To make sense of this incredible story, read all 4 posts.
POST #1- Diamonds Over Gray Velvet
Let me take you back in my life to a time when all five of our children were still in grade school or younger. Such happy memories… in this shot they’re headed off with my parents. It was a fun and busy season, a season of love and hope.
One Saturday morning a life-time ago I stood in the kitchen preparing breakfast, my husband and eldest son assisting.
For some reason I had taken off my wedding ring and laid it on a hand towel just next to the sink. Maybe I’d dirtied it while converting ground beef to sausage with my bare hands. With the girls busy setting the table, I remained at the stove tending the eggs.
The high-pitched clink I soon heard seemed of no consequence… my son, drying his hands, had apparently sent my ring across the floor. I heard it bounce and roll. “Oh, well.” I thought, “I’ll see where it landed after”.
Diamonds can be literal in dreams, and especially in visions. I know, because I had an open vision of a diamond ring years later while pondering if I should finally give my husband permission to replace that ring (which apparently had crossed over to the “Twilight Zone”).
Believe me, we scoured behind every crack in the floorboard, under the refrigerator and stove, and even removed baseboard. We used flashlights and mirrors, and remained mystified, even as we made our final exit years later after leaving hidden notes in the kitchen.
About that open vision two houses later… I’m talking about a vision where you’re wide awake seeing something that looks like a television screen within inches of your eyes. It’s not in your mind’s eye, but before your baby blues (or browns). That’s why we call it an open vision; it’s out in the open.
This vision, like the majority I’ve experienced, was short and right to the point- a white-gold diamond ring floated upward through a gray velvet cloth as if it were coming to me. Though long ago now, I can still see the array of smaller diamonds surrounding the main jewel.
“A prophecy about the replacement of my wedding ring!” I perceived, “God will handle this; I’ll tell Frank to hold off”. Somehow I knew that the vision wasn’t confirming our finding a place in our budget for a new wedding ring, but rather, that God was going to take care of it, so we didn’t have to!
And by the way, that’s a truth you can stand on. If God tells you that you’re going to conceive a child at age 90, you don’t have to initiate a meeting with Hagar. Sometimes taking initiative carries detrimental consequences. For us, it would simply have been using up funds we would later need.
In this case, I was right. About a month later, during my parent’s annual visit from across the country, I was
given the precious wedding ring set that my mother’s father had given to my grandmother at their 50th anniversary. I hadn’t known of it and was thrilled! Once again, God’s prophetic word was true. Now I knew why in my vision, the ring floated through the gray-colored velvet… because it would be coming to me from beyond the grave. How special! And an amazing provision.
Surely I would wear this treasured keepsake for the rest of my years. I could count on it. After all, the Lord had showed it to me in advance not just in a dream, but in a vision!
What followed the next year demonstrates the length our Heavenly Father will go in order to prepare us for what he has planned for us. Yes, I can tell you from experience that Abba will lovingly and in grace set up elaborate plans to mold us into the children He desires us to be. He is relentlessly at work to purify us.
Six months passed before the next diamond dream. Vivid, colorful, impressive, and disturbing- a white horse galloped across the stream I was standing in and knocked the diamonds right of my ring into the moving clear waters, never to be found. I awoke startled. I had no idea what this meant, but it remained with me, disquieting my spirit as it flashed back through my mind from time to time.
Stay tuned… next post: WHITE HORSE BLUES, the embarrassing post I prefer you don’t read.
POST #2- White Horse Blues
Our Heavenly Father is like no other father we can imagine. His consistency, attentiveness and unconditional love for us is unparalleled. And one amazing aspect of this Lover-of-Our-Souls is that rather than judging (which we get plenty of in this world), He thoughtfully nurtures us to bring out the best in us. In contrast to the condemnation and discouragement we get from those around us or from within, He knows how to encourage and motivate us.
This One-of-a-Kind Father yearns to remove the things in our lives which stand in our way. He holds little interest in our comfort, but is passionate about our development in areas such as faith, integrity, and maturity. Though God is always available to forgive without exception, He prefers that we triumph over the temptations that haunt us.
If you haven’t read the last post, know that this is PART 2 of my story and may make more sense after reading “DIAMONDS OVER GRAY VELVET”.
For those of you who recall the details of the last post, you’ll remember that I was thrilled to finally be wearing a wedding ring again, especially the heirloom which had been prophesied in my open vision of a diamond ring floating upward to me right through a gray velvet fabric.
Life was good and six months passed before the next diamond dream. Vivid, brilliant, colorful, and impressive, the disturbing dream was simply a scene of a white horse galloping across the stream I was standing in. The magnificent creature knocked the diamonds right off my ring into the moving clear waters, never to be found.
As I noted in “DIAMONDS OVER GRAY VELVET”, I awoke startled. I had no idea what this meant, but it remained with me, disquieting my spirit as it flashed back through my mind from time to time. What do horses in dreams mean? Why was I standing in a stream? And what did my diamonds symbolize?
What followed that spring demonstrates the length to which our Heavenly Father will go in order to prepare us for the good things he has planned for us. Yes, I can tell you from experience that Abba will lovingly and in grace set up profoundly elaborate plans to mold us into the children He desires us to be. Count on Him to be relentlessly at work on us.
Within a few weeks of the White Horse dream, a call came from a talent agency where a family member worked. By then it was February and we were struggling along financially, living from commission to commission. So the possibility of earning some unexpected cash as a hand model was appealing.
I emailed in a photo of my hands as quickly as possible, and was elated the next day to have been chosen among several entries. Images of my hands would be on the shelves of the grocery stores across the world! And a cool thousand dollars to boot!
Little did I know that receiving the job was a setup from Abba. He knows me better than I know myself, and He can outwit me any day of the week… for my own good, of course.
During the day-long photo session, I managed to come across like a professional. Then a couple of weeks later, another company needed my hands. With a second job under my belt, I was officially a hand-model!
Surely there were more gigs to come. It seemed like a sweet gift from God, and by coincidence, my mother had been told her hands should be used to model. Perhaps this was a generational fulfillment somehow.
As summer approached, I noticed my paleness and began utilizing the nearby tanning salon. “I’ll have to remove my rings”, I reasoned one day as I packed my bag, “What if the photographers don’t want me to wear them? I’d have a tan line showing.”
Here’s the part it took me years to open up and tell. In fact, if you should decide to stop reading right now, my feelings wouldn’t be hurt.
After a couple of trips to the salon, I tried one of those upright tanning booths. They are powerful, so 4 minutes was plenty. I stripped appropriately, left on some skimpy undergarments, slipped on the goggles, hit the start button, and dashed in.
After a minute or so, I realized I still had my new wedding ring set on.
Within several minutes, I was redressed and on my way home; then a trip to the restroom and back to my home office. Wait a minute… where’s grandma’s ring?
Greatly distressed, I hastily retraced all my steps, just as I had done in the kitchen years earlier. It wasn’t anywhere in the salon, on the sidewalk, in the parking lot, in my car, in my clothes, in my bathroom. Had it gone down the toilet? What would I say to my parents? How utterly stupid!!!
My record on diamond rings was now zero for two! And this ring was just as treasured as the first. And to add to that, my parents had given it to me, and I couldn’t let them down. I had left no stone unturned; I was devastated.
Teary-eyed and feeling like I’d just been punched in the stomach, I eventually flipped on the office TV as a distraction. To my amazement the channel it was tuned to was a true story about a man who had lost a precious ring which was recovered in the hull of a river boat decades after its loss‒ and through clues within the ring‒ found its way back to its owner.
Was this prophetic? Was God trying to tell me something? Surely my ring would return to me… after all, before I had even known of it, it was prophesied in a vision to be coming to me!
Horses in dreams symbolize power, and a white horse in the context of this dream symbolizes pure and positive power. So this white horse told me that God ordained the diamond ring to be lost. The incident was providential, and I was in the Spirit (stream) when I stashed the ring and forget to retrieve it before it slipped from me.
But how could God do this to me? And why? And most importantly, how would I tell my parents that I’d lost the precious wedding set by leaving it in my panties? It was all I could talk or think about for months, because it would soon be time for my parents next annual visit.
Those answers and more, next time…
POST #3- My Predicament
“What is it with the wedding rings?” I deliberated, “Why can’t I hold on to them?”
If you read the FIRST POST in this series, you’ll remember that I’d managed to lose my original wedding ring, designed especially for me by a jeweler in Southern California where Frank and I lived at the time. While our children were still young, it fell to the kitchen floor, bounced, and rolled into the “Twilight Zone” (see DIAMOND OVER GRAY VELVET).
Years later the ring was replaced only after I received an open vision of a diamond ring floating upward through a gray velvet fabric. The prophecy was fulfilled when my parents entrusted me with my grandmother’s wedding ring set. I knew when I slipped it on my finger that the gray velvet symbolized its coming to me from beyond the grave.
“Problem solved,” I concluded, but to my astonishment before the year was up I had succeeded in loosing that ring as well (see WHITE HORSE BLUES).
The series of events which led to its loss was too remarkable to dismiss as coincidence. 1) The loss was prophesied through a dream of a white horse knocking the diamonds off of my ring in a stream, 2) The loss happened during a season of financial pressure when I was eager to earn some extra cash, 3) A couple of hand-modeling gigs had led me to be overly concerned about the appearance of my hands, 4) My frugality and lack of experience in a tanning salon led to an impulsive and ill-fated decision (see WHITE HORSE BLUES).
With the disappearance of this second wedding ring fresh, I could think of nothing but its loss. Somewhere deep within I knew that my Heavenly Father had orchestrated this, but the not-so-deep part of me wasn’t so sure. Why would He do this to me? Was He out to lunch? Did He want me to study marriage, work on my marriage, or write marriage curriculum?
I studied the subject and wrote the curriculum. I mourned day and night. I told everyone I ran into about my predicament and asked for their prayers. But my turmoil and tears weren’t so much about the loss of a material thing, or the fact that I had lost 2 out of 2 wedding rings, or even the sentimentality of the jewelry. This anguish was about the unpleasantness of disappointing my parents.
Herb and Helen were an extraordinary couple. Raised during the Great Depression, they grew up without things like running water. Finding each other after his return from the traumatic shores of Omaha Beach on D-Day, they married and started a family.
By the time I was born, it was the 1950’s, and our home was everything good you might imagine of an American home in that era. I knew no insecurity, no worries, only love and promise. My father’s affection and inventor-mentality inspired me to be comfortable exploring, hoping, and dreaming. And my mother’s selfless sweetness provided a bedrock of support.
Though my parents were opposites in many ways, one of the most obvious traits they had in common was their integrity. Their character was flawless; it was as if they were never even tempted to make a wrong decision. Frugal and wise in all practical matters, they lived out that wisdom with total consistency.
Herb and Helen modeled the Ward and June Cleavers we all watched on TV; the upright, principled, conscientious adults caught off guard by signs of imprudence, poor judgment, or lack of discipline. I recall attempting to play a game of cards with my father where the players had to bluff each other concerning the cards they held. My dad couldn’t do it. He refused after the first round. It would be dishonest.
It was a lot to live up to. And the older I got, the more difficult the challenge. They never seemed to have any problems, apparently because they simply did everything right in the first place.
Why did I have so many problems? For years I would imagine giving them a call and then the question would come, “What will you talk about? There’s nothing going on but problems.”
Letting my folks down by telling them about my stupidity didn’t seem like an option. I began to scheme ways I could get out of the horrific discomfort of telling the truth.
I could leave the ring at home when I traveled across the country back to my home town, but what would be my excuse for leaving it at home? Everything I thought of seemed unfeasible. And what about the next time I saw them? What if they came to our home in Colorado like they usually did? Would I be able to think of a new story every year?
No matter what excuse I thought up, I knew it wouldn’t hold up over time. And I stayed awake nights devising plan after plan for three months. The truth was simply not an alternative, even if I omitted the embarrassing details.
I looked forward to reuniting with my parents and extended family, but not to the moment of truth. A believable story would be better… if only I could think of one.
(Any of you been there? Or is it just me?)
Parents were designed to model here on earth who God is… fathers to demonstrate the character of our Heavenly Father, and mothers the Holy Spirit. Some parents come closer than others to achieving that, but all fall short.
Some belittle us and tear us down making us feel as if we’ll never succeed at anything. Others place too much emphasis on performance and achievement. Some are wrapped up in their own issues and practically ignore us. Others use us to gratify their own carnal desires. Many want what’s best for us, but don’t understand how to motivate us.
By the time we move into adulthood, we’ve become pretty good at dealing with the resulting personal issues through coping mechanisms such as self-medication, narcissism, work-a holism, or what have you. Some become sociopaths.
Many of us continue to carry insecurities or fears resulting from childhood disappointments. There are still unhealed wounds deep within. This pain and the effects of it are not doing you any good. Can you imagine truly being issue-free, at peace, confident, and joyful?
Perhaps you need to talk this through with a parent, resolve somehow any open issues. Maybe you don’t understand what motivated your mother or father at the time, or what motivates them now. Maybe you need to come to terms with your own behaviors back then. Were you a challenge to bring up at times?
It’s possible that a parent needs to hear your point of view and would respond positively (especially after advance prayer).
Perhaps you are embittered by the poison of unforgiveness. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean you approve of the actions, but it simply releases the person to the care of the Lord. The mercy you receive from God is in direct proportion to the mercy you give. Matthew 5:7; Matthew 18:32-35
Forgiving someone and trusting them (or allowing them full access to your life) may be two different things. Forgiving a parent can be just between you and God alone, or the Voice of Truth may give you a related assignment.
Whatever the case, you have a High Priest on your side in Jesus and a Comforter within- just waiting to move you to a higher level of healing and freedom.
The moment was coming when I would have to make a decision. What would I tell my parents about the loss of the ring? How would I handle my predicament? What would their reaction be?
In next Wednesday’s post, I’ll reveal the moving story of how this played out, and you’ll see an incredible testimony of God at work…
POST #4- CONCLUSION: MOMENT OF TRUTH
Letting my folks down by telling them about my stupidity in losing grandmother’s wedding ring set didn’t seem like an option. It was the second wedding ring I’d lost and a treasured heirloom.
An open vision had prophesied its arrival leading me to believe that its place on my finger was permanent.
But the dream of the white horse galloping into the clear stream I was standing in and knocking the diamonds off my finger seemed to prophesy the opposite.
No matter what story I devised to avoid telling my parents of the loss of the ring, I knew it wouldn’t hold up. And I stayed awake nights cooking up plan after plan for three months. The truth was simply not an alternative, even if I omitted the embarrassing details.
I looked forward to reuniting with my parents and extended family, but not to the moment of truth. A believable story would be better… if only I could think of one.
(Any of you been there? Or is it just me?)
MOMENT OF TRUTH
The California Zephyr was always a delightful experience. I had grown up in a mid-western railroad town and the sound of the whistle alone always takes me home. The wobbling of the coach and resonance of steel against steel as the wheels move along the track are hypnotizing. And to add to that, I was taking my favorite daughter (just kidding‒ daughters 2 and 3). We had a berth all to ourselves, meals in the dining car, and no responsibility for over 24 hours.
Somehow I rose above my issue and enjoyed the ride. Crossing over the great Mississippi River and into the state of Illinois was exhilarating. It had been a long time. As I looked at my watch, it came to my attention that the train would be about a half hour late. Not bad, but… hey, I have a cell phone this time… times have changed… I should make sure they can avoid waiting in the station unnecessarily.
Little did I know that my consideration for them was inspired… inspired by my loving Heavenly Father. I moved to a place where I was alone, dialed the number and pressed SEND. My folks joyfully answered, always excited to hear my voice. They were already aware that the train was late.
THEN I heard a voice whisper, “Tell them you have some bad news.” It seemed like a random thought that had just popped into my head.
Nothing seemed to have changed. I didn’t know how I was going to handle the situation. Delighted to soon be with the parents whom I loved, I felt a peace as if was something would occur to me when it needed to.
The slight breeze put a perfect spin on the sunny afternoon. Home again. I felt the warm welcoming atmosphere from the first moment we stepped off the train with our bags. From my perspective, the scene included a touch of humor as I concealed my left hand in my pocket, behind my back, under the luggage… anywhere but in plain sight. It was naked.
Before I knew it, the four of us were sitting around the old dining table, chatting away, catching up. My worries seemed to have been left behind in the high country. It was all forgotten.
“What was it,” my dad began, “you were going to tell us… the news?”
The verse 1 Corinthians 10:13 had come up twice recently.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
I knew I shouldn’t lie. It was a moral compromise and clearly not in God’s will, but the consequences of revealing the truth seemed insurmountable. The battle raged within me, if only for a second or two.
“I lost the ring… It’s gone”. I held back the tears. “and in a stupid way I don’t care to mention.”
I had done it. I had gone with the truth. Integrity and honor had ruled after all. There was a long pause…
“Is that all?” Dad responded with a tone of relief. “You had us worried. We thought someone had cancer, was pregnant out of wedlock, or was divorcing!”
Suddenly the whole odyssey made sense. God was right… He provided a way of escape. I told the truth and suffered nothing. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
The warning from the train had set up expectations of doom in the minds of my parents. With that extra half hour, they had considered many worse possibilities than what I told them. Compared to what they’d contemplated, the loss of that ring was nothing!
In only seconds, and by the voice of the Holy Spirit on that train, God had provided the way out‒ just as He promises in His Word.
• The phone call from the train was truly inspired!
• The train being late was inspired!
• The thought to warn my parents of bad news was inspired!
• The loss of the ring was inspired!
• The hand-modeling jobs were inspired!
• The financial instability was inspired!
All because my Heavenly Father wanted to rid me once and for all of resorting to fibs when facing discomfort or fear.
He was tired of forgiving me and holding back my blessings accordingly. He wanted to separate me from the fear of man. He wanted to strengthen my character. He wanted to be able to trust me. He loved me and had plans for me.
This author of dreams had plotted and devised an elaborate and extravagant plan to corner me into a new level of honesty. My Heavenly Father wanted to impress something on me. It worked. I learned that our character is more important to God than all the jewels in the world.
The WHITE HORSE DREAM had truly been prophetic! As I stood in the middle of the clear stream (the voice of the Holy Spirit), the galloping white horse (the power of the Lord) knocked the diamonds off my finger (literal).
It’s been many years and I was never asked to model my hands again‒ another confirmation that this dance had been choreographed by my Father in Heaven.
But my finger remained naked again after a 10-month exception, and I wondered about that “It’s a Miracle” show I had inadvertently flipped on just after losing the last ring. Would the story of the ring found beneath the stairs of a riverboat turn out to be prophetic for me?
One thing I was sure of: The Creator of the Universe is keenly interested in you and me and our development as beloved sons or daughters. The extent to which He will go on our behalf is without limit.
O Lord, You have looked through me and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You understand my thoughts from far away. You look over my path and my lying down. You know all my ways very well. Even before I speak a word, O Lord, You know it all. You have closed me in from behind and in front. And You have laid Your hand upon me.
- Psalm 139:1-5
I encourage you to join me in this simple prayer from the same Psalm: Look through me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any sinful way in me and lead me in the way that lasts forever.
Additional details of this testimony (including the touching story of the next 2 ring replacements) will be included with similar dream-related stories in an upcoming book.