days of each other?  Both set in a warehouse?

Last night I told the Lord that if I heard anymore of this warehouse talk from a third person, I would accept it as a confirmation that He is warning us of something and that this isn’t just metastasized fear.

Today I had to order J’s language books for next year.  The vendor sends a traveling rep, and you get free shipping when you order at the display.  So, I always try to order when he visits in order to save on that expense.

After I submitted my order, the rep asked if there was anything else he could do for me.  I leaned forward and, in a hushed tone, said, “Yes.  Last year I expressly told you that my ex-husband’s name was to be removed from our account.  Somewhere at headquarters though someone put his name back on, tracked down his new address that I didn’t even have, and mailed my books to him.”

He interrupted, “I remember that!  I remember!  Did anyone ever get that straightened out?”

I explained that UPS stopped it and rerouted them back to me.  I called the main office for his supplier at that time and hoped that it was now squared away, but I would appreciate it if he could keep an eye on it.  I shared with him the fiasco over the tuition reimbursement check that USPS rerouted to R, that he, of course, cashed.  If the books got routed to him, he would keep them and the kids wouldn’t have the school books they need.

This former pastor turned book salesman then openly shared his personal story with me.  A story involving adultery, domestic violence, child abuse, and public shame and judgment. (Women are not always the victims, and men are not always the perpetrators!)  He then leaned forward and in a hushed tone said, “I got the impression your situation was similar.”  How did he know that???

I won’t divulge the details of his personal life.  Those are his to share.  However, one incident when his children were placed in grave danger involved a METAL WAREHOUSE here in the county where I live!

Coincidence?  Perhaps.  Weird?  Certainly.  Chilling?  Um, not this time around.

The fear stops here.  R instilled a horrendous fear in me that I still carry.  It reared its ugly head today when a stranger nearly hit my 4 year old daughter and then yelled at me.  But, it will not control my life.  I will not allow these dreams and coincidences to fill my head with thoughts of what if?

The final statement the salesman said to me was, “The Lord will restore the years the locusts ate.  I assure you of that.  I have been happily remarried for 15 years, and my kids are all great.  But, more than that, read Philippians 1:6.  He says be confident of this, He which has begun a good work in you will perform it.  He will finish the good work He has begun in your life.  Be assured of that.  He will finish it.”

I am His, and I stand confident in His promises.  No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).  The Lord did not bring me this far to let me go.  He will finish this for me.  

Instead, I am choosing to take those dreams as a warning to not get lazy or cocky.  The enemy is still sneaking about like a roaring lion, and I still need the protection of my friends (their prayer covering).   We just don’t need to live in fear of our enemy because we can enter boldly before the throne of Grace and trust in our Righteous Redeemer to restore the lost years, protect us from the enemy, and finish our stories with good endings.